Try stand-up paddle boarding, the latest water sport, on your next trip to Argyll & the Isles. Stand-up paddle boarding is the perfect water sport for all levels of ability and fitness. It’s easy for beginners to try, especially on calm water. 

What is Stand Up Paddle Boarding?

Stand-up paddle boarding, a paddling/surfing hybrid, is fantastic fun. You basically stand on a paddle board and propel yourself along with a single-bladed paddle. From the shore it looks like you’re walking on water as you glide effortlessly along on a big surf board.

It can be as relaxed or as adrenaline-fuelled as you please. You can enjoy some sedate paddling in Argyll’s inland lochs and protected sea lochs or catch waves as they thunder in from the Atlantic. Whatever level you’re at, you’ll find it’s a great workout for your core and legs. It’s also an ideal ‘no wind’ option for windsurfers, kitesurfers and sailors and a ‘small swell’ alternative for surfers.

Because you’re standing up, stand-up paddle boarding is a fantastic way to spot marine life – and that’s something Argyll & The Isles has in abundance. The waters around Argyll are famously clear and you’ll be able to look down on a fabulous underwater world of swaying seaweed and scurrying crabs. Other sea creatures can be spotted too. Look out for seals, otters and porpoises as you paddle along.

Four places to try stand-up paddle boarding in Argyll


With its pristine white beaches and near-guaranteed wind and waves, the isle of Tiree – sometime called the ‘Hawaii of the north’ – is Argyll’s top spot for watersports. Surfers, windsurfers and kite surfers all flock here. It’s fabulous for stand-up paddle boarding too, with an abundance of stand-up paddle boarding locations within 10 miles of one another. The calm waters of Loch Bhasapol, one of Tiree’s inland lochs, are perfect for learning, before heading to Gott Bay, Crossapol and eventually the larger and more challenging surf on the west coast of the island. Crystal-clear waters, sandy beaches and small rocky islands create a wonderful coastline to paddle round. You might be lucky and spot a basking shark! A number of the local Surf Schools on Tiree offer stand-up paddle boarding instruction, including Wild Diamond and Suds Surf School.

Loch Lomond

Loch Lomond is brilliant place to try stand-up paddle boarding, with breathtaking Loch Lomond views guaranteed. The calm waters of this inland loch are perfect for beginners. Hire equipment and get stand-up paddle board lessons and guided tours of Loch Lomond with Loch Lomond Leisure at Luss Beach. Ready to invest? You can buy stand up paddle boards from The Inn on Loch Lomond.

Loch Goil

Loch Goil in Cowal is another top spot for stand-up paddle boarding. Hire a paddle board and explore this sheltered sea loch surrounded by hills and forests. You can hire a paddle boards, as well as kayaks and canoes, from Lochgoilhead Kayak Hire.

West Loch Tarbert

West Loch Tarbert is a long and narrow sea loch on the western side of the Kintyre peninsula. It’s the ideal spot for watersports, with clear water, plenty of wildlife and fabulous views and scenery. The warm, shallow waters of Escart Bay are perfect for honing your stand up paddle boarding skills. Kayak Majik offers stand up paddle boarding hire and lessons from West Loch Shores. 

Discover more on the water activities in Argyll & the Isles.