Stand Up Paddle Boarding

Paddle Boarding

Ever wanted to try surfing but lack the confidence to stand up on the board? Stand Up Paddle boarding, often referred to as 'SUP', is a great alternative to traditional surfing. The sport uses a board similar to a surf board, and a paddle, similar to that found on a canoe, and as a result, you can try the sport on flat water, as well as at sea and in rivers.

It’s thought that an early version of SUP originated in Africa, where it was used as a method of transport for some tribes, whilst the modern version originated from Hawaii – home of the surf board. In the Lake District, you can hire out a board, or take a lesson and try it out on a number of lakes.

What Stand Up Paddle Boarding Involves

SUP involves standing on a specially designed paddle board. Whilst the boards are similar in design to surfboards, they tend to be wider and longer, and sometimes thicker, giving them a lot more stability. A leash attaches your foot to the board, and you propel yourself forward using a long paddle with a blade on one end. Balance is key for SUP. Keeping your legs apart and using your hips rather than your upper body will help you to stay stood up on the board. For this reason, SUP is widely seen as an excellent workout for your core body strength and many people use the boards to practice yoga for a greater challenge.

What to Wear and Bring

If you are a beginner to the sport, it is highly likely that you will end up in the water at some point, so you will need to wear clothes that you don’t mind getting wet, such as shorts and t-shirts. Don’t wear jeans as these will be very uncomfortable once wet. Some activity companies will provide you with wetsuits, or you can bring your own to make yourself more comfortable. You will also need a towel, and a change of clothing. Wear light trainers or paddling shoes if you have them. Again, you will need a pair of dry shoes to wear once you have finished.

If it is sunny, don’t forget to pack sun cream, a sunhat, and sunglasses, as you will be quite exposed and likely to burn.

Where to Go Stand Up Paddle Boarding in the Lake District

You can either hire a stand up paddle board, or book yourself onto a lesson, through the following organisations:

Lake District Paddle Boarding

The only company dedicated solely to SUP in the Lake District, Lake District Paddle Boarding cover a large area of Cumbria, and provide lessons, board hire, and guided SUP safari trips.


Windermere Canoe Kayak

Hire of an SUP through Windermere Canoe Kayak includes a brief instruction session. You can also hire wetsuits for an additional £5..


West Lakes Adventure

Half day or full day guided sessions are available, taking place on the breathtaking Wastwater, or on the river Irt that features slow moving tidal waters.


Ullswater Paddle Boarding

Hire is available for those who have mastered SUP skills. Alternatively, you can join Ullswater Paddle Boarding for lessons and tours on Ullswater.


Coniston Boating Centre

Hire only available at the Coniston Boating Centre, located on the shores of Coniston Water.


Derwent Water Marina

You can book onto a lesson or hire a paddle board. Hire includes wetsuits, and the use of the changing facilities and car parks. Hot showers are also available for an additional fee.



Standup Paddleboarding is all the rage and Adventure.Outside make it possible to explore the lakes using Two Bare Feet paddleboards, which are the ideal boards to take you on your adventure. Boards and wetsuits are provided with the cost of the experience. The tour can be tailored to your needs, including tours for complete novices to paddleboard experts. 

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