Yorkshire is blessed with gorgeous waterways of all types. Try your hand at paddle boarding and make the most of them…
Whether you want to call it stand up paddle boarding or just ‘supping’, this simpler version of surfing has become increasingly popular in Yorkshire. You can give it a try at a growing number of places in Leeds and beyond, with lessons for all levels of ability and confidence. Once you’ve mastered the basics, take to the water, kneeling or standing up on your board as you paddle your way around the county’s lovely aquatic landmarks!
SUP Active Yorkshire
SUP Active Yorkshire specialise in stand up paddle boarding at the gorgeous Ellerton Lake. You’ll get instructor-led lessons to get you up and running, well, up and floating, anyway. They use high-quality equipment and rely on expert tuition to get you on the water and independent as soon as possible.
Introductory sessions take around 2.5 hours and cover safety, paddling kneeling up, paddling standing up and how to launch. Once you feel more confident, you can move on to their river adventure in Ripon, where you’ll spot waterside wildlife as you pass Newby Hall. Want something completely different? Combine supping with yoga for a watery workout!
SUP Active Yorkshire, Ellerton Park, Ellerton-on-Swale, North Yorkshire, DL10 6AP. Lessons start from £36 per person, SUP Yoga is £45 and the SUP River Adventure is £65 per person.
Based in fabulous Filey, Bay Watersports offer a range of aquatic activities, with stand up paddle boarding among them. Learn the basics while enjoying the surroundings of the North Yorkshire coast, all in the safe hands of a qualified BSUPA instructor.
Beginners lessons are a bargain £20 for a minimum of two people, but there’s an additional £15 per hour for equipment if you don’t have your own. They’ll run through basic skills, including the paddle strokes.Once you’ve got that down, proceed to SUP Club where you can master pivot turns and more adventurous moves. After that, their guided tours of the handsome bay are a must.
Bay Watersports, Filey Bay, North Yorkshire, North Yorkshire YO14 9LA. Lessons start from £20 per person and equipment hire starts from £15 per person.
Scarborough Surf School
One of the great selling points of Scarborough Surf School is its location at Cayton Bay. Known for its superb surf, this is an exposed water area, which means you’ll have to be a strong swimmer and classes will only run when the waters and winds are calm.
Tick those boxes and you’re in for a treat, as you’ll run through a lesson that covers knee-paddling, standing and paddle strokes, so that after two hours you’re ready to move up – all in shallow waters. You can join group lessons of three to seven people or take one-to-one foundation lessons for a rapid introduction to the world of stand up paddle boarding.
Scarborough Surf School, Killerby Cliff, Cayton Bay, Scarborough, North Yorkshire, YO11 3NR. Lessons start from £45 per person.
Dexter’s Surf School
Nestled in the popular North Bay of Scarborough, a fine place to admire the Yorkshire coastline, Dexter’s Surf Shop and School provides paddle boarding for all abilities and ages. Their price includes board hire, wetsuit, accessories and a life jacket – in addition to the tuition and 90 minutes out on the water.
Their expert instructors will take you through the basics and make safety paramount, while building up your confidence and abilities. Group lessons are available for people 16 and over, but they also have a kids club for the little ones. If you’ve boarded before, they offer equipment hire with tariffs by the hour or for a full day.
Dexters Surf School, Kepwick House, North Bay Promenade, Scarborough, North Yorkshire, YO12 7TN. Lessons start from £35 per person.
Ulley Reservoir may be a far cry from Hawaii where paddle boarding originated, but it has a beauty all of its own. It’s the setting for SUP tasters with DC Outdoors, the ideal half-day intro to get you on a board. You’ll be provided with all the equipment, as well as a full safety briefing.
They’ll work on getting you from your knees to your feet, then you can progress to their day course, Intro to SUP, which focusses on strokes and advanced techniques. If you’d rather do your paddle boarding closer to the city, you can book their Outdoor City SUP Experience, which takes place at the Victoria Quays in Sheffield – you’ll journey along the Sheffield and Tinsley Canal.
DC Outdoors, 62 Wheata Road, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, S5 9FN. Lessons start from £40 per person. They’re now offering socially distanced sessions.
Leeds Sailing and Activity Centre
Yeadon Tarn is a freshwater lake in North Leeds that just happens to be home to the Leeds Sailing and Activity Centre, which offers paddle boarding. Sat inside a lovely park, you can get a splash course in basic paddling skills with a two-hour session, available between April and October.
The next level is ‘Paddle Discover’, which will move you towards independence, then the ‘Paddle Explore’ which lets you traverse the tarn under your own steam. Don’t worry, the water is sheltered, so it’s very safe. If you want to take your kids along, their two-hour junior tasters are suitable for kids aged 8 to 15 and buoyancy aids are available for less-confident swimmers.
Leeds Sailing & Activity Centre, Yeadon Tarn, Yeadon, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS19 7UR. Lessons start from £25.50 and run from April through to October.
Lost Earth Adventures
Want to learn how to paddle board on a secret lake? Here’s your chance. Surrounded by beautiful woodland in Nidderdale near Pateley Bridge, this unspoiled stretch of water is home to stand up paddle boarding sessions run by Lost Earth Adventures.
A pro instructor will take you through a taster or work with you to improve your skills if you’ve done it before. If you’re getting really good you can even move up to instructor level with them. The views from the water are unforgettable, surrounded by prehistoric rock formations and ancient woods. Private guided sessions are available, with the price dropping as more people take part.
Lost Earth Adventures, 3 New Street, York, North Yorkshire, YO1 8RA. Lessons start from £39.
North Yorkshire Water Park
The main water sports lake at North Yorkshire Water Park is where you’ll find their stand up paddle boarding. It’s open to anyone aged 6 or over, but kids need an adult along to supervise. Beginners are welcome and all boarders are provided with both wetsuits and buoyancy aids, included in the price along with the board.
The lake is a safe place to learn, with qualified staff, safety trained and on-hand to help. It’s ideal for group activities – they have a giant SUP that hold up to 8 people and it makes for an awesome team building exercise. If you have your own paddle board and know the basics, you can purchase half and full-day permits to use the lake.
North Yorkshire Water Park, Long Causeway Road, Wykeham, North Yorkshire, YO13 9QU. SUP hire without instruction is £16 per hour, £22 with.