By Jo Moseley
Photo: Stuart Bertie
OneWave Sidmouth – helping others one wave at a time
As paddleboarders, we are fortunate enough to experience the mental health benefits of being on the water. As my friend Craig Jackson of SUP Shropshire says, once he’s on his board, the world’s cares float away. Evie Smith-Woolley and Charlotte Norton have taken this one step further by bringing the global mental health surf campaign One Wave Is All It Takes to the Devon seaside town of Sidmouth. OneWave is a non-profit surf community raising mental health awareness with their simple recipe of ‘saltwater therapy, surfing and fluro.’
Launched in March 2013 on Bondi Beach, Australia, over 200 beaches are now part of the global project. On Fluro Fridays, participants dress up in bright fluro outfits, surf/SUP and share their stories in a safe space. As the founder Grant Trebilco says, “When you come to Fluro Friday and sit down in the Anti-Bad Vibe circle, you can just be yourself. If you had a good week, you can support other people; if you have had a bad week, you can get support.”
OneWave Sidmouth usually gathers on Fridays, but occasionally Saturday or Sunday, dependent upon tides and daylight, to SUP, swim, beach clean and talk. Fatstick Paddleboards have generously donated boards and the group has wetsuits and buoyancy aids if you don’t have your own. There is no participation fee, and locals and holidaymakers are welcome. The season starts on Friday, 24th March, the tenth anniversary of One Wave’s launch. OneWave is growing, and you can find OneWave Bracklesham Bay in West Sussex and OneWave Polzeath in Cornwall. For more information, find One Wave Sidmouth on Facebook or Instagram @onewave_sidmouth.
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.
In this column, I look forward to sharing inspiring stories of environmental projects, mental well-being initiatives and how we can make SUP open to more people. If you have a story, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow me on Instagram @jomoseley.