Massive increase in sales for paddleboard retailers

Outlets which sell paddleboards have reported record sales during the lockdown as more people take up the sport which is easy to do while social distancing, according to ITV News.

Board company, Red Paddle, which sells boards across the South East and globally, said its sales figures are over double what it’d expect to see at this time of year.

The firm’s CEO attributes the newfound popularity to the hot weather and the fact that participants do not need a lot of equipment to take part.

Furthermore, with most paddleboards on the market being inflatable, the sport has become incredibly accessible for all ages and for all abilities. The sport has a relatively low entry point in terms of cost, and there’s only a very small learning curve.

Stand up paddleboarder, Sarah Thornely, has advice for others who want to take up the sport.

She has been doing the sport for eight years and is encouraging people to do their research before heading out on the water. She says it is important to stay safe, and advises paddleboarders to make sure they wear a leash.

“Go and have a lesson,” she says. “You’ll learn technique which will save your body. It will protect your body. You’ll learn all about the dangers, be it on a river or the sea. I didn’t know anything about the ocean before I paddleboarded, I didn’t have any experience of the sea, so I’ve had to learn a lot about the tides, the offshore winds. But yes, get out there, and get involved and have fun, but be safe.”

Watch ITV’s full report online.

Meanwhile, Samantha Rutt, who owns Barefoot SUP paddleboarding school, will take on the challenge of paddling to France and back in September in aid of Blackdog Outdoors, according to the Ely Standard.

She’ll depart from Dungeness on the Kent coast and paddle to Boulogne in France before turning around and doing the journey all over again.

If Rutt, who was the first woman to paddle the Norfolk Wash, pulls it off, she will be the first person to make a return trip across The English Channel.

“My aim is to highlight Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and PTSD and the effect this can have on adult survivors,” she says.

“PTSD is thankfully now being talked about a lot more and there are some amazing charities and people out there doing amazing work but we need to talk more.

“I think, with my knowledge around mental health, I understand the benefits of getting people out safely on the water and engaged in nature.

“Kneeling or standing on your board can give you a bit of space to just focus, something that is often hard with PTSD and CPTSD.”

Rutt is seeking donations. The money raised for Blackdog Outdoors will cover overheads and supply equipment for the charity which takes sufferers paddleboarding free of charge.

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