We’re in lockdown. No paddling (at least in the UK). But. If you could get out and SUP, where is the first place you would head for on this easter weekend? Here’s the second set of answers, see here for the first set: https://standuppaddlemag.co.uk/where-in-the-world-would-you-have-paddled-this-easter-weekend/
We asked some of our valued contributors to SUP Mag UK magazine for their answer and starting tonight and over the Easter weekend, we will feature those answers not only in the UK but from more far flung places.
Paddlers will feature in the order they sent their replies.
We have to somehow get through this difficult period together, so let’s give each other hope that the world hasn’t ended and that there will be time when we are free to paddle wherever once again.
Thames River, London, UK
Lockdown in London has been the strangest experience ever – seeing the busy and vibrant city brought to a standstill.
Once it’s lifted, I wouldn’t travel out of London – the opposite – I would paddle into it to see its awakening from the river’s perspective.
The Tidal Thames running through London offers a unique urban paddle experience. It’s a challenging section of one of the most famous rivers in the world with a huge tidal range, powerful currents and many hazards you have to navigate. But there are stretches where you can relax for long enough to take in the sheer scale and grandeur of the city. Seeing central London from the river is an experience to remember both day and night.
Founder & Director of Active360 www.active360.co.uk
Paul has been kayaking since his teens in the UK and around the world. He knows the Thames in London better than most in the field and loves his home patch. He fought the case for SUP on the Tidal Thames with the Port of London Authority (PLA) and made it happen with creation of the Thames Skills and Knowledge courses (TSK 1 and 2) to extend SUP paddlers’ range on the Tideway and increase their safety. An environmentalist at heart, Paul has for years been raising awareness of the damage caused to riverine environments by plastic pollution and has run Paddle and Pick events since 2011
Isles of Scilly, UK
Activist, Author, Founder of Plastic Patrol
I decided that during the lock down period I wanted to try and document as many different uses for a paddleboard as possible and share with the SUP community. Most are daft but a few are great ways to entertain young kids.
I’ve used my partners in crime 18-month old daughter Millie and Cockapoo Poppy, to try and keep them entertained during this lock down period. So far I’m up to day 20 and going strong and have many more ideas planned. I would love your ideas for both inside and outside as we don’t know how long this lockdown and my project will last!
Go check out my daily updates over on Instagram @dmphotography_uk and @standuppaddleuk for daily SUP inspiration, community content and showcasing of many of the sup communities home paddle adventures!
Dale is the founder of the Instagram community page Stand Up Paddle UK (@standuppaddleuk)
Rhossili Bay, Wales, UK
Where would I go…? I would be loading the van with the SUP surfs and the OC and heading to Rhossili Bay, first stopping at Barry to swoop up a couple of locals, Sarah and Jonny, who know where to find the good surf.
This bay is beautiful and at our level we do NOT want it to be big – we want clean and glassy and about 2-3 foot. If it’s flat as a pancake, I shall be out there exploring on the OC with my training buddy Andrea – we’ve spotted dolphins before and it would be incredible to explore the whole Bay and up to Worm’s Head – perhaps taking snacks and an iPhone for safety and photos – the coastline there is just stunning.
Back to the surf and then the choice is Starboard Wide Point or Longboard. I love both but usually ask my friend Sarah how she thinks I would get on with both in the conditions. It’s a hike to the beach but then you come out onto this vast beach and it quite takes your breath away.
Why would I go here instead of somewhere more exotic? I love the British Isles and have so much more to explore but part of my heart lies in Wales.
Sarah heads up the GBSUP Media Team and SUPjunkie, which fully supports the race series. She have been paddling since 2012 and although she never took part in any other sports until she was in my 50s, she competed in SUP for five years. This culminated in 2017, when Sarah jointly won the National Championships in the UK in the 14’ class. Sarah promptly retired and started to volunteer on the Events Team with GBSUP and SUPjunkie evolved from that.
Sarah is a qualified instructor with the ASI and British Canoeing and still gets great pleasure in getting complete beginners on the water. She have learnt to SUP surf and has been paddling an OC1 for nearly a year. https://www.supjunkie.co.uk
South west France
If there wasn’t a lockdown, my dream SUP location would be to drive down to the south west of France for a camping trip. Once there I would enjoy some sunny peeling waves followed by a glass of red wine and some delicious lunch.
Company director of FatStick, Reuben May, is passionate about watersports. he has spent many years within the watersports industry: https://fatstickboards.com
St Ives, Cornwall, UK
If I could paddle anywhere this bank holiday weekend it would be Cornwall, specifically St Ives. My girlfriend surprised me with a trip there for my birthday last year and I was instantly wowed. The coastal views, the sunsets and of course the paddleboard spots. St Ives bay and Porthminster Beach are one of my favourite in the UK (Up there with West Bay in Dorset!). We’ve actually planned to go paddling there when this is all over for a ‘staycation’ to support some local businesses and enjoy the outdoors again!
Darren has been paddling for a few years along the UK coasts, rivers and abroad. He forms part of the Instagram UK SUP page @StandUpPaddleUK that promotes people, a place for UK SUP to share images, and an unbiased place that reviews equipment. @darrens_visuals or @standuppaddleuk
Tampa, Florida, USA
In my dreams I would be paddling in Tampa Florida between the manatees. Our trip with the family was booked, but because of the virus we were not able to go. On the other hand very, grateful we are still save. Hope all the same for you. Pretty weird that a simple handshake became a precious good these days.
Luckily, we can still paddle out at our home spot, so my girls went out for a local paddle. We had marvelous weather during Easter, so they spent hours on the water. They had a great time. SUP is fun anywhere.
In a way good to see that we all realize what matters, health, family and enjoy small things in live. That might be a valuable lesson for the future.
Hope we get safely out of the lock down soon. Stay save, Keep sharing the stoke and see you soon on the water.
Social distance and leashes save lives!
Alexander owns Aqua Inc, a leading SUP brand within the industry: https://www.aquainc-global.com
Thames River, UK
I had loads of stuff planned that is not going to happen now: France at end of April for Open canoe festival with my daughter and grandson, Slovenia at end of May and Montenegro in June. Who knows what will happen now. I would be more than happy just to be able to get on the Thames locally.
Louise is a regular contributor to our sister magazine the Paddler. Read about her expedition down the Sun Kosi in Nepal @: https://joom.ag/Fjoa/p144