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How I SUP: SUP Cornwall edition

Jenny Buckley |

The Bluefin SUP community is full of interesting characters with at least one thing in common: they all love to paddleboard! Although our community is spread out far and wide we think every Bluefin SUPer has a unique story to tell or word of advice to share on the sport we all love. Today’s post comes from Tay of Paddle Cornwall  SUP. Tay is not only a SUP Mom of 2 but qualifying as a paddleboard instructor. Read on for the first-hand account of someone who is devilishly funny and lives with a paddle in their hand year around.

I first tried SUP one morning at one of my favourite places in the world, Polkerris Beach in Cornwall. Some friends of mine had brought they’re board to the beach and of course all the kids jumped on for a go. One of my kids egged me on “Go on Mummy, have a go, have a go!!” and BOOM just like that, I was hooked. We all loved it so much that after a chat with my other half, Mr Paddle Cornwall SUP, we decided to buy one. From that point on we took it all over the place! The beautiful beaches around our special part of Cornwall naturally became our playground largely because of the accessibility of inflatable SUP’s. You can go anywhere with them which is simply brilliant.

The second focus of our exploration was the river Fowey. I am lucky enough to have grown up here and have used the river many times in different ways over the years but seeing it on a SUP gave it a whole different feel…It’s amazing how the familiar can be transformed with a paddleboard.

Now I hear you ask “how easy is it to take two small ‘smalls’ on a SUP?” And the answer is “VERY”! We have a 6 year old and a 3 year old and they both love it. There’s so much to see, smell, touch and hear that all their senses are in overdrive. We Stick a couple of wetsuits on them and a life jacket each and voila! Happy SUP pups every time.

What does SUP mean to me?

  • Adventure
  • Family time
  • Fitness
  • Friendship (my SUP sister Shelly is a proud Bluefin owner too)
  • Exploration
  • Peace
  • FUN, FUN, FUN!

The thing is this involving the kids in this kind of activity is not only great family time but helps them learn water safety – very important for an island race :D. Familiarising them with their outdoor environment while giving them a blueprint for an active life sets them up long term. Active kids make active adults so this early introduction really is an investment in their future.

I have enjoyed paddle boarding so much that I decided to become a SUP instructor. After completing my BSUPA Ready to Ride and RYA Powerboat level two, I recently carried out my BSUPA Level 1 Instructor qualification, all with the awesome team at Polkerris Beach. Later this year when I have completely finished the course I’m hoping to be able to practice. As you can see my casual foray into SUP has turned into both a passion and a lifestyle that my family and I love every second of.

Putting practice hours in is a big thing for me at the moment. Even though it’s winter I’m getting all the time on the water I can. I’m no fairweather SUPer, I’m an all weather SUPer. In fact the only thing that keeps me on shore is when it’s a tad to windy. To keep warm this time of year I wrap up tight.

I’m an all weather SUPer.

To give you an idea of my favourite winter gear:

  • Roxy 5mm wetsuit
  • Ripcurl thermals
  • Billabong neoprene vest and leggings 
  • Mystic neoprene jacket.

With any combination of these items I wear 5mm wetsuit gloves and boots. I personally like Typhoon. I’m also hoping to paddle as much of Cornwall as possible as there are so many beaches, rivers, backwaters and creeks – it would be rude not too!!