Stand-up paddleboarding (SUP), a rapidly increasing recreational sport in Scotland. There’s many wonderful places to choose from, however it is important to look for conditions.
I am what I like to refer to as a lazy Paddler. I like to hop on the board, go and explore, find a good spot and generally “park up” and have a snack! This generally means that I’ll choose a loch, or non-tidal area to paddle on.
WARNING:Always check conditions before heading out, even if it’s on non tidal water.
Here’s a few of my favourite lochs around Tayside/Fife:
Loch of Clunie
This was the Loch I learned to paddle on – and so will always hold a soft spot in my heart! It’s a lovely small-ish Loch that lies near Blairgowrie. This is one of the most popular paddleboarding lochs, with many people taking lessons here, however the loch is also used for swimming, kayaking and fishing.
The Loch is great for exploring, and is host to many wildlife, and a man made island that you can hop on and have a look around – there’s even a 15th Century castle ruin!
Parking is an issue at this loch as there’s not much, and more recently people ahve been ticketed for not parking fully in any bays. Parking is pretty much restricted to the South East of the Loch with a couple of man made bays available.
For parking at loch of Clunie, there’s a couple of locations, check these What3Words:
Loch of Lintrathen
This is a much bigger loch than Loch Clunie, and can be found near Kirriemuir. In fact a lot of people may recognise the loch from visiting the Wee Bear Cafe.
This loch does have the odd motorised boat on it, so worth keeping an eye out for any residual waves from that. As it’s a bigger loch, and slightly more exposed it can be windier, so I tend to stick to the edges when touring this area. There’s not much parking – maybe one small lay-by (I’ll stick the What3Words location below).
Again there tends to be a lot of wildlife around here, particularly swans, so worth avoiding them, or at least not getting too close.
It’s possible to spend hours on this loch, drifting along, waving to the fishermen (don’t get too close – last thing you’ll want is a fin caught in a fisherman’s line!) and just enjoying the spectacular views.
Parking at Loch of Lintrathen:
Once again this is very limited, however I’d use the What3Words:
This Loch based in Fife near Lochgelly is extremely popular for many reasons. Firstly there’s a fair amount of paring available via two car parks, and there’s overnight parking available in a campsite.
The Loch has a walking route the whole way round and is popular with families and for dog walking. There’s facilities on site, along with a cafe, a play park and a water sports centre.
The Loch itself is a fair size, and is popular with swimmers, kayakers, wind surfers and paddleboarders. Fishermen can also be spotted at parts of it, and there’s the occasional motor boat – again watch out for the residual waves from this!
There’s a number of routes you can tae, and hidden avenues you can go down when paddleboarding this loch. I’d tend to stay away from the far end (opposite end from launching) purely because it tends to get very saturated with reeds.
There’s an Island (the first one you reach from the launch site) that has a form of assault course on it – usually used by the cadets), however I wouldn’t recommend exploring the island too much – there’s a lot of animal faeces on it.
There are occassionally signs up saying that blue-green algae can be detected here, so just keep an eye on those levels – they have a facebook page that’s worth a chec if this loch is in your plans.
What3Words location for car paring at Lochore Meadows: ///survive.unhelpful.forever
Can I paddleboard at Loch of Clunie?
Yes! You’ll usually see many friendly people on the water if it’s a warm, sunny day!
Is there parking at Loch Clunie?
The short answer to this is yes, but only one of two spaces, so heading out, best getting there early to try and bag a space.
Can you hire equipment at Lochore?
There is a water centre there and I’ve known people to hire kayaks – for the full list available it’s best to contact the water sports centre on: 01592 583343