SUP Bristol and water safety

We’re passionate about sharing our love for the water, improving water confidence and sharing water safety messaging with our paddlers.

Here’s a snapshot of what we’re up to.

Developing safety standards locally, nationally and internationally

We’ve been training SUP instructors and guides since 2016 and our co-founder, Tim, is one of the UK’s most experienced instructor trainers. He provides Water Skills Academy (WSA) and British Canoeing courses and and runs training and safety audits for centres in the UK and worldwide. As one of WSA’s lead trainers he also consults for them on SUP safety, and the training and assessment of SUP qualifications. 

In order to help grow the sport both locally and nationally we’ve trained hundreds of schools and centres all over the UK and made our paperwork publicly available on our website. We’ll happily have a chat about opportunities in the outdoor industry if it helps set up a new business, or secure a job in the outdoors and we run a year 10 work experience placement for those interested in careers in the outdoor industry or in small business entrepreneurship. 

We’ve helped push the sport internationally by providing staff training to our high standards. We worked with a sailing school in Hainan, China to train 50+ staff to deliver SUP to British standards, and a school in Thailand who wanted to deliver remote river expeditions to students.

We also use our platform as one of the UK’s longest running and largest SUP specialists to advise other companies on safety through our blog and socials; for example we recently published our learning from the tragic Haverfordwest SUP accident.

 

Improving water confidence

Water safety is vital part of every one of our sessions. We always start with a briefing and explain the role of the leash, buoyancy aid and what to do if you get into trouble. Where we can we allow our customers to experiment with dismounting and remounting the board and find it an amazing confidence builder for weak swimmers. We hope people leave inspired to buy or rent a board in the future so we have conversations about the main risks of watersports – for example cold water shock. 

For 2023 we’re partnering with the RNLI to provide consistent safety messaging and signposting in our post session follow-up communications.

Promoting SUP safety online

We partnered with leading paddlesport equipment manufacturer, Palm Equipment, to produce a video explaining how to use their new inflatable ISO approved buoyancy aid. More recently, we’ve created our own Youtube shorts, discussing hot topics in SUP safety and technique. Check out our Youtube channel for more.  

Developing a local code of conduct for paddleboarding

Back in 2014 we worked with Bristol City Council to develop a code of conduct for paddleboarding and we keep them updated with changes in safety messaging and governance that may affect paddleboarding on waterways they manage.  

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