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Kayak vs SUP along the Dalmatian coast (S Croatia)

Our family plan to hire a catamaran (w skipper) for a week to sail from Split to Dubrovnik. Our goal is to island hop and visit some that are off the beaten paths. Has anyone sailed this route before? Any must sees? Also, we have a choice of 2 SUPs or 1 SUP+ 1 double kayak. One concern - the double kayak will take up a lot of space on the deck of the catamaran and may even block the passage on one side.... here is my Q to the community - is it worth bring a kayak on this sailing route? If SUP serves similar purpose as kayak, then I may opt for just SUPs. Any insights are greatly appreciated.

Posted by
6780 posts

I can’t offer sailing advice for southern Croatia, as my trip there was land-locked. As far as the kayak vs. SUP, though, would you plan to have a passenger riding the paddle board, while another person piloted it? Otherwise, the kayak+SUP allows 3 people on the water arca tiñe, while 2 SUP’s means just 2 at a time. Is that a factor?

Personally, I’d go with a kayak (or sea kayak) every time, but that’s me, and probably my balance affects that.

What does the provider say about hauling a kayak that blocks access on deck? Is that acceptable to their other clients? Has that ever created a safety issue in the past, do they have a contingency plan to assure you will be comfortable and secure, and if that’s an unreasonable situation, why would they even make a kayak an option?

Kayak, unless there are obvious reasons that is not acceptable. Happy sailing!

Posted by
6113 posts

Check your holiday insurance, as I discovered that my policy considers kayaking to be a “dangerous activity” and I therefore wouldn’t be covered if I had an accident.

It can get quite windy in the afternoons, but the mornings are often as flat as a mill pond. I don’t know if that helps with your decision.

If you head to Hvar, I would go to Jelsa or Stari Grad on the north of the island rather than Hvar town. There are plenty opportunities here for kayaking or boarding around the coves. Avoid Zlatni Rat on Brac which although beautiful is ruined by drunk party boaters.

Posted by
25 posts

Thank you all for the suggestions. I noted all the island recommendations and will discuss with our skipper. I was informed by multiple skippers that the use of kayak or SUP depends heavily on the sailing route and anchor locations.

Happy traveling to all.

Posted by
1487 posts

Been there, done this from Split to Dubrovnik. Suggest forgetting the SUP/Kayak (which can be rented along the path at numerous villages) and go with.............drum roll............... large inflatables. Yep, just like the crazy stuff you see at lakes (3/4 person unicorns or donuts) we found the inflatables were easy to carry, use, attract party atmosphere and give away to the next interested party. Sometimes it is best to forget what you know and roll with the flow to create wonderful experiences and memories.

Posted by
25 posts

Thank you Marbleskies, I will add large inflatables to my packing list! Brilliant!

Posted by
31027 posts

be very careful about following that link supposed to be about about buying paddles- sent to webmaster for review

Posted by
31 posts

I will be traveling in Croatia next year and was recently discussing SUP possibilities with a friend who did a boat/bike trip there a couple of years ago. The company they went with provided inflatable SUPs and her only warning was to make sure the boards were inflated properly. Under-inflated = no fun