Blog #23 – SUPer-summer

Blog #23 – SUPer-summer

While we may all have felt a hint of autumn over this last week, our summer SUP season’s far from over yet – we’ve got loads to look forward to over the next couple of months… This last week has been full-on for us again: another massive inland SUP Club at Mill House on Wednesday, then a hugely productive Race Club from Two Tree Island on Friday evening, followed by a fully booked day of paddleboard lessons at Papermill Lock yesterday. We’re looking forward to more of the same this coming week, culminating in the return of SUPstock at Fambridge on Sunday and Monday. Maybe see you there?

Having been stoked with our biggest ever inland SUP Club turn-out at the river the week before last (when 37 paddlers hit Papermill Lock for SUP Club – Paperchase) we were very pleasantly surprised to go one better last week as 38 paddleboarders turned up at a breezy Mill House for SUP Club – Through the Mill. This time we went west, as the duckweed has finally gone from Little Baddow Mill Lock, allowing us to head back towards the A12 roadbridge. Of course we now have a full range of experience levels at SUP Club, from second-timers fresh off a lesson with us right up to 5-year veterans on dedicated raceboards, but we’re proud to say that our staggered start, bounce-backs and timed turns saw everyone return from a 6-8km loop within 5 minutes of each other – so we’re totally keeping it social and accessible whilst still allowing everyone to paddle as hard as they like. Dinner was again provided by the awesome Six Bells Boreham. Find the picture gallery on Facebook @SUPsect. This coming Wednesday’s SUP Club is looking like the river again – with very tricky tides and unsuitable wind forecasted for the coast, we’ll probably either be back at Paper Mill Lock or Mill House. As always, look out for the heads-up tomorrow and full call by Wednesday lunchtime here via SUP Club #22 and @SUPsect on Facebook…

Friday night was Race Club and last week we had quite some south-westerly wind, and an early tide to work around, but Tewkes Creek in lee of Canvey Island (from Two Tree) provided a suitable sanctuary. This time our stroke sequencing recap culminated in the addition of a ‘tip-toe’ catch drill. Then it was time to focus on some close-quarters paddling – first up, drafting, as we built up to an amazing 11-strong draft train. Secondly some explosive teamwork, as our new formation overtaking routines combined endurance with sprinting. A great time was had and technique improvements made by all, from paddlers who just learnt with us this summer to hardened racers on raceboards. Kit ranged from 14′ long and 23″ wide down to 10’8″ x 34 iSUPs. Everyone willing to put the effort in can join us! For dinner, we hit The Peterboat in Old Leigh for a change. Race Club continues every Friday throughout August – keep an eye on our Facebook Forum and @SUPsect page for updates. Current forecasts for this Friday of strong north-westerly wind and a 6.46pm 0.8m low tide are pointing towards tucking out down the dogleg from Two Tree again? We’ll see how that pans out…

Then on Sunday we thoroughly enjoyed an awesome day of lessons at SUP school, introducing a dozen new people to paddleboarding on our two BSUPA Ready to Ride courses at Paper Mill Lock: a super-fun family session in the morning for Mum’s birthday, followed by more superb performances on the afternoon course… Although next weekend is fully booked, we still have spaces available on Sunday 2nd and Saturday 15th September lessons – book online via our Learn to SUP page.

But this coming week’s big deal is the return of SUPstock on Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday! Building on last year’s successful gathering at Andy and Jo’s place in Fambridge, we’re planning an even bigger shindig this year. The broad plan is we hit South Fambridge on Sunday morning, set up camp, paddle early afternoon (probably involving a pub stop!), followed by BBQ, chill, drinks and camping over. Then on Monday we paddle again (possibly to another pub?!?) chill, pack up camp and head home.  Everyone that paddles with us is very welcome, we just need to ask for £5 per camper to cover expenses: stay tuned to @SUPsect on Facebook or email [email protected] for more…

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