Newfoundland Paddleboarding (SUP)

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Looking for a great activity to enjoy during your Newfoundland adventure? If you haven’t already, try paddleboarding. It’s one of the best ways to explore the protected coastlines, lakes, ponds, and rivers in Newfoundland and Labrador. If you haven’t had a lot of exposure to paddle sports, paddleboarding may seem daunting. What happens if I fall off my board? Is it hard to get back on? How do I control it? Is it hard to stand up? These are all really great questions.

Like all activities, there’s a learning curve and if you’re a newbie it’s always best to take a lesson from a certified paddleboard instructor. Saying this, there’s a big reason why paddleboarding is currently the fastest growing of all paddlesports and has dominated the sector since it entered the mainstream just over a decade ago. Paddleboarding is easy, simple, and super fun.

If you compare paddleboarding to other paddlesports, the difference becomes pronounced. Take canoeing or kayaing for example. They’re a lot of fun, but what happens if you tip over the kayak or canoe? Do you even know how to get back in, get the water out, and continue on without having to go to shore?. Unless you’ve taken a kayak or canoe rescue course, you probably have no clue. With a paddleboard, however, if you happen to slip off into the water you just get back on. No pumps, noting to bail out, and no specialised stirrup paddlefloat technique required. You simply just slide your body back onto the paddleboard and continue on your way. Feel like standing up is too much? Start off by sitting or kneeling, that’s how everyone begins.

On nice weekends in the summer we enjoy driving up the shore and renting a paddleboard for the afternoon. During calm seas, usually in the early morning or just before sunset, paddleboarding in the Witless Bay Ecological reserve is superb, especially if you’re keen on seeing whales. Mobile bay is especially good for paddleboarding and whale watching since humpback and minkie whales come there to feed. The east coast trail wraps along both shores making access easy and scenery stunning.

On days when the sea state is rough or you’re in the mood for calmer and warmer water, freshwater paddling is a great option. Some of Newfoundland’s best paddling takes place on freshwater. On the east coast near Witless Bay is Tors Cove Pond, close to Mobile and directly opposite the ocean. Tors Cove Pond is a great freshwater lake complete with beaches, islands, and protected coastlines, making it not just a great inclement weather alternative, but a great first choice on any day. The islands are uninhabited and make for a great lunch spot or place to explore in the afternoon. Tors Cove Pond also offers great trout fishing.

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Whale House Guest House offers luxury boutique private suites with outdoor hot tubs overlooking humpback whale feeding grounds. Located next to the east coast trail in the Witless Bay Ecological Reserve, just 30 min from downtown St. John’s.

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