Use this guide to plan your own SUP adventure!
Make sure to read all the information below before commencing your paddle as it will make for a hassle-free experience.
THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
Checking the weather before planning or booking anything is crucial, it will determine your overall experience and enjoyment. A couple of things to consider are the sunshine and the strength and direction of the wind.
The wind, especially on a Stand Up Paddle board, can be your best friend or your worst enemy.
First of all, check the direction you will be heading on the paddle. Rivers do change directions with each bend and turn, however check the overall heading of the river and decide which wind direction would be suitable.
e.g If you choose to paddle downstream on a river that flows towards the East, an Easterly wind wouldn’t be the best wind direction for paddling, depending on the wind strength.
The strength of the wind will ultimately play a major factor in many aspects of your paddle adventure. Paddling into a strong headwind can add hours to your overall paddle time and can leave you arriving at your planned accommodation well after sunset. Also, it is not a nice thing to be paddling into the wind, you want the experience to be fun and enjoyable, not hard work. It is ideal to get a tailwind when paddling, however, as mentioned above, a winding river could quite easily have a tail wind on one stretch and a headwind around the corner.
Tip You quite often get a few days in a row where the wind is light. Plan your journey around these days if possible.
Most rivers that flow into the sea have a tidal movement. There are a number of factors that affect the tidal flow further upstream, such as the gradient of the river (the difference in altitude between your start and finish point), and how deep the river is.
Quite a lot of rivers can be paddled against the tide because there isn’t a major tidal fluctuation.
Tip You can usually escape the current by paddling to one side of the river (depending on the speed of the tide).
Tip Stand Up Paddle boards don’t feel the full effect of the tide, so it is usually possible to paddle if the tide is against you.
Be aware that tidal flows vary greatly across the globe, so be sure to check the tide times of low and high tides for the nearest major city where you will be paddling.
Compare a number of weather forecasting websites and look for some consensus. Different sites may give different forecasts. Forecasts for the coming days are generally more accurate than longer range forecasts.
Generally speaking, paddling 20km / 12miles per day (for Stand Up Paddle boards) is a comfortable goal to aim for. Keep this distance in mind when planning accommodation stops.
When booking accommodation, it’s important to make sure each accommodation is available for the dates you require.
• Start with an initial phone call to each of the accommodations and make a tentative booking.
• If all accommodations are available and you are happy with their facilities and features, be sure to call back the accommodations to secure the booking.
Things to take note of:
How far the accommodation is from the river.
What type of accommodation will keep your team happy? Camping / Bed & Breakfast / Hotel
Pet friendly accommodation, if your pup loves to SUP!
Features and facilities offered by the accommodation. Do they offer dinner? Is breakfast included? Does the site serve alcohol?
Tip Some of the accommodations may be situated in a major town, so make use of the dining options around town.
Tip Always let the accommodation know you are arriving via the river. That way they will be able to cater for all your needs. You may be able to arrange a riverside pick up with the host, or they may offer suggestions to make your arrival easier.
Tip Study the accommodation’s website if they have one. Availability and facilities offered may be clearly presented.
Each DO NOT FOLLOW paddle has information on how to get to each destination and the public transport used, including links to timetables and routes.
Visit the What To Pack page to see a basic outline of the essentials.