About Us

Who We Are

For twenty years we have run Clearwater Paddling, running sea-kayaking holidays throughout the Hebrides. Over this time we have gained a great insight into these beautiful islands. With this knowledge to hand we have developed Isle of Barra Surf & Coastal Adventures, a new way in which to enjoy these wonderful islands designed to appeal to families and individuals looking for some easily accessible fun and adventure.

To ensure a relaxing, fulfilling and memorable experience we deliberately keep our groups small with a maximum of eight people. We are an eco-friendly company, and take every step possible to minimise our impact on these beautiful places. 

Chris Denehy

I set up Barra Surf Adventures in 2016. Prior to this I have run Clearwater Paddling since 1996, and my love of paddling has taken me to Norway, Sardinia, Oman, New Zealand, Wales, Scotland, Canada, and the Outer Hebrides. In addition to being a qualified sea kayak coach I am also a snorkel instructor, river canoe coach, mountain leader and first aider. When I am not found on the high seas I like to head to anywhere there is snow and mountains be it skiing, biking, walking or climbing.

Mark Roberts

We are delighted to have Mark for his third year with us as our lead guide and surf instructor. Lucky Mark spends the winter kayak guiding in the Abel Tasman (New Zealand) and then switching to the wilds of the Outer Hebrides for the summer. In addition to surfing and kayaking Mark has a passion for free diving, swimming every morning before breakfast and generally getting wet! When not in or on the water Mark can be found making his own wooden surfboards and kayak paddles.

Katie Denehy

Katie was brought up on Barra and left the island when 18 yrs to pursue a career in social work. We returned to Barra in 2001, to bring up our five children. Katie works as a youth and community worker and also keeps Barra Surf Adventures running smoothly by organising the bookings and keeping on top of all the emails. Her favourite means of escape is to head off in her running shoes, spend any spare time climbing mountains, sailing and sharing wine with friends!


My friend Colin and I were first time Kayakers under instruction from Ben. We were staying in the hostel next door to the surf school and saw Ben around and he is the sort of guy that inspires confidence. So after some helpful do’s and don’ts we were ready to push off. Me being supremely confident immediately capsized after completely ignoring all Bens wise words. No harm done though and I was still warm thanks to the drysuits provided. So back in the kayak for a wonderful three hour trip with lots to see including some curious seals. Unfortunately I could not see too much as I had lost my glasses to somewhere on the sea bed when I went for the unplanned swim. After we got back to the jetty with huge smiles on our faces Ben got his snorkelling gear and went to see if he could retrieve my glasses remembering where I gone in. I was grateful for the effort but had resigned myself to being half blind for the rest of our trip. However Ben had other ideas and ten minutes later after a few dives ta da!!! Spectacles recovered!!! So this is a public thank you Ben for an amazing experience and restoring my sight. I should also say Barra is a small place and we did bump into Ben on our travels and you won’t meet a nicer guy. So if you are reading this never having kayaked before and are hesitant then my advice would be go for it, your in the very best hands for a memory you will never forget. 5/5

Brian Law

Big thanks to Calum...the kids had an amazing time out on the kayaks with him in their wee group. They particularly enjoyed jumping off the pier across the bay and also getting closer to Kisimul castle than was possible on the boat trip! Also thanks for fitting us in at such short notice. We got such a beautiful sunny evening and the bay was so serene, it was absolutely perfect! We will definitely be back in touch next time we make it to Barra. 5/5

Helen Hardie

Had a really lovely time, the island is stunning, the equipment is great. Really fun time. 5/5


Thank you so much for accommodating us at short notice Chris, had a great time the youngsters had a great time paddling around. Wish I had done this sooner, look forward to trying a lounger paddle in future. 5/5

Ian Armstrong

Absolutely fantastic trip. Stunning scenery, close up wildlife, couldn't really ask for more. The guides were great, providing excellent guiding/tuition. Would definitely come back. Thank you. 5/5


Coasteering was amazing. Ben & Russel were amazing instructors. We all had a ball, thanks so much. Highly recommended, cant wait to go again! 5/5


Great location, fantastic equipment, lovely guide, beautiful conditions and even got to my feet. Best session. 5/5


SO MUCH FUN! It was our first time coasteering and were a little bit scared to begin with but the guides were fantastic and we enjoyed it so much. Can't wait to do it again! 5/5


The surf lessons were spot on, the kids loved it! 5/5

Chris & family

Absolutely fantastic! Everyone should try surfing on Barra! 5/5


Leave a Review

If you've joined us on the island then we would love it if you would leave a review.

* We won't publish or share your email address but we need it in case we would like to contact you about your comments.