SUP Sandbanks, Poole

‘BRITAIN’S BEST BEACH’ Sandbanks is Britain’s Bondi; a desert island in the middle of town; where thrill seekers, families and the super-rich mingle among the marrams, and even the beach huts are palaces.

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I have visited the peninsula several times in recent years, and have yet to spot a single Redknapp, Kylie Minogue or even Piers Morgan. But we weren’t here to spot celebrities. For me, the appeal of Sandbanks is the pristine beach and aquamarine ocean, perfect for paddleboarding.

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Poole is the UK’s SUP capital, with many dedicated shops and schools providing everything you need for this paradigm-altering watersport; a hybrid of swimming and canoeing.

To SUP on the sea is to cease to participate, becoming instead a detached observer of modern life, where you can be involved as little as you choose. It’s like being in a very low orbit of the Earth, identifiable yet invisible. The SUP rider must forget dry land and tune into the water and waves, or be pitched overboard.

Positively shaking with anticipation, I screwed in my fins and paddled out, slipping past the bathers.

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Levitating above a sea bed clearly visible fathoms below; I flew over shoals of fish like a UFO.

The four-star Haven Hotel lies on the tip of the sandspit. It’s unwise to continue too close; the shipping channel nears the shore and the tidal currents can be fierce.

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Ghosting north on the coast to Flaghead Chine; the sandy cliffs fell to the sea beneath the villas of Canford.

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Seeing the coastline from a distance offers a very wide perspective for viewing all manner of mansions and exciting happenings.

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The water glittered in the gathering breeze like a galaxy of twinkling stars. Ribbons of glassy sea sliced by the wakes of jet skis and powerboats.

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