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Watersports in Dorset

With miles and miles of stunning coastline, a number of large lakes and a wealth of watersports clubs and facilities in Dorset, you're in the right place to have some fun in the water.

Whether you want to experience the tranquility of paddle boarding in Dorset or the rush of kite surfing, sailing and surfing (when the conditions allow of course), Dorset is the place to be.

Rockley at Poole Park in the centre of town is on the shores of the UK's largest inland saltwater lake. Rockley specialise in introductory courses and qualifications for inidviduals and groups for sailing, windsurfing and kayaking.

If you can't wait to get your kids on the water, there are a number of kids watersports clubs in Dorset, plus tuition centres and plenty of options for kids holiday watersports camps too so you'll be able to get them confident and ready to join you in no time.

Kayaking & Canoeing at Rockley Watersports

Kayaking & Canoeing at Rockley Watersports

About: Rockley Watersports has grown to become the largest, commercial sailing operation in the UK and they provide lessons and hire of their kayaks and canoes. 

Come on down and enjoy the beautiful surrounds of Poole Park and take a trip out on the lake. There is something for everyone to enjoy, and you don’t even have to get wet. They offer the following equipment for hire, prices are per boat/board:

  • Kayak - £10 per 30 mins 
  • Paddleboard - £10 per 30 mins 
  • Pedalo - £10 per 30 mins
  • Laser Pico - £20 per 60 mins
Poole Paddleboarding


About: Paddleboarding has been becoming increasingly popular and in Poole, you can enjoy both the tranquility of paddleboarding and even a spot of paddleboard yoga on the calm waters, or you can have some good fun paddleboarding when there's a bit of a swell on Poole's coastline. 

Paddleboard Hire and Schools: 

SUP Safari is a specialist stand up paddleboard and kayak centre based in Sandbanks, Poole. They offer all-inclusive SUP club, lessons, rentals, tours and sales. Keep up to date or contact them via their Facebook Page.

Rockley Watersports provide paddleboarding hire from 9th April for £10 per 30 minutes.

EasyRiders is a recognised BKSA Kiteboarding, BSUPA Paddleboarding and AALA watersports school. They're a dedicated watersports school offering the best tuition from beginner to expert in all Kitesports, Stand Up Paddleboarding and Foiling disciplines for novices to intermediates through to instructor courses and high end coaching.

South Coast Adventures provides introductory lessons to both paddleboarding and kayaking. They offer a variety of guided water based trips, adventurous days out and instructor personal development courses. If you've seen those idyllic images of paddle boarders in picturesque places and want it to be you? Then look no further as South Coast Adventures have experienced instructors to take you to the next level!

They are also AALA recognised, as well as British Canoeing watersports school. They offer paddleboard and kayak hires from £10p/p per hour. Keep updated with them through socials via Instagram or Facebook. Book online to ensure your slot. 

TGt's favourite Paddleboarding spot: Sandbanks Peninsula for experiencing the beauty, calmness and clear waters

Banks Road Kitesurfing

Kitesurfing and Windsurfing

About: Poole is home to some of the best wind and kitesurfing spots in the UK. If you're looking for the best kite-surfing and windsurfing spots in Poole then we recommend you head to Poole Harbour, Sandbanks Beach and Banks Road where there's plentiful street and off road car parking, a kitsurfing shop and school and plenty of sandy areas to launch from. 

These beaches boast shallow bay and are great spot for learners as you can safely walk almost 200m out. Conditions are often flat with a just a bit of chop.

We really like Hamworthy too which is on the north bank; it's a flat to choppy south-facing spot that works in south-east to north-westerly winds. There's plenty of areas to launch, it doesn't tend to get too busy and there's plentiful parking close by. Follow signs to Poole Lifting Bridge for Hamworthy Park and Beach.

Wind and Kitesurfing Hire and Schools: No hire or schools in Hamworthy, the nearest spot for lessons would be Rockley Watersports.

Poole Park hire is open from 9th April and there is so much available to suit everyone, from:

  • Kayak - £10 per 30 mins 
  • Paddleboard - £10 per 30 mins 
  • Pedalo - £10 per 30 mins
  • Laser Pico - £20 per 60 mins 

TGt's favourite Wind/Kitesurfing spot: Banks Road, Sandbanks for it's large launch areas, good atmosphere, facilities and parking.

Shaka Surf Branksome


About: The conditions for surfing in and around Poole aren't consistent, but you can have a lot of fun in stunning locations when it does work.

There are a number of surf schools, shops and surf cafes in the area which tend to be open year-round.

If you like a bit of a reef break we recommend you take a trip across to Kimmeridge Bay; we love it here when the conditions are right.  It's popular with long-boarders with it's long, fun and mellow reefbreaks. Watch out for a few rocks and rips. You'll need to park near the slipway and walk to the cliffs on the east. No facilities so bring your own food and drink if you're thinking of spending some time here.

Bournemouth Beach, Southbourne and Branksome and lovely spots when there's a bit of a swell and really good for beginners too. 

We particularly recommend you head to Branksome Dene as there's some lovely breaks there which tend to be fairly consistent. The waves can be small but they're perfect for learning and for long boarders. You can get some really awesome clean waves there too so it's definitely worth keeping an eye on. The fantastic surf school Shaka Surf is based there too so you can hire your kit and have lessons too!

Surf Hire and Schools: Shaka Surf in Branksome is a really popular surf school in a good location, Poole Harbour Watersports for a wide selection of kit hire or purchases. We love Coast. Fine Surf + Moto located on Salterns Road.  It's a fantastic hub for all things surfing; repairs, surfboard sales and they also have a fantastic cafe and regular events; well worth a visit.

TGt's favourite surf spot: Kimmeridge when it's working

South Coast Adventures Poole

Kayaking and Canoeing

About: There's so much coastline to enable you to enjoy some fun on a kayak or canoe in Poole. Poole plays host to a number of places that provide kayak hire and lessons, one of our favourites is South Coast Adventures.

If you're feeling more adventurous, why not book a guided tour around Brownsea Island or any of the other islands with an experienced guide through South Coast Adventures via Sea Kayak or Sit On Top Kayak. You can even go to Old Harry Rock's with their Sea Kayak Adventure days, you'll be able to see a lot, so it's well worth doing. 

They provide the following activities:

  • Climbing Wall - £10 p/p per 30 mins.
  • The Cave - £5 p/p for 2 rounds. 
  • Paddleboarding - Lessons are £25 p/p for 2 hours and hires cost £10 p/p per hour.
  • Kayaking - Lessons are £25 p/p for 2 hours and hires cost £10 p/p per hour. 

Book online to ensure your space!

Kayak and Canoe Shops: For wide selection of specialist kit or to buy a Kayak/Canoe or paddleboard, we recommend you go to: South Coast Canoes in Wimborne.

snorkelling poole

Scuba Diving and Snorkelling

About: With sheltered clear waters, diverse sealife and numerous diving and snorkelling clubs in Poole, it's a popular sport amongst locals and tourists; with diving and snorkelling enthusiasts travelling from across the country. We absolutely love snorkelling around Studland Bay and Kimmeridge Bay. There are various activities too including snorkel safaris or snorkelling from kayaks. 

Diving and Snorkelling Equipment and Schools: Poole Diving is the place to go for courses, equipment and diving events.

TGt's favourite Snorkelling spot: Snorkelling in Studland Bay when there's no-one else around is our idea of bliss!

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