I’ve been paddling the Cornish Coast for many years now on my Bluefin SUP.
The coastline in Cornwall is incredibly varied and offers beautiful stretches of sand, dramatic coves and sheltered harbours. It is a paddleboarder’s dream location. I, therefore, thought I’d do the decent thing and share some of my favourite SUP spots with you all:
1) Porthcurno beach
My absolute favourite is Porthcurno beach. Park in the car park, pump up your SUP, walk a few hundred metres down the path and before you lies a gorgeous stretch of white sand and bright blue sea. Head here at low tide and once you’re out at sea, turn left towards Logan Rock. The rock gets its name from the term ‘Logging Rock’ [‘logging’ = rocking] as this big monolith perched on a cliff used to be able to be moved by hand. Unfortunately many years ago some drunk Navy sailors rocked it right it into the sea! The locals were devastated so the Admiralty made the sailors put it back. Unfortunately, they put it back in the wrong place and it no longer rocks. Gutted!
Anyway, back to SUP…There are many coves and sand islands around this stretch of coast; many of which are great to land your board and explore. Here’s a snap of my 3-year-old daughter trying out her Bluefin SUP at this spot:
2) Carbis Bay!
Another favourite of mine is Carbis Bay. This is a safe place for a swim and a SUP and has good facilities right on the beach. Head left and you can paddle right into St Ives town. Head right and you can paddle to Porthkidney beach which is a hidden stretch of sand backed by sand dunes. There are often seals lurking here and they love to playfully chase your board. It’s great fun!
My next favourite is Portreath. Though it can be rough at times with a big swell; on calm days it’s a real treat. There are big cliffs here with secret beaches and lots of wildlife. There’s a little colony of guillemots here which look like flying rugby balls when they swoop around you! Park in the car park by the beach and head out to sea. Take a left to Western Cove and Ralph’s Cupboard (a collapsed sea cave). It’s pretty dramatic and very wild out here; so be safe!
4) Sennen Cove
Another good option is Sennen Cove. It is known as a surf beach but on a quiet day, it’s SUP paradise. Head out from the little harbour by the lifeboat house and turn left to Land’s End. Under the headland of our most Westerly tip lies a sea cave with a seal colony inside. They’re pretty shy and easily spooked though so keep your distance. Again there is lots of wildlife around here. Last year a Humpback whale was spotted feeding just off the cliff. You never know, you could be lucky and spot one too?!
5) St Michael’s Mount
My next choice for a SUP session is St Michael’s Mount in Marazion. Head off from the beach to the Mount which is topped by an ancient castle. It was built in the 14th century and is a beautiful paddle at any tide. It’s generally safe and if you’re a confident paddler you can SUP right around the island. You can even pull into the harbour and have a coffee from the café. Can’t be bad, can it?!
If you want a bit of shelter and a guarantee of seeing some seals, try Mousehole just west of Penzance. Pronounced ‘Mowzel’ the place gets its name for the mouse-hole-like harbour entrance. The Cornish name for this place is Porthenys which means ‘Port with the Island’. Indeed there is a tiny island just in front of the harbour entrance which has a year-round seal colony on it. Each has its own name and temperament. Again, keep your distance as they can occasionally be quite grumpy! After your SUP, head to the Coastguard Inn for a pub lunch and a cold beer. Dream
These are some of my favourite spots but there are of course hundreds of other places to check out on your Bluefin SUP. I have a Carbon Cruise board and absolutely love it.