Highland SUP Skills Weekend 2022

  • 07/05/2022 - 08/05/2022
    8:30 am - 5:00 pm

Explore Highland is looking forward to hosting it’s second Highland SUP Skills Weekend on the 7 & 8th May 2022!

Beginner Workshop

Beginner Day workshop will be based from Dochgarroch Lock and include a thorough skills foundation with paddling on the Caledonian Canal, Loch Dochfour as well as a little insight into moving water below the River Ness Weir.

Boards, leashes, quick release waist belts, paddles and helmets all supplied. Wetsuits available on request

Improver to Advanced Workshops

All workshops will be full day sessions with options including open water, coastal and river. So rest assured there will be suitable sessions for you to attend.

Workshop options for improver/intermediate/advanced paddlers may include the following location depending on river levels and wind conditions;

  • Loch Ness
  • Loch Oich
  • Moray Firth
  • Beauly Firth
  • River Ness
  • River Oich
  • River Moriston
  • River Spey
  • River Findhorn

Workshop options will be listed and available to sign up to at registration on each day. This way at the tutor early morning briefing we can assess the local wind, weather and river levels to accurate set the workshop locations for groups.

Candidates will need to ensure they have their own transport to attend the various workshop that they sign up for. Should any river shuttle runs be required, the SCA current guidance will be followed.

Guest Coaches

Adam Burns

Adam has been working in adventure sports coaching for 12 years and is primarily a paddleboarder and white water kayaker. He is equally happy running and coaching on white water or paddling around a loch with his best pal Tulla the black lab.  He runs his own centre in Perth and has a big passion for getting people on the water and helping them to become independent paddlers.

Matt Haydock

Matt is based in Fort William and heads up Rapid Development Coaching, which specialises in paddlesport skills coaching and guiding in various disciplines, including SUP.  As well as being a SUP leader and coach award provider for the SCA, Matt has also completed a circumnavigation of Malta by SUP.   He loves heading out with folk on the rivers, coastlines and lochs of the highlands helping people develop their skills, and greatly enjoys the huge variety of environments you can take a paddleboard.

Donald  Macpherson

Donald has been sports coaching for near thirty years and into paddlesports for the last twenty. Qualified in coaching various sports including four paddlesports disciplines of open canoe, sea kayak, white water kayak and paddle boarding, he brings lots of experience, transferable skills and local knowledge to the table. He has run Explore Highland based out of Inverness for the last twelve years and is the organiser & coach of this second Highland SUP skills weekend.


Liam Watson

Liam is a senior instructor for a large residential outdoor education centre on the west coast of Scotland. He also runs paddlesport courses for himself as wats sup adventures. He had been padding most of his life having padded various crafts but now Mostly in canoe and stand up paddle board. He is on the SCA SUP committee and runs various paddlesport instructor, leader and coach awards.


Tom Sibbald

Bio pending!


What’s included:

  • Two full days coaching/guiding delivered by locally recognised British Canoeing paddleboard provider
  • Specialist kit including helmets, river fins, river buoyancy aids, and leash waist belts for the SUP river skills workshop if required
  • Beginner day workshop includes paddleboard, all paddling equipment including wetsuit if required
  • Access to some paddle kit bargains at the RED retail table on Saturday morning

What you need to bring: 

Essential Items:

  • paddleboard, leash and paddle
  • suitable buoyancy aid
  • helmet for river paddling workshop (can be issued free of charge if required from river sup coach)
  • suitable paddling clothing for each day
  • a hat/cap to keep your head warm
  • suitable footwear for launching/landing/paddling/walking on land
  • a pack lunch, snacks, water bottle and flask for the various breaks & lunch
  • towel & complete change of clothes for afterward
  • suntan lotion and midgy spray  may also be required
  • flask and cuppa for land based workshops
  • mobile phone or camera if taken out onto the water at your own risk

Group Size: Maximum of six paddlers per coach

Age: Suitable for adults only.

Prerequisite: This weekend is aimed at a wide range of paddleboarders including a full day workshop option for beginners, as well as full day workshops for improver, intermediate and more advanced paddlers.

Workshop Costs:

Full weekend attendance for two full day workshops – £130

Single day attendance for workshops – £70

Personal Belongings: Cameras, phones, car keys, and other personal belongings are taken out onto the water at your own risk. If in doubt, please leave these items in your car when out on the water. A key drop off facility will be available at the registration table.

Location: This weekend will meet centrally just outside of Inverness each morning at 830-900am for registration, with a 900-915am briefing. Following on you’ll meeting up with your workshop tutor before heading off to your group workshop location for the day.

Timings: 830-9am car park opens. 845-9am registration & booking workshop, 9-915am briefing, 915-930 workshop tutor group meet

Evening Meal: To help make the weekend more sociable, we are looking at arranging a meal out in Inverness. To gain interest (and to support the local RNLI) we are taking a £2 booking deposit to gain numbers interested in attending the Saturday evening meal. Alas the meal is not included in the ticket price however it will be a great opportunity to discuss all thing paddling and meet other like minded paddleboarders.

CPD Points: For those SCA members looking to use this weekend as a opportunity to gain CPD points towards their personal online record of professional development, attendees can claim 5 cpd points per day attended. To redeem, simply upload your booking receipt as evidence within the SCA portal.


Terms & Conditions: Terms and conditions can be found online at – www.explorehighland.com/terms-conditions/

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