Stand up Paddleboarding (SUP) is gaining popularity. While the sport is mostly associated with the ocean there are in fact many stunning places to paddleboard in-land. In fact, it often allows you to see a familiar place in a whole new light. So in this article, we’ll be looking at five places to paddleboard away from the coastline, both in the UK and around the world.
Llyn Padarn is a beautiful steel-blue lake that lies at the foot of Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales. There you will meet Sian Sykes, who quit her busy life in London to start Psyched Paddleboarding, a company that teaches people how to SUP in Snowdonia. The area is well known for hiking, climbing and bouldering, but the best way to experience the scenery is through paddleboarding on the lake. The meditative experience allows you to move across the calm azure waters, while also giving you a different view of the majestic mountains that most people won’t see.
Paddleboarding in the Himalayan Mountains is the ultimate water adventure. The Independent reports that there is a three-week expedition to Nepal and Bhutan. The guided tour starts in Nepal, where you’ll paddle along one of the country’s major rivers, the Kali Gandaki. Afterwards, you’ll fly across the famous Himalayan mountain range into Bhutan, where you’ll paddle along the Drangme Chhu, and SUP into India. Even if paddleboarding in these mountains costs you a pretty penny, it’s nothing compared to the price of climbing Mount Everest for which the Himalayas are famous for. A feature by Lottoland explains that it costs an average of €75,500 (£67,696) per person to do the climb. This once-in-a-lifetime paddleboarding experience will also mean you don’t have to compete with others for great views of the surrounding natural landscapes. As you get to the summit of your respective journey, admiring the beautiful scenery around you will be nothing short of life-changing.
The East Midlands isn’t the first place you would think of when you think of SUP, but Lincolnshire has miles and miles of waterways that are virtually untouched. Yellowbelly is an SUP school pioneered by veteran paddleboarder Phil May. Born in Lincolnshire, he uses the scenic rivers to help develop the sport in the area. His school has lessons for beginners who want to try SUP and more competent paddlers looking to refine their technique.
Located in the heart of Europe, Slovenia is a small picturesque country bordered by the Alps and the Adriatic Sea. The geographic diversity and the pristine natural beauty make it a perfect destination for SUP. While there are no waves to be ridden via paddleboard, the country is blessed with clear Alpine lakes and emerald-green rivers. You can paddle through crystal clear water in Lake Cerknica, often called ‘the lake that vanishes’ for its transparency. Another great destination is the emerald blue Soča River. The river retains its colour throughout because of the limestone rocks that dissolve in the water. For a more structured travel you can go on a five-day guided tour to the country’s most scenic rivers and lakes, which includes paddling for three hours each day.
Urban paddling is a great opportunity to catch a different view of a well-known city. The Guardian reports that the canals in Birmingham link ‘contemporary Birmingham with its industrial past.’ The appeal of exploring Birmingham’s urban canal system is the historic significance: it reminds paddleboarders of a time when waterways were used for transit before ‘road and rail replaced these industrial arteries.’ Paddling along Birmingham’s suburbs, you see old assembly-line factories where fighter planes were once manufactured, helping to understand more of the ‘city of a thousand trades’ in a way you wouldn’t have thought possible.