Last Updated on 20th July 2018 by Sophie Nadeau
Have you heard of stand up paddleboarding? (Or SUP for short?) Because if you haven’t heard of the fastest growing and accessible adventure sport in the UK, it’s about time you did! I recently had my first taste of Stand Up Paddleboarding on the River Avon with the company Original Wild and quickly fell in love with the sport. So much so, that I’m quite literally considering investing in a board of my own…
What is Stand Up Paddleboarding?
When it comes to stand up paddleboarding, there are just two pieces of equipment; a paddle and a board. People who partake in the sport are often referred to as ‘SUPers’ for short. Originating in Hawaii, this adventure sport is often referred to as a cross between kayaking and surfing.
The Stand Up Paddleboards themselves are something of a cross between a surfboard and a bodyboard. Long and extremely stable, they’re great for working out your core muscles. You can even do yoga on the boards.
More recently, when at South Milton Sands, I spotted someone paddling along with their dog sat aboard!. When it comes to where to can go for SUPing on the water, the possibilities are far and wide; calm beaches, flat lakes, and along rivers…
Stand Up Paddleboarding on the River Avon
When I first heard that we would be getting another glimpse of Bath via the water’s edge, I had no idea what to expect. We’d been told to bring trainers we didn’t mind getting wet… And that was about it! Safe to say, I was more than a little nervous at the prospect of falling in the Avon.
However, as it turns out, balancing (and even standing on the board) turns out to be a lot easier than it actually looks as the boards are really quite stable. I needn’t have been nervous as I didn’t end up falling in, and nor did anyone else from our group.
Two experienced guides accompanied us during the session and were always willing to give tips and advice when it comes to learning stand up paddle boarding. Speaking to the team from Original Wild following the session, it turns out that it’s quite rare for people to fall in during a SUPing session.
The Original Wild Experience: A Review
We met up with the team from Original Wild and set off for our gentle paddle down the river as the shadows grew long and the sun began to dip down towards the horizon. Although the hardest part was actually getting on the board in the first place, once we were paddling away, we were quickly able to take in Bath from an entirely new perspective.
While you’re getting to grips with the paddle and board, you start off kneeling on sitting cross-legged atop the board. Should you choose to, you can then stand up (though, of course, this isn’t a requirement!) Our session lasted roughly an hour and took us all the way along the River to Pultney Bridge and back again.
If you’re looking for one of the most unusual things to do in Bath, then I can’t recommend a paddle down the River Avon enough. If you request stops along the way, Original Wild even offer ‘pub stops’. SUPing with Original Wild starts from £15 per person.
I went Stand Up Paddleboarding on the River Avon as part of the #unexpectedbath trip with Visit Bath in collaboration with a number of partners. However, all opinions and words are my own! A couple of the photos are thanks to the team at Original Wild (who include photos and instruction as part of the price pack). Thanks for such a great experience!