Blog #21 – high summer

After a somewhat stormy interlude the weekend before last, it certainly seems like normal service has resumed in this incredible summer of SUP. We’re just back from a full day of SUP lessons yesterday in 30°+ temperatures, following a roasting Race Club on Friday evening and a sweltering SUP Club on Wednesday… And August’s only just begun!

Yesterday saw two more fully booked BSUPA Ready to Ride lessons at SUP school as twelve new paddlers attended our Learn to SUP sessions at Paper Mill Lock. More great paddling in beautiful conditions from two 6-strong groups: three couples joined us in the morning for some full-on SUP action right the way through to step-back turns, then it was a slightly more relaxed afternoon as we cruised a little further with another strong group – including a septuagenarian dad celebrating his birthday who passed the BSUPA course with flying colours and was undoubtedly our star of the day. SUPsect Learn to SUP lessons continue throughout August and into September – check out our lesson calendar if you want to join us.

Before that, Friday night was Race Club. We took on the sea breeze and a rapidly ebbing tide from Two Tree, tucking out of it quite nicely up Tewkes Creek in lee of Canvey Island. As ever, we kicked off with stroke sequencing where we added a suspension drill to our existing catch and ‘disco hips’ attachment routines. Then a quick warm-up paddle downwind to the creek was followed by some step-back and racing reverse sweep turn technique and buoy-turn figure-of-eight circuits, before we moved on to sprints, one-on-one drag racing, then finally a full-on relay race. And after, we hit the Yak & Yeti for essential sports nutrition and hydration! See the Facebook gallery for pix. Race Club is every Friday throughout August – keep an eye on our Facebook Forum and @SUPsect page for updates.

Last Wednesday evening was SUP Club – the Good, the Bad and the Duckweed! As the tides are out of sync with Wednesday evenings, we’re most likely up at the river throughout August. Thing is, this long hot summer has done wonders for photosynthesis, so some stretches have gone a bit green. It’s all good between Hoe and Papermill locks though, so we opted to take on a showdown with Sid & Nancy swans and their pair of cygnets. All went well, as over 30 of us enjoyed a great 7-8km paddle including some very welcome new faces, before dinner at the Duke of Wellington. Find pictures @SUPsect on Facebook.

The previous Wednesday saw a 26-strong flotilla head down the Ray to Seal Point from Two Tree – out into a bit of breeze and the early flood tide, then back with a tailwind and a strong flood tide underneath us before dinner (and quite a late night with a few evening beers outside for many!) at The Elms. More pictures of that on Facebook too!

This coming Wednesday’s SUP Club is looking like another river paddle – a 4.38pm 1.1m low tide and 12-knot south-westerly breeze don’t allow any coastal options! This week to mix it up a bit, and avoid another showdown with Sid & Nancy, we’re thinking of going both ways from Papermill Lock. As always, look out for the heads-up tomorrow and full call by Wednesday lunchtime here via SUP Club #20 and @SUPsect on Facebook…

And then Race Club will return on Friday – too far away to confidently predict the weather as yet, but a 6.55pm 0.5m low should allow us out at the coast: maybe from Two Tree or failing that possibly even South Fambridge? Stay tuned to our Facebook Forum and @SUPsect page for updates.

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