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Paddle Boarding In Dorset – The Essential Guide

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Are you looking for the perfect guide, the best tips, and everything you need to know about paddle boarding in Dorset? 

Hello there, that’s why you’re here! 

If you love paddle boarding AND you’re a history junkie, Dorset is the place for you! 

Dorset is a small county that lies on the English Channel coast and is one the most historical places in South West England. 

This quaint little county has a vast history that goes way back and is a buffet of nature’s delights with its serene countryside, sweeping beaches, breathtaking cliffs, and stunning hillsides, all perfect to experience stand-up paddleboarding in Dorset. 

It is also home to the UK’s first natural World Heritage Site; ranking alongside the ranks of Machu Picchu and the Galapagos Island among others, the rocks on this coastline record 185 million years of history, having experienced the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous periods. 

Paddling where the dinosaurs roamed, won’t that be a great story to tell? 

Here to help you make the best of your trip, this article will help you find the best places to go paddleboarding in Dorset, paddleboarding tips, and where you can find paddleboards for hire.

We’ve also covered where you can take SUP lessons if you’re a complete beginner and would like to experience the open waters in Dorset!

Best Paddle Boarding Locations in Dorset.

  1. Lyme Bay / Lyme Regis 
  2. Chesil Beach
  3. Sandsfoot Castle
  4. Eype Beach 
  5. Studland Bay 
  6. Kingston Maurward lake
  7. River Stour 
  8. River Frome – Wareham 
  9. River Brit 
  10. Sandbank and Brownsea Island 
  11. Durdle Door 

DISCLOSURE

Some of the links on here are affiliate links, and I may earn if you click on them, AT NO EXTRA cost to you. I hope you find the information here useful! Thanks.

Related Posts:

11 Best Locations For Paddle Boarding in Dorset

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1. Lyme Bay / Lyme Regis 

paddleboarding Dorset

Known as the “Pearl of Dorset”, Lyme Bay is an area located on the English coast. As you paddle along the bay, this mystical town can be admired from the waters. 

Perfect for catching the morning view, Lyme Bay offers stunning views and calm water at low tide. Make sure to try paddleboarding in Charmouth on your way and check out the Victorian Dump – you might find yourself a special treasure!

Best for: Beginners

Location: Google Map 

While you’re there, check out: 

2. Chesil Beach

paddleboarding Dorset

This rugged stretch of beach boasts an incredible 18 miles of untouched shingle beach and is a must-visit when you’re exploring Dorset. The waters can sometimes be choppy and they run very deep so you shouldn’t go too far especially when the tides are high. 

Best for: Advanced Paddlers

Location: Google Map 

Some other attractions you can find around Chesil Beach include: 

3. Castle Cove 

paddleboarding Dorset

If you’re looking to try paddleboarding in Weymouth, Dorset, check out Castle Cove. A fan favorite among beginners, this sandy beach has few waves and waters that are not too deep because of its location on the harbor. It is also very clean and popular with dow owners who walk their furry friends along the beach. 

Best for: Beginners

Location: Google Map 

While you’re at Castle Cove, be sure to check these places too: 

 

4. Eype Beach 

paddleboarding in Dorset
Photo by West Dorset Leisure Holidays

This beach is all about adventures and good times in the water. As one of the most rural beaches in Dorset, Eype beach offers great adventures on your paddleboard, even when the water is calm. Intriguing right? 

It can be a bit of a walk to get to the beach but we guarantee, the stunning views and clear blue waters will certainly be worth it. 

Best for: Beginners, families, and dogs

Location: Google Map 

Other fun things to do around Eype Beach include: 

5. Studland Bay 

paddleboard Dorset
Photo by West Dorset Leisure Holidays

It is said that Studland Bay is best explored on paddleboards. Its waters are sheltered making it perfect for beginners and advanced paddlers alike. The stunning views can be seen across the waters as you paddle along the beach. 

If you’re feeling a little adventurous, try checking out Old Harry Rocks and its sea stacks and cliffs lined up along the sea. 

Best for: Beginners

Location: Google Map 

When you there, check out: 

6. Kimmeridge Bay 

paddleboarding in Dorset
Photo by Jurassic Coast

This special location for paddleboarding is located in a Special Area of Conservation and boasts crystal clear waters and ledges strewn with fossils – great for snorkeling and paddleboarding on calm, sunny days. 

However, the seas get rough, and the wind is at full force, it becomes one of Dorset’s popular windsurfing and surfing spots. 

Best for: Beginners and Intermediate Paddlers 

Location: Google Map

Other attractions near Kimmeridge Bay include: 

 

7. River Stour 

paddleboard Dorset
Photo by Geography South West

Paddleboarding in River Stour is perfect if you’re looking to avoid the busy beach or when the seas get too rough. This river exudes a quaint, country vibe as you paddle along the river and stumble across swans, ducks, and nature all around you. 

Best for: Beginners and Intermediate Paddlers 

Location: Google Map 

Some cool attractions near River Stour are: 

8. River Frome – Wareham 

paddleboard Dorset
Photo by Carolyn Eyles on Photohound

This riverside town dates back about 2000 years and is surrounded on both sides by the River Frome and the River Piddle.

The town is perfect for a little picnic by the river, and if you’re keen to get on your board, paddle along the river and enjoy the serenity that the town exudes as you explore the nature reserves and pass by the harbor.  

Best for: Beginners and Intermediate Paddlers 

Location: Google Map

Check out these fun places when you’re there: 

9. River Brit 

paddleboard Dorset
Photo by Gary Rogers on Geograph

A postcard image of picturesque countryside and stunning nature, River Brit will be an exciting paddleboarding experience in Dorset. Keep an eye out for beautiful flowers that line the river and kingfishers hunting in the rivers as well other wildlife creatures like cute little otters!

Best for: Beginners and Intermediate Paddlers 

Location: Google Map 

River Brit is also home to these nearby attractions: 

10. Sandbank And Brownsea Island 

paddleboarding Dorset
Photo by Dorset Guide

Considered to be one of the best beaches in Britain, Sandbanks is like paradise on earth. When in Dorset paddle boarding in Poole, Brownsea, and Studland Bay and explore the hidden beaches and is home to a wide range of wildlife – one among many is the red squirrels, who are a pretty rare species. 

Best for: Beginners and Intermediate Paddlers 

Location: Google Map

Other top sights around Sandbank include: 

11. Durdle Door 

paddleboarding in Dorset

Saving the best for last, Durdle Door is an iconic location along the Jurassic Coast that you absolutely must go to. This famous shell-shaped arch is an iconic symbol of Dorset and the history it contains within its rocks. We highly suggest you start at Lulworth Cove and paddle through the clear waters as you take in your surroundings and the history that it comes with. 

Best for: Beginners and Intermediate Paddlers 

Location: Google Map

Some of the best attractions here include:

Where Can You Go For SUP Race Training, SUP Surfing, And SUP Downwinding In Dorset?

paddle boarding dorset

There are plenty of places for paddle boarding in Dorset that are suitable for any kind of paddle boarding you’d like to do, be it for relaxing, surfing, or ‘downwinding’.

 In case you’re wondering what downwinding is, it is similar to surfing but you’ll be moving in a straight line on open water accompanied by heavy winds. 

This results in swells of water that you ride from one location to another by moving downwind. 

For Surfing And Relaxing 

  • Studland Bay 
  • Christchurch Harbour 
  • Durdle Door 
  • Bat’s Head on the Jurassic Coast

For Downwinding 

  • Branksome Chine to Milford on Sea

This large horseshoe bay in Dorset usually brings in a big crowd that starts at the Branksome area facing the shore on the east towards Milford on Sea, catching runners and swells as they go. 

Many advise that you plan your trip beforehand as the wind can get pretty strong and you can get stranded in the middle of the sea. 

Remember, you don’t have to go out paddling in the biggest swells, go long distances or go in the strongest of winds to enjoy paddling downwind. Take time to practice and build yourself to suit the challenges you’ll come across over time with a range of rollers and runners. 

Where Can You Get Paddle Boarding Lessons In Dorset?

paddle boarding dorset

If you’re a complete beginner and would like to give paddleboarding in Dorset a go, don’t worry, we’ve got it covered. 

In Dorset, you will be able to find various SUP learning centres and academies that provide paddle boarding lessons for anyone, old and young. 

To help you, we’ve compiled a list of locations that provide paddle boarding lessons, as well as all the information you may need to kickstart your new hobby in beautiful Dorset!

1. Watersports Academy – Wareham 

Address: 5 Banks Rd, Sandbanks, BH13 7PS

Location: Google Maps

Paddle Board Lessons: 

  • 1 hour – £25 (USD 35) 
  • 2 hour lesson & tour – £40 (USD 55)

Other services: 

  • Paddle board hires (inclusive paddleboard, paddle, and life jacket) – 1 hour £15 (USD 21) / 24 hrs £65 (USD 90)
  • Paddleboard tours (inclusive of tuition, paddleboard, paddle, and life jacket) – 2 hours for £40 (USD 55)   – Minimum of 3 per tour required

2. Fore Adventure – Middle Beach, Studland

Address: The Hutquarters, Middle Beach, Studland, BH19 3AP

Location: Google Maps

Paddleboard Lessons: 

  •  2 hour lesson (inclusive of tuition, paddleboard, paddle, life jacket & wetsuit) – £35 (USD 48) 

Other services: 

  • Paddleboard tours (inclusive of tuition, paddleboard, paddle, and life jacket) – 3 hours for £50 (USD 69) 

3. The Official Test Centre – Portland/ Weymouth

Address: Osprey Quay, Portland, DT5 1SA

Location: Google Maps

Paddleboard Lessons: 

  •  1 hour lesson (inclusive of tuition, paddleboard, paddle, leash & wetsuit) – £35 (USD 48) 

Other services: 

  • Windsurfing and kitesurfing within the National Sailing Academy in Portland’s grounds

4. Dorset SUP 

Address: 47 Sunnyhill Road, Bournemouth, BH6 5HR

Location: Google Maps

Paddleboard Lessons: 

  • 1.5 hour lesson (inclusive of tuition, paddleboard, paddle, life jacket & wetsuit) – £40 (USD 55)
  • 1:1 personal 1.5 hour lesson – £60 (USD 80)

Other services: 

  • Paddleboard adventures – Starting at 3 hours for £60 (USD 80)

5. Easy Riders 

Address: Easyriders Ltd, Easy Beach, Shore Road, Poole, BH13 7PH

Location: Google Maps

Paddleboard Lessons: 

  • Sunday SUP Group Lessons – £20 (USD 27) per board 
  • Ladies Night – £15 (USD 21)
  • Bespoke Sessions for Teams – £20 (USD 27) per board (min. 4 pax)

Other services: 

  • SUP Adventures – from £35 (USD 48) onwards

Can You Take An Instructor Course For SUP In Dorset?

paddle boarding dorset

Yes, you can! 

Dorset offers a few places and SUP schools that offer certifications for avid paddlers. 

If you’re keen to be a SUP Instructor, you will need to be at least an intermediate or advanced paddler with experience and should be comfortable with being in the open waters. 

1. Dorset Council 

Address: Dorset Council, County Hall, Colliton Park, Dorchester, Dorset, DT1 1XJ

Location: Google Maps

Rate: 

  • £179 (USD 247) plus £20 (USD 27) provider fee

2. Easy Riders 

Address: Easyriders Ltd, Easy Beach, Shore Road, Poole, BH13 7PH

Location: Google Maps

Rate: 

  • BSUPA Level 1 Instructor course(ITC) – £225 (USD 310)
  • BSUPA Level 2 Instructor course (ITC) – £225  (USD 310)
  • Conversion/Revalidation Instructor Training Course (ITC) – £160 (USD 220)

3. Rockley Watersports Training Centre

Address: Rockley Road, Poole BH15 4RW, United Kingdom

Location: Google Maps

Rate: 

  • 12 – Weeks Professional Watersports Instructor Package – £5,495 (USD 7574)

4. Land And Wave 

Address: Rockley Road, Poole BH15 4RW, United Kingdom

Location: Google Maps

Rate: 

  • 15- Weeks SUP Outdoor Instructor Training – £5,500 (USD 7581)

What Do You Need For Paddle Boarding? 

If you’re a complete beginner, you may not know what exactly you might need for a safe, worry-free experience paddle boarding in Dorset. It’s important to get the right gear to ensure that you stay safe and enjoy your paddleboarding experience without any difficulties. 

Some of the most important things that you will need are:

  • a stand-up board, 
  • a leash, a paddle, 
  • a whistle and light,
  • a personal floatation device, and
  • a wetsuit that is comfortable for you to be in especially since you get wet from the water a lot. 

1. Paddle Board 

For beginners to maximize stability, the Funwater Inflatable Ultra Light Stand Up Paddle Board is one the most recommended wide paddleboards to keep you steady on the water. It is made of high-quality materials and is durable for any kind of water and is also extremely light, perfect for newbies!

paddle boarding dorset

Some amazing options include: 

2. Stand Up Paddles 

The Attwood Emergency Telescoping Paddle comes highly recommended for anyone who needs a dependable paddle that floats. It is also adjustable and long-lasting which helps in the long run if you’re on a budget.  

paddleboarding in Dorset

Some other great stand up paddles we found include: 

3. Leash 

The Unigear Premium Coiled SUP Leash is perfect for anyone who loves documenting their adventures on the water. Comes with a waterproof phone case, this leash also provides sufficient support to keep you anchored to your board in case you fall into the water or get swept away by strong currents.

paddleboarding in Dorset

Some of the best leashes for SUPs include: 

4. Personal Floatation Device 

It is important to always wear a floatation device at all times when you’re in the open waters to prevent drowning or any other mishaps that can happen. 

The Kent Adult Universal Type 2 USCG Life Jacket comes highly recommended as it provides enough buoyancy and in the case of calm water situations, also works to turn an unconscious person face-up when needed.

paddleboard Dorset

Other floatation devices that are fans favorites include: 

5. Whistle And Light

Falling into the water or getting lost in the open ocean can be daunting and nerve-racking especially if you’re a beginner. That’s just unnecessary stress. To be safe, you have to always carry a whistle and light like the LuxoGear Emergency Whistle and the UST SplashFlash 25 Waterproof Flashlight; to help you ask for help and indicate your location when needed. 

paddle boarding dorset
paddle boarding dorset

You can also check out the following options: 

Whistles 

Flashlights 

How To Choose The Best Paddleboard For You? 

Generally, two types of paddleboards are commonly used for paddle boarding,

  •  a hard type, and
  •  an inflatable type.

 An inflatable paddle board will be more suitable for beginners as they are easier to use and carry around whereas a hard one can be bulky, heavy, and hard to store.

One of the main things you should look out for when getting a paddleboard is the weight capacity of the board as it should be able to hold your weight and the gear you’re carrying with you on the board. 

This is because, when the weight of the board is too heavy, it creates excess drag and thus makes it difficult for you to move more efficiently in the water. 

What Is A Suitable Age For Paddle Boarding? 

Paddleboarding is a sport that is enjoyed by a lot of people, young and old. 

While there isn’t an age limit, it can still be quite dangerous for young paddlers especially if they have no experience, to begin with. 

A child should be at least 5 to 8 years old when they start learning how to paddleboard. 

Some children may start even younger but it is advised that a child, of any age, should be accompanied by an adult at all times to ensure they are looked after in case of any unfortunate incidents that can happen on the water. 

If your child is small, or young, it could be a good idea to keep them on the board with you as you paddle to help them familiarise themselves with how the water feels and if they feel a little adventurous, they can try standing up on the board with you by their side. 

Where To Hire Paddle Boards In Dorset? 

paddle boarding dorset

If you plan to try paddleboarding in Dorset but don’t have a board with you, fret not, you can always just rent one! Most of Dorset’s locations that are famous for paddleboarding have watersport centers that offer paddleboards for hire. 

List Of Locations With Paddle Board For Hire

1. Watersports Academy 

Address: 15 Banks Rd, Sandbanks, BH13 7PS

Location: Google Maps

Contact: 01202 708283

Rates: 

  • 1 hour – £15 (USD 20)
  • 24 hrs – £65 (USD 90)

2. Wareham Boat Hire

Address: Abbots Quay, Wareham, BH20 4LW

Location: Google Maps

Contact: 01929 550688

Rates: 

  • ½ hour – £10 (USD 14)
  • 1 hour –   £12.50 (USD 17)
  • 2 hours – £20 (USD 27)
  • 3 hours – £27.50 (USD 38)
  • Half-day – £35 (USD 48)
  • Full day – £55 (USD 76)

3. Sandbanks Paddle Board Hire 

Address: 32 Wessex Rd, Poole BH14 8BQ, United Kingdom

Location: Google Maps

Contact: +447813010373

Rates: 

  • 7 am to 5 pm (pick up and return within these hours) – £40 (USD 55)/ board, £70 (USD 96) for 2
  • Full day – £60 (USD 82)
  • 3 Days – £100 (USD 137)

4. Adventure 4 All

Address: Portland Marina, Osprey Quay, Portland DT5 1DX, United Kingdom

Location: Google Maps

Contact: +447870659081

Rates: 

  • 1 hour –   £15  (USD 20)
  • 2 hours – £25 (USD 34)

5. Bay Paddle Boards 

Address: West Bay DT6 4EW Bridport, UK.

Location: Google Maps

Contact: 07902 242207

Rates: 

  • 1 hour –   £15 (USD 20)
  • 2 hours – £25 (USD 34)

What To Look Out For When Traveling As A Tourist In Dorset? 

paddle boarding dorset

If you’re heading to Dorset for a holiday, be sure to check out the other beautiful attractions that the city has to offer besides stand-up paddleboarding. 

Dorset offers an array of fun and thrilling activities for you to discover, from the finest walking trails to the stunning beaches as well as exciting picturesque cycling routes and historical locations to explore.

Dorset is also a shopping haven for anything you may be looking for from high-end brands to local independent retailers that make one-of-a-kind items, and many more!

Explore the entertainment scene – everything from theatre to music, Dorset has a year-round calendar of amazing performing arts events. With a variety of traditional theatres, modern art centers, orchestras, they also host touring artists, comedians, and theatre productions. 

They also host musicians, bands, and artists of sorts from all over the world who visit Dorset for its lively entertainment scene – perfect for a big night out in the city with your group!

Look out for businesses that display the ‘We’re Good To Go’ logo – a UK Industry-standard by Visit England that tells you which businesses have put in place the government’s requirement for Covid- 19 and have received the ‘We’re Good To Go’ certificate in hopes to provide additional assurance for visitors to choose their business. 

Can You Paddleboard At Durdle Door?

Why, of course! 

We think you should give Durdle Door a go when you’re exploring the various places in Dorset for stand-up paddleboarding. Durdle Door is a historical arch and is amazingly one of the most iconic places on the Jurassic Coast to paddleboard. 

You’ll be paddleboarding over mesmerizing clear water and along breathtaking cliffs, all that lead to the historical arch that has been around for over 140 million years since dinosaurs roamed the earth.

 That also means you’ll be paddling where the dinosaurs once were. What a story to tell! 

Conclusion

If you’ve been meaning to try paddleboarding, Dorset is the perfect place to start. Its unparalleled beauty will inspire you to learn and master the sport so that you can spend more time in the water during your trip. 

We hope this guide helps you find the perfect spots to enjoy your holiday in Dorset on the paddleboard and be sure to take in your surroundings, it’s not every day you get to be around so much history and beauty all at once! 

Have fun paddle boarding in Dorset!

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Paddle Boarding In Dorset – The Essential Guide

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