SUP on Bornholm

Variety and spectacular scenery that you won’t find anywhere else in Denmark

Tobias Woxholtt

Board member of Outdoor Bornholm & Director of Varra Water

Images: Tobias Woxholtt


SUP on Bornholm: your guide to unique SUP experiences


If you’re looking for your next SUP adventure, I can say with some confidence that you won’t find anywhere else in Denmark with as many options to choose from as on Bornholm. Especially when you consider they’re all within a 30-minute drive. Alongside the endless variety of routes, there’s a unique benefit to being on an island. If there’s a stiff gale on the west coast, simply head over to the east coast. In other words, world-class SUP experiences are guaranteed on your next holiday to Bornholm.

We thought you might be interested in some tips for where to go, depending on what you fancy and what the weather has in store.


SUP from Hammerhavn (Hammer Harbour) to Kamelhovederne and back


If you’re setting off from Hammerhavnen, you can park very near the harbour’s small beach. From here, you can glide undisturbed onto the completely flat water, although be prepared for a few waves once you pass the harbour entrance. You’ll pass some of Denmark’s most beautiful and dramatic scenery, with cliffs towering over ten metres above you. You’ll also have the opportunity to paddle into the Våde Ovn (wet oven) sea cave and look up at Hammershus from the water’s edge.

Distance: 2 km (from Hammerhavn to Kamelhovederne and back, but feel free to continue if you’re up to it).

Poor wind conditions: W, SW, NW.


SUP in Hasle Harbour


At Hasle harbour you can paddle inside the piers or out through the harbour channel, depending on the wind and weather conditions. In strong south-westerly winds, you can even paddle to the north side of the harbour to catch a few waves. There’s even a floating kayak jetty with easy access to and from the water right by the harbour grill. If you’re new to SUP, stay in the channel and inside the piers, but if you’re up for a challenge, I recommend paddling south, out through the harbour channel and onwards down the coast. When you return, be sure to stop at the harbour beach café for a quick refreshment.

Distance: You choose.

Poor wind conditions: Possible in all wind directions if you stay inside the harbour, but if you paddle outside the harbour you should avoid W, SW, NW.


SUP – Nørresand in Gudhjem


Nørresand harbour has kayak steps offering easy and convenient access in and out of the water. From here you can paddle in a westerly direction. If you stay close to the coast, you’ll pass the Mågestolene, Røverborgen (Robbers’ Castle) and Hestestenen. You can either turn back once you see the rising cliffs, or continue out into Salena Bay. If you plan your trip around sunset, the water will often be calmer, and if the sun is out, you’ll be paddling straight towards the golden light. Finish your trip off with an ice cream or drink at the cosy café norresan.

Distance: 1.5 km (from Nørresand harbour to Hestestenene and back). In good weather conditions, you can easily go further. Approx. 5 km from Nørresand you’ll reach Helligdomsklipperne (Sanctuary Cliffs).

Poor wind conditions: NW, W


SUP from Svaneke harbour to Hullehavn, Aarsdale and back


Westerly winds are very common in Denmark, and Bornholm is no exception. This route from Svaneke to Aarsdale is therefore a great choice in these conditions – and the views are spectacular. Getting in and out of the water is easier in the outer part of Svaneke harbour, by the harbour pool. From here, aim for the lighthouse in the distance. When you round the point, take a break at Hullehavn or continue on towards Aarsdale. Cliffs line most of the coastline here, making it harder – but not impossible – to come ashore en route.

Distance: 8 km (from Svaneke harbour to Aarsdale harbour and back)

Poor wind conditions: E, NE, SE


SUP from Balka beach to Snogebæk harbour and back


This SUP route is particularly child- and beginner-friendly due to its east-facing location and shallow depth. You can choose where on Balka beach to set off from and how long you want to be out. You’ll paddle past the unique sand and limestone reef of Salthammer Odde, located northeast of Snogebæk harbour. When you reach the harbour, have a paddle under the bridge and inside the outer pier.

Distance: 4–5 km (from Balka beach to Snogebæk harbour and back)

Poor wind conditions: E, NE, SE



If you fancy a bit of a challenge, take a week’s holiday and paddle around Bornholm (104 km+), staying overnight in the island’s coastal shelters. Alternatively, do it in one go, like 6-time world champion Casper Steinfath did back in June 2023, with a time of 18 hours and 46 minutes. But that’s a challenge and a half! Spring or autumn is the best time to go if you want a guaranteed place in the different shelters. However, when you paddle during these seasons, you need to be extra mindful of changeable weather and lower sea temperatures.


When you are stand up paddling, it is essential that you are aware of certain safety elements. With the following 5 basic rules, we want to help you have a safe trip on the water.

  • ALWAYS use a leash (rope that connects you to the board)
  • Remember to wear a PFD/life jacket (it’s illegal to paddle without)
  • Bring your phone in a waterproof bag
  • Don’t go alone on the water and inform someone where you will go and when you expect to return.
  • ALWAYS check wind and weather conditions before going out. Do not go out in offshore winds if you are a beginner or slightly experienced.


  • Always take the necessary precautions, whether you’re experienced or a beginner.
  • Check the weather forecast right up to the point of departure, wear warm clothing and safety equipment designed for water activities.
  • The sun’s rays are extra strong when you are surrounded by water, so remember sunscreen and plenty of water to keep you hydrated.
  • It’s always a good idea to paddle in company and to stay within populated areas, just in case something happens.

The more dramatic and challenging routes are located around North Bornholm, while the entire South Coast and large parts of the East Coast are more suitable for beginners and children. This is typically where the sandy beaches are, and where the water is shallow enough for you to touch the bottom as long as you stay close to the coast.

Wherever you go, you’ll be treated to a great variety of routes and breathtaking scenery like nowhere else in Denmark. Around every rocky outcrop or sandbank lies new and spectacular scenery just waiting to be explored. So grab your paddle and get going!


Experience the world’s best surfers in Copenhagen

Our stand up paddle (SUP) guide is developed in close relationship with Surf & SUP Denmark, the national governing body for surfing and SUP, who will host the World SUP Championship in Copenhagen from September 16-22, 2024. Everybody is invited to join the event, as the host will organize a huge paddle festival with lots of side activities. This includes the mass-participation event, Copenhagen SUP, which will give you the opportunity to paddle around Copenhagen harbour and experience the vibrant city from the waterside. Get to know more at

SUP on Bornholm

Several places on Bornholm rent out paddleboards (SUP). See a list of them below:

Paddle Bornholm
Eastwind Surf- and kayakschool
Surf Bornholm
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