SUP backyards focus on areas that have a bunch of different stand up paddle boarding options within a short distance of the main locale. St. Ives is certainly one of these with a variety of different SUP beaches all within max half an hour of St. Ives’ main town. Whatever your level of SUP ability there’s somewhere within or close to St. Ives for a spot of dabbling with a paddle.
Porthmeor Beach, St. Ives, Cornwall.
Perhaps the most popular of all St. Ives beaches Porthmeor is also the headline surf spot in town. And being a town it’s always pretty busy – especially in summer. There’s a hardcore pack of prone surfers who are always on it when conditions turn on. That said, Porthmeor does have its quieter periods. Early morning and later in the evening particularly.
For those art lovers out there the Tate Gallery is just over the road from the sand and is definitely worth a look.
St. Ives harbour, Cornwall.
On higher tides it’s possible to SUP in the harbour at St. Ives. There’s plenty of shelter here from SW winds and huge swell. But, as with everywhere in and around St. Ives it gets very busy. For wave heads, on big pulses, the low tide harbour wall chucks up a mystical wave that can deliver super long rides. But it’s hard to get right and every surfer in the area will be on it.
Calmer days offer the opportunity of paddling down to Carbis Bay or further round to Hayle. Downwinders to Gwithian and/or Godrevy are also possible.
Carbis Bay, St. Ives, Cornwall.
With its Caribbean esque white sand beach and azure coloured water Carbis Bay is a stunning venue for SUP. It’s mostly a flat water location out of winter but occasionally does get a mellow wave. There’ll often be other paddlers here as it’s where the Ocean Sports Centre is based.
Carbis Bay is an easy spot to launch – if you can find parking in summer. There are also some great amenities right on site.
Gwithian, Hayle, Cornwall.
Just along from Hayle you’ll find the well used Gwithian and Godrevy beaches. Hayle is a ten minute drive from St. Ives and Gwithian can offer (some) respite if the crowds in town and at Porthmeor are too much. It can still see its fair share surfers in the water. And Gwithian attracts plenty of SUP surfers on goo days.
Godrevy is just along the coast and links up at low tide. It can have slightly bigger waves than Gwithian and maybe be a little busier at prime times.
Marazion, Mounts Bay, Cornwall.
15 minutes or so away is the iconic ST/ Michael’s Mount that perches slap bang in the middle of Mount’s Bay. Marazion is the popular SUP spot although Long Rock and other beaches east and west are well signposted. Out of all of St. Ives locations mentioned it’s probably the one with the easiest access.
There can be waves here but the surf’s usually mellow. In summer Mazza of mostly flat or windy, depending on Mother Nature’s moods.
The aforementioned locations are barely scratching the surface of St.Ive’s SUP potential. There’s an abundance of paddling locations to chose from. Depending on wants, needs, skill and weather. Seek and ye shall find.
Check out the other SUP Backyards articles below.