Stand up Paddle boarding or ‘SUP’ for short is one of the fastest growing waters sports in the world. Using a very large, stable board (similar to a surfboard) and a single blade paddle you can navigate your way along coastlines, rivers and lakes. Experienced riders can also surf the waves on them.You can paddle on your knees or on your feet if you have the balance. It’s a great way to experience the outdoors and an enjoyable means of getting some good exercise.
As well as learning about the sport and developing the skills to make your way along the route, you might also get the chance to explore smuggler’s caves, come face to face with the local seal population or possibly dolphins. You’ll negotiate gullies and find hidden coves. You will experience the beautiful environment from a new perspective, seeing historic landmarks and learning about local history. Watching one of our coasteering groups as they leap from the cliffs also makes for a great spectator sport!
Rain is no problem for a water-based activity! In fact, there’s no better way to make the most of a damp day than to get wet anyway! You will get changed into your wetsuit in our warm, dry changing rooms, then when you have your wetsuit on the rain isn’t an issue.
No need to worry, it’s all part of the learning process and can actually be quite fun! You can climb back onto your board relatively easily, but if you struggle your instructor will be there to help out.
Everybody is different and the conditions on the day can greatly effect how quickly you will learn the basics. In calm conditions most adults will learn to effectively knee paddle in the first 10 minutes and be stand up paddling within half an hour.
Don’t worry, every SUP session starts by learning how to paddle on your knees and you can still enjoy all the elements of the session knee paddling.
You need to bring a towel and swimwear. Footwear will also be required so bring either a pair of trainers that you don’t mind getting wet or wetsuit boots. If not you can hire from us for £3.
We certainly hope so. As well as learning the technical skills required, your instructor can also advise you on the considerations you should take when going out unsupervised and what conditions are suitable.
Yes. But you will be wearing a buoyancy aid so there’s no need to worry. You can always resort to the more stable knee paddling technique through any areas of deep, open water if you are feeling nervous.
Yes. We require that anybody taking part in any of our water sports, including SUP, is able to swim 50 metres.
Don’t worry, the paddles float, however we recommend you retrieve it quickly before it is out of reach! Your instructor will be there to get it if you struggle.
Maybe. If launching from or landing back at the beach and there are suitable small waves with a clear, un-crowded area, you may be able to practice some SUP surfing. This requires a lot of skill and is not normally suitable for first timers. Your instructor will decide at the time if it is suitable. But be prepared to wipe-out!
There will be no more than 8 people to 1 instructor and Private 1:1 or group sessions can also be booked.
Our SUP sessions are available for anyone who is 8 and over but we would recommend younger children be accompanied by a parent.
Sessions last for approximately 2 hours from when you have got all your kit on. You can expect to be with us for around 2 and half hours overall.
Yes. It needs to be waterproof and securely fastened, preferably to your buoyancy aid with a lanyard or shoelace. Go pro cameras will sink unless they have a flotation device added and even if they are secured to a chest strap we recommend that a lanyard is used. We do not issue helmets with Go pro fixings. If you share your photos after the session remember to use the #newquayactivitycentre
We will explore one of two routes. ‘The Gazzle’ is our ocean-based route along Newquay’s famous Towan Head. We will launch from either Towan beach or the old Lifeboat slipway depending on tide and surf conditions. Our river-based route is on the beautiful Gannel estuary, only a 5-minute drive from the centre.
You will learn about your equipment and how to use it effectively. You’ll be shown how to get on and off the board and how to launch and land safely. Instructor and client signals to communicate whilst on the water will be established. Knee paddling/stand up paddling, and correct paddling technique will be followed by more advanced techniques once on the water. You may also learn about the wildlife and local history en-route.
You can expect to have to carry the SUP board a short distance to get it to the water’s edge. They have built in carry handles to make it easier. Most adults will have no problem carrying the boards and your instructor will be there to help young children or anyone struggling.
Group numbers will dictate which games can be played. Playground games like Bulldog and Tag are great for large groups and ‘King/Queen of the SUP’ is a man on man balancing challenge. Straight sprints or challenging races around obstacles are a great way to master paddling skills. Please feel free to suggest other creative games to your instructor!
You will be kitted out with a suitable SUP board and paddle, a full-length wetsuit, buoyancy aid, and helmet.
Your instructor will have a first aid kit, mobile phone/ VHF radio and a Towline should they need to assist weak or tired paddlers. They can carry client medication (e.g. Asthma Inhalers) in a waterproof bag, and water on hot days.
We regularly see the local seals up close; we have also seen dolphins in Newquay bay, as well as Sunfish and Lion’s mane jellyfish. Basking sharks have also been seen on rare occasions (don’t worry, they are completely harmless and have no teeth). There is also an impressive array of birdlife, especially on our Gannel estuary route.
Our ocean-based route along Towan Head can be navigated on any stage of tide. Our river route on the Gannel estuary is best between mid and high tide.
We do not run our SUP sessions in winds above force 3.
Your instructor will continuously be monitoring your fatigue levels. There are multiple exits along the route so you will not be forced to complete the full session. Your instructor is trained to assist weak paddlers and if needed they can tow you to the nearest exit or to the final landing point.
We primarily use inflatable boards, however we do have some hard boards for more experienced paddlers to use.
Your instructor will escort you to a safe exit route. From there you can walk back to the centre or if needed they will phone the centre to arrange for you to be collected and driven back.
Yes. If you have a board you are welcome to bring it. Your instructor will need to check that is appropriate for the session and in a suitable condition.
Not normally, however in bumpy conditions seasickness is possible. If you are prone to seasickness we recommend you take whatever measures you normally would before going to sea.
Providing you meet the minimum requirement of 50 metres swimming capability and you have no current health issues or injuries preventing you from taking part in physical activity you can come. Don’t worry, it’s not a race and your instructor will make sure the group moves at the pace of the slowest paddler and will assist weak paddlers when needed.
Yes. Feel free to bring to your own wetsuit but we recommend that you do not arrive at the centre wearing it. Your instructor will check that it is suitable for the activity first.
Your instructor will check the weather and surf forecast before commencing to determine if conditions are safe for the duration of your session. If the weather or sea state deteriorates beyond a safe limit there are several exits points along the route should the session need to be ended prematurely.
All of our SUP Instructors are qualified British Canoeing Paddlesport leaders. They are also Beach and Surf Safety Lifeguards. They have years of personal experience in the water, and attend regular site-specific staff training. We also work in closely with the RNLI to ensure your safety in and out of the water.
We have a purpose built centre on the beach with heated changing rooms and lockers. Many of our SUP sessions run straight off the beach on our doorstep. Other awesome locations are only a short walk or 5-minute drive away. Great discounts for all customers in local shops, bars and restaurants. We are number 1 on Trip Advisor for activities in Newquay.
Yes. We are open all year round to offer all of our activities including SUP. Cornwall enjoys relatively mild winters with sea temperatures rarely dropping below 10 degrees in the very coldest months of January and February. We will provide you with a 5mm thick winter wetsuit, wetsuit boots or neoprene wetsuit socks for under trainers to keep your feet warm. Once you’re back from the water you’ll be straight back into our heated changing rooms.
Please arrive at the centre at the start time of your session. This can be found on you booking confirmation email. There is no parking outside the centre so please allow plenty of time to park and walk down to our centre at Towan Beach. Once there your instructor will welcome you.
There are many pay and display car parks in Newquay town, only a short walk from the centre. You cannot park directly outside the centre.
Yes. We provide every group with a valuables box that will be securely locked away during your session. Your clothes, shoes and towel can be left in the changing rooms.
It is generally best not to wear glasses if possible. Talk to your instructor on the day and explain what level of sight you have without glasses and they will advise. In calm conditions it should not be a problem, however we always suggest glasses have a cord/lanyard, or that they are securely tied onto your buoyancy aid. Using disposable contact lenses is advisable.
Yes! We advise all our customers to apply factor 30 or 50 waterproof sun cream before sessions; even on cloudy days as UV levels can still be high. Applying cream 20 minutes before your session will ensure that it is absorbed and fully effective by the time you start and will be less likely to run once wet.
Yes. The instructor can explain where the session will be taking place and suggest areas where you may be able to safely observe. Whilst most sessions can easily be observed and photos taken, please do not put yourself at any unnecessary risk getting close to cliff edge. SUP sessions along the coastline will normally take place near to cliff face and you will not always be able to observe the group.
Our cancellation policy is outlined in our terms and conditions. If cancellation occurs 4 weeks or more from the activity’s start date then a full refund will be issued. If the session is cancelled 2-3 weeks before start date then a 50% refund will be given. Unfortunately if the cancellation occurs less than 2 weeks to activity’s start date then no refund can be issued. If the booking is changed more than 21 days prior to the Experience we will make every effort to change the requested booking. Less than 21 days prior to the start, no changes can be made.
Yes. All our sessions are fully insured up to £10million.
In the rare situation that the weather or ocean conditions are not suitable for SUP we will look to re schedule the session for a time (on the same day) that will be suitable. Or we will offer you an alternative activity that is available on the same day. In the unlikely event that we cannot offer another activity we will issue you with a voucher for the value of the activity.