So, what are the TOP 5 Dublin paddle boarding spots for beginners? Read on!
Before we get going & before you get going please remember the brief safety tips below!
- Always carry a means of communication and keep it with you. It's no good if you fall off your board and can't use it, so have it attached to you, or even have a look at our waterproof bags.
- Wear appropriate gear for the location and situation you're paddling in.
- Wear a personal floatation device. It's required by law in Ireland.
- Check the weather and tides before you paddle.
- Paddle with a friend and tell someone when you're going and when you will be back.
- Get some professional advice and training.
Dublin is an amazing place to explore by water. You might know some of the 5 locations below but have you paddled them? If the answer is, YES well then lucky you! If the answer is NO, well then lucky you also, as you have some exciting trips to look forward to.
Make sure to let us know how you get on and tag us on socials.
1. One of the best and most common places to practice and learn to Stand Up Paddle is Dún Laoghaire harbour. You will rarely find a day where someone isn’t out on the water paddling. It’s a great place to meet people and make new friends; be it people or seals.
The harbour boasts 250 acres of paddling potential most of which is open to paddlers. Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council have provided a detailed map of what is and isn’t permitted in the harbour. There are two access points in the Coal harbour. The first slipway is the “high tide” slip and is used as the name would suggest. The second slip is used at either high or low tide and allows for easier access to the water during low tide.
Parking is in abundance here but you have to pay a nominal charge during certain hours. Please check these before you go.
Sometimes the harbour can be busy so we’d recommend checking out the DMYC Slip Cam - another great feature of the harbour. Your friends or family can literally see you out on the water.
The major benefit behind paddling in this location are the great big harbour walls which protect you from the elements. If you’re not very confident you can stay in the inner harbour but as your confidence grows you can explore further down the harbour and eventually maybe even beyond the harbour walls to the open sea on an exceptionally calm day. Just remember, the harbour offers a lot of protection and just because it’s calm on the inside doesn’t mean it’s calm on the outside.
Ideally as a complete beginner you’d be looking for the water to be still or ‘glassy’ and the flags surrounding the harbour to be motionless for the most enjoyment as a beginner.
Photo Credit: tponthego (Instagram)
Grand Canal dock
2. This is another fabulous location. Grand canal dock is right in the heart of Dublin. You can access the water through the slip - Grand Canal Dockyard, South Docks Road. The grand canal is calm all year round and isn’t affected by the tide. However, it is quite open so you do need to be mindful of the wind. Thankfully, because it’s enclosed you’ll only be blown to the other side of the dock. It is the perfect location for people living in the city centre who want to get their water fix. You often see people padding here before or after work. It is a superb location surrounded by some of biggest companies in Ireland. For a relatively small area it has tonnes of different features you can explore at all ends of the dock.
Photo Credit: Paul Campbell
3. This location is less high profile than the rest. Malahide Yacht Club, Broadmeadows is a wonderful location to learn. It is not tidal, but can be affected by wind. The water is relatively shallow so you can practice getting on and off your board with ease and if you fall in it’s easy to get back on, even if you’re in the middle of the estuary. The views are great. The water is clean and you can swim in this location if you choose to do so. If you’re looking for a consistent epic sunset, this one is a favourite amongst the community.
Photo Credit: sryanbruen (Instagram)
Dollymount Wooden bridge
4. This location is probably the most advanced on the list. It is tidal and can be heavily influenced by wind. The most protected area is behind the scout den. This is a perfect launching location. It has parking and good access to the water, though it is not possible to paddle here at low tide.
Every location on this list offers something different and that’s what makes them unique. It’s nice to change up your paddling location especially as a beginner it can be really exciting! This location and its surrounding areas have significant wildlife importance. The North Bull Island is a Nature Reserve, it’s very important you give way to wildlife and be conscious of this when paddling.
You can also go for a walk along the beach or a swim overlooking the promenade and Poolbeg.
12th lock Lucan
5. This location is inland on the other end of the grand canal. Access points are easy to come across and you can paddle in either direction, but paddling towards Kildare is the preferred route by most. It’s a longer stretch and you feel you’re no longer in Dublin. It is one of the most popular destinations by beginners due to how different it is from the other named locations. It has very still water and it’s very safe. You can fully relax here without much outside interruption other than the sound of nature and the rustling of trees. The water on this particular stretch is very clean and provides excellent view of the terrain underneath.
Photo Credit: Tascha Lalor
We really hope you enjoyed this blog post. Happy Paddling!