Bringing stand up paddleboarding to the Loddon region

Published on 20 March 2018

The little-known, yet increasingly popular sport of stand up paddleboarding is set to be introduced to the Loddon Shire region.

Bendigo-based Stillwater Paddleboards is expanding its paddleboarding activities and will use the upcoming Easter long weekend as an opportunity to launch the activity in Loddon Shire.

As well as offering group paddleboarding along the Loddon River at the Serpentine canoe trail, the company will provide the chance to learn stand up paddleboarding at the Bridgewater Swimming Hole.

Stillwater Paddleboards’ Lola Makar, who runs the family-owned and operated business with her partner James Gilmour, said stand up paddleboarding was “an amazing sport”.

“We are pretty excited about the Shire embracing us. We want to show people what we love,” Ms Makar said. 

“The Loddon region is just beautiful and there are lots of hidden gems we can develop on. We’d like to extend our operation and create a nice balance between Bendigo and Loddon Shire.
“We have developed the activity as a gentle paddle along the creek, with the Loddon experience designed to be more of an eco-tour.”

Council’s Tourism and Marketing Officer Robyn Vella said bringing Stillwater Paddleboards’ activities to Loddon Shire was a coup for the region.

“It’s fantastic to be able to bring another activity to the Shire that benefits from and showcases our region’s incredible waterways,” Mrs Vella said.

“Establishing this exciting new activity has not only been a partnership between Loddon Shire Council and Stillwater Paddleboards, but with State Government departments too.

“The Easter long weekend is the ideal time to launch the sport of stand up paddleboarding in our region. I’m looking forward to working with Stillwater Paddleboards to help get word out about upcoming group paddles and lessons in our area.”

Ms Makar said stand up paddleboarding wasn’t hard if a person had the right equipment, including a paddleboard of the correct volume and length.

“It’s also really wise to get a lesson before you start – as you will enjoy the sport a lot more.

“All of our paddleboarding tours are for paddleboarders who have had lessons or are experienced on the board.”

Ms Makar added that stand up paddleboarding was a surfing sport that was quickly gaining popularity around the world.

“The sport is very popular and apparently is one of the fastest growing watersports in the world,” she said.
“It’s an amazing experience for people who have been a surfer. A lot of older women and men are enjoying stand up paddleboarding, including retired surfers.”

In addition to being a sport that could be done year-round, stand up paddleboarding is a full body workout which, according to Ms Makar, is “gentle on the limbs”.

“It’s not your traditional sport,” Ms Makar said.

“It’s an amazing sport. There are many benefits for people, including for mental health – just being among nature and on the water.

“It’s good for the body and soul.”

As well as group tours, Stillwater Paddleboards can provide stand up paddleboarding lessons, private bookings and tours on a regular basis or on demand.

For more information call Stillwater Paddleboards on 0419 317 220 or visit

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