Paddleboarding is a fast growing sport in the UK, and as more boards become available, covering surf, flatwater and touring, whatever your preference, there is a board to suit.
Active Adventure South West do lessons at Wimbleball lake in Exmoor, so we popped down to have a go and find out more about it.
I gathered a group of friends together and we headed down to Exmoor, dodging thunder storms on the way down the M5 from Bristol it has to be said, but arriving at Exmoor we found ourselves warmed by sunny spells.
We met up with Dave Jackson from Active Adventure on the lakeside where we got kitted out in the usual wetsuit and buoyancy aid. After a warm welcome and a brief guide to the boards and paddles we headed in to the water to have a go.
As explained by Dave, popping up on a Paddleboard is pretty much the same as if you were surfing, but the main difference is the position you put your feet in. Both feet have to be central to the board and spread a little. This took a few minutes for me to adjust to as bad habits crept in from years on a longboard, but all of us including the non surfers were up and paddling without to much difficulty. Well, with a little support from Dave!
Turning the boards was explained next, and a few different options meant we could all turn to a certain degree. It was quite a surprise that we were all at the stage where we were up on our feet and paddling and able to turn. There was still plenty of splashing from the occasional uncontrollable wobble though!
After learning the basics, we headed out around the lake for a paddle. This was a great time to work on our paddle technique, and generally take in the scenery that Wimbleball has to offer.
One thing that really stands out from being stood on a Paddleboard whilst crossing a lake is the amazing field of vision you have. Paddling along you have a 360 degree view, aswell as well as a great view of the surface and in to the depths of the surrounding water. Basically you can see everything around you!
The whole set up of standing on the board, paddling with ease and the view you get from Paddleboarding, it’s easy to see why its becoming so popular. It’s also a very relaxing way to travel across water as it was easy to paddle and chat as you went along, a great sociable sport!
We finished our lesson by swapping boards, as some were longer than others and one was even an inflatable board. We found the longer boards more stable, but the smaller ones were more maneuverable. Finally we had the traditional group photo!
We had all really enjoyed our lesson with Dave from Active Adventure South West, and all were surprised at the level we had got to in just the one lesson! Just as well for myself and Rob Yates as a expedition beckoned and this was our first taste of whats is to come. More on that in 2013!
To find out more about Paddleboarding lessons on Wimbleball Lake check out Dave’s website below: