SUPsect SUP Club meets every Wednesday night throughout British Summer Time, from when the clocks go forward in spring to when they go back in autumn – if you have your own kit and know how to paddle it, it’s completely free of charge and you’re very welcome to just come along and join us. If you don’t have your own board, limited hire kit is available when conditions and route are suitable – as long as you have completed our Learn to SUP course or can prove competence on a stand-up paddleboard (email [email protected] to secure yours…)
We go every week throughout BST, whatever the weather, so conditions will dictate how tough / easy the evening will be and how long / short the route. Some weeks, particularly when it’s warm, sunny and still, we’ll call an ‘all-comers’ night that will be very relaxed and suitable for everyone. But other weeks, often when it’s windy and/or cold, we might call it a ‘challenging’ or even ‘hardcore’ night that will demand some experience and paddling strength / confidence to keep up with the group and therefore won’t suit first-time SUP Clubbers.
We paddle at various Essex SUP spots depending on tide times and conditions: some of our favourites launches include Two Tree, Chalkwell and Thorpe Bay on the Thames Estuary, Hullbridge on the River Crouch, and Mill House, Papermill Lock (where we teach our paddleboard lessons) and Hoe Mill Lock on the River Chelmer. After the paddle, which usually lasts from 90 minutes to 2-hours covering c. 6-9km, we generally fit in a post paddle pint – and often dinner at a pub or curryhouse too (although that’s absolutely not compulsory, everyone is very welcome to join us for either, both, or neither!)
While we try to keep SUP Club as relaxed as possible, in order for it to work safely and effectively we do need to operate within a few simple rules:
• Leashes are compulsory for all paddlers at all times.
• No late launching (especially if you’re pumping up, please arrive in plenty of time to make the published launch time).
• No chewing gum on the water.
• Respect the turning time / place (as per the call and/or briefing) so we all get back broadly together as a group.
• Please paddle responsibly and courteously – don’t endanger yourself or other water users by paddling unsafely.
Full details of SUP Club, which vary week to week depending on weather, tides and wind, are published Facebook page @SUPsectUK. (And below!) As the forecast develops we’ll give a heads-up of the likely location via Facebook on Tuesday evening, before calling the event for sure by Wednesday lunchtime.
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SUP Club, Wednesday 17th July 2019: While there’s just enough breeze forecast at the coast to prevent us from doing low tide, the River Chelmer should be perfect for all comers tonight… Meeting at Paper Mill Lock (CM3 4BS) by 6.30pm ahead of a 6.50pm start (if you’re pumping up, please arrive in good time to inflate). We’ll be heading west (upstream of the lock) into a gentle flow, as always graduating our launch from the slowest / newest paddlers first to the raceboards last. We’ll operate a bounce-back or play-in-the-pool policy at Little Baddow Mill Lock (beyond Mill House) so we can safely get the newest paddlers through in the lead again, then everyone can paddle as far as they can before we all turn at 7.50pm sharp and group back up on the way home to Papermill. Hire kit is available for £20 to Ready to Ride graduates – email [email protected] ASAP to reserve your ride… (Our fleet is fully licensed, as all Chelmer paddlers should be to ensure this waterway stays open: see www.waterways.org.uk/shop/product_details?id=2038). After, beer and dinner at the Six Bells Boreham – we’ll do a headcount for food before we set off!