SUP in Devon

SUP in Devon or stand up paddleboarding is now well and truly on peoples minds.   From its humble beginnings in the UK, this awesome sport has grown in popularity offering something for everyone.   You have to say it is super easy to learn but after that you can take it so much further with racing, white water paddling, downwind paddling and sup surfing.

Ian Phillips from SUP boards uk gives us a quick look around sup in devon and what you can expect to do and find when you decide to go paddleboarding in Devon.

So what kit should you look at using

Devon is a coastal county but there are also plenty of places to paddle in land or on flatwater venues so boards we take with us when taking our sup adventure groups away include the:

Jimmy Lewis Cruise Control – this is a great all round board for flat water paddling in Devon, but can also be used to good effect on the sea and in smaller waves.

Jimmy Lewis Maestra – a great learner surf sup #supsurf board ideal for bigger people or an allround family surf sup for everyone to enjoy. Added bonus is the full length deck pad.

Jimmy Lewis Hanalei – a bit more serious but still lots of fun for flat water. This board really switches on in the waves.

Jimmy Lewis Worldwide – a proper surf sup that will handle anything Devon can chuck at it.

So what exactly is stand up paddle boarding and why is Devon such a cool place to do it?

The basic idea is you stand up on an oversized surfboard and use a long paddle to propel yourself along.  That’s it in a nutshell.

I mean , you can paddle on a canal or lake as well as on the sea but always make sure you are prepared for the conditions.

Devon has some amazing conditions and beautiful scenery so you’ll never get bored or run out of places to adventure.   The water temperature is as good as it gets in the UK as well.

There is so much wildlife in and around Devon, often things you simply won’t see from the land.

What do I love about stand up paddle boarding?

It is so quick to pick up and then it becomes the swiss army knife of sports. You can literally go anywhere within reason and do anything.  You just need a board and you’re off.   Obviously you may need to get a wetsuit for colder conditions and sometimes a buoyancy aid can be advisable, but before you buy anything why not book up on a SUP lesson to get the taste of it and see how you do.

After that, get out there and you’ll find you’re getting fitter and faster.  Try to catch the smallest of waves and then get into sup surfing.   There is nothing you can’t do.

Which are your favourite spots for paddleboarding in Devon?

South Devon: Bantham and Bigbury are well known surf spots which can get very crowded, but also great places to paddle around, with little inlets and estuaries for flat water sessions. From Totnes to Dartmouth along the Dart is a beautiful river paddle with the woods coming down to the water’s edge. Just check out the tide tables and wind direction forecast first, as you don’t want to be paddling against the tide or wind, but do use it to your advantage. Take your time, as there’s over 9 miles of river to explore – and check out the area’s vineyards.

Torbay: There are some nice coastal paddles around Torbay, and when the easterly winds blow there can be some good waves. Depending on your ability there are various spots to choose from. This the area where I teach, and I’m always happy to talk paddleboarding and give advice on good spots depending on your experience.

Teignmouth and Dawlish: You’ll find some lovely beach cruising and maybe surf around Teignmouth and Dawlish, if the wind direction and tide are right. Travel up the river to Newton Abbot or vice versa.

Exmouth: There are varied conditions on river lagoons and surf around Exmouth, but do check the tide as it can be very strong at times. Check with the local surf shop.

River Tamar: The Tamar is 60 miles long, with many tributaries to investigate and plenty of places to stop, explore and get a bite to eat and drink.

North Devon: Saunton Sands is a favourite surf spot with a nice long wave. If it’s crowded there’s plenty of space down the beach. And to cruise along when there are no waves, there’s also the big river estuary between Saunton and Westward Ho! (where the rivers Taw and Torridge merge), but check the tide and wind first.

Can anyone take part?

100% – if you can swim then get on board.   This is  great sport to get the family involved in and will give you so much more to do on those summer holidays.     You don’t have to be an athlete, just mobile.   I also mentioned about being able to swim.  Whilst I have heard people say they have a lifejacket on so what’s the problem, I would say you become a danger to others so be sensible and know your limits.