A Stand Up Paddle Paddle Season in Stats
99 adventures, 485 miles, 20 launch sites, spotted 15 dolphins and 42 seals, got 17 horse fly bites, 102 packets of biscuits (shared), used 470 ml of sun cream and ate 68 pasties.
The challenges and fears are not so different for your dog, and so it is well worth casting your mind back.
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In 2018 we piloted some SUP in a Bag Holidays and shared some amazing adventures. In 2019 we hope to develop more options including Learn to SUP in a Weekend, SUP Like a Local and Marine Eco Adventures including beach cleans and SUP Rockpooling.
Please help to shape these experiences by completing this short survey. Questionnaire respondents will be entered into a prize draw to win a half day SUP Tour for two and receive a 10% discount off their first booking of 2019.
SUP in a Bag provides amazing Stand Up Paddleboard experiences for beginner to intermediate paddlers across mid Cornwall. Photos are taken every trip and many of our fellow paddlers allow us to use them on our website, there are so many beautiful shots we thought that it would make a great competition.
The prize is a our most popular experience the 2.5 hour Guided Tour in small groups. For your chance to win a Tour for you and 3 friends or a private Family SUP (children +6 years) a prize worth £160:-
For your chance to win the prize worth £160 visit Facebook/SUPinaBagUK to see photos of the contenders
Cola SUP Dog - Joff Walls - Kelly SUP Club - A Seal - Jimbo - Owner Mand
An appearance includes distant views, significant body parts (feet!) and if the same picture appears more than once it will be counted more than once. Embedded social media and video are excluded. Judged based on content on 30th January (no significant changes planned).
The competition finishes on 30th January, 2018. The winner will be chosen at random from the list of correct entries. The Prize Tour must be taken by 30th October 2018 and should be booked in early particularly for busy periods such as the school holidays and summer weekends.
Now where to start? You are heading to Cornwall in June with 3 friends, 3 of you have boards and one will have to hire, everyone has SUP’d happily on inland flatwater for many miles, the aim is to paddle a beautiful stretch of coastline which is safe. Sounds plausible?
A great starting point is a hire company, you can choose a beach based one which may fix your launch site or a mobile one, which will give you more choice. Whichever you choose you can ask for advice. SUP in a Bag provides a Journey Planning Service with hires, even if you may want the experience of planning yourself, sounding out ideas is always a good thing.
You may have a favourite spot that you have dreamed of launching from, and that is a great start. If you have a blank canvas, try searching the phrase ‘best places to paddle in …….’ Or pick a place on the map, Mevigissey ‘I’ve heard there are a lot of boat trips there, there must be lots to see!?’
It is worth searching videos too and think about other paddle sports, mindful of the different abilities of different craft. My favourite is GB Paddler who has an amazing series of videoshttps://www.youtube.com/user/GBPaddling/videos be mindful that it is a little extreme for most people and he certainly has a knack for having the perfect conditions.
Searches will throw up all sorts of useful and not so useful information. They may even give you that all important inspiration.
Here are some of my favourite websites:-
www.paddlepoints.net is both a community and a powerful tool which includes launch sites and a platform which enables you to look at OS maps and Google Map generated Satellite pictures as well as tidal information from one screen.
www.cornwallbeaches.org.uk has mapped 100’s of beaches in Cornwall. Each beach has an information sheet describing the characteristics of the beach, what activities it is good for, any amenities and parking. It even has details of the slipway.
www.songofthepaddle.co.uk are a knowledgeable and active Canoe Community who regularly Blog about their trips and offer advice and ideas. The Blogs are usually fairly detailed with pictures, launch sites, tidal issues and even ideas of where to stay. They are dedicated to Open Canoes so you may not be able to join. Note open canoeist’s travel faster, further and tend to stay inland or on sheltered stretches.
www.SUPTrotter.co.uk is an emerging community Platform. It is really interactive and enables you to build up a profile of your paddling.
Local Tour businesses may have done the work for you by describing their Tours and highlighting the ability required. They may also have other resources SUP in a Bag publishes a top places to paddle in Cornwall www.SUPinaBag.co.uk/Places-to-Paddle
The lone blogger often knows a small area intimately and so sometimes comes up trumps, I found one of my favourite little know inland launch sites by reading www.adventureswiththeblackdog.co.uk
You tested your search engine (other search engines are available), now search for the launch location and click on the map tab, I head straight for the Satellite option. On a large scale you can see features such as Bays and Headlands and on a detailed view you can see rock gardens and small beaches.
I spend hours on Google Maps, I start by looking at the route and if it interests me, I scroll along it thinking is it sheltered from the Atlantic swell, are there changes in the direction of travel, features such as headlands, are there escape routes and in which winds and swell will it work. more about these later).
I often switch to PaddlePoints at this point to look at contours or I load up the Google Maps photos. These help to build a picture of the route. If there are few photos available, it is sign that it is an extremely quiet stretch and perhaps one to be avoided for your first trips.
The OS function on www.Paddlepoints.net has an advantage as it gives detailed names of islands and features. The names given many years ago are usually a good sign ‘Ralph’s Cupboard’ a collapsed cave and ‘the Devil’s Frying Pan’ are intriguing. Other useful spots may include historic quays, though further research is required to see if they are public access.
The OS also gives the gradient of the shore and importantly the rights of way in case you did have to abandon a paddle and walk out.
I usually load up Google Map again and look at street view, I use this for scouting out on road parking options and even reading any restrictions on public use of a slipway, being mindful that this information may have changed.
· Understood the abilities of the group
· Agreed goals
· Thought about the conditions that you are happy to paddle in
· Picked a favoured location
· Scouted the route out for any features or areas which may have localised conditions affecting your journey
· Thought about the route and in which conditions it will work.
Like planning a walking route you now need to translate the information you have into a route, perhaps recording it on a route card or directly on to the map. Useful information will include:-
· The launch location, with great parking, an easy carry to the water and that you know you can safely set off from and return to.
· Land marks, points that are easily identifiable and may affect the conditions
· Estimated timings and so the state of tide (low tide, mid or high tide)
· Places appropriate for breaks
· What hazards are there and what action will you take? Ie. other water users, rocks under the surface, moorings, crossing a busy stretch of water
· Emergency egress points
· Are there any points to turn back at, if you are too late to get to past them?
Being flexible on your destination and having a turn back time rather than a place is a good idea.
One way journeys are great as you see more and can often use the wind and tides to your advantage. The down sides are that there are time consuming transport issues (unless you have a willing support crew) and you are committed to an end point.
Daylight hours is a consideration, everyone enjoys a sunset paddle, but depending on the time of year the light can disappear so quickly and on a stretch of water that you don’t know this can be problematic.
Now seems like a good time to talk about ‘faffing,’ we all do it, no matter how well we think we packed the night before. Someone in your group may be a consistent offender for a ‘faffathon.’ It’s important to distinguish between proposed meet times and getting on the water. Building in contingency time is really useful.
I get asked this a lot and there is no simple answer as it is dependent on ability, equipment, the conditions and probably the biggest impact is whether you travel in a straight line or like to explore every rocky outcrop and cave along the way. 2 km per hour seems to be a good guide for people with SUP experience on all purpose kit, moving but ducking and diving a little.