5 Places to Try Stand-Up Paddle Boarding in Cornwall
Stand-up paddle boarding in Cornwall has boomed since the easing of lockdown, as gyms and swimming pools remain closed and people scramble to take advantage of the good weather and long summer evenings. It has exploded in popularity – on rivers and in the sea – as those who wouldn’t normally take up water sports dip their toes in this perfect post-lockdown, socially distanced activity: out in the fresh air and away from crowds. Paddling quietly along, you experience the Cornish coastline or riverside from a different perspective. Getting out on the water is also a great way of relieving stress – paddle boarding provides you with the same feeling of mindfulness as in meditation, something we all need while living through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Paddle boarding is an ancient relative of surfing, with roots in Polynesia, where it was used as a quick mode of transport to get between islands. It's a super-simple, fun and low-impact sport. It doesn’t put a lot of strain on your body and won’t lead to damaged muscles, tendons and ligaments. But it does exercise almost every muscle, which makes it a great core workout!
It’s so easy to learn for everyone of all ages and sporting abilities – just stand on the board and paddle yourself along. You can get up to quite decent speeds if you want to, and if you like to get the adrenaline pumping, ride in with the waves if you’re at the beach.
Here are five places to try stand-up paddle boarding in Cornwall – have fun!
5 SUP Spots in Cornwall
Beginners and families: Harlyn Bay, near Padstow
Ocean adventurers: Portreath and St Agnes, near Redruth
Wildlife: the Helford River, Falmouth
Peace and quiet: the Gannel Estuary, Newquay
SUP yoga: Maenporth Beach, Falmouth
Stay Safe while Paddle Boarding
The main hazards stand-up paddle boarders need to factor in are the wind and the tide. Please remember these safety rules:
1. Always wear a leash, so you don’t get separated from your board.
2. Launch at an appropriate spot and don’t leave your board to create an obstruction.
3. If you’re on the river, always paddle closer to the bank when the river is busy – there will be less tide and you’ll be out of the way of larger boats using the river.
4. Be aware of the tides and which way they’re going to take you.
5. If it’s windy be prepared to kneel or lie down to get back, or give it a miss.
6. Be considerate to other water users as you’d expect them to be to you.