Bartley SUP Club
Glyn has gone from total beginner to hopes of becoming a confident SUPer paddle boarder thanks to Bartley SUP club.
For a while Glyn has had a yearning to try stand up paddle boarding, don't ask why but we all know Glyn - loves a challenge and to try a new sport. This page will keep you updated on how is he getting on ( and falling off ) the board.
Thanks to Bartley SUP for the photos, for the support and the dedication to
getting Glyn on the board.
Click on images below to enlarge pictures
Stand up - and paddle ?
As Glyn cycled along one of his usual training routes he would see in the distance lots of activity on the local reservoir, from sailing to wind surfing.
One day he noticed a group of people who were standing up on boards and paddling away, this really took Glyn's attention as it looked so much fun to do.
He cycled home and after a shower he researched on the internet for this standing up and paddling on a board sport, it was called stand up paddle boarding or SUP as it is abbreviated to.
Glyn searched online for a local club and signed up for an introduction/ beginner session at the very same reservoir that he had seen the group of paddle boarders, the thought that he will be having a try at a new sport filled him with excitement and he couldn’t wait until the following Sunday morning at Bartley reservoir where he would be taking to the water with Bartley SUP club.
Sunday morning arrived and Glyn woke up like a child on Christmas morning, not knowing what to expect and not knowing what the day will bring - will he take to this sport like a duck to water ( sorry about the pun) or fail miserably ? After arriving at Bartley reservoir and being introduced to Bartley SUP coaching staff and club members, Glyn was standing with a group of newcomers in front of a board and being shown techniques and safety on the board and in the water before going out on the reservoir.
The nerves Glyn had was still buzzing around his body but they were easing as the instructor put the group gently through their paces, they were lying on the board and then went into a kneeling position as they paddled along the water.
Glyn's confidence was growing as he paddled along with the group and it wasn’t long before he came to the ‘standing up’ on the board part of the session, not knowing why but standing up on an inflatable paddle board just didn’t feel natural to Glyn at first and he had this mental block which stopped him fully standing up on the board.
Glyn followed the instructions of how to position himself on the board and how to stand on the board with little ease but still that mental block was stopping him from fully standing up, this bought back memories of when he was a kid and learning to ride a bike with the only difference being that his older brother taught him to ride a bike and his brother's technique was to push Glyn down a hill with the attitude of ‘pedal or crash’, thankfully Bartley SUP coaching techniques are not that brutal and are so professional.
So despite that fact that Glyn's trust in his coach was high, he was still struggling to stand - then his instructor said “right, lean on my back and ease yourself into a standing position” of which he did but nervously he was wobbling as he tried to correct his standing position on the board.
Glyn stood but wobbled like mad as the gentle wind was knocking his balance ( and his confidence)… ‘SPLASH’ Glyn hit the water as he fell from the board and though he was wearing a safety floatation jacket ( a requirement of the club ) he still found himself in a little panic as he tried to scramble back on the board.
Glyn's instructor reassured him that he would be okay and advised him to kneel on the board until he got his confidence back, and as Glyn was paddling away he and couldn’t understand why he panicked in the water like he did- He is a strong swimmer and was wearing a floatation jacket so the coldness of the water must have played a huge part in his panic.
After several attempts to stand on the board Glyn was beginning to think that perhaps at the age of 54 he was too old to try a new sport but Bartley SUP believe (as Glyn does) that sports should have no barriers and no restrictions- especially to folk of a mature age like himself and so they persevered with him.
Taking him to a more sheltered part of the reservoir ( sheltered from the wind that was now becoming stronger) Glyn was encouraged to stand on the board but fell off again- and again - and again but this time he was in shallow water with the water coming to just below his shoulders and so his confidence was high again.
Then came a magically moment, with the help of his instructor and a woman named Jo- Glyn stood up on the board that was bobbing on the water but this time he was mastering his standing position and mastering his nerves.
By now a few more members of Bartley SUP had come over to Glyn to encourage him on and that was a huge boost to his success on the board, he just stood still on the board as instructed to help him gain more confidence and then he paddled along back to the other side of the reservoir and to the jetty where club members waited to cheer him on his success.
The wind was making Glyn sway a little but armed with instructions from experienced sup coaches and having members along with him to keep him confident, he was able to keep his position on the board more positively.
Glyn approached a waiting group as he came to the finish of his ‘stand up’ ride on the board and ( as mentioned previously) he felt the same as he did when he first successfully learned to ride a bike as a kid, but this time the lesson was fun, exciting and totally rewarding.
Glyn will be honest and say that he thought that this was one sport that he would not master but thanks to Bartley SUP he has overcome a huge barrier and achieved a big goal in his life and at the age of 54 too.
He has a long way to go on a stand up board but he is confident he will get there and be up to a great standard with Bartley SUP supporting him.
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A great way to be introduced to open water swimming .
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