Paddleboarding is a great sport for all the family, young and old and Devon’s estuaries and coves are perfect for exploring by paddleboard, as are its rivers and canals - and some reservoirs and lakes allow SUPs too, so wherever you are in the county, you have a chance to try out your skills. Of course, we also have great variety of beaches to check out too, many of which welcome paddleboarders all year around and offer tuition and equipment hire in the warmer months.
Looking to learn more
If you’d like to get a bit of experience before getting on your board, there are plenty of places to book a lesson – it’s not too difficult to learn and there are a host of instructions around the coasts so you can find a teaching style that suits you. There are several organisations offering tuition for families and groups no matter your age and ability, several of them even have adapted equipment for hire, so everyone, no matter what their mobility can give it a try.
Where to paddleboard...
Whichever coastline or river you find yourself at, there will be opportunities to hop on your board, but here are a couple of suggestions for perfect paddleboarding conditions.
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.