Folding down to half the size of a conventional inflatable paddleboard, our 9’6” Compact inflatable SUP is making it much easier to take on adventures big and small. Simply exploring from the water can reveal previously undiscovered wonders right on your doorstep. Keen paddler Alice Grant found a peaceful mountain escape at Dove Lake in Tasmania.
We caught up with Al to hear more about the hidden gems just waiting to be found in Australia’s Cradle Mountain National Park.
What’s so special about this particular paddle?
Dove Lake sits at the base of Tasmania’s sixth highest mountain, Cradle Mountain. With rugged outcrops and alpine vegetation there are unspoilt vistas in every direction. Not to mention you can paddle so close to the mountains you can almost touch them!! Being able to carry my SUP with me lets me take full advantage of sneaky little secluded beaches to launch from or I can tick off a mountain summit and lake circuit in the same day if I want to.
There’s just a feeling of unspoilt wilderness here. It’s absolute magic to be able to enjoy uninterrupted 360 degree views of the mountain and her sister peaks, plus paddling is way quicker than walking it!
“The mountain air is pretty refreshing and the water can shift from bright blue to eerie jet black along with the weather (and isn’t as icy as you might expect)!”
What’s your essential kit for tackling a SUP adventure like this?
Definitely bring your go-pro, camera, phone – whatever your use, but seriously this is a photographer’s dream (no drones permitted though).
I wore a 3mm wetsuit top to thwart the icy wind and just in-case I had an oopsie into the water.
Sunnies because you don’t want to be squinting in those Insta pics.
And of course, my Compact 9’6” paddle board.
“Sometimes the best adventures are the ones that just happen. The more transportable inflatable paddle board makes anything possible!”
Naturally we wanted to know what drew Al to the Red Paddle Co Compact
My dearly beloved booked a trip to the Maldives, most people think paradise, but I panicked (boredom) and immediately started researching inflatable SUP’s. I found the Red Paddle Co Compact (perfect) and packed it instead of a suitcase full of clothes!! You only need a sarong and a couple of bikinis for the Maldives, right? P.S. the trip was awesome!!
The Compact caught my eye as the complete set-up with pump and paddle packs up smaller than the standard inflatables and yet I can still squeeze in a towel and drink bottle. Being kinda short means I can carry the pack without being swamped by its size. Yes, there are cheaper options, but you can’t beat the quality and customer service of Red Paddle Co.I love all of the premium lovely little details on the board and bag. It felt like Christmas had come early when I unpacked it!
For this particular adventure, access to Dove Lake is via bus from the visitor centre so that’s not going to work for hardboards. Also, the best beaches for launching from are a km or so in either direction along narrow tracks so you need to consider how you will carry your gear (a wide load is not recommended). Having an inflatable board means portability even if you have a rooftop camper or don’t have roof-racks. Where I was going is also pretty remote, so I needed to have a board I could rely upon.
And what’s next for Al and her Compact?
Inconveniently, I have to work to pay for my adventures so I don’t have any SUP adventures planned as such, that said, I head to Europe in July for a climbing holiday and am considering SUPing in Lake Como Italy, Lake Bled Slovenia or Lake Skadar Montenegro if I can squeeze it in to my itinerary.
Sometimes the best adventures are the ones that just happen. The more transportable inflatable paddle board makes anything possible!
Head on over to the blog to find more Places to Paddle and epic travel inspiration near you!