Be master of your own ship, or at least a stand up paddleboard or kitesurf kit, in the Shoalhaven this spring. These are both super fun off-land activities you can enjoy whether you're a beginner or seasoned pro. Get the lowdown on both of these sports and where you can try them out on the NSW South Coast.
What is Stand Up Paddleboarding?
Stand up paddleboarding (affectionately known as SUP) is an empowering experience that gives you a whole different perspective on the world and your abilities. It's a bit like surfing but riders use a paddle to propel themselves through the water. This sport has taken the world by storm because it's so accessible and easy to learn. Even beginners will enjoy themselves while stand up paddleboarding! All you really need is a body of water and your equipment. You don't even require waves to have a go. In fact, it's much better to learn for the first time in a calm environment. First-timers will love the great views of the water from the standing position on the paddleboards. Watch on as fish, dolphins and even seals glide across the crystal waters beneath you.
Where To Go Stand Up Paddleboarding
The Shoalhaven is full of many pristine beaches and marine reserves for your first stand up paddleboarding experience. Jervis Bay is the most famous and most popular, but there are also plentiful rivers, estuaries and entrances that make it easy for people to access the water. A few other local hotspots are Shoalhaven Heads and Narrawallee Inlet.
Hire a Stand Up Paddleboard
If you've already had a go at stand up paddleboarding before, or you just happen to be a natural water baby and don't need lessons, then visit one of our local operators to hire a SUP for the day. We've got experts all across the region to help out with your rental needs. Grab your board from Sussex Inlet Marine Centre and then head to the pristine waters of Swan Lake, Sussex River and Berrara Creek. Or further south, the team at South Coast Paddler can make sure you're well-equipped for your adventures on the tranquil waters of Burrill Lake. They can even take large group bookings for up to 10 boards which is perfect for the entire holiday crew. Not far away, the flagship Rip Curl Ulladulla store is not only a mecca for all surfwear and gear, but you can also hire a stand up paddleboard from them and ask for some local tips for nearby, insider hotspots.
Stand Up Paddleboarding Tours
Go SUPping at Sussex Inlet, where the calm waters are a great place to learn the ropes with our knowledgeable instructors. Sussex Inlet Stand Up Paddle offers tours around the area and also some very cool "SUP-FIT" and "SUP-PILATES" fitness classes where you can work out on a paddleboard amongst the tranquil surroundings. Get ready to engage that core because it's a much more challenging workout on the board than on land! At Narrawallee Inlet and Lake Conjola, you can book a guided tour with Coastal Paddle Surf and paddle through the beautiful, clear waters brimming with wildlife while soaking up views of Pigeon House Mountain and the Budawang Ranges. We won't be surprised if you fall in love with paddling in Narrawallee, this beautiful and serene setting is a great place to breathe in the fresh air as you get to know the waters.
SUP Hire & Tours
Jervis Bay Stand Up Paddle will come to your location of choice but they also know all the best spots according to conditions of the day. If you don't have a specific place in mind, the expert team will take you wherever they feel the water is best on the day (or the night, check out their sunset tours!). All you need to bring are your swimmers, a towel, sunscreen and a big sense of adventure. If you're travelling in a group, we highly recommend booking a Monster SUP tour, where your entire holiday crew can get onto a giant stand up paddleboard and explore the waters. It always goes down a treat amongst friends and is great for a laugh. For those holidaying in the south of the Shoalhaven, speak to the team at Walking on Water Surf School in Ulladulla. They are also great for group getaways and can cater to functions such as bucks and hens parties - a fun way to celebrate that special occasion in the great outdoors!
What Is Kitesurfing?
Kitesurfing is another popular water activity down in the Shoalhaven and just like paddleboarding, you don't need waves to learn! Kitesurfing is wind-powered and uses a large parachute-type kite to propel riders across the water on a kiteboard, similar to a wakeboard. You can kitesurf in a range of different conditions. Head out for a relaxed session or hit the big jumps if you're brave enough. There are a variety of ways to experience this water sport, meaning that it never becomes boring.
Where To Go Kitesurfing
The most consistent Shoalhaven spot in the summer months for kitesurfing is Moona Moona Creek, near Huskisson. It's a safe beach and a great place to learn. Seven Mile Beach also makes for a great down-wind session. During winter and southerly winds, the sport becomes a little more extreme as the winds pack more of a punch. They tend to be gustier and are only for more experienced riders with very good ocean skills. Embrace a sense of fun and adventure and have a go at both of these watersports. They're a great way to get to know the region and keep your fitness levels up - the bright blue waters are calling your name.