Grampian Escapes and Tours

Adventures on a Paddle Board

Stand Up Paddle boarding in Scotland

For many people getting onto the water in the peace and quiet of the Scottish countryside is the closest thing to Heaven.  The growth in paddle boarding experiences means there really is something for everyone.

Seeing Scotland on a board

Founder James Wight
In this episode of the podcast we are speaking with James Wight from Sup2Summit based in Montrose. James started his business about 4 ½ years ago when after spending many years working for others in outdoor adventure sports all over the world, he wanted to return home.  The path to getting his business established was not a smooth one but ultimately, he was successful in creating an outdoor centre for, among other things, stand up paddle boarding with exciting adventures both on the coast and in other areas of Scotland. The Sup2Summit team have great plans to expand into a full adventure sports facility and have developed unique opportunities to travel exploring the great lochs and glens of Scotland while on a board.  If you love getting onto the water and seeing wildlife, exploring the coastline or even a scenic sunset paddle then you must visit Aberdeenshire.  

What is Paddle Boarding

Paddle boarding is a popular water sport which is thought to have become prominent in Hawaii around the 1930’s, although this form of  water sport dates back much further. Stand up paddle boarding (SUP) is a newer derivative of paddle boarding that is becoming more and more popular each year. Unlike surfing, you can practice this sport in a lake or river in addition to the ocean.  It’s like a combination of surfing and kayaking. Yet, you do not need waves to paddle board as you would with surfing. In fact, calm, flat water is better if you’re a beginner.  You need a large inflated board which has a fin and use a long handled paddle to propel yourself through the water.  Although SUP is often picture with people standing, you can just as easily use the board while on your knees or even sitting like a kayak. Ranging from relaxing fun to an intense workout, stand up paddle boarding (SUP) is great for all types of abilities.


There are lots of benefits to paddle boarding too:

  • It can be a whole-body workout: All areas of the body are targeted.  Legs and abdominal muscles are need for stability, while arms and shoulders move you through the water.
  • Great for developing a sense of balance: a wonderful benefits is increased body awareness and stability through balance. Better balance prevents falling and injuries and improves your overall awareness and perception.
  • The activity can be  an effective stress-reducer: Paddling on calm water is not only fun, it’s also relaxing and therefore is good for your body and mental health. Being on the water and surrounded by nature have both been proven methods to lower stress and anxiety level.  Exploring Scotland while participating in an adventure sport must be the best of both worlds!
  • Paddle Boarding is a low-impact exercise: for those who are recovering from injuries or who cannot put physical stress on joints, paddle boarding gives you a great exercise opportunity without adding too much stress on the body.
  • Most of all, it gets you outside: Paddle boarding is just another reason you can spend time outside. Scotland has some of the world’s best scenery so getting outside and having adventures in Scotland is not be missed.

The beautiful long beach at St Cyrus

Mindful Travel

Did you know that Aberdeenshire has 165 miles of coastline to explore! It has been rated as one of the most scenic coastlines in the world. This is due partly to its varying nature — including long and quiet sandy beaches, hidden sheltered coves, as well as towering cliffs filled with seabirds and topped with ancient castles.  As long as you prepare for the cold North Sea water and don’t mind getting a bit wet, then there are few places better to explore than here.  No wonder that Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUP) has become so popular throughout the world as it is a beautifully relaxed way to see nature and visit the coast.  As SUP makes no noise, other than an occasional splash, wildlife is not disturbed by our presence so opportunities to see them up close and in their own habitat are greater.  As long as everyone observes good social/wildlife distancing and respects the outdoor access codes. One thing the team from SUP2Summit are very mindful of is ensuring that when we are out and about is to be respectful of our environment and do no harm or damage.  We all enjoy visiting the countryside or coastal locations but please remember to leave no trace. The hammock/tent seen here is as set up from the Glen Glen retreat and looks like a proper comfy place to sleep.  James and his team always make sure to clean any location where they camp. We all have a responsibility to be mindful of our actions, we all want to enjoy the best of Scotland now and for future generations.


Other SUP providers

If you fancy having a go at SUP on one of Aberdeenshire’s rivers then watch the video below from SUP Adventures Scotland who were on a section of the River Don this year.  If a guided river tour is more to your liking, then visit Aquaplay Scotland  who offer experiences on the River Dee. The iconic River Dee, flows from the Cairngorms all the way to the north sea through the picturesque  country side of Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen city.    Or visit Scot Surf, who not only offer paddle boarding on the River Don but also surfing lessons at Aberdeen Beach.   We love to see Campbell’s  morning updates on insta .  
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A post shared by Campbell Scott (@scotsurfs)


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Jacqueline van den Akker

Jacqueline van den Akker

Jacqueline is the owner and lead guide for the business. Together with the team, they create wonderful tours and experiences for visitors working in collaboration with other independent business in Aberdeenshire to show the best of the Northeast of Scotland.

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