Cornwall Water Sports

Go paddleboarding with your family this summer!

Go paddleboarding with your family this summer!

August 01, 2023

If you’re looking for a recreational activity that the whole family can enjoy this summer, then go paddleboarding!

On calm, clear days, when the surface of the sea is like glass, there’s no better way to enjoy the weather than gliding across the water and exploring Cornwall’s hidden creeks and coves. The best part is that almost anybody can take part, including the dog. It doesn’t matter about your ability, at MAD Watersports, we can help kit you out with the right equipment to suit paddlers of every level… but more on those later.

First, let us take you through a few of our top tips to paddleboarding with your family this summer.

Paddleboarding with furry friends!

Top tips to go paddleboarding safely

There’s a reason that these two words are so ingrained in our brains! So, before we dive into our favourite paddleboarding spots and recommended equipment, let’s explore some key points of safety. Take a look at our Paddleboarding Safely Blog here; this will give you a more detailed understanding of keeping yourself and your family safe whilst paddleboarding. A few tips covered in the blog include:

Wearing a leash

You can easily become separated from your board so wear a leash to keep it close. Check out the blog for more information on types of leashes!

Buoyancy aids

A buoyancy aid could well save your life, so make sure you all have one before taking to the water. If you’re supping with your pooch, be sure to secure them with a doggy life vest as well.

Weather and Tide Times

It may look nice outside when you wake up and pour your first cup of coffee. And the estuary may look nice and full when you first set out. But the weather can change, and the tide will inevitably turn. So, be sure to check ahead – make sure the forecast is due to remain favourable and ensure that the tides are conducive to a safe trip out and back again. Especially if your route involves narrower stretches of tidal river, trying to paddle into an outgoing tide can be exhausting and very dangerous.


Make sure you have a way of communicating when out on the water, a phone or at least a whistle! MAD Water Sports have a variety of waterproof phone and key cases to keep smaller items dry!

Wearing sunscreen

Whilst it may feel cooler out on the water with the ocean breeze gently swirling around you, if the sun’s out, then you should definitely be wearing sunscreen. Without it, you could be at risk of sunstroke or worse. To keep these at bay, be sure to check out our range of Sun Protection products.

Dry Bags

Whilst not so much a safety concern for you, the last thing any of us want is to drop our valuables into the sea and break them! With that in mind, it can pay to have a handy dry bag in which to stow any valuables and electronics.

Our favourite places to go paddleboarding in Cornwall

If you haven’t tried it yet, then you may not realise that Cornwall is a haven for paddleboarders.

Whether you’re hugging the mainland coastline or venturing upstream and exploring the creeks and inlets of its tidal rivers and estuaries, you could spend a lifetime exploring it and still not see it all. To help narrow your focus, here are some of our favourite spots.

Camel Estuary

Most local to MAD Water Sports is the Camel Estuary which can be accessed from Wadebridge, Padstow or Old Town Cove. This beautiful stretch of water is within an area of outstanding beauty and as you meander your way down the Estuary you will see why. There are little creeks to explore under bridges where the Camel Trail runs alongside the river. Fantastic bird watching opportunities along the route also.

Camel Estuary


Just around the corner from the iconic Minack Theatre, this stunning white-sand beach epitomises summer in Cornwall. Undeniably one of, if not the most beautiful beach in Cornwall, paddleboarders can launch from the beach at low tide and venture towards Logan Rock. The secluded coves along this stretch will, more often than not, be uninhabited, perfect for families seeking their own private beach experience!


Fowey River

Found within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, this has to be one of Cornwall’s finest ‘supping’ spots. Spend the day spotting the plethora of wildlife that calls the area home. Explore caves, disembark on sandy beaches and navigate around headlands. Literary buffs can even paddle past the house of Daphne Du Maurier!

Fowey River

Helford Passage

Speaking of Dapne Du Maurier, how about exploring Frenchman’s Creek? This creek branching off of the Helford Passage is one of countless tributaries to the river, which itself is a safe haven for on-the-water exploration. The wood-lined estuary is a sanctuary for newbies, whilst those with more experience will relish the chance to venture out of the river mouth and head left to Falmouth Bay, or right towards the Lizard.

Helford River

St Michael’s Mount

What can we say? This Cornish icon is unsurprisingly a magnet for kayakers, swimmers and paddleboarders alike, especially in good conditions. What’s more, when the sun’s shining, the scene of the mount as seen from the beach is like a postcard from the Mediterranean. Traverse the waters all the way to the far side, and see St Michael’s Mount from an entirely different perspective, including its stunning, sub-tropical terraced gardens that can only be seen from the water.

St Michaels Mount

Which paddleboard is best for you?

There are two different kinds of paddleboard that we would recommend based on a number of different factors. The first is hard paddleboards, and the second is inflatable.

Hard Paddleboards     

Our range of hard paddleboards offer optimal performance compared to inflatables; we would always suggest a hard board if you have means to store and transport it as they are more agile with better glide. They’re perfect if you’ve ‘found your feet’ on an inflatable and are looking to progress to the next level; however hard boards can also be suitable for beginners! Have a chat with our team and we will help you to choose the best one for you.

One of our favourites has to be the O’Brien Burnside, with its hull constructed of environmentally friendly bamboo. It performs like a much smaller board whilst retaining a larger board’s stability. It also looks amazing – perhaps one of the best-looking paddleboards on the market!

Burnside SUP

However if touring or racing are more your thing, check out the Starboard and SIC touring boards available in store and online. Due to the shape and length of these boards, they glide easily through the water to gather speed effortlessly. They are available in different length and width combinations, so it is worth discussing your particular needs with one of our team to help you choose the right board.

Inflatable Paddleboards

With advantages including durability, portability, weight and versatility, inflatable paddleboards are perfect for leisurely paddling. Generally being much more stable, they are also great for beginners, however also included in the range are a selection of touring inflatables like the Starboard Touring or Starboard Airline, both of which are premium quality boards able to rival the performance of some hard boards! The Starboard company are also striving to become more eco friendly each year and their product packaging now contains no plastic which alongside their plastic offset program is fantastic for the planet.

Within the all round board category, the 11’8” ApexTour Shockwave from Hurley is a great inflatable board. Its shape is designed for an optimum blend of stability, cruising speed and load-bearing. It’s also highly flexible, able to take you on a wide range of adventures. It features three LockFast fin boxes with removable, flexible fins, which means you can set your board up for any conditions. It also features a forward camera mount and cargo stowage to the front and rear, for those longer-range adventures.

Hurley SUP

Another of our favourites is the TAHE Sup-Yak; this versatile inflatable board comes in two sizes and can have seats and foot rests easily attached to transform it in to a sit on kayak! Ideal for sitting your little one at the front of the board comfortably whilst you paddle behind. The seats and footrests are available separately. We have a few other boards which can have seats attached, so if this sounds like the ideal set up for your family adventures, pop in and have a chat with the team who will happily show you these boards!

Whatever your ability, paddleboarding opens up a whole new means of experiencing Cornwall with your family. And whether you’re just starting out or are looking for the next step up in terms of equipment, our paddleboarding range has everything you need. Of course, if you’re still not sure what’s best for you and your clan, then just ask. We always welcome questions, and would love to see you in store and welcome you to this wonderful family pastime, so be sure to get in touch or pay us a visit!