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SUP Stand Up Paddleboarding

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SUP Stand Up Paddleboarding
SUP Stand Up Paddleboarding activity rowing experience Duffus Estate

Stand Up Paddling, or SUP’ing, is a fairly new activity which has really taken off in the last few years. It is great fun, there is nothing quite like gliding over silky calm water and gazing into the deep blue below.

The kit needed to try it is minimal and can easily be hired, and once you are sure this is for you, it is simple to build up what you need to enjoy it.

Having rowed for a number of years in coastal rowing clubs, I knew I loved to be on the water and rowing. SUP’ing was a new experience for me, for one, having to find my balance on two feet, rather than sitting comfortably in the prow of the skiff!

SUP Stand Up Paddleboarding activity rowing experience Duffus Estate
Gliding on calm waters

Birthday Present

Having tried out my sea legs on friends’ boards, Ed treated me to an excellent birthday present of my very own inflatable SUP. I very quickly built up my confidence by paddling in calm waters regularly with friends. 

This led to more adventures, paddling from Hopeman Harbour. Sometimes heading west to Hopeman West Beach. If the conditions are right, I adore the quick paddle to Cummingston. The sea caves (visible at high tide) are worth a look.

I really love to paddle east of Hopeman Harbour, past the Daisy Rock and onward to the Cove. 

Skerries and Kelp

Last summer, day a few of us headed to Hopeman Harbour for a few hours of fun on the SUP Stand Up Paddleboarding. We set up our boards on the beach and headed into the water, which was lovely and cooling after working up a sweat pumping up the board in a full wetsuit in the warm sun!

Once we all got into the water, which was busy with swimmers, children playing, kayakers and some local children ‘dooking’ (dooking is a doric word for sea swimming – you need your ‘dookers’ to take part!) we were ready to go.

Our friends’ children thought it great fun jumping in and ‘bombing’ us with sprays of water on the way out of the pier. After leaving the melee behind we enjoyed a lovely calm paddle out into the bay at West Beach, and then along the front of West Beach Caravan Park to Cummingston.

Sea Kelp

It was nearly high tide, we were able to paddle carefully over the many rocks and skerries which hug this coastline. I find it soothing to watch the seaweed gracefully waving with the current. We pulled our boards into the pebble beach here and enjoyed a quick snack and a drink before paddling back to Hopeman Harbour. Thankfully the friendly seal kept his/her/their distance but watched on us all the way back. 

I am really looking forward to some calmer seas for this summer, Spring has been unusually cold and windy this year, regaining my SUP Stand Up Paddleboarding sea legs ready for more adventures. 


  • Always check the tides and weather (specifically the wind) forecast before paddling (I use an app free to download called MagicSeaWeed, together with XC Weather) 
  • If the tide is going out and there is an offshore wind (i.e. the wind is blowing off the land onto the sea) your body will act as a sail and you will be carried with the wind and the tide – avoid this  
  • Always carry a way to contact shore – mobile phone in a waterproof case and/or a Personal Location Beacon (What3Words is an app which will give your location to emergency services to a 1 metre square area – also free to download) 

Favourite Spots


  • Lossiemouth East Beach has a long shelf and is great on a calm day to explore along this coastline. There is parking here, although it can get busy. 


  • Hopeman West Beach – a gorgeous bay often with gentle rolling waves to bob along on. Limited parking at the Harbour and then a short walk with your board. 
  • Hopeman East Beach – walk along the front of the hutties and you will see a delightfully sandy beach. Any spot here is good SUP’ing, there are submerged rocks nearer the Daisy Rock (to the East), and a small tidal island (The Scailies) which is surrounded by kelp in the centre. There are lots of handy rocks for your gear, and picnic benches along the front for coffee afterwards! There are 2 parking areas just behind the hutties. 


  • Cummingston – there is a steep walk down to the shore, but once you are here, there are fab caves to explore at high tide, and lots of rocky crevices with kelp forests


  • Roseisle Forest – This amazing forest runs right up to the beach and is a perfect place to paddle. There is ample (paid) parking and you can carry your board the short walk down to the shore. There is a lovely long bay stretching from Findhorn to Burghead, with a gentle shelf which then drops away quite deeply. This is a really special place to see the Moray Firth dolphins as they travel to their feeding grounds, chasing mackerel along the edge of the shelf. The awe of paddling near dolphins never tires! 

Further afield

  • Lochindorb – a little drive away takes you to Lochindorb where you can park beside the loch and then it is a short paddle across the water to the ruined castle on the island in the centre of the loch. It is reputed that the Wolf of Badenoch retreated here to live as a hermit, hence the name ‘the Wolf’s Lair’. 
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