Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Heading down South? Give stand-up paddleboarding a try

Stand-up paddleboarding (or SUP) is gaining in popularity across the globe — and down South in WA is no exception to that.

As a physical activity it’s not only suitable for most fitness levels but it’s also great fun. You can challenge yourself by getting out into the waves or take it nice and slow as you paddle around in ‘flat water’.

If you’ve never done it before, SUP is great for strengthening your core muscles, and once you gain your balance, it’s also a wonderful way to see the region’s stunning coast. So where can you go stand-up paddleboarding in the South-West?

Dunsborough, Meelup & Margaret River

Dunsborough is one of the best places to SUP because you have long stretches of calm beaches and, if you head out a bit further, some wave action.

If you’re new to the game and want to be in calm and shallow waters, try SUP 4 Fitness. They teach classes at both Dunsborough beach and Bunker Bay. Bunker Bay is a great place to learn because it’s protected from the wind and on a calm day you won’t encounter too many waves.

Otherwise, try Meelup Beach Hire. The ridiculously beautiful Meelup Beach is another SUP fave. With no waves in sight, you (hopefully) won’t fall off, but even if you do, Meelup is one of the South-West’s top swimming spots so just enjoy getting wet.

If you fancy trying to SUP in Yallingup, do be careful of the rocks — Yallingup is a left-hand reef break, which can be a little tricky. But if you’ve SUP’ed before and you feel confident, it’s a beautiful spot to do it. Although there’s no actual SUP hire at Yallingup Beach, the local surf shop stocks Jimmy Lewis paddleboards if you’re keen to invest.

Margaret River Stand Up Paddle

In Margaret River you can SUP in the natural beauty of the Blackwood National Park with Margaret River Stand Up Paddle. No waves, lots of fun and plenty of memories to be made. They even do SUP winery tours…now there’s an adventure!

Cheese and wine after a paddle – Margaret River Stand Up Paddle

Where to stay:

There are plenty of wonderful accommodation options in Dunsborough, Yallingup, Bunker Bay and Margaret River.

The Great Southern

Albany and its surrounds are perfect for learning SUP. In the calm, clear waters of Middleton Beach or out at Emu Point, you’ll find SUPLime — an accredited SUP school that takes the idea of teaching the sport very seriously — so much so they even take the time to find you the perfect board for your SUP lesson.

They’re passionate about SUP and will spend time with absolute beginners as well as taking out more experienced SUP enthusiasts.

As one of the only SUP businesses in the Great Southern, SUPLime works from eight different locations around the region.

Owner Paul Hepworth says the best thing about SUP’ing in the Great Southern is that there’s an SUP location for everyone.

“We’ve got really unique water down here. There’s a heap of different bays and coves and also the river, so there’s something for every level,” he said.

“We also have the Indian Ocean, so if you’re experienced and you really want to get out amongst it, we can do that too.”

Paul and his wife Tash started the business three years ago. Paul is a surfing instructor who has surfed all his life and Tash is a qualified scuba instructor — so to say these two spend most of their life in the water is an understatement.

“We both love what we do and teach everything from beginner’s classes to high-level performance coaching,” Paul added.

“We’re also really lucky down here because we have Little Beach which is one of the top 10 places to SUP in the world. It really is spectacular.

“The reason I love SUP and teaching it to people is that it doesn’t discriminate, you can give it a go if you’re three or 83. And out on an SUP board, you really will experience nature at its very best.”

Where to stay:

If you need somewhere to stay while you SUP, check out these Albany and Denmark options.

For houses close to the best SUP spots, check out our collections.

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