Anyone for a SUP? The water sport taking Scotland by storm

Kintyre paddleboard enthusiasts, from left, Joanna Holbrook, Trudy Kennedy, Marjorie Leighton and Lindsay Wallace.
Kintyre paddleboard enthusiasts, from left, Joanna Holbrook, Trudy Kennedy, Marjorie Leighton and Lindsay Wallace.

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Stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) has experienced a huge rise in popularity in recent years, establishing itself as one of the country’s favourite water sports.

With modern roots in Hawaii, SUP was born from surfing but is said to be much easier to master which perhaps explains its rise in popularity.

It is not uncommon to see participants, who stand on boards floating on the water and use paddles to propel themselves, in Kintyre’s seas and lochs.

Now, the peninsula is to have its very own dedicated group, Kintyre SUP Club, to provide safe and fun access to the sport.

The British Stand-Up Paddle Association-accredited (BSUPA) club will be deliverin ‘ready to ride’ courses, aimed at people who have never done stand-up paddling before or those who have had a go but want to learn the basics.

The idea for a local club and BSUPA school was first discussed and planned in 2017 but due to a number of factors was unable to progress at that time.

Since then, a band of dedicated Kintyre paddleboarders have shared their enthusiasm for the sport, encouraging others to have a try, learning their skill and gaining experience in the water, which has enabled the progression of the club through a supportive infrastructure.

SUP yoga is another practice many paddleboarders enjoy.
SUP yoga is another practice many paddleboarders enjoy.

‘SUP has been growing in Campbeltown and the surrounding area and nationally over the last few years and it’s great news that Kintyre now has its own club and school,’ said a spokesperson.

‘We have been supported with training, guidance and coaching from the BSUPA team, Dom Moore and Sasha Chisholm, who have both delivered courses to allow our vision to progress.

‘We now have Trudy Kennedy, senior coach and level two BSUPA instructor, and Lindsay Wallace, Sarah Simpson and Jowita Kolibska, who have all recently completed their BSUPA level one instructor course.

‘This gives us the foundations to progress, working also in partnership with Kintyre Seaports and Active Schools.’

The school offers a two-hour training sessions which will introduce beginners or novices to the basics of paddleboarding, safety management and water awareness, and an introduction to weather conditions in a fun and interactive way.

Upcoming sessions will take place at the following times: September 11, 11am to 1pm; September 15, 5.30pm to 7.30pm; September 29, 5.30pm to 7.30pm; October 2, 11am to 1pm.

Each student will be provided with a board, paddle and buoyancy aid, but will be required to have a wetsuit.

The cost for the course is £40 which includes a completion certificate.

The water sport is a great way to spend time with friends. This photograph shows Alison Mcgrory and Jowita Kolibska.
The water sport is a great way to spend time with friends. This photograph shows Alison Mcgrory and Jowita Kolibska.

Coming soon is the full launch of the club, which will host different events to build skill and help develop paddle techniques, as well as organising fun social paddle sessions. These events will be ticketed; more details will be available soon.

‘The prerequisite to joining Kintyre SUP Club will be completion of a medical form, and water skills form, to allow us to assess your ability, and part of your introduction will be a water skills assessment to establish your level within the club,’ said the spokesperson.

‘This is coming really soon and more information will be available on our Facebook page or by contacting us on kintyresupclub@gmail.com where we will answer any questions or queries you may have.

‘We are looking forward to seeing you on the water with us really soon!’