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Stand Up Paddle Boarding In UK

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Stand Up Paddle Boarding

Stand Up Paddle Boarding is one of the fastest growing water sports across the World right now, and it’s easy to see why. It’s one of the quietest and most relaxing ways to travel across water and to explore, meaning you can get incredibly close to wildlife without scaring it away. You can either sit down or stand up, meaning it’s comfortable. And because they’re so big they’re often very stable, so it’s possible to go out without getting wet. In fact, they’re so stable many people have taken to Paddleboard Yoga and even paddleboarding with dogs.

Where are the best places for paddleboarding?

This will largely depend on what type of paddleboarding you prefer and what sort of environment you like paddling in! For example lakes are a good place to start given the static water, with gently flowing rivers the next stage followed perhaps by estuaries and open sea and finally choppy seas, surf and white water rivers. Here are a few of our favourite places though to get you started:
  • Ullswater, Lake District: the second largest lake has the mighty Helvellyn towering over it, making for an impressive backdrop to any paddle here. Most of the lake is surrounded by mountains, and yet it’s also one of the most accessible, which is perhaps why it is well catered for by activity providers should you want to take out a paddleboard either for hire or on a guided trip or course.

  • River Derwent, Lake District: starting from under the shadow of England’s tallest mountain, the Derwent flows through the stunning Borrowdale valley with its many stunning ancient oak forests, making for a magical and rewarding experience. Book a session with an activity provider so you can get a handy lift back to the start again for a great linear journey, and maybe add in a pub stop too! See more for Paddleboarding In Lake District

Paddleboarding in London
The Thames - perhaps the most famous river in the UK, there are various trips you can take on here to explore various parts of it’s latter stages as you come towards London, with the stretch between Henley-on-Thames and Windsor being a good one with the backdrop of the castle, and between Hampton Court Palace and Kew Bridge also providing a nice peaceful paddle through the increasingly built up area (and plenty of places for a post-paddle pint too)! See more for Paddleboarding In London
Norfolk Broads - These famously beautiful stretches of water are a joy to paddleboard on, being gentle-flowing, peaceful and with plenty of wildlife to spot along the way. Cornwall’s South Coast - with so many places to choose from along the south coast of Cornwall it’s hard to pick a favourite, and much of this can be explored from the many beaches that line it. Polkerris Beach is one such place with hire and tours available, and Kynance Cove’s beauty is well documented and well worth an exploration from the water! See more for Paddleboarding In Cornwall
Oban and the Scottish Island - with a stunning coastline and thriving activity scene, Oban is well worth the trip to paddle in pristine waters, and a variety of great wildlife to enjoy. It’s also possible to use it as a base to be taken to some of the islands to paddle around. If the weather is kind you may find yourself paddling over crystal clear turquoise waters and if in the right season even have the likes of basking sharks for company! See more for Paddleboarding In Scotland
Stand Up Paddleboarding Yoga

How hard is paddleboarding?

Paddleboarding difficulty varies based on the type of paddleboard you’re using, the weather conditions and the water conditions. On a calm day, with no wind, still water and with a stable paddleboard, the sport is very easy. On a day where there are gusts of wind, the paddleboard you have isn’t suitable for your weight or the water conditions are poor with heavy river flow, waves or tides, paddleboarding can be more difficult. That being said, the one way to make paddleboarding much easier is to do it sitting down. Despite the name, it's not mandatory to stand up! Sitting down can often aid stability and make it easier to paddle in the wind by reducing your surface area. The sport is very accessible and most people should be able to try it out without too much fitness. It’s very relaxing and not too strenuous.
Stand Up Paddleboarding Yoga

What should I wear for stand up paddleboarding?

There’s no set kit required for stand up paddleboarding. Those who are competent and going in gentle water can often go in shorts and a shirt as the chances of falling in are low. If going in water where the chances of falling in are higher, you may be provided with a wetsuit. As best practice, it’s best to wear swimming shorts or a swimming costume and potentially a t-shirt over the top to keep you warm. Some insist you wear a buoyancy aid, whilst others suggest that because the paddleboard is attached to your ankle by a flexible cable, a buoyancy aid isn’t needed as you’ll be able to safely get back to your paddleboard. Dress appropriately for the weather and it’s always better to over dress and be warm, than to be out there on the water freezing. If it’s sunny, consider taking sun cream and a hat. Your feet can sometimes get wet, so in cold water it’s worth wearing something to keep them warm from neoprene boots or at least a pair of shoes / socks you don’t mind getting wet.

What should I take to paddleboarding?

As falling in is possible, it's always worth taking a spare change of clothes and a towel. If you’re going for over an hour, consider taking snacks and a drink to keep you hydrated. Most paddle boards have elastic straps that enable you to store personal items in. Consider taking a dry bag if you want to keep anything dry.
Paddleboarding kit list

What kit do I need to stand up paddleboard?

If you’re not hiring or going as part of a club, and you’re looking to go paddleboarding by yourself, be sure to consider all the kit. Here’s a starter:
  • Stand up paddleboard (and a pump if its inflatable)
  • All parts of your SUP e.g. The Fin and the SUP leash
  • SUP paddle
  • Buoyancy Aid
  • First Aid Kit
  • Rescue whistle / communication device

Where can I paddleboard?

License for paddleboarding canals With over 3000 miles of canal in the UK, these calm waters are prime spots to explore by paddle board. If you’re paddling with a club they should arrange this for you. If you’re paddling by yourself, you’ll need to organise a license to paddle on them by checking the Canal River Trust Website
paddleboarding in the UK
License for Paddle Boarding on Rivers and Lakes Unfortunately, it’s not always clear where you’re allowed to paddleboard as some waterways are privately owned or are protected due to conservation work or military training. British Canoeingprovides the most comprehensive license for paddling on rivers and Lakes and you can also see what parts are not included as part of their license before buying.
Paddleboarding in The Sea There’s nothing quite like paddle boarding around the coast of the UK, with an abundance of wildlife, some more challenging water conditions and the stunning cliffs, beaches and islands. Fortunately, there’s no license requirements, you’ll just need to be a very competent paddler as it can be very dangerous to manage tides and waves without the knowledge and experience.

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