SUP on the River Thames

England’s second longest river has a history dating back to Neolithic times. The Thames flows through some of the driest parts of Britain’s mainland on a route taking it 236 miles from start to finish. Well known for its regattas at Henley, the Oxford and Cambridge boat race, and its Royal connections at Windsor, the river is also the base for Active 360. Water sport and particularly SUP is at their heart and it’s unlikely you’ll ever see London from such an unusual perspective.

The sport knows few boundaries, being enjoyed by both young and old alike. It’s wonderful exercise and a leisurely way to take in the surroundings while keeping fit. And the great thing about Active 360 is they’ll have you paddling like a pro in next to no time.

To start you off, their introduction course is ideal. Under supervision from fully qualified ASI instructors, Active 360 will teach you self-rescue as well as comprehensive motion techniques. The starter course lasts for 90 minutes and the cost includes buoyancy aids, wetsuit and board.

For the slightly more advanced, Active 360 offers a course on land and water designed to improve your SUP skills. This includes board carrying, prone paddling and how to fall safely on water. There’s always a fun element whichever course you’re on and safety on the water is paramount. As with all courses, suitable clothing and footwear is required. This course runs for over 2 hours and is great value.

If you’re a little shy of group activity, try their one-to-one coaching. You’ll be taught the correct stance, race turns and how to improve your paddling techniques. There’s even a chance to try before you buy your own board and equipment. For an extra charge, you can introduce a friend to the sport and learn the basics together.

Always popular are the company’s Group Paddleboard Trips. These are, inevitably, conditions and weather dependent, but generally cover up to 10 miles. They are a great way to socialize and share your experience – under guidance – on both inland and open water. The trips are more suited to those with higher levels of skill rather than total beginners, but are certainly something to aim for.

With its three locations on the Thames, Active 360 has been established since 2011. They emphasise the sport is like no other. You set the pace and progress accordingly. There’s no risk because you are always in experienced hands. Most of all, Active 360 is a company with a deep passion for SUP and an even stronger desire to share it. For more details, call them on 0203-393-5360 or visit www.active360.co.uk.

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