SUP is the fastest growing watersport in the world, or so they say. This may or may not be true. But a large number of SUP paddlers don’t really see SUP as a sport. They see it as a recreation, a pastime, a way of life. To many people sport is about competing. And there is so much more to stand up paddle boarding than competing in races and events. A friend of ours recently said that the real reason why SUP will keep growing is because paddle boarding is so sociable, friendly and easy. And because it isn’t elitist or cliquey in the way that many water activities are.
If you want to find out more about SUP, try it out to see if you like it, or just check out what all the fuss is about, talking to your nearest SUP club is the place to start. Trying out SUP with your nearest club is normally the friendliest, easiest and cheapest way to see if it’s for you. If you tend to be nervous or anxious, or have no previous watersports experience, then you might be better off starting with a lesson from a qualified instructor. But for most people, SUP clubs are the best way to have a go.
What is a SUP club?
A collective of like minded SUP paddlers.
At its simplest, it’s a group of like minded paddlers who get together and go for arranged paddles regularly. An example of this is the Southsea SUPers on the South Coast. This group has no affiliation with any shop, brand, or school/instructor. Totally free for anyone to join in.
Free membership SUP clubs.
SUP bath is a bit of a step up in terms of organisation. It’s run by Jon Archer, a qualified SUP instructor, and the owner of Bath Paddleboard Centre. It has an organised events calendar, and you can rent boards for a nominal price at the weekly paddles. The paddles range from a paddle and a pint type events in Bath, through to longer paddles further afield on the Thames and Wye, and also include ladies only paddles. Other events include curry nights and ten pin bowling, so it’s not only about SUP. And the group has recently organised a paddleboard litter pick for March 31st on the Stroudwater in the lovely town of Stroud in the Cotswolds.
Paid membership SUP clubs.
At the other end of the scale you have full on membership SUP clubs with their own facilities, including cafes, bars and warm changing rooms. Obviously these cost a little more, but they offer a little more.
An example of a membership SUP club is the Norfolk SUP club based at Whitlingham Broad in Norfolk.
The Norfolk SUP Club is the longest established and largest active SUP community in Norfolk. We are not just a Social Media group, we are a fully functioning members club.
The Norfolk SUP Club meets every Thursday evening from 6pm-dark & Sunday mornings from 9am-1pm during the months of April-September. As the nights draw in we utilise Sunday mornings throughout the winter. We operate 12 months of the year!
Whichever type of SUP club you’re looking for, or whoever you end up paddling with, you’re sure to have fun. So don’t be afraid. SUP clubs don’t bite! To find the nearest UK SUP club to you, check our SUP maps. If you want the added security of a lesson with a qualified instructor (and don’t forget that many SUP Clubs are run by qualified instructors), you can check out the SUP instructor / school maps .