With two coastlines and numerous lakes, rivers, and harbours Devon is the ideal location for countless water sports activities; one of those is stand up paddle boarding.
Stand up paddle boarding (or SUP) is a direct descendant of surfing, and takes in an element of kayaking in that you use a paddle to gain momentum, but stay on your feet. It's also one of the fastest growing water sports as it is easy to pick up and, unlike surfing, can be done on flat water.
Recently, the Stay In Devon team were offered a taster session with local North Devon water sports company Go-Watersports and we jumped at the chance to try this unique sport for ourselves. Here is how we got on -
We all met at the designated location on a fine summer's evening, and it was clear that a few members of the team had some pre-game nerves! However, these fears were quickly alleviated by Carl, our instructor and owner of Go-Watersports, who made us all feel at ease with his friendly and entertaining attitude. Shortly, after some easy-to-understand instruction and an informative safety briefing, we were all ready to hit the water.
One by one we were helped into the river, and whilst some took to it like the proverbial ducks to water, others did not. However, this just meant that receptionist Debbie was able put her experience of being a swimming instructor into practice! Once we were all in, we enjoyed a short, gentle paddle on our knees to get accustomed to SUP-ing and as soon as we felt comfortable using the quality equipment, Carl instructed us to jump to our feet. Slowly but surely, and with a few splashes here and there, we were all up on both feet enjoying the tranquil location and learning the basic elements of stand up paddle boarding.
On the water we were all finding that SUP was an extremely accessible activity, and as none of our group had any experience of SUP-ing before, we were all amazed at how quickly we picked it up. This was mainly down to Carl's natural ability to give clear and engaging instruction which made the entire group feel relaxed. Eventually we reached a suitable landmark and had our group picture taken (you'll notice we're all on our feet and smiling!). After the laughing and joking, things got serious when Carl revealed that we would be racing back to where we started from - cue ruthless behaviour from everyone taking part! Even over the long distance, and at speed, we all made it back with few bodies breaking the surface of the water and this highlights how easy the sport is to pick up.
Once back on dry land, and with our arms and legs feeling like jelly, we were all in agreement that we'd all be booking another session and recommending the activity to our friends as the experience that Carl gave us was extraordinary, going the extra mile to ensure that we had a great time and lots of fun.
Go-Watersports offer a range of sessions, including one-on-one, family, group and corporate, with experienced instructors. In addition to the tuition, Go-Watersports also provide equipment hire and can deliver straight to your holiday accommodation for those hoping to SUP during a stay in Devon. SUP-ing can also be a great way to relax and work out at the same time.
Stand up paddle boarding is suitable for the entire family, so if you'd like to try Stand up Paddleboarding for yourself while in Devon, give Carl a call on 07525 455 533 or visit www.go-watersports.com – we highly recommend you do!