2 September 2015

'SUP in the Lake District

I’m often mistaken for an outdoorsy person.

I purchased my once worn ‘walking boots’ from Topshop, the waterproof section of my wardrobe is non-existent and although I’ve got my ultimate penny skateboard colour combination picked out, the chances that you’ll see me whizzing about on one any time soon are slim.

Yellow and black by the way – in case you’re wondering what to get me for Christmas.

When you’re based near the Lake District you can’t escape the reminders that you really should be doing something. Anything.

But there’s nothing I’m passionate enough about to actually do. You see, if I lived in Tynemouth, Wales or Cornwall I’m pretty sure you’d find me attempting to surf. If I was in London, I’d be complaining that drivers don’t give me enough room when they overtake me on a bike. Or I’d be inline skating - my all time dream method of transportation.

So despite being lucky enough to be based near the Lake District you’ll never see me jumping up and down about a ramble.  The thought of fell running makes me tired.  Sailing makes me yawn.  Kayaking makes me cold.

But an active lifestyle has always been on my to-do list. In the summer of 2008, me and my husband became obsessed with Living Lahania, a TV show about a surfing school based in Hawaii.

Not only did the show have a catchy theme tune and convince us to book a surfing holiday as soon as we could afford it – this series introduced us to stand up paddle boarding (SUP).

I’m not sure if you’ve made the correlation yet – but surfing is cool. Stand up paddle barding is also cool. Admittedly, I wanted to be cool. Wandering around in Cumbria dressed in your best fleece and carrying a flask of hot tea is not that cool.

However, there is nothing better than eating a tuna sandwich at the top of a fell after it’s been squashed at the bottom of your bag all day. I know this from experience.

As the years went by, stand up paddle boarding only increased in popularity. Now all of those bendy yoga types were organising retreats in beautiful places across Europe combining mediation and paddle boarding and sun and bikinis.

Yet here in Cumbria we were still taking boat trips across lakes on sodden bank holidays.

But everything changed when stand up paddle boarding came to the Lake District. That’s right, Cumbria got cool.

I might not be an outdoorsy person but I am an expert beginner. I’ve tried lots and mastered nothing. I’ve had a go at surfing, dabbled in skateboarding and as a teen I spent long two weeks in Newquay attempting to bodyboard.

What I lack in skill, balance and any natural sporting ability I make up for in enthusiasm. Occasionally. So why is my experience of paddleboarding different to any other sporting attempt and worthy of a blog post?

I can actually do it. And I think you can too.

The oversized inflatable surfboard is easy to balance, kneel and eventually stand on. The gentle nature of the waters in the Lake District means you’re not working against crashing waves and continuous tides.  Once you’ve taken an introductory course, you've got all the skills you need to try it again and again without spending too much dollar.

And even with a group of mixed abilities, ages and levels of fitness, as was my experience; every one of us accomplished the basics.

Sure, a few of us fell in (we didn’t - it was a miracle) but after a couple of hours it didn’t leave me feeling that I had a long way to go until I would be getting the hang of it.

I was paddleboarding. Really paddleboarding. In the Lake District. There’s hope I could be a little bit outdoorsy yet.



  1. Love this post! Well done! There are some sports I am terrible at (volleyball, tennis) but with water sports at least there is an element of exhilaration to keep you trying. I'd love to give this a go after trying surfing in Cornwall (http://www.pinaforesandpies.co.uk/5-reasons-you-need-to-try-surfing-in-cornwall/) - although I can see you've already tried that. x

  2. amazing photos! i've always wanted to visit the lake district! x

    Becky | BCKY.CO.UK

  3. I sooo wanna try this! You really can't help but feel like you ought to make the most of it in the Lakes can you? I tried canyoning during my week there this year but definitely want to try SUP next time - love your writeup!
    P.S. love the tuna sandwiches bit - so true :P
    lily x

  4. Haha loved this post! Well done on mastering paddle boarding and not falling in!! I would love to try something like this but fear I would spend more time shivering in the water haha :) xx

  5. beautiful photos, love the lake district (and i'm not an outdoorsy person either!) x

  6. I really enjoyed this post. I've been up to Keswick to visit my friend before but that constituted a weekend of boozing. I really want to visit the Lakes again. I've recently learnt the basics of swimming in preparation for my trip to Hawaii in May so hope to try paddleboarding.




Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...