25 June 2017

Guide to Learning to SUP in Weymouth & Portland

If you follow me on Instagram (@becky_wren) you’ll know I post a lot of pictures of my horses when out in the Dorset countryside, Alfie dog antics, park-running & SUP’ing.

Last autumn I bought a second hand inflatable Fanatic SUP (Stand Up Paddleboard), & now seem to be a bit of a ‘go to’ person in my circle of friends when it comes to SUP questions! Although I’m still very much an amateur, I just love talking about SUPing!

So, I thought I’d share some of my local Dorset knowledge on where to learn to SUP in Weymouth & Portland.

What is SUPing?

SUP or stand up paddle surfing, is exactly what it sounds like. You stand up on a long board, pretty much like a surf board but bigger & more buoyant & use a paddle to push yourself through the water. SUPs come as hardboards or inflatables. Inflatable SUPs are better for beginners & easier to transport. Hardboards are great when you get into competition racing or down-winding.

Where to go SUPing in West Dorset / Weymouth & Portland?

If you’re keen to go ‘SUPing’ but never been out on one before, you can either just hire one & give it a go like I did many years ago or join a class or have a 1-1 – which I’d recommend!

Weymouth Watersports

First of all, it’s really easy to find. As you head out of Weymouth towards Portland, Weymouth Watersports are located at the Ferrybridge Boat Yard & more importantly right beside Billy Winter’s café/bistro, so you can reward yourself with a coffee or pint of cider when you’ve finished. It’s also great if you have friends/family who don’t want to get out on the water, as they can spectate or take photos! There’s also paid parking which is about £1 for an hour.

Richard & the team are super friendly & stock inflatable SUPs, kayaks & wind surfing equipment.

I’ve been to Weymouth Watersports numerous times over the last few years mainly because of the location & easy parking. You can go out for an hour by yourself or join one of their fitness / SUP yoga classes at the weekend. They will also stay open late if you ask them nicely & last year for my birthday I organised a mid-week after work SUP followed by pub grub over at the Cove where you can watch the sunset.

1 hour hire = £12
Fitness class = £10 for an hour
SUP Yoga = £12 or £6 if you have your own board.

Always check with the team on their Facebook page, as the good old British weather can mean that some days it’s a bit too windy to head out.

Adventure 4 All

Alex from Adventure 4 All is one of those people you meet who everyone wants to be mates with. He’s super chilled & makes SUPing fun – which is what it should be all about. He also offers a great range of water based activities from SUPing, kayaking to coasteering.

I first met Alex at the Jurassic Club SUP Christmas SUP last year, where we SUPed from Greenhill, around into Weymouth Harbour, moored up & had a mulled wine / cider in one of the pubs & then SUPed back.

If you’ve been SUPing a few times, I’d recommend joining the Jurassic Club SUP who meet every Wednesday at 6.30pm in a Weymouth/Portland location & head out for about an hour finishing off for a pint in a local pub or if it’s a beautiful sunny evening bring a drink to have on your SUP at sea! There’s no better way to finish an evening after work.

Alternatively, you can join one of the SUP classes on a Sunday or hire a board throughout the summer.

1 hour hire = £10; 2 ½ hours = £20
SUP Flex & Skills & Drills on a Sunday = £10 or £5 if you bring your own board 
Jurassic SUP Club = free if you have your own SUP or £10 to hire & includes wetsuit

Jurassic Coast Activities

Based over at Overcombe Corner by Café Oasis in Preston, makes Jurassic Coast Activities another great location to combine a SUP & coffee on the beach.

This is the place I learnt to SUP with my friend Helen back in 2010. We were both into our water sports - surfing & kayaking, so just got on & hired one board & had a go. I don’t think we really had a clue what to do or even which way round to hold the paddle. Which is why I’d recommend having at least 1 lesson or joining a fitness class to pick up some tips!!

For prices head to the website & give the team a call.

Other Top Tips:

109 Watersports
Callum & Sara at 109 Watersports are really helpful. They stock everything you need for SUPing & also give great advice on where to go SUPing.

Easy Riders
Ready to go exploring outside of the Weymouth/Portland bubble? Join the Easy Rider SUPers over in Poole who go out in the week evenings & weekends. You can take your own board or hire one. I went for a SUP last November in Sandbanks & met another bunch of friendly people.

If you fancy a weekend away with some top tuition check out Lucy McCormick’s SUPFit Facebook page. I was fortunate enough to have some amazing tuition by one of the UK’s top female SUPer's Marie Buchanan last October down at Wimbleball Lake in Exmoor which got me hooked & resulted in me buying my Fanatic board from Lucy.

Photo Credit: SUPFit

Do you like SUPing? Where do you go? Anyone SUPed abroad?

Also, if anyone has any SUPing questions, feel free to drop me a note at becky@countrybumpkinchic.co.uk or on my Country Bumpkin Chic Facebook page.

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