Where to Paddle
The are some amazing spots to paddle here in Canterbury. You can go for some huge waves up the coast or to the to the serene harbour waters of Lyttelton or Akaroa.
Below is a guide to Canterbury’s favourite SUP spots.
There are numerous spots on Lyttelton Harbour to paddle. The main places are from Naval Point Yacht Club, Corsair Bay and Cass Bay, all these place are partially sheltered from the NE wind. The only wind that doesn’t really work for these locations is the South to South West wind. On the other side of the harbour you have Charteris Bay and Purau Bay. They work in most winds, but Charteris is the most sheltered from all wind directions. The harbour is also great for downwinders if you can get someone to pick you up at Governor’s Bay, you will have heaps of fun….
With the Estuary being tidal, there are certain times of the day when there’s not enough water, so you will need to check the tides before you head out. The water is waist deep in most places, although there is a deeper channel on the Sumner side. If you are not a strong paddler, you’ll need to watch out for the tide as you will find it hard to paddle against the current. Best places to go are from Mt Pleasant Yacht club or if you are a confident paddler Moncks Bay, again watch for tides and rips. If you’re confident, it’s a fun to do a down winder from Moncks Bay to Ferrymead.
Sumner is the most popular surfing beach in Christchurch, so it can be quite crowded in the line-up, especially in summer. If you are not a confident Surf Paddler make sure you stay away from surfers (see Surf Etiquette page) and even if you are a strong paddler, please respect the other waters users. There are several places at Sumner to launch, on bigger days the boat ramp at the Scarbourgh end saves the big paddle out over white water. On smaller days anywhere is good, just watch out for the tides. The best time is mid to low tide. If it’s high tide then Sumner Bar can be good, again watch for strong currents and make sure you go out with someone else.