Today we had the pleasure of meeting with Sarah of SUPWirral at the marine lake in New Brighton. Whilst with one of her students Sarah explained to us the art of Stand Up Surfboarding.
What is supboarding?
It a cross between surfing and kayaking based the paddle use of kayaking and standing on the surf board Stand up paddle boarding consists of a stand-up paddle board (oversized surf style board) along with a one blade paddle (unlike a canoe/kayak paddle) Standing up on the board can be quite tricky when coaching this is the stage I get the go pro ready to capture either the fall of the first time the student stands up on the board. Once the basic position is achieved and paddle stokes are applied the SUP world opens to SUP yoga SUPsurfing SUPracing sprints endurance SUP polo.
Anyone can take part in sup once they have had a structured lesson from a qualified instructor
RYA first aid
ASI water rescue
ASI level 1
ASI Level 2
having a go on a friend’s board is fun but ideally a structured session learning the correct positioning and safety side of SUP is a much better and safe way to go.
The ASI (my training providers) recommend 8 years and over.
How did you get into the sport?
I have been a surfer for about 10 years now and whilst on a holiday to Wales the surf was nil so I hired a sup and found it real good fun for the whole family even getting the dog on board. When I graduated Salford university Environmental Health Bsc my parents bought me a SUP for graduation. A few months later I found some local suppers and hung out with them. I spoke to the ASI instructor and he advised me on the qualifications and off I went to Pembrokeshire and Tamworth to spend just under a week learning the intense skills. Since then I started Supwirral and I have gone on to race in the northern winter race series winning my board class I have gone on to race for Naish one NISCO coming 4th in the U.K in my age category. Swiftly following on from the fantastic results I was asked to be an ambassador for Oshea which I was super stoked at as the surf board I ride is an Oshea! I got to meet the guy himself Farrel Oshea which was such an honour the actual guy that is behind the brand. I am extremely mind active always something to think about, planning going out on the water paddling. It takes you away from everything that’s going on in your life it’s my time. To get out on the coast breathing in the sea air and floating with the currents it’s something quite unique and special. But then to join the UKsup series racing around the U.K is a little bit crazy meeting up in London for my first race having a coaching session from the U.K Number 1 female sup rider Joanne Hamilton vale was the start of racing, unlocking the very competitive streak in me. Sup has brought a work life balance a calmness in a hectic world, also its brought me some fantastic new friends world-wide.
What are your ambitions for SUPWirral?
My ambitions for SUP Wirral is to see it expand into Supwirral race team where I would be able to coach students in race techniques and take them to the U.K sup series… My dream challenge would be to race the M2M race in Hawaii 36miles for island to island I must gain more paddle experience on the coast…or rather off the coast in the meantime I will continue to race in the U.K sup series and take part in the U.K sup endurance race I will continue to coach sup polo indoors throughout the winter months.
Who can get involved with SUPBoarding?
I get a lot of people who would say “oh your brave I couldn’t do that” I will ask why not? “I can’t swim” my answer is I have life aids. I offer indoor beginner taster sessions. I try to make the lessons on the lake fun and full of laughter to show the bystanders it’s a good giggle…. Have a go if you don’t enjoy it then you can say I have tried it and didn’t like it but I bet you will love it. Mentally, leisure sup is awesome and it relaxes the mind, it makes you relax (unless your racing) your concentrating on the paddle strokes and chatting that you forget issues you’ve had on land…. Physically it is an all over body workout every part of your body is being used the next day the whole body is nice tight not like after you’ve been the gym. When racing its defiantly the core that’s hurting but what a good feeling to have. Surfing you need the waves…. Body boarding need waves with SUP no waves needed unless you want to supsurf. Sup can be dangerous if you don’t follow the instructions from the coach, going out onto unknown waterways can be dangerous. For each area sup Wirral coach from there is a risk assessment completed. Indoors at Europa Leasowe bay New Brighton lake River Dee Chester.
Sup Wirral offer lots of different sessions from beginner taster session indoors at Europa £20.00pp for an hour learning the basic skills of sup…enough to get the confidence up to go outdoors.
New Brighton lake £20.00pp for two hours in this time a more structured session including three different turns are offer if the student wants to……each student progress at different times so no pressure to learn the new skills.
The River Dee in Chester is a 5 hours’ paddle costing £30.00pp, a beautiful morning or afternoon down the River Dee taking in lots of wildlife and countryside
Leasowe Bay coastal £30.00pp and is tide dependant, this is where we have the most fun with my surfing experience and my level 2 qualifications. I can combine the two skills and catch little waves coming onto the coast. Seeing the face of the students when they catch the first wave is one of the best things as an instructor.
Sup Wirral will provide all the equipment boards, leashes and paddle, all I ask the students to bring is a few change of clothes in case they fall in the water and a drink and snacks
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