SUP adventures for when you get hold of your first (or second, third and so on…) stand up paddle boarding equipment. But where to head for some every man/woman adventure paddling?
SUP paddling The Caledonian Canal (the Great Glen).
Epitomised as an endurance SUP race in the last few years, The Caledonian Canal formed as part of a geological fault line bisecting the Scottish Highlands, the Grampian Mountains and onwards into the Northwest Highlands.
A well paddled kayak route, it’s now become synonymous with SUP adventurers. As such there are plenty of amenities along the way. Although it’s still easy to get off the beaten track, out into the wilds and do your own thing.
Circumnavigating Hayling Island by SUP.
Sitting in the shadow of its bigger neighbour (and Freshwater Bay Paddleboard Co. HQ) the Isle of Wight, Hayling’s circumference is roughly 17 miles. As such it’s a tantalising prospect to paddle the whole way round; being perceived to be a relatively easy adventure SUP route.
And easy enough it is (mostly) as long as paddlers get it right with tides. Using the flowing water to push and pull through both Langstone and Chichester Harbours, you can complete the journey in a decent time (if speed’s your thing). Getting it wrong with the tides, and inclement weather means it’ll be a lot more arduous.
One to tick off your bucket list though. Perhaps take part in the annual Round Hayling SUP Challenge that happens every year.
UK river/canal routes.
A bit broad this one but it’s worth mentioning there are numerous great SUP rivers and canals around the UK. All with their own individual personalities and conditions – determined by on how much water flow there is and seasonality.
Unlike coastal spots, inland rivers and canals can often go between points, almost like being on a road. In fact, that’s what many of these waterways were originally for. For adventure SUPing this is great as they have, in some ways, more of a reason to paddled.
Whatever your flavour of SUP adventure you’ll no doubt find it with rivers and canals. Off the beaten track or the more well trodden routes can all be ticked off depending what you’re looking to achieve and how Bear Grylls you fancy getting. and don’t worry if you’re based in towns and cities. For instance, in London, Regents Canal is worth checking out. An even better our friends at https://paddleboardinglondon.co.uk/ offer hir, tuition and guiding to make it as easy as possible.
Scotland’s Hebridean islands.
Back to Scotland and the country’s renowned Hebridean islands. Scattered like pebbles across the NW part of the UK the Hebrides all have their own individual look and feel. And with many in close proximity to one another, it’s sometimes easier than you think to paddle between landmasses.
Depending on your experience, time and weather conditions will dictate just how far you can get on your SUP. It may be you’re only paddling a few short distances. Or, alternatively, your plan could be a mammoth track taking in some of the more under the radar routes and locations.
Whatever your choice there’s plenty to keep any stand up paddler looking for adventure busy in this neck of the woods.
The Lake District.
England’s north west corner is where you’ll find the iconic Lake District. Famed for its peaks and fells The Lakes are a hill walker’s dream. But the waterways of The Lakes are also worthy of inspection.
In recent times the area’s become a hive of SUP activity with many schools and centers now in existence. You can take your first paddling steps here or, for those with adventure SUP aspirations, there’s plenty to keep you amused.
Of course, the most identifiable lake is Windemere – the largest natural lake in England. It boasts 11 miles of length and is 1m at its widest. This alone should be enough to keep most paddle boarders entertained.
For those looking at adventure SUP with a bit of endurance paddling thrown in for good measure, considering ‘The Three Lakes Challenge’ could be a good thing. Taking in Bala Lake (Wales), Loch Awe (Scotland) and Windermere is a test of will, wits and paddling. Alternatively, stick with The Lakes itself and investigate all this area has to offer.
Adventure SUP is a broad and diverse topic. It can encompass whatever you feel accounts for an ‘adventure’. The above suggestions are merely that; suggestions. Whether coast or inland, if there’s water you’re ripe for a SUP adventure. And summer 2022 is the perfect time to indulge.
You don’t need particularly specialist SUP gear for adventuring. A standard 10’6 inflatable board will be enough. Of course, should you fancy a more touring orientated shape in your quiver then our 11’5 Compact Tourer will make trekking and adventuring a little easier.
Whatever your idea of SUP adventure our advice is get involved. Unlike SUP surfing for instance you’re not bound and constrained by one location. Get out there, get gone and put some SUP adventure in your life.
Don’t forget to check out more from Freshwater Bay Paddleboard Co.’s blog here.