Pick up your SUP and head for the door to paddle your worries away in a few of our favourite spots to go stand up paddle boarding in Ireland!
Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUP) is a rapidly growing sport in Ireland. And we can see the appeal, it’s a fantastic way to stay fit and explore Ireland’s waterways. The Irish coastline is littered with great spots to hone your skills and work towards that six pack you were promised by your SUP instructor. This list of our favourite places includes spots that are both inland and open water and will be sure to whet your appetite.
1. Caragh Lake, Kerry
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Caragh Lake is ideal when the conditions are favourable. Still and serene, an SUP session here will have you relaxing and escaping your woes the moment you set foot on the water. If you look east, you’ll be able to see the peaks of the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks mountain range, including Carrauntoohil. The lake is huge meaning there’s plenty to explore and loads of entry points into the water. One of the main bases is by the Lake House on the north east banks of the lake.
2. Killary Harbour, Galway
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Hit the water in Ireland’s only fjord and you’ll be rewarded with intimate views of the rugged beauty of Connemara. The peak of Mweelrea dominates the northern skyline and the hills of the Connemara National Park dominate the south. With the fjord far inland, the water is calm making it perfect for cruising around. Use the village of Leenane as a base and explore away.
3. Royal Canal, Kildare
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The Royal Canal is 132km long and connects Dublin with the River Shannon in the west. There’s plenty of spots along the waterway that are great for paddle boarding. Our favourite section is around the small village of Kilcox. You’ll encounter very little traffic on the waterways and will be at liberty to enjoy the calm Irish countryside. Along the way, you’ll pass waterfalls, aqueducts and an ancient Roman bath at Leixlip.
4. Old Head, Cork
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Old Head is the name of the peninsula that juts out into the ocean west of Kinsale. Starting from Old Head on the eastern side you’ll have to paddle about 5km along the coastline until you reach where the land narrows ahead of the golf course. Keep your eyes peeled and you should be able to find the entrance to a tunnel that runs completely through the rock to the western side. Exploring these mysterious sea caves is really magical. However, because you’re quite far out at sea and at the base of cliffs this is one spot best suited to more experienced SUP boarders.
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5. Lough Leane, Kerry
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Leane is one of the three lakes of Killarney and makes up much of the north of the national park there. There’s plenty to explore and you’ll be able to paddle right up to Ross Castle which sits on the banks near the town of Killarney. You can also paddle across to Innisfallen and explore the ruins of the abbey there. The easiest place to access the water is Mahony’s Point.
6. Inisbofin, Galway
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Inisbofin is the perfect place to step back in time and escape the trappings of modern society. And what better way to see it than from a paddle board on the water. Paddle along the coast, stopping to park up for a picnic on Port beach, take in some history at the Barracks and the Cromwellian fort, go for a wander around the Light Tower. If bringing your own SUP is too much effort, don’t worry there’s a great school here called SUPBoffin that will take you out on the water.
7. Clew Bay, Mayo
Clew Bay consists of 365 islands and drumlins formed when glaciers reshaped the landscape in the last ice age. Therefore it is the perfect spot to get the stand-up paddle board out and explore. Make sure to stop off at one of the many blue flag beaches around. Or if you are up for a real challenge, why not paddle the whole Greenway all the way to Achill Island!
8. Clifden, Connemara
Clifden is on every Irish list of places to see for a reason. What better way to experience its rugged beauty than from the water. We would definitely recommend a sunrise paddle to experience it in all its glory.
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9. Lough Derg, Clare
Paddle down the canal at Killaloe and out onto the open lake, you’ll discover a hive of activity, people fishing, kayaking, and sailing. The lake is big enough that you can get a spot to yourself to relax and explore. Why not try some SUP yoga while out on the water?
10. Dollymount Beach, Dublin
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Kitesurfers tend to claim Dollymount beach as their own but there is plenty of room for you and your stand up paddle board. As this is a beach it will be a surf SUP session. So, if you have only paddled on flat water before then we suggest you take a wave class first.SurfDockis one of theplaces that offer wave sessions. If you want to see it before you try it, then head along to Puremagic’sBattle for the Bay. It is held on Dollymount Beach every year and there’salways a great buzz around and a chance to watch or compete in the SUP competition.
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Is a 10 paddle board good? ›
Medium boards (10' to 12') are ideal for all-around use and for SUP yoga. Most of these boards have planing hulls, but sometime you'll find a displacement-hull SUP at this length. Long boards (12'6” and above) are great for fast paddling and long-distance touring.What are the four golden rules of getting on your SUP? ›
- Plant your blade fully in the water before you start to pull.
- Always assume ready position when paddling.
- Use your core muscles for all your strokes.
- Keep your board as quiet as possible.
The most popular length range for a paddle board is between 10' to 11' long, and that range is a great choice for an all around SUP. Length recommendations aren't always directly related to your SUP skill level or your weight - instead, it's all about what you plan to do with your SUP.Do you need a licence to use a paddle board on a river? ›
Do I really need a license? Yes, the use of a paddleboard, or any other portable, unpowered craft on the majority of inland waterways, requires a license obtainable from the relevant authority. On Regent's Canal, there are two license options: Short term or 30-days explorers' license from the Canal and River Trust.Where is the best place to stand on a SUP? ›
PROPER SUP FOOT PLACEMENT
The best spot to stand on your SUP is over the middle point. This is where you will feel most stable. Luckily, the middle point of your SUP is easy to determine because almost every stand up paddle board has a carry handle located there; inflatable paddle boards included.
Can seniors safely paddle board? Certainly, as long as they take precautions to make sure they're healthy enough to participate. It is a great way to remain active, preserve muscle strength, and maintain flexibility while providing a no-impact form of exercise often recommended for those over 50.How long does it take to paddle 10 miles? ›
Because taking no breaks and canoeing straight through on calm, still water, the average canoeist can paddle around 2.6 knots or 3 mph. Of course weather, physical condition of the person, and a canoe's speed can increase or decrease that time. But 3.5 hours to paddle a canoe 10 miles is just a guideline.What is the most stable paddle board for beginners? ›
- 1 – iROCKER Nautical 10'6.
- 2 – Isle Pioneer.
- 3 – Thurso Surf Waterwalker 126.
- 4 – Gili Air 10'6/11'6.
- 5 – iRocker Cruiser Ultra.
- 6 – Gili Meno 10'6/11'6.
- 7 – BOTE Breeze Aero 10'8.
- 8 – Sea Gods Skylla.
- Know how to swim. ...
- Practice on solid ground before you hit the water. ...
- Find a good spot to launch. ...
- Start on your knees. ...
- Pop to your feet in one fluid motion. ...
- Keep a wide stance. ...
- Know where to stand on the board. ...
- Know how to hold the paddle.
In the winter, SUP shoes are a must, but in the summer, we suggest you go barefoot. In the cold months, you'll need to wear a neoprene shoe or bootie. That said, if you're launching your board in a shallow spot where there are rocks or sharp debris under the water, shoes are a good idea.
What should you not do when paddle boarding? ›
- Not Wearing A Leash.
- Going Out In The Wrong Conditions. ...
- Not Controlling Their Board. ...
- Not Being Centered On The Board. ...
- Failing to Get Back Onto the Board. ...
- Looking Down For Balance. ...
- Falling Onto The Board. ...
- Paddling Too Far Off the Board. ...
No matter how hard you try to stay balanced on your paddle board, you're going to fall into the water at some point. Even the most experienced paddlers take the plunge from time to time. So, if you're feeling wobbly, don't worry about it and remember, SUP is a watersport, so it's OK to get wet.What size paddle board is the most stable? ›
If stability is a high priority for you, you'll want to look for a board that is 33-34 inches wide. You can go wider, but you may end up with a board that is sluggish and less fun to paddle.What is the difference between a SUP and a paddle board? ›
A SUP Needs a Paddle
Traditional surfers paddle out to the wave breaks lying on their boards with their hands pushing through the water in a swimming-like movement. Paddle boards, on the other hand, require a paddle that the rider uses to propel them through the water while standing on their board.
If you are stand-up paddleboarding, you should also wear a tether or leash too. River traffic is always required to stay to the right hand side of the channel (unless it is unsafe to do so) and paddle craft are no exceptions to this.Do you need insurance for paddle board? ›
Like all water sports, there always risks involved when paddleboarding. If you fall off your paddleboard, you could pick up an injury or even damage the paddleboard itself. This is why it is so important that you have paddleboarding insurance in place before you head out onto the water.Can you paddle board without a wetsuit? ›
Keeping warm on the water/ what to wear paddleboarding
In the lead up to summer, other seasons of the year or if you often feel the cold, a wetsuit is advisable. This will keep you warm whilst on the board as well as if you fall in the water! Being warm will enable you to paddle for longer too.
While you paddle, stay engaged through your core. Keep your knees slightly bent and your feet in a shoulder-width stance.Can I leave my SUP inflated overnight? ›
LEAVING THE BOARD INFLATED
The answer is yes you can BUT please store it away from the elements, in a cool area out of direct sunlight and ideally off the ground. All inflatable paddle boards will lose some air pressure over time if the board is left inflated day after day.
Wearing SUP Shoes or Wetsuit Booties when you are Stand Up Paddleboarding gives you the most comfort and flexibility. Not only do SUP shoes help keep your feet warm but they help keep your feet comfortable while maintaining control over your board.
Can 70 year olds paddle board? ›
Martin Barlow proves that age isn't a barrier for stand up paddling, whatever level you choose to participate. If you've got the will then there's definitely a way. Over to Martin for some inspiration.Does paddle boarding burn belly fat? ›
Paddle boarding does burn belly fat. This is because you're recruiting large muscles such as your back and arms to paddle. The larger the muscle group you recruit, the more muscular strength you build and the more calories you burn, which can help burn body fat (including belly fat).Should you wear a life vest when paddle boarding? ›
The USCG regulations state that each paddler over the age of 12 must have a “USCG-approved Type I, II, III, or appropriate Type V” life jacket. While riders over the age of 12 are not required to wear a life jacket on the water, wearing your PFD certainly the smart approach to staying safe on your paddle board.What mph is too windy for paddle boarding? ›
As a general rule of thumb, if the wind is traveling under 10 knots, it is typically safe for you to paddle out at any skill level. However, when wind exceeds beyond 10 knots, you may want to think twice before you paddle out.How many calories do you burn paddle boarding for 30 minutes? ›
How many calories do you burn paddle boarding? On average, you'll burn 330 to 460 calories per hour while recreational paddle boarding. That's twice the calories you'd burn walking your neighborhood! The average, recreational (all around) paddle is done on calm water with light winds at a walking pace.What wind speed is not good for paddle boarding? ›
Most paddling safety experts recommend staying off the water in winds above 15 mph, or 10-12 mph if you're a beginner. Winds below 10 mph are more like breezes, and not much to worry about.How do I stop my legs from shaking when I paddle board? ›
It's just SUP. Gently wiggle your toes if you have shaky legs. It's a perfectly normal fight or flight instinct kicking in. Getting up and down a few times may help.Is paddle board harder than Kayak? ›
Kayaking is typically easier to learn than paddleboarding. The double-bladed kayak paddle creates symmetry and allows you to move forward with less effort than a single-bladed SUP paddle.When should you not paddle board? ›
You should avoid going out when there are offshore winds, as they can quickly blow you far out to sea, making for an exhausting paddle back to shore. If you are on a lifeguarded beach, keep an eye out for the orange windsock to see which way the wind is blowing.What should a beginner wear for paddle boarding? ›
Light clothing is advisable here as anything heavy or thick can become a danger in the water. Footwear-wise, if it's warm barefoot is fine. However, if the location is unsuitable for barefoot paddling, then wear wetsuit boots to avoid getting cuts on the feet.
Should you deflate after SUP? ›
Over Expansion in Paddle Boards
There is no rule saying you can't leave your paddle board inflated; however, we strongly recommend that if you're leaving your paddle board in storage for long periods of time, you should deflate it to keep it in its best possible condition.
Staying hydrated is key. If you do not have access to a Camelback, carry a water bottle in a dry bag or a small cooler that you can strap to the bow or stern of your paddleboard.Is SUP good for weight loss? ›
SUP is a full-body workout that can burn significant pounds for an hour's worth of activity. For example, if a man weighing 140 lbs does SUP for about 60 minutes, they can burn an average of 385 calories. A woman of the same weight can burn 436 calories, based on a study conducted by Arizona State University.Is paddle boarding hard for fat people? ›
You might wonder: can I stand up paddle board when I'm overweight? The answer is yes! It might seem a bit daunting to do because you may struggle to climb back on the board without assistance because of poor upper body strength, fatigue, or wider shape of your belly, but that's the challenge you have to accept.Does paddle boarding tone your body? ›
Increases core strength – Stand Up Paddle Boarding engages your core muscles and builds abdominal strength and lean muscle tone, while at the same time strengthening arms, legs, back, and shoulders.Does paddle boarding hurt your legs? ›
But the typical muscle soreness that you feel after a workout becomes very real the next morning. When paddleboarding, you are using a lot of the smaller muscles that you don't typically use, causing them to be sore the next few days.How do I protect my phone when paddle boarding? ›
One way to keep your phone dry while paddleboarding is to put it in a waterproof case. This will ensure that if you happen to fall in the water, your phone will stay dry. There are a variety of waterproof cases, especially for popular phones like iPhones and Androids.How many years will a paddle board last? ›
For the average stand up paddle board with one-to-two layers will have a lifespan of three years if you use it a considerable amount (8+ paddles in a year). If you don't use your board very much then you can expect it to last you a little over three years.Is a longer or shorter SUP better? ›
The length of a board plays a major role in determining how the board handles. In general, longer boards are faster than shorter boards, but shorter boards are more maneuverable. Keep in mind your intended use when deciding what length SUP to buy: Short boards (under 10') are great for surfing and/or kids.
Hard Paddle Board - Which is Best? Quick Answer: For all-around leisure paddling, inflatable SUPs are much better overall, due to advantages in durability, portability, weight, versatility, and injury prevention.
Are you allowed to paddle board anywhere? ›
Although weather conditions can influence your trip, you can stand up paddle board on any body of water. Rivers, ponds, lakes, and oceans are the most common locations for paddle boarding. However, more people are using paddle boards at whitewater locations, icy ravines, and indoor pools.Can you launch a paddle board anywhere? ›
Launching a paddle board might look easy, but unless you do it properly you'll either fall straight off or stand in the water while your board floats away from you. Once you have mastered the technique, you'll be able to launch your board anywhere to enjoy your paddle boarding wherever you want.Can I kayak anywhere in Ireland? ›
Ireland has the Atlantic Ocean to the west, the Celtic Sea to the south, and the Irish Sea to the east. As well as this, there are over 12,000 lakes and rivers to be explored throughout the island. So, hop into your kayak, grab your paddle, and embark on a journey through the majestic Irish landscape.Where can I paddle board in Dublin? ›
You'll also find a lot of fellow SUPers at Grand Canal Dock or in Malahide Estuary as both are perfect places for beginners and to learn stand-up paddle boarding. Other popular SUP locations, with beginners and professionals alike, include Dollymount Beach, Skerries, and Rush south beach.