SUP WHAT IS IT?
Stand Up Paddleboarding, or SUP, is the UK’s fastest-growing watersport, with participation levels rising year-on-year since exploding onto the scene in 2010. It involves standing on a large board and propelling yourself along the water with a single paddle. It’s a great way to explore the UK’s waterways from a different perspective and, once you’ve mastered it, a wonderfully relaxing pastime. ‘SUP is so popular because it’s so accessible,’ says Sian Sykes, founder of Snowdonia and Anglesey-based psychedpaddleboarding.com. ‘People of all ages, shapes and sizes can learn easily. You can do paddle-boarding yoga, you can do it on the sea, you can surf, you can tour, you can whitewater on the river. Or you can just pootle around. I love the adrenaline of being outside, feeling windswept, and with rosy-red cheeks, but your eyes are sparkling and you’re grinning from ear to ear. It melts stress.’
Stand Up Paddleboarding Photo Gallery
SUP is a full-body, weight-bearing workout that increases all-over body strength, plus improves core stability, balance and co-ordination. It can be gentle or demanding, drawing on your aerobic fitness and stamina too.
HOW TO TRY IT
With demand for the sport ever increasing, a quick Google will find an instructor or watersports centre near you that offers lessons for all levels. Most will have equipment for hire. You can wear normal sports kit, or a swimsuit or wetsuit plus lightweight trainers, depending on the weather. You’ll have to wear a buoyancy aid, called a personal floatation device or PFD, too.
KEY KIT: Wear the stylish, eco-friendly True North Delphin All-In-One Suit (1), £125; finisterre.com. Head to redoriginal. com to pick up a Luxury Towelling Robe (2) to protect your modesty while changing, £45, and Airbelt PFD (3), £99.
Float Fit WHAT IS IT?
Aqua workouts have evolved from the gentle moves to music in your local pool. Try this water-based cross-training session, developed by Aquaphysical. The 30-minute classes incorporate HIIT and yoga-style moves, all performed on an Aquabase board (like a floating gym mat) in the pool.
Imagine doing squats and burpees, but on a floating mat, and it’s easy to envisage the core-stability gains. Even the more static yoga poses require all your stabiliser muscles to work overtime to keep you afloat. So this is a killer abs and all-over workout, as well as excellent training for watersports such as SUP and surfing. Challenging your balance has also been shown to improve concentration and working memory. Best of all it’s a fun session for body and mind – but be warned, you’ll probably fall in!
HOW TO TRY IT: There are 1,500 FloatFit instructors across 54 countries worldwide. Visit aquaphysical.com/ find-a-class to find your nearest.
KEY KIT: Speedo’s H₂O Active range is workout wear designed for use in water. It’s constructed from chlorineresistant POWERFLEX ECO fabric, which is 78 per cent ECONYL, a nylon yarn made from regenerated plastics such as abandoned fishing nets that might otherwise harm marine life. H₂O Active Stormza Sports Short (1), £32, and Stormza Inject Tank Top (2), £50; both speedo.com. Speedo Sports Towel (3), £14; wiggle.com.