Vitamin Sea: 6 of the coolest places for stand-up paddleboarding
Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just testing the water, there are plenty of places to SUP along the coast – always remember though, safety first
North Norfolk Paddle Boards, Burnham Overy Staithe
Launched in the summer of 2017, North Norfolk Paddle Boards provides lessons and guided tours in Burnham Overy Staithe, Wells-next-the-Sea and Brancaster Staithe. If you’re totally new to SUP, book a taster session where you’ll learn all the basics – once you’re gliding through the water, you’ll be hooked. Their two- to three-hour guided tours are a wonderful way to explore the creeks and salt marshes – look out for seals, avocets and spoonbills as you go. For added excitement, try the sunrise tour. It may be 5am but the views will be worth it, we promise.
Barefoot SUP, Wells-next-the-Sea
It’s not often you can claim you’re having a lesson from a world-record holder but book in with Barefoot SUP in Wells and you’ll be able to say just that. Owner Samantha Rutt recently crossed the North Channel in just over five hours (the first woman to ever complete the feat), earning herself a Guinness World Record in the process. Not only is she formidable at SUP, she’s also a great teacher – kind and patient. Sign up for her Wells Beginner or Wells Guided Adventure Tours, which will take you through the harbour and into the stunning salt creeks. She also teachesformal race training and safety clinics for all abilities.
SUP Shack, Sheringham
SUP Shack was set up by Lewis and Sam, two friends who both share a passion for water sports (indeed, Lewis participates in long-distance and competitive paddles and has even paddled across the English Channel). At SUP Shack in Sheringham, you can either hire boards (all of which come with a buoyancy aid) or book in for a lesson. The instructors have a wealth of knowledge and will adapt their tuition depending on your abilities, whether you’re a bona fide beginner or a seasoned professional looking to improve your technique. The duo also has a site at West Runton, where you can learn to surf.
Glide Surf School, Cromer
Located on the East promenade, right next to the iconic pier, Glide Surf School has everything you need to hit the water with confidence. They offer a variety of one-to-one or group SUP lessons off Cromer beach to suit novices through to proficient paddlers – they’ll even do bespoke lessons for groups of eight or more, perfect if you want to have a go with your friends and family. All sessions include water and beach safety education, as well as how to manage the current sea conditions on the day of your lesson. They’ve got over 25-plus paddleboards for hire, too, plus a cool surf shop stocking everything from surfer tees to sunscreen.
North Shore Paddle Boards, Brancaster Staithe
Set off on an aquatic adventure with North Shore Paddle Boards, which offers guided tours through the vast network of creeks from Brancaster Staithe. You’ll glide past some of North Norfolk’s prettiest coastal spots including the Rose Gardens or Scout Hut on Scolt Head Island and to Brancaster beach, via the beach huts or along the reed banks depending on the tide. Extra special are the SUP & Wild Yoga Tour and the Sunset SUP Tour. As you paddle through the water, surrounded by stunning scenery and wildlife, it’s the most magical escape from reality. Plus of course it’s an excellent workout, doing wonders for the core. Win win.
Brancaster Boards has SUP covered. If you’re picking up a paddleboard for the first time, they offer two-hour lessons for beginners with fully trained, qualified and accredited instructors, who will teach you the essential skills and knowledge to paddle safely and confidently. Great too, if you’ve done it before but just need to brush up on your safety know-how and tidal awareness. You can also sign up for one of their Social Tour & Explores (2.5 hours to 3.5 hours), which will take you deep into the wild beauty of the salt marsh creeks, beaches and harbours. You can join with your own board or rent one of theirs, which are available to hire for a day, weekend, week or longer.
Now you have your paddle boarding planned take a look at our Norfolk cottages by the sea to find the perfect place to relax after a day on the water.