Since being a teenager, my watery activity has been kayaking and for the last 11 years marathon kayaking. It got under my skin: The sleekness of the boat, the speed and the adrenaline rush in competing.
But somehow something was missing.
I bought my paddleboard in 2020 when I joined a social paddling group and needed a craft which was not a wobbly kayak, liable to dunk me at every opportunity. I tried a few kayaks and boards owned by different members of the group and decided an inflatable SUP was the answer.
The board was my ticket to being part of a social group and the key criteria for this group was inclusion. We were a mix of instructors and total novices. It was about being on the water, together, leaving no-one behind, growing together, and appreciating our surroundings, and this year with Paddleboard Maidenhead’s SUP club I've felt that even more.
For the first time I've seen kingfishers on the river, crept up on herons, and watched the trees on the bank turn from shades of green to gold, russet and rust as autumn progressed. I found opportunities to be a little playful navigating around buoys and other obstacles in the water. I’ve experienced mini adventures through narrow streams and imagined I’ve "boldly gone where no paddleboard has gone before".
And lastly, I’ve experienced incredible camaraderie with my fellow paddlers both on the water and at our various coffee stops. I am loving having the time to get to know my fellow SUP club members. YOU are the cherry on the SUP club experience.
Louise - SUP Club Member