Brendon Prince to SUP around Ireland 

Brendon Prince, who paddled a stand-up paddleboard around the UK last year, is now going to SUP around Ireland. 

He plans to start on September 13 but says that he will be more flexible than he was with his SUP around Britain. Looking back, he thinks he should have been less rigid in his approach. Last time, he started in tricky conditions. He is now happy to wait three or four days for the right moment. 

He wants to let the weather dictate his whole route. Until yesterday, he was unsure if he would go clockwise or counterclockwise. Nor did he know whether he would first tackle the inland routes or coastal sections. The death of Queen Elizabeth II prompted a decision. “Out of respect to Queen Elizabeth, I will start the Grand Tour by paddling the length of The Royal Canal.”

Brendon Prince SUP's around Britain

Brendon Prince completes his SUP around mainland Britain. Photo: longpaddleSUP/Facebook


He has not commented on his route after that. However, he will cover approximately 300km of coastline along Northern Ireland, plus the 150km length of the Royal Canal, 35km across Lough Neagh, and a 70km double crossing of the North Channel. The total distance falls somewhere between 500 and 800km. He is currently talking to local people and paddlers for additional information. 

Like last year, water safety is a huge element of Prince’s project. He wants to show that you can partake in these activities safely. His work as a lifeguard on the Devon coastline inspired his initial paddle around mainland Britain. Six years ago, he had to drag three people from the water on the North Cornish coast. All lost their lives.

“What made the event so impactful, was that the three people had their whole family on the beach,” Prince said. “To see the catastrophic effect that drowning had on that family changed my life forever.”

Selfie of Brendon Prince onshore, with board at his feet

Photo: longpaddleSUP/Facebook


Prince has chosen to start in September because it is usually quite mild, with warm sea temperatures. However, the weather this summer has been anything but average.

He estimates that the complete journey will three weeks. Last year, he averaged 40km a day, and that is what he hopes to average this time on the coastal sections. On the inland routes, he hopes to cover more than this. 

An experienced paddler, he is confident in his abilities and has done considerable research in preparation. “The flow in the Irish Sea is immense,” he said. “I’ve paddled it before, so I have an idea of what to expect.”

To train, he has been paddling for five hours a day. Unlike the UK paddle, this time he will use a number of different boards because of the different waterways. Although Prince will paddle solo, a safety van on land will follow him closely.

Prince SUP'ing just offshore, waves crashing

Photo: longpaddleSUP/Facebook


If he finishes he will become the only person to SUP the entire coastline of Northern Ireland, England, Scotland, and Wales. He hopes to paddle the entire Royal Canal non-stop, a distance of 130km that incorporates 43 locks.

He will also attempt to break a speed record on Lough Neagh and the North Channel. Though it is not the purpose of the journey, the mini-goals will add even more excitement to the project. 

Rebecca McPhee

Rebecca McPhee is a freelance writer for ExplorersWeb.

Rebecca has been writing about open water sports, adventure travel, and marine science for three years. Prior to that, Rebecca worked as an Editorial Assistant at Taylor and Francis, and a Wildlife Officer for ORCA.

Based in the UK Rebecca is a science teacher and volunteers for a number of marine charities. She enjoys open water swimming, hiking, diving, and traveling.