Meet the team


Tim Trew

Tim’s extensive watersports career began with competitive freestyle kayaking in which he competed for Great Britain. He is a British Canoeing 5* Leader and is Rescue 3 trained. He has paddled on four continents, taken part in numerous remote whitewater expeditions and worked for several years in marketing for leading paddling manufacturer Palm Equipment.

Tim discovered stand up paddleboarding in 2011 whist paddling in New Zealand, and in 2014 co-founded SUP Bristol, with partner Kate, to bring the outdoors to the city. His enthusiasm for sharing his passion for the water has led him to become a leading provider of SUP coach education.

Ask Tim about taking your paddling further.


Kate Ingham

Kate first tried her hand at SUP in the serene landscape of Nelson lakes, New Zealand. A few hikes and long distance bike rides later and she returned to the UK and co-founded SUP Bristol, convinced the sport was the perfect way to introduce more people to the water.

When not on a board, Kate loves open water swimming, competing in distances up to 10km. Kate has trained with the British Whitewater rafting team and enjoys being in, on or around water in a variety of boats and boards. Kate was the first female captain of her university canoe club and is the WSA’s first female coach educator. Trained and experienced in youth work, adult education and volunteer management, Kate is passionate about creating and facilitating accessible and enjoyable adventures and opportunities for others to develop.

Ask Kate about the GB racing scene and our work with youth and the community.


Toby Blackburn

Toby is our newest instructor, joining SUP Bristol whilst studying for his degree in Outdoor Adventure Leadership and Management at the University of Worcester.

Toby has a bright future ahead of him in the outdoor industry – this year including a summer with us and an exchange programme to North America’s Great Lakes. When not on the water he’s busy rock climbing, mountain biking and kayaking. Toby is a BCU Level 1 coach.

Ask Toby about careers in the outdoors and the latest in outdoor learning.

Martyn Kirby

Martyn comes from the wonderful world of white water kayaking. Armed with a paddle for over ten years, his obsession has taken him across European mountain ranges, down deep gorges and facing mighty Atlantic swells.

As a water born creature, SUP is Martyn’s choice when the river gods are withholding the water and the surf is flat. After two seasons with us, Martyn flew south to help develop whitewater SUP on Uganda’s mighty River Nile. We’re delighted to welcome him back unscathed for 2017.

Ask Martyn about all things whitewater.


Nick Seary

Nick took up paddleboarding 3 years ago at the tender age of 56 having seen Tim & Kate gliding along on the Floating Harbour shortly after SUP Bristol was born. Nick’s since paddled off the Pembrokeshire coast, the Pacific Ocean in California and the Mediterranean Sea in Spain as well as becoming an accomplished WSA Foundation SUP instructor.

Nick sees the Floating Harbour in Bristol as the ideal environment to learn to SUP and also see the city from the water in a way very few people experience. Living in the city centre, Nick enjoys Bristol’s cultural activities and he’s always happy to recommend things to do or places to visit. Nick’s ambition is to still be able to touch his toes at the age of 75.

Ask Nick about Bristol Harbour and its latest restaurants and bars.


Toni Popel

Toni discovered SUP while on a hen do at Saunton Sands in Devon. She fell off a lot but was soon back in Bristol Harbour on our SUP Yoga taster session and hasn’t looked back since.

While training with SUP Bristol she gained her WSA Foundation Coach Level One and Water Safety and Rescue qualifications, and now adores introducing people to such a wonderful sport and new way to take in the sights and sounds of Bristol Harbour. She enjoys running in her spare time and works full time with young people at a Bristol City Council run Children’s home.


Ben von Bertele

Ben, the tallest man with the shortest shorts in the team, started paddleboarding when there wasn’t enough wind to go kiteboarding. He went on to set up Bristol University stand up paddleboard club back in 2015 and then then worked with us as he completed his studies.

He’s now full time at Rolls Royce but joins us in the evening over the summer. Ben is a WSA Foundation SUP Instructor.

Ask Ben about SUP race training.

Lucy Tomalin

Growing up on the North Devon coast Lucy trained as a Sailing Dingy Instructor. After university a move to Plymouth meant an opportunity to explore other water sports.  Lucy has been paddling for 6 years in and around South Devon and Cornwall as well as trips to Greece, France and New Zealand. 

In 2016 she moved to Bristol and in the summer trained with us for her WSA Foundation SUP Instructor award.

Ask Lucy about delightful Devon and Cornwall SUP spots and her hidden trampolining talent.