Stand up paddle boarding is great for balance, strength and simply for getting out and rinsing your thoughts. So grab your board and get to the closest spot! 

You don’t actually have to get far out of the big smoke to experience quality stand up paddle boarding. In fact, Dublin is a great place to get out on the water and we’ve listed our five best local options for some SUP adventuring. Most of the time the only thing you need to bring with you (if you don’t have your own gear) is a towel and the expectation of getting wet!

PS. If you’re looking to get out and watch some cracking SUP:ing in action before getting out yourself, Battle For The Bay is an annual watersports festival coming up on Dollymount Beach in Clontarf on Saturday 26 May and Sunday 27 May. 

1. Grand Canal Dock

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Only a short stroll from Dublin’s city centre is Surfdock, right in the middle of Grand Canal Dock in Ringsend. This is a good place to start off your SUP:ing adventures, as the waters are flat, you’ll be close to land and there are plenty of instructed classes available.

They also provide wave classes, if you want to prepare for livelier seas. And if you’re looking for some fusion, Surfdock offers SUP yoga as well – where you carry out a full yoga class on your board, on the water.

A bonus is the nice selection of cafés and restaurants around the Docklands – perfect for soaking up some rays after getting your wetsuit off on a sunny day.

More info: Surfdock

2. Dun Laoghaire

This is not only a great spot for water sports (read: all types of water sports) but also for SUP:ing. Only a short train ride away from the heart of Dublin, you can get off at Dun Laoghaire and you’ll enter the water sports mecca of Co Dublin. With beautiful coastal scenery, this is the perfect place for getting into or just enjoying SUP:ing no matter your former experience.

Big Style has a SUP school in the Dun Laoghaire harbour, where they’ll provide you with the right support – whether you’re an experienced water dweller or an exploring landlubber. They’re located at the slipway to the Coal Harbour, which is also a good spot to paddle in wind sheltered waters.

Above Board is another superb SUP class- and rental provider and their office is located on the West Pier. They do excursions as well, which will take you on tours along the likes of The Grand- and the Royal Canal.

If you’re already an amateur pro, there is also the option of just renting a board and go out to explore the coastline yourself.

More info: Big Style, Above Board

Stand Up Paddle Boarding: 10 of the Best Spots to SUP in Ireland

3. Dollymount Beach

Pure Magic are experts in water sports, and with SUP:ing no exception. They are located on the shores of Bull Island, on the Dollymount Beach, along the Clontarf and Howth coastline. This is a great place for learning, doing and watching skilled SUP:ers. Pure Magic offers classes on three different levels: beginner, intermediate and advanced.

It could be a good idea to take a wave class ahead of putting your board down in these waters, if so far you’ve only been familiarised with flat waters.

Don’t miss out on Battle For The Bay 26-17 May, for some high-quality SUP competing – on both pro- and beginner’s level!

More info: Pure Magic

4. Bray

On the border of Co Dublin and Co Wicklow’s seafront is Bray Adventures, a great place for exploring the surroundings from the sea-side of things. For the newer paddle boarder, Bray Harbour is a calm and sheltered place for learning, and for the more experienced supper, you can leave the harbour and head for the strand.

A big bonus is knowing that there is a big chance of spotting different types of wildlife, like seabirds, seals and even the occasional dolphin.

More info: Bray Adventures 

5. Skerries

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This place is well-known for all of its water sports: sailing to kitesurfing to stand up paddleboarding. Just head north of Dublin, following the coastline, and you’ll find your way to Outdoor Dublin – right on the pier of Skerries. They are an approved SUP school surrounded by beaches, and with a pier that’s facing the west, which makes for beautiful sunset paddles.

They provide different level classes, equipment and tours.

More info: Outdoor Dublin

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By Elsa Anderling

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