What'sup - Paddle Boarding with KA Adventure Sports
How is it heading to the end of May already! Even with a patchy weather forecast we sent our team gal Liz and her partner Luke out into the field (or should that be Sea), all in the name of research! We thought we’d let them get soaked and try their balance at Paddle Boarding.
Growing up in Northumberland there’s something magnetic about the coast when you move away, it always pulls you back. With the last year or more not being able to get a Coastal fix we couldn’t wait to get back there this Spring. One catch, shoe horn yourself like a sausage into a wetsuit and be prepared to get wet… you know what, we’ll take it!
So what is Stand Up Paddle Boarding or SUP? Thought to originate in Hawaii and other South American and Asian countries as far back as the 1900s, it was a great way for the coastal population to get around Island to Island.
More recently it became an adaptation of surfing, and used by instructors to keep and eye on their classes whilst in the water alongside them. Using a wider board and with a paddle to propel the passenger through the water with ease,… (she says).
After brunch at The Bait at Beadnell, which is a great stop for sustenance with kippers in a bun and lots of tasty grub. We took our Labrador Rose and brother Ted (Little Hideaways Assistant Manager ) for a good walk and swim along Beadnell Bay.
The beach was bustling nicely with watersports and walkers, picnickers ready for all weathers and four legged friends all enjoying the sea and sand.
Once we’d walked off our breakfast and got the old adrenaline going with a hot coffee, we headed back to the car park where you will find KA Adventure Sports.
Kitted out with wet suits we were helped to adjust our paddles to the right height and the group headed to the beach boards under arm, following our instructor for the afternoon Jack.
Once on the beach Jack went through everything we needed to know before we ventured out into the sea. Safety, getting on the board, how to paddle efficiently and the difference in offshore, and on shore winds to boarders.
Now I have tried out SUP a couple of times but it was quite some time ago and Luke had never tried and at a leggy 6″3 he was a bit concerned about his center of gravity and the fact it was a bit further to fall than for little me.
He needn’t have worried he was pretty good at it and although fell off a few times, seemed to master the waves really well maintaining his balance. I on the other hand less so, I blame it on not sticking to Yoga over the lockdown. It’s fair to say once you’ve been in once, it’s not that cold, honest and the boards being nice and wide with a loop around your ankle and handle in the middle, were really easy to climb back onto. I did manage a Bridget Jones esk, slow-mo spectacular backwards somersault off the board which Luke said he had caught on camera as it was one of those rewind and replay You’ve Been Framed type moments for him to have a good laugh at.
But it was great fun, to be back in (on) the water. The sea was a fantastic turquoise when the sun shone in the shallower part of the bay and after just completing a season in the Caribbean, Jack said he was just as happy back home on the Northumberland coast He taught us how to pirouette, ride out the smaller waves and chatted about recent Dolphin sightings along the shore that week.
The two hour lesson went so quickly, we paddled out across the bay and I could see how it could be very easy to take up SUP on a regular basis. Without losing concentration it was also a great chance to zone out from the day to day, focusing only on balance and posture, the gentle swell of the sea and group conversation. Perfect after a testing few months of lockdown with a brilliant feeling of freedom and without sounding cliche; mindfulness.
It would also do wonders for core and general strength and for those who wish to take it to the next level there are clubs to join and Paddling competition to test your agility and speed. Who is it for? Everyone really, fellow instructor Jonny had a larger board which was brimming with youngsters having a wail of a time and with a lot more nerve and bravado than us older folk.
We loved it so much we’ve rebooked for June and with their books getting busy for the Summer months we would recommend you do too if you’d like to have a go.
After drying off and before a well earned hot chocolate, we interviewed Johnny and Jack from KA Adventure Sports to learn a bit more about what else they have to offer and hear about some of their favourite things to do in the area. Check out our video on our Instagram TV episode.