Unlocking your potential

Words: Anni Ridsdill Smith – Director & BSUPA Trainer, Frangipani SUP Ltd
Pics: Craig Sawyer, Peter Tranter, Dave White, Martin Rendle, Sasha Chisholm, Scott Warren, Larry Cain, Csilla Csizmadia Hasulyo, Ben Pye, Dave Brown, Elaine Farquharson and Bryce Dyer.

Only a small proportion of the people who enjoy SUP in the UK want to compete in races or participate in SUP endurance or challenge events, but those that do are extremely keen, and their number is increasing all the time.

A fraction of this number also trains for competitions at the world and/or European level. Major public events in the competition calendar can sell out in a few hours or even minutes and paddlers at all levels train hard to prepare for them, striving to improve their performance and peak at the right moment.

In the last edition of SUPM, Samantha Rutt (Barefoot SUP and Fitness) asked me how I stay motivated to train all year round. The answer: I have a coach and follow a structured plan. This got me thinking about the range of personally tailored training plans and coaching support available for stand-up paddlers in the UK, who want to prepare for specific competitions or events or get SUP fit. This support is often provided remotely online, a characteristic that proved invaluable during Covid-19 lockdowns, when many competitions or events became virtual and meeting with others to train was impacted severely. I draw upon personal experience here, as coach Larry Cain (Paddle Monster) kept me going when having trained hard all winter my 2020 race card emptied and a ‘new normal’ arrived.

Knowing what remote online training and coaching support are available, talking to providers, finding a good match for you, your individual needs, and goals (and of course your budget – see later), these are key factors to consider in making a very personal choice about who to work with. So, in the middle of a third Covid-19 lockdown, I put out the call to this corner of the SUP world and asked the talented people in it to share a few words with us about the remote online services they provide, how to get in touch, what it costs, plus a ‘top tip’ for staying motivated to train in difficult times. So here it is folks, A-Z in their own words…

AcwaTerra Adventure Training Consultants
Dave Brown

“Mastery not mimicry. Now is the time to seek out knowledge and understand more than you ever have. Master the paddle for yourself, not mimic other people’s techniques.”

Bespoke, tailored, objective, goal-oriented training programmes for the recreational performer to the competitive athlete, for the completer through to the competitor. Technique analysis is also offered via several visual analysis platforms. Experience totalling over 30 years in paddle sports and coaching to the international squad and team level including GB women’s rafting team and Welsh and GB triathlon.

Qualifications include Water Skills Academy master trainer; British Canoeing Level 5 (three disciplines) coach educator for 13 disciplines including SUP race coach, advanced leadership awards provider, advanced safety provider, navigation provider, supporting modules provider (all categories) national trainer for all the above and the SUP leadership awards. These are backed up by a sports science degree, a post-grad in secondary physical education and diplomas in sport psychology and fitness testing and counselling. 

  • £60 per month for a four-week programme, meaning the performer gets 13 programmes for the price of 12 annually. 
  • £30 per hour video analysis work. 
  • £30 per hour for technique and performance workshop.

Barefoot SUP and Fitness
Samantha Rutt

“Having someone believe in you whether it is a coach or a community, the support will keep you motivated on the days you struggle to motivate yourself.”

I offer online training plans using an app on your phone or laptop. Each week your training plans are uploaded to your personal online calendar with full descriptions of workouts. We have a growing online community with a social wall, like a fitness Facebook, for you to get in touch with others and support each other’s fitness journey. I am a race coach with the Water Skills Academy and am an active racer both in the UK and Internationally. I am a qualified personal trainer and hold qualifications in advanced nutrition, yoga, and a background in psychology to help with mental stumbling blocks, motivation, and goal setting together.

  • Basic SUP Fitness Plan: £20 per month.
  • GB SUP Race Plan (periodised around our UK National Series): £25 per month.
  • SUP Endurance Plan: £25 per month.
  • Bespoke: £60 per month.

Dorset Sports Physio
Elaine Farquharson

“Focus on the journey as the best bits are the pitfalls and the people you meet along the way, enjoy them, learn from them and become a wiser paddler.”

I offer training programs, coaching and physiotherapy packages to enhance cardiorespiratory, core stability, performance and biomechanics for SUP. As well as getting you physically ready for expeditions or racing, I also help you with tactics, technical knowledge and sports psychology for your chosen environment. I coach virtually via online clinics within the home or the paddler’s chosen sporting environment. This can be done reflectively through video analysis or during live sessions. Each person is given a program with clear goals to focus their training and the required tuition or mentoring needed to help them achieve their personal best or recover them from injury and overload. The coaching journey can be delivered as a one-off or over several months. I also offer online live HIT workouts, Pilates, yoga and Tai Chi specific to the paddler’s needs.

  • Group sessions: £5-£15.
  • Individual sessions: £45 per hour, including video analysis.

Dr Bryce Dyer, Performance Consultant & Coach

“Set a short-term and a long-term goal; it could be to log a certain number of training kilometres, learn a new skill (such as a turn or stroke) or to set yourself a physical challenge – it doesn’t matter how trivial you think it might seem to others. However, setting well-defined goals for yourself to achieve is a much better way to carry yourself through challenging times and achieve something positive.”

Individually tailored training plans, performance analysis or 1:1 coaching. Whether you are looking to complete your first SUP event or maybe looking to improve on your past race results, Bryce uses a people-centred, yet scientifically informed process to help get you there.

Bryce has two PhDs, has acted as a consultant to athletes preparing for London 2012, Rio 2016 and the 2021 Paralympic Games, has medalled nationally in his age group in six different sports and has been a sponsored SUP racer in the past. He has authored articles for SUPM, SUPBoarder, Cycling Plus, Triathlon Plus and Outdoor Fitness magazines.

A wide range of flexible options can be created, but typical relationships include:

  • training plans tailored to your goals. Per six-week prescribed training block: £35.
  • Silver level 1:1 coaching with unlimited emails, two coaching phone calls and two training alterations per month and training provided every two weeks: £75.
  • Gold level 1:1 coaching with unlimited emails, four coaching phone calls per month, four training alterations per month and training provided every two weeks: £125.

Emily King SUP Coaching

“Any training, in the current situation, is a step in the right direction towards your long-term goals. Be flexible, be resilient and stay positive!”

Emily King has decades of experience in coaching across multiple sporting disciplines. She competes in ocean, shore breaks, lakes, rivers and white-water rapids. Her knowledge and understanding of these environments and how to manage them is second to none. Her proven coaching methods will help you to reach your goals. Emily King SUP Coaching will harness the paddler within you, fine-tune your technique and push you on to the elite level. Online SUP Masterclass includes: advanced paddle techniques, transfer of power, using your whole body to drive forward faster, control and utilising your rails, racing buoy and step back turns, elite training practices, exercises and drills, water safety, risk assessment and best practice, the psychology of racing, training, and winning the mind game! With a background in teaching and a decade of SUP paddling, surfing and white water at the elite level, Emily is keen to pass on her knowledge and share her love of paddling.

  • Prices start from £15 per session, discounts available for groups.

Essex PT
Peter Squire

“Time is going to pass anyway so you might as well become awesome.”

I provide coaching via a three-level approach. Foundations which address a screening process to understand the individual better and fundamental training movement patterns mostly focused on strength and injury prevention and baseline fitness. Progression where we look at developing more sports specific movements and fitness peaking. Dialling you in for a specific event or race. The programmes can be done in a gym or at home with a small amount of equipment, supported by videos for each movement or programme. There is also support via email if there are specific problems or modifications the client might want.

  • Starting price £35 per month.

Haywood Sports
Scott Warren

“Aim for a goal no matter what it is and be flexible in your training sessions, it’s best to mix it up, so it stays interesting for you.”

Each week a new session plan is uploaded to the website for you to download. These sessions are usually interval based and last for around 45 minutes to an hour, excluding a warmup and cool down. The plans guide you on the interval timing and pace and can be completed by any level of paddler. We also offer bespoke options for individuals or groups/clubs, including full season training plans for you to follow. Set by coach Scott Warren, these plans come off his years spent racing and training. Scott started paddling in 2009 and took up racing in 2012, becoming a regular on the UK national scene. Since 2011 Scott has been a qualified coach under ASI, BSUPA & SUP Fit. Before setting up Haywood Sports in 2018, Scott was also brand manager for a major SUP board manufacturer, so brings a wealth of knowledge to our offerings.

  • Weekly plan download: free of charge.
  • Training plans: membership from £15 per month.

Moxie Unleashed SUP & Fitness
Sasha Chisholm

“Make yourself accountable to make it happen: schedule your Training Programme in your main diary, buddy up (remote or in-person) and show up!”

Bespoke land and water fitness training plans combine strength and conditioning with nutrition and overall health and wellbeing. A qualified and experienced L3 PT, Yoga, Pilates, running, biking and swimming instructor and BSUPA L2 SUP instructor and trainer, programmes focus on improving strength, speed and stamina to achieve specific goals by specific dates, whether for a sprint, one-day endurance or multi-day event or season. Varied and tailored sessions keep training fresh and reflect the location, lifestyle and bad weather days. At the same time, regular contact and check-ins provide ongoing support, motivation and adjustments as do optional twice-weekly live land sessions where we train together albeit remotely.

  • From £20 per month.

Norfolk Outdoor Adventures SUP Racing & Fitness Coaching
Martin Rendle

“Your commitment to getting out today will make your paddle far easier tomorrow – with this positive mindset tomorrow’s already won.”

Martin Rendle is the Norfolk Outdoor Adventures owner and is also founder and head coach of NOA SUP racing & fitness based on the Norfolk Broads. He can work with you offering various services aimed at improving your SUP stroke technique, paddle skills, building and planning race training schedules and all-round improvements to your current SUP abilities. Offering video analysis and 1:2:1 coaching to analyse, study and correct your body positioning and efficiency in using the paddle producing a structured pathway for becoming a far more efficient, stronger, fitter and faster paddler. Thirty years coaching experience, SUP racing coach, L2 SUP Instructor (WSA & ASI) SUP endurance paddling and racing specialist, SUP instructor trainer for the Water Skills Academy, personal trainer and performance nutrition advisor.

  • Prices start at £45 for bespoke training plans and packages, £50 for video analysis and £60 for personal 1:2:1 physical coaching.

Paddle Monster
Larry Cain

“Training is a process that not only supports high-level performance but enriches the quality of one’s life in countless ways.”

Paddle Monster is a subscription-based paddle community offering members quality information about all things paddling, focusing on SUP. For All-Access members it is a subscription based coaching service providing high-quality training programs and unlimited online personal coaching for athletes of all levels. Head coach is Larry Cain, Olympic Champion in sprint canoe, professional SUP racer, former Canadian canoe team coach and coach of top pros such as Connor Baxter and Seychelle Webster. Other coaches are Travis Grant, M2O World Champion in SUP and OC1; Chris Chapman, Canadian Olympic team strength and conditioning coach; and Victoria Burgess PhD, waterwoman, exercise scientist and sports nutritionist.

  • Basic membership (access to all information except training program and personal coaching): $10 USD per month.
  • All-access membership (all privileges of basic membership plus personal coaching from a coach of your choice): $60 USD per month.

SEPA Strength & Endurance Performance Academy
Csilla Csizmadia Hasulyo
Scientific Director & Master Trainer

“Train for a healthy life! I plan training not only for your races but for your strength, energy and your balanced healthy life.”

I have a Master’s Degree in Sports Science, a Sport Physiotherapy Master’s Degree, oriental study (Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic Energy System), 30 years’ experience in sports movement education and rehabilitation, six years’ experience at the highest level of SUP and have trained world champions and many happy amateur athletes worldwide. My biodynamic training method integrates science with chronobiology, astro-physiology and high-level western training load theory. I focus my attention and professional work on performance improvement in strength and endurance, and special regeneration and rehabilitation techniques applied to elite and amateur athletes. To train or to train well – there is a considerable difference between the two. Are you a long-distance paddler or a technical course racer? I provide specific training plans for different needs, as I believe there is a huge difference in preparation. If you do something, do it well! If you are not a specialist, ask for my help.
Please see the website for different pricing options.

SUP Coaching UK
Ben Pye

“Make the most of the current situation, set yourself goals and chase them down!”

Here at SUP Coaching UK, we offer remote coaching sessions with video analysis and step by step lessons to learn new skills and techniques for a range of water sports. This includes SUP racing, SUP surfing, wing foiling, and SUP foiling, these can be run on Zoom, and we also provide educational videos. Our head coach, Ben Pye, has World and European level SUP racing experience from competing at three World Championships and Europeans events. He has also competed in the UK at the highest level of SUP racing and SUP surfing, before now pushing the limits as one of the best wing and SUP foilers in the UK.

  • From £10 per month.

The SUP Coach 
Craig Sawyer

“Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t train the way you would like to at the moment; but just keep moving – remember the endorphin rush and how great you will feel after getting off the couch and out into the great outdoors!”

Whether you want to paddle faster, for longer, get stronger or lose weight, incorporating land-based training will increase your strength, mobility, aerobic capacity and muscular endurance. I offer customised plans that combine off-the-water workouts and SUP training; tailored to meet your goals, and use equipment you have access to; be it in the gym, at home or the great outdoors. Coaching is delivered through an online training portal and mobile app, with in-person training and face to face check-ins available, COVID-permitting!

Qualifications: ASI & BSUPA Instructor, Level 2 Gym Instructor, Level 3 Personal Trainer, Advanced Sports Nutrition.

Experience: 13 years SUP, 22 years strength and conditioning training, selected for and currently training to SUP the longest survival paddle race globally, the Yukon 1000.

  • Plans from £50 per month.

SUP clubs and grassroots collectives
I am sure you will agree, this is a very impressive line-up and will give you much to consider. However, if you need support with your training but your budget does not permit this level of expenditure, or this all feels too serious for you, please do not worry! Dozens of SUP clubs and grassroots collectives create impressive real and virtual spaces for people to train for free or for a small joining fee.

You should check-out what training is on offer with clubs or teams in your local area. Two inspirational examples are Island SUP Club in Barry Island, Wales, which offers all its members free access to club training plans, live and saved SUP focused HIIT sessions with Kerry Baker through their Facebook group ‘Island FIT’ and water-based SUP skills through their club nights.

“Stay connected, share and celebrate training sessions, train together whether remotely or in person, but most importantly support and encourage each other” advises Kerry. Anyone who would like to get involved, adults or youth, can contact her via their website www.islandsupclub.org.

In the North East of England, the uber keen Northern SUP Race Club trains every week and gets results. “We coach all abilities, analyse technique and follow a training programme to progress with each member. Our club motto is Dream, Believe, Commit, Achieve. New members are always welcome,” says Anna Little, an exercise physiologist and back specialist. You can get in touch with her via their Facebook page Northern SUP Race Club’. 

There are too many fantastic clubs to mention here but go and check out the British SUP Club Championships Facebook page to see the names of clubs and teams that have participated in past competitions and hopefully there will be an enthusiastic tribe located not too far from you. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or need any further help. See you on the water!

Huge thanks to our advertisers

Leave a Reply