Weather you’re a seasoned big wave surfer or a beginner looking to try Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) for the first time, the beaches, coastlines, and inland waterways surrounding the Witless Bay Ecological Reserve offer something for everyone.

Paddleboards are a great way to get out on the water. Easier to learn than kayaking and canoeing, a paddleboard lets you either stand or sit (if it’s your first time, start by sitting) on a large floating surfboard and propel yourself with a paddle. Easy to learn and perfect for beginners, paddleboards are light-weight enough for one person to carry and much easier to paddle than a canoe or kayak.

If you’re experienced, paddleboarding with whales in the ecological reserve is the most immersive of all the paddling options. With just a paddleboard separating you from the ocean below your feet, you can look straight down into the water much easier than if you were paddling anything else. What’s really great about SUP is if you fall in the water, you simply swim over and slide back onto your paddleboard. If you did the same in a canoe or kayak, the process of getting back in and pumping out the water is complex and may not be possible without specialized skills and training. Saying this, before you decide to paddleboard on the open ocean, be sure you have the skills and equipment to so do safely. Dress for immersion, understand the risks, and choose conditions that are well within your ability.

The ocean is a big place, and it’s really good at letting you know when you’ve bitten off more than you can chew.

If you’re new to paddleboarding, starting in the warmer and calmer waters of an inland lake and taking a lesson from a qualified paddleboarding instructor is the best way to go. With all eyes on the ocean and Witless Bay Ecological Reserve in front of the Whale House Guest House, it’s easy to forget about the giant fresh water lake called Tors Cove Pond, hidden just inland from the guest house. Tors Cove Pond is where many beginners learn to paddle. It’s also a great place for swimming, fishing, and island hopping (the lake has several islands that are easy to paddle to and fun to explore and picnic).

Did you know Whale House has several SUP paddleboards guests can borrow for free? We also have a supply of life jackets, personal flotation devices, paddles, neoprene, water shoes, and adventure equipment you’re welcome to sign out. Just let us know what you’re looking for and we’ll do our very best to accommodate your paddleboarding adventure.

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