Meet the Locals - The Stand Up Paddleboarder

Matt Gambles is the owner of Paddle Surf Scotland. Based in Birnam, they were one of the first companies to bring Stand Up Paddleboarding to Scotland. He is an experienced outdoor instructor and has paddled, surfed, kayaked and rafted working all around the world.

What does Dunkeld mean to you?

It is home!. I am an English export up here, and a well travelled person through working in the adventure industry. 10 years or so ago I first arrived here to work in an activity centre, and pretty much instantly something about the place grabbed me. It was a feeling that has got stronger over the years. 

I have, as my friends will attest to, a truly shocking attention level, so Dunkeld offers lots to keep me occupied whatever the weather provides....if its sunny you will find me out on the rivers and lochs on my Stand Up Paddleboard, if its windy, I add a sail to my board and Windsurf, if it rains, then I can test myself on some of the amazing whitewater in my kayak.

There is a great, welcoming community as well, everyone is friendly and eager (and proud) to show you where to go and get out in the great outdoors. Not a lot beats a pint by a warm fire in one of the pubs afterwards too.

Why Stand Up Paddleboarding in Dunkeld?

Because of its sheer variety, whatever ability level or weather conditions, Dunkeld can provide. We based my Stand Up Paddleboarding company, Paddle Surf Scotland here 4 years ago, for these reasons. We have the River Tay flowing through the middle of the town, which is the start or finish of some of our trips, its an amazing feeling paddling past the Cathedral, under the bridge and down the rapids.

We are surrounded by lots of stunning lochs, all of which have their own distinct beauty and character, just begging to be explored.  My favourite places to paddle to include, Clunie Island on Clunie Loch, and up the River Quaich from Loch Freuchie.

How about a Dunkeld Secret Spot?

I love to put my headphones in and walk down the river, on the Birnam side to the Newtyle fishing hut. I like to just head down and zone out while soaking in the amazing views.

For Stand Up Paddleboard Lessons and Board Hire, visit