The Cornish coast is home to many of the British Isles’ famous surfing schools. You might be surprised to learn that the same region is also perfect for those who are into a different kind of water sport – stand-up paddleboarding (SUP). It is actually an offshoot of traditional surfing except that you’re standing on the board all the time, using a paddle to move the board over water. And if you’re interested in learning a thing or two about SUP, then head out to these Cornish spots and start paddling your way to a more exciting water adventure.
Perfect for newbies especially in calmer waters, the River Helford is always a favourite spot for those who would like to learn or even hone their skills in stand-up paddleboarding. The waters can be serene, much like that of a lake. But what is really amazing about the place is that it provides you an Instagrammable view of the Falmouth Bay coastline. Plus it’s an amazing place to stay at nearby holiday cottages and vacation rentals in Helford or Falmouth. The river banks are lined with trees while the creeks that branch from the main body are also inviting for the more advanced paddlers. In low tide, one can easily sit on the paddleboard and start picking oysters below the water surface, although you’d have plenty of competitors in the herons that flock the field as well as oyster catchers hoping to take full advantage of the bounty. For some really fun paddelboarding, head out to the east as it has one of the clearest sections in the area.
Whether it is stand-up paddleboarding, spotting seals, watching birds, or even taking a much-needed break in one of the area’s sought-after pubs, Loe Beach on the mouth of the River Fal is always a great place to polish one’s skills in SUP. It can get pretty crowded, though as the spot is a favourite among water-loving adventurers. There are plenty of water sports and water-related activities in the area that first-timers may have a difficult time making their way in calmer waters. Nevertheless, the area is still a good place to start if ever you’ve seriously considered standing up on a paddleboard instead of doing a hang ten with the breaking surf.
Cornwall natives definitely recommend the Gannel River as one of the best places to start learning the ropes of stand-up paddleboarding. The waters are calm and you get fantastic scenery wherever you set your eyes on. The Gannel has a gentle start near the boating lake of Newquay, paddling your way across a salt marsh for an entirely different kind of paddleboard experience. From here you’ll be reaching Crantock Beach where you can easily sharpen your SUP skills a lot further. Of course, you can always go in reverse, paddling your way upriver and try to determine just how much your technique has improved. Otherwise, taking a dip in its cool blue waters should always offer a welcome respite.
The Cornish coast is waiting for you. Try these spots and start enjoying the thrill of stand-up paddleboarding.