Stand up paddle boarding is gaining in popularity all of the time, maybe because it's an easier sport to master for beginners than surf boarding. It's no surprise to find that the British Stand Up Paddle Association (BSUPA) Championships are held each year at Newquay's Watergate Bay & Mawgan Porth during the first weekend in October. Started in 2009, the event now attracts quite a following with both locals and visitors.
Newquay is widely regarded as being the surfing capital of not only the UK but also Europe. Watergate Bay certainly offers some of the best amenities for surfing and paddle boarding. The stunning beach makes the perfect venue for these national championships.
October in Cornwall ‐ but the sun is still shining
It is not unusual for this event to benefit from beautiful weather in early October ‐ not exactly warm enough to get a suntan but sunglasses are usually required. If you wrap up against the wind which blows off the Atlantic it really is quite pleasant to sit back and enjoy watching the skills of the paddle boarders as they compete against each other.
Unless you are competing in the event or know someone who is, it is unlikely that you will just sit there and watch all of the proceedings from start to finish. However, the BSUP Championships offer a superb opportunity to explore Newquay at a time of year when the crowds have gone, leaving a delightful Cornish town to be enjoyed with the locals. Along with Newquay Zoo and Bluereef Aquarium there are plenty of shops and restaurants. Walkers can enjoy an exhilarating walk along the scenic South West Coast Path that runs around the nearby coastline.
Quieter times in Newquay for the British Stand Up Paddle Championships
The British Stand Up Paddle Championships takes place in early October so not only are the days somewhat shorter, but there may be a distinct chill in the air, especially in the early morning and evenings. However, this time of the year in Cornwall is absolutely wonderful and even though these championships are attracting a growing number of people, there are not the crowds that are usually associated with Newquay in the summer months.
This obviously means that it is far easier to get a table at one of the superb restaurants in the area, not to mention being able to enjoy a quiet pint without feeling like you are in the middle of a rugby scrum.
A few days enjoying the British Stand Up Paddle Championships can be more fun than you ever expected, an afternoon spent watching the proceedings followed by a quick shower back at your holiday apartment in Newquay and a change of clothes before setting off out for the evening, what could be better?
Take a lesson in stand up paddle boarding at Watergate Bay
For those with an interest in learning the art of stand up paddling, it is considered to be far easier to pick up than the more traditional form of surfing. Stand up paddle board instructors generally expect an hour's training is enough to get a complete novice to the sport up and paddling, so to speak, so why not indulge in a little tuition whilst you are there? You never know, next year's championships may find you showing the judges how it should be done!
Even though Newquay has become the hub of surfing in the UK, there are many other beaches up and down the coast which can boast waves to rival those in Cornwall. Can you recommend any other great surf spots in the UK?