Spanish Banks Paddle


Spanish Banks lies immediately to the west of Jericho Beach, making it a natural extension of my usual go-to paddle route. It’s closer to the open waters of Straight of Georgia, and it can get much windier such that kite boarders and windsurfers can sometimes be seen, so it’s a little intimidating for me as a beginner at paddleboarding.

But this evening, the conditions were perfect. Nearly windless, the waves at Spanish Banks were sleepy and gentle. The parking lot was half empty on this Wednesday evening, and it’s only a few short steps away from the sandy beaches. Ample free parking and easy access to the water, with flush toilets and a long stretch of walking/biking path for Tina and the boys to hang out? This may become my new favorite spot.

With the car parked next to the trail, I was essentially pumping up the board right on the beach.

I launched at around 7pm, with the sunset due around 8pm. I was lucky that the tide was high (because I didn’t do my homework and check the tide schedule), otherwise the water can be 1km offshore at low tide and completely ruin a paddle plan.

I paddled west towards the tip of the peninsula and the Straight for 30 minutes, reaching just past the end of the sandy beaches with the off-leash area, then paddled back and got out of the water before nightfall. The short exercise was 50 minutes, 3.9km, at an average speed of 4.5km/hour. Not bad for paddling on ocean waves!

The paddle was very enjoyable. Groups of people were out soaking up the last bit of summer, with lots of space to spread out on this 2km-long beach. Several paddleboarders were out and about as well. With the smell of BBQ in the air, children and dogs playing by the water, the paddle painted the perfect West Coast summer evening.

Wreck Beach is around that corner. I plan to tackle it one day.
Sunset on my back.
Downtown Vancouver in the far distance.
  • Difficulty – on a calm day, just gentle little waves
  • Boat traffic – no boats near shore, and not crossing any navigational lanes
  • View – great view of the North Shore Mountains, Straight of Georgia, people watching, and Downtown Vancouver in the distance
  • Facilities – flush toilets, lots of activities to do on the beach, easy parking on an off-peak hour
  • Overall score – 8/10

Vancouver Shoreline Series:


3 responses to “Spanish Banks Paddle”

  1. […] Other than enjoying the sandy beach and cycling on the trail, there are many activities you can do here. Water activities are very popular especially during the hot summer months. There is a designated swim area with lifeguards on duty. You can also kayak, paddleboard, skim board, and even launch a kiteboard here. Just keep in mind that the water here may be choppy and during low tide, the water can be up to 1Km off shore. To find out more on paddle boarding here, check out Billy’s post here. […]

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