Updated July 2023
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This post is all about Stand Up Paddle Boarding. It will cover the following topics; what is Stand Up Paddle Boarding, Stand Up Paddle Boarding Near Me and Paddle Boarding Accessories.
The Ultimate Guide To Stand Up Paddle Boarding in Scotland
Stand up paddle boarding (aka SUP) has become increasingly popular in the last couple of years. You will probably know at least one person who has tried this activity.
The first time I tried SUP was back in 2021, when I took a Stand Up Paddle Boarding Lesson in Glencoe, Scotland. I decided to start with a lesson so that I could properly learn the technique and safety aspects and I'm so glad I did! I absolutely loved it!
Stand Up Paddle Boarding is 100% worth it! Living in a world that's incredibly fast-paced and connected, SUP seems like a perfect way to disconnect, get in touch with nature and destress from modern life.
So, if you are looking to find a Stand Up Paddle Boarding Lesson in Scotland or find the BEST places to go Stand Up Paddle Boarding in Scotland, then you are in the right place! This is your ultimate guide to Stand Up Paddle Boarding in Scotland.
This post is about Standing Up Paddle Boarding Near Me.
This blog post will cover:
- What is Stand Up Paddle Boarding?
- 5 Reasons Why You Should Go Stand Up Paddle Boarding
- 5 Benefits of Stand Up Paddle Boarding
- 5 Stand Up Paddle Boarding Tips
- 15 Places To Get Stand Up Paddle Boarding Lessons Near Me | Scotland
- 15 of the BEST Places To Go Stand Up Paddle Boarding Near Me | Scotland
- 10 Must-Have Paddle Boarding Accessories You Need To Get
- More Blog Posts You'll Love
What is Stand Up Paddle Boarding?
Stand Up Paddle Boarding, or SUP, is an outdoor water sports activity in which you kneel or stand on a paddle board (which is very similar to a surf board) and use a paddle to help you move through the water.
5 Reasons Why You Should Go Stand Up Paddle Boarding
- You can go Stand Up Paddle Boarding in just about any body of water - You can go to your local lake, loch or river and go Stand Up Paddle Board there, just make sure that it is allowed and it's safe. A contained body of water like a lake will be safer than going Stand Up Paddle Boarding in the sea.
- Just about anyone can do Stand Up Paddle Boarding - Regardless of your age, fitness and skills, anyone can take up Stand Up Paddle Boarding.
- Stand Up Paddle Boarding is an easy-ish sport - SUP is much easier than surfing! The trickiest part of SUP is standing up on the board but once your on it, it's just a case of paddling.
- Stand Up Paddle Boarding is a relatively inexpensive sport - You'll need to invest in the equipment (roughly £300-400) and maybe a lesson or two with an instructor but past that point, it won't cost you much. You own the equipment and you can head out whenever you want!
- Stand Up Paddle Boarding is very relaxing - Getting out on the water with your board, watching the sunset, the calm water and disconnecting from our overly connected world for a couple of hours is a great way to destress.
5 Benefits of Stand Up Paddle Boarding
- Works your entire body - SUP is good for your whole body and works muscles from your neck right down to your toes. SUP teaches balance which engages muscles in your core, arms, back and legs. It also improves endurance, cardiovascular health, creates posture and builds strength.
- It's a low impact exercise - SUP is a low-impact sport which is kind to your body so there's little chance of injury. It's also a good sport to take up if you are recovering from an injury as it can help to speed up the healing process of muscles without damaging them further.
- Burns a lot of calories - You can burn up to 430 calories paddle boarding for 60 minutes. This is twice the amount that you would burn for a moderately paced walk. By turning your paddle boarding into a SUP yoga session or SUP racing, you can burn even more calories!
- Reduces stress - It's not only good for your physical health but also your mental health. SUP is the perfect way to melt away the stresses of daily life by listening to the sound of the water and being out in nature.
- Boosts vitamin D levels - If you live in a country that doesn't get much sun like Scotland. Then, SUP is brilliant for getting out in the sunshine and boosting your vitamin D levels. Vitamin D is very important for your mood, bones and muscles. According to a national survey of the UK, 1 in 5 people have low vitamin D levels.
5 Stand Up Paddle Boarding Tips
Here's five safety tips to keep in mind when Stand Up Paddle Boarding.
- Check your equipment - Ensure your equipment is in good condition and that the paddle board is inflated to the correct PSI.
- Check yourself - Are you appropriately dressed for the weather and water temperature? Make sure you are wearing a wetsuit, you have your buoyancy vest on and the leash of the board is attached to your ankle.
- Check the weather forecast - If the weather is raining or high-winds, this will make SUP much more challenging so be prepared for this or change your SUP session to a day when the water will be calmer and the weather is nicer.
- Practice how to get yourself safely out of any situation - When you find yourself in calm water conditions, why not practice how you could get yourself safely out of any situation. For example; how would you get back on the board with all your equipment on if you'd fell off the board? Or what you would do if you lost your paddle or fin?
- Be prepared for anything - Ensure your prepared for anything by bringing a mobile phone to be able to contact someone, first aid kit, and rescue whistle.
15 Places To Get Stand Up Paddle Boarding Lessons Near Me | Scotland
If this is your first time Stand Up Paddle Boarding, you may want to consider taking at a lesson with an instructor first. This is to ensure you learn the proper technique and safety aspects.
Once you are confident, you could then buy your own equipment and venture out on your own.
Below I've listed a few companies around Scotland's three biggest cities (Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen) which offer Paddle Boarding lessons.
Glasgow and the West
- Adventure Carrick - Based in South Ayrshire on the beautiful west coast of Scotland, this company offers a 3-hour introduction to Paddle Boarding lesson. The session costs £60 and includes all equipment. To get more info, follow this link.
- West End Adventure - They offer a 1.5 hour Stand Up Paddle Boarding Taster Session in the Forth and Clyde canal area of Greater Glasgow. The session costs £30 and includes all equipment. To get more info, follow this link.
- Loch Lomond Leisure - A fully qualified BCU coach will take you on a 2-hour guided SUP tour of the beautiful Loch Lomond. The session costs £45 and includes most of the equipment, except from a wetsuit which you can hire for an additional £5. To get more info, follow this link.
- Basking Shark Scotland - They offer a range of tours in and around Oban including a 2-hour beginner session on a secluded Oban beach. This beginner session costs £50. However, they also offer a 2-hour sunset SUP tour or if you are looking for something a big longer, they offer a 5-hour SUP tour. To get more info, follow this link.
- Rugged Paddleboard Glencoe - They offer a 2-hour Paddle Boarding lesson in Loch Leven surrounded by beautiful towering mountains. The lesson gives an insight into how to paddle board safely but also gives a little background information into the history of Glencoe. The session costs £55 and includes all equipment. To get more info, follow this link.
Edinburgh and the East
- Ocean Vertical - Situated in East Lothian about 25 miles east of Edinburgh, Ocean Vertical offers level 1, level 2 or level 3 Paddle Boarding lessons with highly-qualified instructors. Level 1 and 2 lessons last 3 hours and cost £65 each. The level 3 lesson lasts 4 hours and costs £110. All lessons run from April to November and includes all equipment. To get more info, follow this link.
- Driftwood Adventure - Based 20 minutes from Edinburgh city centre, this company offers loads of different SUP experiences ranging from a 1-hour trip to a full day trip. You can even book a night time SUP or private 1:1 intuition. The sessions can cost a minimum of £20 for the 1-hour trip through to £80 for the full day trip. To get more info, follow this link.
- Blown Away Surf School, Landyachting and Watersports - Explore the scenic coastline of Old St Andrews with their Stand Up Paddle Boarding lesson. The session costs £39 and includes all equipment. To get more info, follow this link.
- Willowgate Activity Centre - Located in the heart of Scotland near Perth and the beautiful River Tay, the Willowgate Activity Centre offers lots of experiences including a Paddle board Taster Experience, a SUP safety course, Beginner Paddle board lessons and more. The Paddle board Taster Experience lasts 1 hour and 45 minutes and costs £30 with all equipment included. To get more info, follow this link.
- In Your Element Loch Tay - Take a guided SUP lesson on the picturesque Loch Tay in the central Highlands of Scotland with In Your Element. This lesson is for everyone; whether you're a beginner or a seasoned pro. The session lasts 1.5 hours and costs £35 (+£5 if you want to hire a wetsuit). To get more info, follow this link.
Aberdeen and the North
- Sup2summit - This company is based in Montrose, 40-minutes from Aberdeen and 1-hour from Dundee. They offer a 1.5 hour beginners SUP lesson. It costs £22.50 (+£5 if you want to hire a wetsuit). They also do an introduction to Stand Up Paddle Boarding at sea, SUP safari's around Montrose and Arbroath and even, SUP instructor and safety courses. If you want to be more adventurous, you could go on their 4-day SUP excursion around some of the most scenic parts of Scotland. To get more info, follow this link.
- Stonehaven Paddleboarding - They offer beginner SUP lessons, an intro to river SUP, private lessons and tours. They actually run a tour, which will take you around the iconic Dunnotar Castle. The beginner SUP lesson lasts 1.5 hours and costs £50 (including all the equipment). To get more info, follow this link.
- Scot Surf - Located in Aberdeen city centre, this company offers a 2.5 hour Paddle boarding lesson on the River Don. It costs £45 and includes all equipment. Once you get a bit more experienced, why not try their Dolphin Watch SUP excursion which sounds incredible! To get more info, follow this link.
- Paddle Bliss Nairn - This company is situated just outside of Nairn and is only a 20-minute drive from Inverness. They offer an introduction to SUP, which lasts 2-hours and costs £35. They even offer SUP Yoga - I'd love to try this! To get more info, follow this link.
- Loch Morlich Watersports - This company is located on Loch Morlich in the beautiful Cairngorm National Park and is surrounded by beaches, forests and snow-capped mountains. They offer a 1-hour Stand Up Paddle Boarding lesson costing £45 with all equipment included. You can add on an extra hour practice (without instructor) for only £5. To get more info, follow this link.
15 of the BEST Places To Go Stand Up Paddle Boarding Near Me | Scotland
If you are confident and know how to safely paddle board, then you are ready to venture out. Here's some places to visit in and around Scotland's three major cities (Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen).
Glasgow and the West
- Forth and Clyde Canal - This canal network opened in 1790 and crosses cental Scotland from Bowling on the west coast through the top of Greater Glasgow near Kirkintilloch and Bishopbriggs to Grangemouth on the east coast. It is 34 miles long and connects with the Union Canal at Falkirk. You can paddle board at any point along this route.
- Loch Lomond - Loch Lomond is Scotland's biggest loch, located only 30 minutes from Glasgow. Set off from Luss or Balmaha on Loch Lomond for your paddle boarding adventure. You could then try and explore some of the 23 islands on Loch Lomond on your paddle board?
- Loch Ard - Loch Ard is located in Stirlingshire and is only an hour north of Glasgow. The sheltered position of the loch and it's size means it's perfect for paddle boarding. It's also got several small islands which you can paddle board too.
- Loch Goil - Loch Goil is located in Argyll and Bute and takes around 2 hours to get to from Glasgow. Explore the peace and tranquilty of this beautiful sea loch surrounded by hills and forests. Set off from Lochgoilhead and then, once you're done with paddle boarding, grab a bite to eat from the stunning boatshed cafe.
- Loch Eck - Loch Eck is also located in Argyll and Bute and takes around 2 hours to get to from Glasgow. It is only about 7 miles long. It's a great place to go paddle boarding and spot the local wildlife as it's home to Scotland's rarest freshwater fish (the powan) and you can often spot red squirrels foraging on the shores.
Edinburgh and the East
- Threipmuir reservoir - Threipmur reservoir is nestled within the Pentland Hills and is only 35 minutes south from Edinburgh city centre. The water is surprisingly warm and with easy beach access, it makes it a popular spot especially for beginner paddle boarders.
- Union Canal - The Union Canal runs a total of 32 miles from the Falkirk wheel through to Fountainbridge in the city centre of Edinburgh. It connects with the Forth and Clyde canal at Falkirk. You can paddle board at any point along this route.
- Portobello Beach - Only 15 minutes from Edinburgh City Centre, Portobello beach is a great spot to go paddle boarding. It's got 2 miles of golden sandy beach and overlooks the city and Arthurs seat. Make sure you only go paddle boarding on Portobello beach when the weather is favourable and there's low-winds as it's not enclosed like most of the lochs.
- Loch Tay - Loch Tay is an absolutely stunning loch located in Perthshire about 2-hours from Edinburgh. It's a relatively calm and peaceful loch surrounded by hills making it the perfect place to go paddle boarding.
- St Andrews - St Andrews is a popular spot for paddle boarding. Make sure the weather is good before you head out as it's not enclosed like most of the lochs. The west sands beach is very open so it can have more temperamental weather conditions. Whereas, the east sands beach and the area around the harbour is much more sheltered.
Aberdeen and the North
- Aberdeen Beach - If you are looking for somewhere close to the city centre, you can't get much closer than Aberdeen Beach for paddle boarding. Make sure you only go paddle boarding at Aberdeen Beach when the weather is favourable and there's low-winds as it's not enclosed like most of the lochs.
- Loch of Skene - Located just 25 minutes from Aberdeen city centre, this freshwater loch is relatively large and makes for a good paddle boarding spot. However, perhaps more interestingly, there is an old temple and small islands on the loch, which you can explore whilst paddle boarding.
- Aboyne Loch - Aboyne Loch is a shallow, artificial freshwater loch located 50 minutes west of Aberdeen. If you wanted to turn your paddle boarding adventure into an overnight stay, there is a beautiful hotel overlooking the water called 'Lodge on the Loch' and there is also a caravan park.
- Corby Loch - This loch is situated just 10 minutes north of Aberdeen city centre. You will need to park next to one of the entrances to the fields off the main road and walk 10 minutes to the loch but it's worth it. The water is shallow so it's great for beginner paddle boarders. It also gets some pretty great sunsets too!
- Peterhead Lido - Peterhead Lido is a thin strip of sandy beach within the Peterhead Bay Marina. It's located just 40 minutes north of Aberdeen city centre. I'd recommend you stick to the marina to paddle board as it's a bit more sheltered. However, if you are a seasoned pro, you might want to venture out to the sea but just be careful of boats.
10 Must-Have Paddle Boarding Accessories You Need To Get
Heading out for your paddle boarding adventure? Well, here is a checklist of items you need to take with you to ensure you are fully prepared for your trip.
Paddle Boarding Equipment
Inflatable Paddle Board, Kayak Conversion kit, SUP Board with Kayak Seatset with Carry Backpack, Pump, Paddle, 10ft
This is a complete SUP package with not only the paddle board but accessories too. It includes a convenient storage backpack to carry everything, an adjustable paddle, a coiled SUP leash for safety so the board doesn't get away from you, a removable center fin, detachable kayak seat, and a hand-pump to inflate your board.
Paddle Boarding Outfit
Wetsuit - If you are going paddle boarding in the UK, particularly Scotland, I would highly recommend a wetsuit to keep you warm. It's also a good investment and can be used for loads of different water sports.
Osprey Men's Full Length 3 mm Summer Wetsuit, Adult Neoprene Surfing Diving Wetsuit, Origin, Red
Mens 2/3mm wetsuit, which is perfect for summer. Whereas, for winter you will need a thicker wetsuit, ideally 4/5mm.
O'Neill Wetsuits Women's Reactor-2 3/2mm Back Zip Full Wetsuit
Womens 2/3mm wetsuit, which is perfect for summer. Whereas, for winter you will need a thicker wetsuit, ideally 4/5mm.
Helly Hansen Unisex Buoyancy Aid Rider Vest
Buoyancy Aid features a front buckle and adjustable bottom hem to help keep the vest in place while paddle boarding. Also, easy to use design.
Water Shoes Mens Womens Barefoot Shoes Aqua Beach Swim Shoes Yoga Quick Drying Lightweight Shoes Fitness Shoes Trainers Indoor Shoes
These are a MUST! They are incredibly efficient at keeping your grip on the board and allow you to easily move through the water.
Additional Paddle Boarding Accessories
Premium Waterproof Bag, Sack with phone dry bag and long adjustable Shoulder Strap Included
Allows you to take your valuables with you and helps keep them dry.
HOLDALL Emergency Whistle with Lanyard, Safety Whistle for Outdoors Camping Survival Kayak Boating & Signaling
In case you get lost or get into some trouble, a rescue whistle is a great way to let people know your location, especially if you're in a location where you don't get signal. This whistle can produce 120 decibels and can be heard from up to 1 mile away. Also useful for hiking, camping or walking alone at night.
Mini First Aid Kit, 92 Pieces Small First Aid Kit
Packed with 92 pieces of useful and valuable hospital grade medical supplies. This ultimate survival kit consists of everything that you need to clean and dress minor wounds in a convenient travel-friendly design.
NIVEA SUN Protect & Moisture Sun Spray SPF 50+ (200ml), Moisturising Suncream Spray with SPF 50+, Advanced Sunscreen Providing Immediate, Effective UVA + UVB Protection
An absolute necessity if you are going to be out on the water for a long period of time.
Fit-Flip Microfibre towel - compact, ultra lightweight & fast drying travel towel - the perfect sports, gym & beach towel, camping towel and swimming towels
The ultra lightweight microfibre towel saves so much space and can easily be stored in any backpack, sport or gym bag. The towels are super absorbent and dry much quicker than standard cotton towels.
Jungle Formula Maximum Repellent Aerosol 125ml - Maximum Strength Repellent Aerosol against Mosquitoes, Biting Insects and Ticks - Up to 9 hrs Protection for Any Destination incl. Tropics- with DEET
Particularly important if you are going to be paddle boarding in Scotland, those pesky midges need to be kept at bay.
This post is all about Stand Up Paddle Boarding.
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