Stand up paddleboarding (SUP) has become one of the world’s fastest growing water sports. Not only does it offer a great work out in the open air, it also enables you to progress in the water at your own pace. The sport has caught on big-time in several UK beach resorts. Not least in Newquay, Cornwall. The nearby estuary of the River Gannel is one of the most scenic and safe areas to try the sport. And if you’ve never tried it before, guidance is readily available.
Crantock Bay Surf School, at Crantock Beach, offers SUP tuition in the ideal surroundings of a golden sandy beach. Each lesson lasts for over two hours. Included in your coaching will be a variety of paddle strokes, prone, stand up and knee paddling, launching and landing, as well as self-rescue. With group discounts available, the £40 cost is superb value.
The Gannel estuary is also a great place for river kayaking. Crantock Bay Surf School offers unique river tours in this scenic part of Cornwall. Depending on the tides, the trip will take you past the Old Boatyard and the tidal Penpol Creek, a tributary of the River Fowey. Steeped in maritime history, the Creek is now home to wildlife including egrets, oystercatchers and woodpeckers. Each river tour lasts two to three hours and for £30 includes kayak, buoyancy jacket, wetsuit and paddle. No previous experience is needed and because the tours take place at high tide, times will vary. www.crantockbaysurfschool.com has more information.
SUP Cornwall offers tuition in both surf and flatwater. For complete beginners, their ‘taster’ lessons are very popular. Instruction is based on individual skill levels and includes the importance of stance when using the board and falling safely into the water. You’ll be in experienced hands no matter if novice or more advanced, and their coaching is tailored to your own individual SUP requirements.
SUP tours of the River Fal are ideal ways to take in the scenery and safely test your skills under guidance. SUP Cornwall will take you from Loe Beach near Falmouth, and the trip will include a chance to see the Carrick Roads–the world’s third largest natural harbour. Bring a towel, drink and swimwear. Wetsuits can be provided for £5. It’s a tour you’ll not forget, and at £30 is great value for money. For more details, visit www.supcornwall.co.uk.
Loe Beach, on the south Cornish coast, is a haven for water sports and a great place to hire out kayaks. Triple seat, double or single, they are a stable and safe way for the whole family to enjoy the beautiful surroundings. No previous experience is needed and buoyancy jackets and full instructions are provided. For more information, call 01872-864-295.
Widely referred to as the UK’s surfing capital, Newquay’s position on Cornwall’s northern coast certainly gives it the edge. With nine sandy beaches and a maritime climate, it’s no surprise that over 80,000 tourists visit in the summer. Few resorts can offer such a wide range of water and river sports. No matter your skill or age, Newquay offers something for everyone.