On social media campaigns for inclusive kit, Sarah Blues, also known as Plus Size Paddler, encourages women to feel confident, regardless of their size. After falling in love with SUP in 2020, she found a lack of women’s kit and representation in the sport and created Plus Size Paddler.
Ripple Rebels believe all people should have access to the physical and mental health benefits of SUP and are based in Poole. Their Ethos is to create moments of opportunity for everyone to stand up proud, determined that lack of money, confidence or self-belief should not be barriers to the sport.
‘Paddle Her Way’ Session
Ripple Rebels teamed up with Sarah to deliver the first ‘Paddle Her Way’ Session at the end of May, where over 30 women joined them for a fantastic day on the water at Longham Lakes, the home of the Ripple Rebels.
‘Paddle Her Way with Plus Size Paddler’ is an initiative created to help women overcome common barriers to paddle boarding, become more confident and learn to paddle safely. The event designed by women for women tackles some of the key paddle skills that many women struggle with at the start of their journeys, such as self-rescue, confidence standing and other key skills.
Acknowledging that starting a new sport, being a beginner or just not progressing the way they’d like to can be frustrating, the sessions are all about making the participants feel great with the hope that they feel confident and safe when they leave excited about paddle boarding.
Lois English, a participant in the first event, said: “I feel amazing after the session. I’ve only paddle boarded a couple of times before and wasn’t able to stand or get back on. Within 20 minutes on the water, I could do both! I absolutely loved it!”
After the inaugural event’s success, another session will be taking place on the 26th of June 2022, which are now available to book via the Ripple Rebels Website (www.ripplerebels.co.uk).
Abbie Orton, Director at Ripple Rebels, said, “We loved teaming up with Plus Size Paddler to get more women enjoying the physical and mental health benefits of paddle boarding. Like Sarah, we feel it’s important to create safe spaces for women to build their confidence. The Paddle Her Way is a great example of how we can do this with all the participants, coaches and volunteers finishing the day with huge smiles.”
Sarah Blues, Plus Size Paddler, said, “I’ve wanted to hold an event like this for a long time after speaking to so many women who struggled to feel confident in their bodies or self-conscious about trying SUP. I feel strongly that SUP is a sport for everybody and every body, and working on this event with Ripple Rebels has already helped more women enjoy the sport confidently and safely. I hope it’s only the start of what we can achieve.”