#GetYourActiveOn has been the life moto I never knew I had until Neilson coined the phrase!

I have a passion for some of the more extreme watersports including kitesurfing, wakeboarding, jet skiing and scuba diving, however recently I’ve found solace in the tranquillity of stand up paddleboarding.

Lockdown has taught each of us individual lessons; a huge one for me, is that we all need to slow down and truly appreciate the things around us. Paddle boarding offers a slower pace whilst still getting time on the water. You can cruise along rivers, explore lakes and nearby coastlines whilst chatting to friends, getting fit and honing core balance skills.

What You’ll Need

A wetsuit to keep you warm, even in the summer the sea can be cold. A buoyancy aid will give you more water confidence and keep you afloat. Take a phone in a waterproof pouch, it’s not just for great action shots but also a vital lifeline if you get in trouble. Hardware: Just a Board, Paddle and Leash. For stability, start with an all-round board, something between 10-12’ft in length and at least 30” wide. If your board is inflatable, make sure it’s pumped up to at least 15-20 psi. Adjust the paddle so the handle is at least 6-10 inches above your head. The leash then goes around your ankle and keeps you attached to the board.

Where To Go

Any body of water works! If heading to the coast, aim for a lifeguarded beach and check the flags for where you can launch. If you have local rivers or canals, you may need a waterways licence so double check before you make your first trip, a local watersports shop may be able to help also.

When To Go The lighter the wind, the better - under 7 knots (10mph) If heading to the coast, avoid offshore winds, strong tides, flow or currents as these are difficult to paddle against.

How To Do It

To launch safely and build confidence, start on your knees. Keep your weight over the middle of the board – where the handle is. Stand up once you’re in deeper water, look where you’re going and try and keep your knees slightly flexed. Keep the paddle as vertical as possible bringing it out at your feet each time. Swap sides and you should stay in a straight line If you do fall in, try to fall flat rather than diving in. Always make sure you stay close to shore and well within your capabilities.

What Next

As you’ll see from the end of the video, we don’t always get things right first time ;) So, don’t worry if you’re a bit wobbly at first; falling in is always a great way to cool off and is all part of the learning process. Remember: If you’re not getting wet, you’re not having fun! So, get out there, #getyouractiveon and please drop me a quick vote!