With just six paddleboards and two guys passionate about getting people out on the water – Mersea Island Watersports began life in 2013. Within weeks we expanded our fleet to cope with the growing demand and it hasn’t stopped since!
We now offer lessons, sessions, equipment and kit hire, parties and events too! Choose from stand-up paddleboarding (SUP), kayaking, sailing or windsurfing. We enjoy making the water accessible for all – whatever your chosen vessel!
Our latest addition is shoreside, with our refurbished old saw mill. Previously used for boat building it now provides changing rooms, showers, a kitchen/bar and comfy sofas – for you to catch your breath after your water adventures. Come and hang out!
Mersea Island is an idyllic location and we are fantastically placed for you to explore our unique coastline, along with the many creeks and islands all within a short distance.
You’ve booked a session, now what? We’ve collated a list of frequently asked questions below.
Stand up paddle boarding or SUP is now one of the fastest growing sports in the UK. The boards look like surf boards and are paddled using a single blade paddle from a standing position. The simplicity and versatility of SUP means they can be ridden on lakes, river and the sea. It’s easy to learn and great fun as well as being an excellent core muscle workout.
Pretty much everything you need.
SUP – board, leash, paddle, wetsuit and buoyancy aid.
Kayaking – kayak, paddle, a wetsuit and a buoyancy aid.
Windsurf – board, rig, wetsuit and buoyancy aid
Sailing – buoyancy aid. You can hire a wetsuit if you need to but otherwise just bring something waterproof.
Sure thing! Go explore! Look round the estuary, marshes and backwaters and see what you can find. (You may even find Mersea’s famous Sammy the Seal).
The kayaks we use are extremely stable. You probably won’t flip over while paddling with us but if you do our guides are skilled at kayak rescue and will have you back in your boat in jiffy.
In summer shorts and a T shirt are fine for an introductory session, although you can hire a wet suit if you prefer. We advise wearing old trainers or water shoes as there can be sharp shells hidden in the sea bed. For poor weather or winter riding we suggest a wet suit as standard. Don’t forget to pack dry clothes and shoes as well as a towel.
Being able to swim is not essential for SUP, as you will be wearing a buoyancy aid and attached to your board via the board leash. However, you DO need to be able to swim to windsurf, sail and kayak.
If you are generally confident in the water but are feeling a bit unsure or apprehensive then book a 1-2-1 session so we can help build your confidence.
Anyone can paddle board, as a guide we would recommend from 8 upwards and they must be accompanied by an adult. For younger children we recommend you book a dedicated family session. These can be booked by emailing us. For kayaking, children as young as 4 can get involved as they sit in the front of a double. Because of the upper body strength needed for windsurfing, we recommend a minimum age of 12 years. All ages love and can come sailing but under 8’s need to be accompanied by an adult and competent swimmers.
You’ll need to arrive about 15 minutes before your session’s start time to get changed.
Yes, all our instructors hold SUP instructor qualifications from BSUPA (British Stand up Paddle Association). In addition they are all DBS checked. They also hold relevant qualifications in kayaking, sailing and windsurfing.
We have a newly refurbished centre that has changing facilities, a place to leave your stuff and hot showers for when you come off the water.
Generally, we suggest you leave them behind. Salt water doesn’t have any love for electronics. However, we do have some pretty amazing scenery so if you want to take some photos, we have waterproof cases for sale. If you are paddling solo then we definitely recommend taking some form of communication with you.