As these autumnal days begin to feel colder and fresher, and nights draw out longer and darker, I find myself looking back over summers adventures, doing my damndist to stave off that slow feeling of hibernation winter brings.
I’m a believer that heading out on an adventure of any kind is good for the soul, so I’m sharing a little of what I’ve been up to this year. I’ll do my best to include links, locations, and ideas that may be of use.
Whilst it’s been a strange kind of year for all, I hope you’ve managed to make the most of spring and summer that was, generally, decent weather. Even we were locked-down for some of it.
This year, I discovered stand-up-paddleboarding.
Now, I’m late to the table with this. Mainly because I thought it looked too tame compared to kitesurfing, which I’m still passionate about. (Even if I don’t get out on the water much at the moment).
But I was wrong.
Sure, it is tame in some ways. But it’s also a versatile way to get on the water and have some fun. There’s the ocean for a start. Not only waves, but those beautiful calm evenings when the sun is setting and the land begins to release the days heat.
Or, there’s exploring salt water marshes and creeks – of which there are plenty if you know where to look. How about a paddle to the pub. Or a play on the local canal and resevoir (suprisingly good).
I’ve got some really good memories from SUP mini-adventures this year.
I became involved in teaching SUP and clocked up some serious practice time in a few weeks. Then, had chance for a paddle to the pub and back (in the dark) before exploring some of the south coast.
I even had my first experience of wave (not) riding on the east coast, followed by a full moon paddle the same evening. The sense of tranquility at that time of day is hard to describe with words. I’ll just say – it was incredible.
In all honesty, I’m kicking myself for not picking the sport up sooner. Not only is it a great non-wind option, it’s a killer work out if you go for it, and I’ve been inspired by people I’ve met who’ve undertaken longer expeditions and wild campouts (Caledonian Canal anyone?).
In case you were interested in SUP, the British Stand Up Paddle Association is a good source of info.
If you’re on the south coast of the UK, I’d recommend 24-7 boardsports and Nomadic kitesurfing. These guys are based at Calshot, and offer a range of SUP tuition, equipment hire, and all round friendly advice.
If you happen to be on the east coast, in particular the North Norfolk coast, I’d suggest Northshore and Brancaster boards. Again, a friendly and fun service, happy to take you exploring both in the ocean and through the saltwater marshes on that part of the UK.
And, if you’re local to the East Midlands, I’d suggest the YesTribe East Midlands – a group of friendly volunteers who are often running paddle related social events.
Anyway, there you have it, a quick look back at one of summers moments. Whilst 2020 has not been the greatest year for many, I hope you managed to squeeze in a few fun times.
But, don’t worry if not. There’s still time for a few more…if you’re quick.
Thanks for taking the time to read this post, and I hope you find value in what you read. If you do, please consider sharing out. Even better, consider buying a copy of my first book Adventures In Happiness. For the price of a coffee and cake, you’d be supporting a self-published auther and freelance writer. And, it’s actually quite a good book.