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We Haven't Gone Anywhere!

Was it really three years ago since we wrote our last post? Having had all good intentions to carry on with more regular updates, I guess the intervening years rather stalled that. Lockdown went on for more time than we all thought and then a couple of odd years followed. Odd for me? No, odd for all of us! Stand Up Paddleboarding just leapt out as the socially acceptable sport and just grew exponentially but not particularly on the race scene, which as you know, is my passion.  

 

It was the leisure paddler that took hold of our sport, and they didn’t even know it was a sport! Instructors and schools popped up all over the country, having learned online or from a “friend” and quite frankly, not all of them really knew what they were doing. Many of us old school paddlers/instructors called them “the COVID paddlers” and I’m not sure we were being very polite but, the crux of it all was that we wanted everybody to be safe and as we all know from this and every other learning process, you cannot get all the good and correct information online, especially social media. 

 

Don’t get me wrong, there are some incredible instructors, schools and paddlers out there, they have put in the time and learned their trade and we see that as an absolutely great thing. When we still see bad advice being given on social platforms, it really makes our toes curl! I for one, and I’m not alone here, have stopped getting involved as sometimes you just cannot win and some fights you must walk away from. 


NGB for SUP

  

Fast forward to 2024 and we now have a National Governing Body for SUP, in fact we currently have two as it’s a joint thing going on. British Canoeing and Surfing England hold that honour and we were delighted to be invited to British Canoeing’s SUP Safety Conference held in November. Not all the movers and shakers were there but many experts, retailers, safety associations and board and kit manufacturers did attend all in the name of getting safety correctly presented. 

 

At the end of the day, we are all after the same thing and BC will certainly be held accountable by many if they do not find a way to give best safety advice to those who really need it the most, the beginner paddler. BC’s members are predominantly this, so they owe it to them to really get it right and by this we mean taking advice from the very best out there, the instructors, coaches and experts who have been putting in the time and have the utmost experience in their field of Stand Up Paddleboarding.  

 

British Canoeing has a long way to go to really ingratiate themselves with the passionate paddlers of this country. We are not the same, we are different, and we would like BC to recognize that and deal with us appropriately. There are people within BC who are trying to embrace this new sport of SUP and we do appreciate them. We have been collaborating with British Canoeing and they have been supportive in sharing our musings on social media. Let’s hope that continues and the athletes truly get the support from BC they deserve. Changes are definitely afoot for a much more efficient and stream line selection process for World events. 

 

We might sound a little feisty in this post, but we are just truly passionate about SUP and sometimes our feelings run away with us! I hope to write another article immediately to talk about the 2023 season as it was pretty exciting! I still contribute to Stand Up Paddle Mag UK and their sister publication The Paddler – I'm grateful for their support and have loved getting to know people through the interviews and Q&As within those publications. I am now trusted enough to do reviews for these magazines also which, take it from me, is time-consuming work, but with added benefits too. Again, I’m grateful for these opportunities. 


Socials, Website, and YouTube

 

2023 unfortunately saw the year of our Facebook account being hacked and we are currently unable to access it at all. It really did feel like a kick in the teeth and having it still sat there on FB is not particularly helpful. Anyhow, a new page has been set up, we start again and hopefully it won’t be long before everybody finds the new page here.

  

Having to look at changes to our logo and tying up the loose ends of our SM accounts meant we also looked at our website and realised how unloved it suddenly looked (again). An offer of help was very gratefully received and accepted, and exciting changes are currently underway. 

 

Did you know we also have a YouTube channel? It's where we pop all our interviews and chats with some of the most incredible paddlers out there.

 

We’d like to thank all our subscribers and followers for their continued support and here’s to another exciting year of SUP racing and adventure! 


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2 Comments


Simon Hutchinson
Simon Hutchinson
Feb 24

So great to have you back here! We need to continue to follow your example and to be feisty and challenge any watering down of what makes our sport different.


We have a fantastic new sport which we need to defend and develop, and you've been at the forefront of building up the sport in all areas, particularly on the racing side. It's been a real privilege to have worked together and look forward to collaborating again in the future :)


Love what you do!


Simon (SUPfm Podcast)

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Sarah Thornely
Sarah Thornely
Feb 24
Replying to

Thank you so much Simon - I agree, a new sport and we need to push for excellence - you too are on my wavelength and doing such great things for SUP!!


I have absolutely loved working with you and long may that continue!


Happy paddling,


Sarah - the Original SUPjunkie xx

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