It’s Time to Dream
You’ve tried paddle boarding on an inflatable paddle board a few times in the little pond near your home, and your dreams are starting to grow: since one of the advantages of inflatable stand up paddle boards is that they are easy to deflate and roll up, why not plan a trip to various interesting places where you and your new paddle board could have some fun in amazing surroundings? For example, you could go to Europe. Here are a few European countries you could go to with SUP in mind:
Switzerland is known for its mountains, of course, but it also has many beautiful, peaceful lakes. People have been windsurfing on those lakes for a long time, however, as there is not much wind on the Swiss lakes, the Swiss have adopted stand up paddle which is rapidly becoming the most popular water sport in the country.
If you are planning to stay in Geneva or nearby, why not try the famous Lake Leman – yes, the one with the huge water fountain. The lake is very long and wide, and you’ll be able to find a quantity of popular areas that are perfect for stand up paddling. You might even enter or witness one of the races organized on the lake, such as the 7 kilometers long Montreux SUP race.
Beware! According to Swiss nautical laws, you might be fined if you were to go further than 300 meters from the shore without wearing a life-jacket. So be prepared!
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Have you heard about the Norwegian fjords? These are places that used to be covered with glaciers. The glaciers have disappeared, leaving behind U-shaped valleys, filled with sea water. They provide unique places to paddle among majestic peaks and amazing waterfalls.
Why not visit the longest of the Norwegian fjords, the Sognefjord, for instance starting from the port of Skjolden?
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How about trying SUP in Wales? Don’t be discouraged by the strange Welsh names on the maps, such as Llanfairfechan and Pwllheli. The Welsh do speak English and you’ll find a lot of places to use your paddle board in Wales.
This is where you could discover the pleasures of SUP on a quiet canal. During the industrial revolution, many canals were built in order to enable barges to carry coal, steel and wool around the country. They are now used by visitors on narrowboats, by hikers and cyclers. They also are perfect places for SUP.
Why not enjoy the peaceful beauty of the Swansea bay, starting from Mumbles? Cardiff Bay, around Cardiff, is another bay to visit on your paddleboard.
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The Netherlands being a land literary covered with water, is an ideal place to take your paddle board to.
Why not try a tour of the towns of Amsterdam or Utrecht seen from the canals that go through them? You could also visit a polder – which is a tract of low land, reclaimed from the sea and protected by dikes.
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This beautiful country is blessed with many lakes, rivers and coasts.
In order to help you make a choice, we suggest taking your paddle board to Normandy, which is easily accessible from Paris. The part of Normandy called Calvados is famous for its 120 kilometers long coast of shallow sand beaches, between the towns of Honfleur and Isigny sur Mer. You’ll find perfect SUP spots in places such as Trouville-sur-Mer, Cabourg, Merville Franceville, and yes, the famous Ohama Beach, where the allied troops landed during WWII, on June 6, 1944.
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Are you looking for a place to practice SUP and enjoy beautiful sunny days? Portugal is one of the European countries where the sun shines most of the time.
We suggest trying the region of Algarve, in South Portugal, which offers a variety of opportunities for SUP lovers. For instance the lagoons of Ria Formosa, near the town of Faro, or the usually quiet waters of Albufeira. If you choose paddle boarding near the towns of Sagres or Benagil, be sure to visit the nearby caves.
Ready to go?
Maybe you were dreaming of SUP, but in real life you have not yet found the right equipment. Or maybe you would like to find a better paddle or a new leash. Before even booking your airplane ticket, Sroka Company is a good place to visit.
As you have seen, in Europe, you’ll be able to practice SUP on lakes, fjords, canals, in the sea, under caves… Here are some safety rules to follow:
- be humble, if you are a beginner, avoid paddling in a river or anywhere where there is current.
- avoid hazardous weather and check the forecast.
- wear a leash. It would be a pity to watch your paddle board drift away. For calm water, a coiled leash is the best choice, but if you are to paddle in a river, wear a breakaway leash, to be able to release yourself in case it got tangled in the branches.
- whenever appropriate, wear a life-jacket.
- avoid paddle boarding alone, you might need help.
You may also find this site Suptrotters extremely helpful as it helps you find SUP spots in the area you are interested in.
Have a nice trip around Europe with your paddle board!