What’s SUP?:

There can be few more idyl­lic ways of en­joy­ing the county’s coast­line and wa­ter­ways than gliding along on a stand up pad­dle­board – that’s if you can master the stand­ing up!

EDP Norfolk - - CONTENTS - WORDS: Rachel Buller PHO­TOS: Nick Butcher

Pad­dle­board­ing – how hard can it be?

Gaze out to sea, to the calm beyond the break­ing waves, and there’s a good chance you will see some­one gliding serenely through the wa­ter on a stand-up pad­dle­board.

It is one of the fastest grow­ing wa­ter sports in the UK, and in Nor­folk, where you can choose from coast­line, rivers and Broads to pad­dle upon, its pop­u­lar­ity con­tin­ues to soar.

En­thu­si­asts love it for many rea­sons – it is a won­der­ful way to ap­pre­ci­ate the beauty of the great out­doors, it is fan­tas­tic ex­er­cise and a great way to ease away life’s stresses.

Boardin Skool op­er­ates on Gorleston beach and at Oul­ton Broad, of­fer­ing stand up pad­dle­board (SUP) lessons, taster ses­sions, qual­i­fi­ca­tions and hire for all ages and abil­i­ties.

The busi­ness, run by Adam Williams with his part­ner Jen, has been op­er­at­ing for a few years, but this sum­mer for the first time they have a per­ma­nent pres­ence on Gorleston seafront, with their own cool surf shack.

“Pad­dle­board­ing has just ex­ploded in pop­u­lar­ity in re­cent few years but it has ac­tu­ally been around for around 5,000 years, orig­i­nally from the Peru­vian peo­ple and in Hawai­ian and African cul­ture,” says Adam.

“The whole sport has evolved and now it is in­cred­i­bly ac­ces­si­ble. Ba­sic in­flat­able SUPs are ex­tremely af­ford­able – you can pick one up for around £200 – and they are a fan­tas­tic way to get your started on the wa­ter.

“It is also some­thing the whole fam­ily can en­joy, what­ever their age or abil­ity. I love watch­ing peo­ple go­ing out on the boards, maybe with a child on the front, or with an older child hav­ing a go them­selves, it is such an in­clu­sive ac­tiv­ity. Every­one comes out of the wa­ter with a mas­sive smile on

‘Within a mil­lisec­ond of cel­e­brat­ing stand­ing up… I fell un­cer­e­mo­ni­ously into the sea’

their faces. And, of course, it is also bril­liant for fit­ness and core strength.”

Adam, who is head of out­door lead­er­ship and coach­ing at City Col­lege Norwich, has been in pad­dle sport for the past 25 years. He has com­peted at in­ter­na­tional level for Great Bri­tain, is a pad­dle sport leader for Bri­tish Ca­noe­ing and Boardin Skool is recog­nised by BSUPA (The Bri­tish Stand Up Pad­dle As­so­ci­a­tion).

You can book a les­son with Adam to learn the ba­sics, hire a board from him and head out on your own, or even bring your own and get some tips.

“For £5 we run a short talk be­fore they go out on how to use it safely, how to in­flate it cor­rectly and a bit about the sea and tides and how to be safe. If peo­ple hire from us, we give a safety brief­ing and we also hire out thick, good qual­ity wet­suits as keep­ing warm in the wa­ter can make a real dif­fer­ence.”

Boardin Skool also has a hugely suc­cess­ful Rip­perz club ev­ery Satur­day morn­ing for chil­dren aged eight to 13.

“It has grown beyond all ex­pec­ta­tion, but it is ab­so­lutely fan­tas­tic to see so many kids down on the sand, pad­dle­board­ing, hav­ing fun in the sea, learn­ing beach safety and a lit­tle bit of fit­ness,” says Adam.

LEFT AND OP­PO­SITE: Adam Williams out­side his board school

ABOVE: Rachel pre­pares to try stand­ing up on her board

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.