Say you arrive in Da Nang in July. After a day lazing around on the beach working furiously on your tan while admiring the calm ocean, you catch yourself thinking: Wouldn’t it be nice to have a SUP board to paddle around on the glistening water, far away from all the swimmers? Well I’ve caught myself picturing that in mind numerous times. The will is there, but the challenge is first: how to find a stand up paddle board in Da Nang. It has a long coastline, a couple of beautiful bays easily accessible, and if you want you can count the silty Han river too, and yet you don’t ever see anyone on a paddle board. None. Ever. I just know there must be one hidden somewhere in this city of a million people. There must be a one in a million chance right? So I started a small quest. And after a few questions, I did find one, in the possession of an expat who owns an apartment building 3 blocks from the beach. And as nice as he seems, he made it clear that it’s strictly personal and off limits to renting. He pointed me off to inquire at the Furama, a fancy 5* resort. And yes, they do have a beat up super sticky sandy wavestorm for a very resort friendly price of $22/hour. So I’m sad to say that, unless you are willing to drop $22 for an hour on foam, at this moment as of Aug 2014, it’s not possible to get your hand on a paddle board in Da Nang. What a freaking shame. So much water abound and not a single board available (for a reasonable price). But that might change. While looking with a certain disgust at the Furama’s wavestorm, I thought to myself: I might just as well buy lots of foam and glue or tape them together and have my own board. I now have a much grander idea and design, but it’s to be seen whether I can find someone to execute, and again, at a reasonable cost. I’ll get to it as soon as I get back to Da Nang. And if it works out, it’s gonna be a super exciting project.

Update Jul 2015: There’s a new surf school in town, toward the northern part of the public beach. They have 26 boards to rent! An impressive number, including SUP, both foam and epoxy. But still quite pricey, so definitely geared toward foreigners and tourists ($10-15, per hour I’m assuming).

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