One of our favourite spots and recommended for your first trip. The lower part of the Gannel River meanders gently from the Newquay boating lake through a salt marsh before it opens out on to the spectacular Crantock Beach. It is the perfect spot for refining your technique and either playing, paddling upriver or having fun in the surf. If heading upstream once past the narrow section near the foot ferry the water opens up into a calm shallow lake with small beaches. Suitable for all abilities dependant on local conditions and tides.
One option is to start at the boating lake at high tide, pack your pasty and beach kit, follow the river down to the beach, returning after a beach or surf day on the incoming tide.
Parking at the National Trust Car Park Crantock, its close but be aware that it fills up in summer so get there early or its the nearby over spill.
Advanced paddle option Park at the Bowgie Inn on the Westerly headland, walk down to the coastal path and turn left. After around 50m there is an easy climb down to a small sandy cove (mid to high tide). It's a little bit of a carry.
Local conditions If journeying up river it is best to start up to 2 hours before high tide as there is very little water at low tide and the current can be strong. The paddle is exposed to easterly winds and there is some shelter from northerly.
Safety There is extremely fast current mid tide at the launch site. Particularly with children beware even in shallow waters the current can carry them away from you. The current can pick up instantly as the water breaks over the top of a bank up river. If you travel to the shallow lake, make sure that there is enough water, falling off in shallow water can result in injury.
In high season there is lifeguard cover on the river and beach. There are exit points all the way along. Beware of other water users when launching.
For information on multi-day SUP hire packages delivered to your door, with experts on hand to advise you.
Alternatively join a SUP Tour and be guided exploring the Gannel.