Embracing Adaptive and Inclusive SUP

In this column, I look forward to sharing inspiring stories of environmental projects, mental wellbeing initiatives and how we can make SUP accessible to more people. If you have a story, please email me at thejoyofsuppodcast@gmail.com and follow me on Instagram @jomoseley.

Jo Moseley

Jo Moseley

Hello, my name is Jo Moseley, and I am the author of Stand Up Paddleboarding in Great Britain – Beautiful Places to Paddleboard in England, Scotland and Wales and host of The Joy of SUP – The Paddleboarding Sunshine Podcast. I am also a proud ambassador for the 2 Minute Foundation and Seaful Charity.  

Embracing Adaptive and Inclusive SUP

I’m so grateful to Mark at Shoretees SUPwear for highlighting WhatSUPUK and my next story for you when we chatted at Lake District Paddleboarding’s SUPFest in the Lake District a few weeks ago.

Mark kindly introduced me to Ben Peters, an explorer who has paddled the Blue Nile and in the Amazon and is the founder of WhatSUP Ltd, so we could chat further. WhatSUP began in 2017 and is a community of highly qualified and dedicated instructors committed to using the power of SUP to help others and make it more inclusive. A percentage of every booking for a SUP lesson is put aside so they can do this sustainably. They offer free or discounted SUP lessons to disadvantaged groups who could otherwise not afford them.

When we spoke, Ben told me about the Embrace board he had designed. The Embrace is the first wheelchair-adapted paddleboard in the UK, initially allowing them to offer adaptive paddleboarding in Somerset. They have since trained other SUP schools across the UK and supplied them with the same equipment.

WhatSUPUK manufactures several other boards, and this is the one they are most proud of for the opportunities it offers wheelchair users. It has anchoring points for specially designed adapted chairs and sidekick boards (similar to ‘stabilisers’). The boards are not sold directly to individuals. However, many schools nationwide use them, including SUP Active Yorkshire in Richmond, Yorkshire, The Anderton Centre in Chorley, Lancashire and Whitemoor Lakes in Lichfield, Staffordshire.

WhatSUPUK also provides paddleboarding opportunities for foster families to spend time on the water to get to know each other. 

For more information, go to www.whatsupuk.com 

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