Dan runs an Adventure Sports Coaching business in the Lake District. He does a ton of work with British Canoeing and is just an all-round expert in all things watersports. This week Dan talks to us about how to plan a SUP trip…
Planning a trip
So, you’ve had a lot of fun paddling your SUP in areas that are familiar to you, and are looking to venture further afield? Here are some ideas for where you can find new ideas, and some key principles for planning your own journey!
The Go Paddling Website
British Canoeing has put together a large number of paddle trails. There are 171 trails, including circular routes, out and backs and linear trails, all searchable by difficulty and location. The great thing about these trails is that all the planning has been done for you! Parking info, hazards on the journey and local amenities are all detailed in the downloadable PDF files.
Google (or another search engine of your choice!)
Just type any variation of ‘SUP’ ‘Paddleboard’ ‘Destination’ ‘Location’ ‘Venue’ or words to that effect and read what comes up. This approach, while throwing up more locations that we could hope to paddleboard over several lifetimes, has its flaws…. We will need to make a judgement about how trustworthy the information we are reading is! This is especially important when we are looking at dynamic environments such as the sea, as tidal flows and swell regularly change, so what may have been gentle on one day can be wild the next!
Making it up yourself!
You’ve seen a body of water and you want to go and paddleboard on it. Go for an adventure (but there are a few things to check first!)
- Is recreational paddling allowed? Some reservoirs have dangerous hidden currents, and so no watersports are allowed on them.
- Do you need a licence? There are over 100 canals, broads and rivers that require users to hold a waterways licence (to contribute to upkeep!) You can check the list here: https://www.britishcanoeing.org.uk/go-canoeing/access-and-environment/licensing#waterways-licences-included-for-members
- Do the conditions on the day match your skill and experience? For example, paddling on the sea for the first time with an underlying swell and offshore winds probably isn’t going to give the best experience.
You can follow Dans SUP adventures here: https://www.instagram.com/danwilkinsoncoach/
Or if you want to find out more about Dans coaching: https://www.danwilkinson.org/