The National SUP/Windsurf Festival will offer the opportunity to get on the water whatever the weather.
Many will have never tried a SUP so with all the demo kit available now is the chance to have a bash – you never know you may even enjoy it!
If you need any more inspiration then check out this short interview with Anthony Crook. He had no previous watersports experience but grabbed a paddle and board for the first time last year and is now out on the water regularly.
What made you decide to try SUP?
Two things really, firstly knowing someone who had the equipment and the charity to let me have a go. I would also like to fly a commercial airliner but I don’t have any mates who will let me. I have lived in Portsmouth for four years and decided that as I live so close to one of the best playgrounds – the sea – I may as well go and play.
How easy did you find SUP to learn?
I used to skate and mess around with balance sports until I broke my arm. This meant I had a grounding in what it’s like to stand on something less stable than the floor so when I was handed a SUP I took to it like a duck to water and was paddling around in no time. It really is one of the easiest watersports to learn.
What part of SUP do you most enjoy?
The best part of SUP is the flexibility. I have paddled around Chichester Harbour and had a relaxing ‘stroll’ on the water whilst chatting all the way. The next time I was out was off Hayling sea front catching waves. There aren’t many sports that offer that level of variety.
How often do you paddle?
As often as possible. I have a gym membership but I work in an office all day so if I have the opportunity to get out in the fresh air and not into another air-conditioned building I’ll take it.
What type of conditions do you most enjoy?
Ha, warm conditions ideally! I have been out in early December for a bit of flat water but I have to admit I really didn’t want to fall in.
Waves are definitely the most fun you can have on a SUP but as they are inconsistent I think you have to learn to love all aspects of SUP.
Why does SUP appeal?
SUP vs prone surfing has always appealed more because of where I live. Down on the south coast of the UK I can’t rely on there being perfect waves every time I want to go out so having a paddle means I can move around and get to where the waves are and catch more of them. I’m also in favour of anything that means I spend less time actually in the water which can get quite cold in the winter.
What part of the National SUP Festival are you looking forward to?
I have typically been going out with people I already know. We do chat to people on the beach but there is no substitute for having a drink with like-minded paddlers and getting to really know them. And the party looks like it should go off!
In the last few weeks Tony has also started to windsurf and is well on the way to becoming a fully-fledged UK waterman.
The two sports offer perfect synergy and is why the National SUP/Wind Fest is a great platform for visitors to try something new.
Words and pics – Tez Plavenieks