Stand Up Paddle Boarding
Stand up paddle boarding (SUP) is a fantastic way to explore the Milford Haven Waterway. Our guide will help you make the most of your visit:
If you are not familiar with paddle boarding, we'd recommend having some lessons from a local specialist. Pembrokeshire's Outdoor Charter Group has a list of companies that offer paddle board lessons.
Awareness of traffic
The Milford Haven Waterway is busy in places and you must remain aware of other users - especially of the commercial ships in the lower reaches. Remember that commercial shipping is usually in a designated deep water channel with limited manoeuvrability and visibility (if you can't see the ship's bridge they are unlikely to see you). Keep yourself safe and adjust your choices accordingly. The Port will always advise Paddle Boarders not to cross the main shipping channel unless they can see clearly that there is no commercial traffic moving.
Like other waterway users, we would always recommend carrying a VHF radio and keeping a listening watch on Channel 12 so that you are aware of possible movements. If you get into trouble you can use it to call for assistance.
Print out or save a copy of the Port's Leisure User Guide which shows the Waterway's various designations and other information about the Waterway.
Recommended LOcations on the Waterway
To seek solitude and quieter paddling, the Carew and Cresswell Rivers are ideal, as is the area above Lawrenny which is a designated “Dead Slow Minimum Wake” zone. In the area immediately above the Cleddau Bridge you are likely to experience fast moving craft, especially water-skiers with associated wake. This is also an area of strong tidal flow so caution should be exercised.
The Waterway has a big tidal range so you should take account of this in your planning. It's usually best to start your travels going against the tide - the Port's Tide Tables can be downloaded free or checked here.
more ways to Stay safe
Give careful consideration to your clothing, a warm sunny day out of the water is fine, however should you fall off your board, the temperature of the water will have a major debilitating effect on your ability to self rescue.
The Port always recommends wearing a Personal Flotation Device (Buoyancy Aid) as not only do they keep you afloat should you fall in, but they also give valuable protection from the wind. We would also recommend paddling with at least one other person.
Share your intended start time and locations with someone on land and agree a report back time. You should also discuss what action should be taken if you do not report in as agreed.
If you are on the water at night you should take every precaution to ensure you are visible to other users. Night paddling in the lower reaches is not recommended.
For more information about paddle boarding please visit the British Stand Up Paddle Association. We wish you an enjoyable and safe adventure.