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McConks SUP – what you may have missed, March 2020.

McConks SUP blog round-up, March 2020

McConks SUP – what you may have missed, March 2020.

Here’s the round-up what’s been going in the world of McConks for March, 2020…

It’s no surprise that global health events have dominated both ours and every other news feed. The escalation and speed with which COVID-19 spread across the world, and thus determined each country’s response, has been unprecedented.

What started off as social distancing or self-isolation for those showing symptons, sped furiously into a lockdown situation within a matter of days. We published a McConks article about how to keep paddling in times of mild social distancing, which out of date almost as soon as wrote it! You can read the article below.

Keep on keeping on

As we know, things moved fast and paddling’s now off for the near future. Because of this, McConks SUP needed to clarify our position as a UK SUP brand -and also because we needed to respond to a lot of queries and questions we were getting. You can view that article via the link below.

Coronavirus and McConks SUP business continuity

With bleak outlooks and doom and gloom throughout the media, we thought it time to lighten the mood a little. Not to say we recommend burying heads in sand but we were just trying to give a little respite from the negativity, and break the anxiety that many of our followers were feeling. With tongue firmly in our cheek, the following article should bring a smile and some knowing nods of the head. It’s always good to learn from others goofs!

5 SUP mistakes anyone can make

Keeping things positive, and looking for light at the end of the tunnel, we have a prize draw competition, in association with SUP Mag UK where you can win a McConks SUP package. If you’ve not seen it, then check out the details and enter in the following article.

Win a SUP package with McConks SUP and SUP Mag UK

We had planned to use March 2020 to launch a national initiative getting kids and young adults, who might not normally have access to stand up paddling, into the sport. Unfortunately this had to be put on hold for obvious reasons. Still wanting to Go Inspire though we switched tack to announce the Cornonavirus Hardship Fund which aims to help key workers and the vulnerable get afloat with the least amount of hassle possible. You can find all the necessary dets by hitting the article link below.

McConks SUP Coronavirus Go Inspire hardship fund

And now for something completely different…If wordy escapism is your thing, and you enjoy a good yarn, then check out the first of McConks’ reading corner stories. Yep, a story. A real, bona fide pice of prose! But one with a lesson for us all…

The Fisherman – an ocean lesson for us all

Continuing the gnarly fisherman theme, McConks SUP launched the Go Rhyme competition where we’re asking you guys to come up with a sea Shanty of your own in the same vein as Fisherman’s Friends, the Port Isaac, Cornwall, based folk group that specialise in singing working fisher tunes. Full details in the following article.

Go Inspire: It’s all part of being a paddler sea Shanty challenge

Oh, and hopefully you will have noticed that we’ve been gradually improving user experience on our website. We’ve fixed a number of bugs with the search tool and with the menu bars, and have been working on updating product pages where information was out of date.

Don’t forget to keep an eye on McConks’ website and social media streams for further stand up paddle boarding inspiration, info and comment. If you have article ideas or queries of your own then feel free to get in touch.

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SUP hacks, tips and tricks to help you progress as a stand up paddle boarder – WE NEED YOU!

SUP hacks, tips and tricks to help you progress as a stand up paddle boarder – WE NEED YOU!

It doesn’t matter what standard of paddler you are, there’s always something new to learn. The smallest tidbits of info can often make the biggest differences. How’s the old saying go? ‘Every day’s a school day’. And whether you appreciate cliches or not nothing could be truer when it comes to SUP.

With the above in mind McConks is rolling out an ongoing series of SUP hacks, tips and tricks. (We’ve used the term ‘SUP hack’ for a while so it makes sense to keep on following this path). Moving forwards we’re asking everyone involved with stand up paddle boarding to share their SUP hacks, tips and tricks with us. This’ll hopefully help when we’re able to paddle again.

Pic Credit Ben Arthur, Cotswold Water Park Trust

You don’t have to have an associated with McConks SUP either. This is something that’s being flung out to the wider SUP fraternity – after all: ‘knowledge is power‘ (to quote another one of those phrases!).

Whether you be a SUP instructor, brand professional, recreational paddler, fledgeling beginner or other simply whack your phone out and give us a brief explanation of what your SUP hack/tip is, in video form if possible, but just telling us is fine as well. It can be anything! And it can be more than one; you may have plenty. McConks will then add this to our weekly SUP hacks/tips series that we’ll publish here on the site. Of course, whoever contributes will receive full credit. We can add links and mentions where necessary to throw the favour back your way.

So, get your SUP hack thinking hat and get in touch with yours.

First up we have McConks’ brand owner Andy’s kids giving you their sage stand up paddle boarding advice.

You’ll find loads more essential stand up paddle board knowledge by hitting up the McConks Knowledge Hub page.

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Go Rhyme: It’s all part of being a paddler – SUP Sea Shanty challenge.

Go Rhyme: It’s all part of being a paddler – SUP Sea Shanty challenge.

A sea shanty, chantey, or chanty is a type of work song that was once commonly sung to accompany labour on board large merchant sailing vessels. The term shanty most accurately refers to a specific style of work song belonging to this historical repertoire. Source: Wikipedia.

Here at McConks we’re big fans of Sea Shanties. We’re also particularly fond of The Fisherman’s Friends – a ragtag crew of real fisherman from Port Isaac, Cornwall, who’ve popularised the genre to modern audiences. FF’s are probably the most popular group of type who’ve been the subject of a TV documentary, had their story told in the 2019 movie ‘Fisherman’s Friends’ (which even has a bit of paddle boarding in it!), have another film planned for release in 2020, have had multiple hit albums, won a BBC2 Radio 2 folk award in 2011 and played the famous Glastonbury Pyramid stage in 2011, among other accolades.

One of our fave Fisherman’s Friends ditties – that the kids love as well – is: It’s all part of being a pirate. The lads performed a special version just for us, with an exclusive dedication to SUPers. Check it out below.

As stand up paddle boarders, whether atop inland water or salty brine, there’s a connection to the sea. Piloting waterborne craft has been a thing for millions of years. And fishermen are well-respected masters of the oceans who know a thing or two about weather, tides, swells and conditions in general. In some ways there’s a synergy between stand up paddlers and men who fish.

A while back this got us thinking about penning and performing our own Sea Shanty, only with a paddle boarding slant. We were being a little too optimistic it turns out, and our rhyming skill let us down. However, the talented Chris Jones came to our help, and together we penned it’s all part of being a paddler, sung to the same tune as ‘it’s all part of being a pirate’ above.

Our favourite, topical, verse of ‘paddler’ is…

Being a paddler is all fun and games until Boris enforces a lockdown
But scared of the virus, don't want to be mindless, and worried 'bout all of the frowns
They stand in their garden, just waiving the carbon, and manage to calm themselves down
Being a paddler is all fun and games until Boris enforces a lockdown

It's all part of being a paddler....


The full lyrics, with guitar and banjo chords can be downloaded from here if you want to 'enjoy' our amazing word scanning and rhyming!

This got us thinking – particularly with times as they are currently. What if we got you, our McConks SUP family and friends, to come up with your own Sea Shanty, or your own verse to ‘paddler’. It needn’t feature pirates (but it could if you like) but it’d be great if it had something to do with stand up paddle boarding. And don’t worry if you can’t sing; you don’t need to be a pop star to make a Sea Shanty work; we’re just looking to see how much better your creative rhyming skills are than ours!

So grab whoever you’re in isolation with and get penning. You could also utilise the wonder of technology and make use of video calling to make it a truly collaborative effort. Once you’ve nailed down the lyrics of your Sea Shanty we’d love you to perform it, film and then post in the comments section of our social media feeds. We’ll then shortlist the three best which will then be voted on by the public. The eventual winner(s) will receive an organic, ethically sourced, recycled McConks ‘it’s all part of being a paddler’ t-shirt. Plus, you’ll have the admiration (and possibly mirth!) of the entire McConks SUP community.

Submit your entries before Monday April 6, 2020, to be in with a chance of being shortlisted. McConks SUP will then choose their three favourites (our decision is final). One entry per SUP household. Final winner will be announced following a public vote on Easter Monday, April 13, 2020.

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McConks SUP reading corner: The Fisherman – an ocean lesson for all.

The Fisherman

McConks SUP reading corner: The Fisherman – an ocean lesson for all.

And now for something completely different…

Sitting on the quayside, bathed in late summer sunshine, the weathered fisherman tended his nets, expertly picking away unwanted debris and splicing holes too large to make each interwoven link sound again. His daily yield depended on each net being just the right configuration to ensnare his intended catch, let smaller sea life escape and not cause harm to those bigger marine dwellers if accidentally tangled. If bigger fish were captured then the old fisherman did his level best to free them back to their previous life. No unnecessary fishing, or overfishing as some describe it.

The fisherman’s face glowed in a leathery fashion with too many hours spent in the glaring sunlight and being whipped by fierce wind and stinging salty rain. He looked up from his perch briefly, stained blue captain’s cap jauntily atop his white-haired head. Approaching from his left were two men, around thirty or so, clutching boards and paddles. As they edged closer the fisherman could hear their excited chatter. Both men were rabbiting on about the waves off to the main beach behind the sheltered harbour wall. The waves weren’t big, currently, but they were groomed smooth by the slight offshore wind.

Briefly, the fisherman arched his gaze towards the open sandy beach and observed a slow-moving swell approach the shallows. What started as an open ocean pulse of energy quickly started to fall over itself and ‘wall up’. Soon enough the wave crested and its lip began to feather signalling the imminent breaking of the wave. It curled elegantly before reeling along the sand bar, each droplet of saline spray glinting in the bright light, dancing like diamonds. The fisherman laughed wryly before turning back to his nets, briefly eyeing the two surfers again who were also transfixed.

Their behaviour became more animated and chatter volume increased. Then one spotted the fisherman. ‘Hey mate. How’s it going?’, one of them asked. The fisherman looked up and smiled, the warmth of his return greeting almost as balmy as the sun. ‘You’re a salty sea dog,’ the tall one carried on. ‘So you must ‘get’ weather and stuff’. The fisherman chuckled at this and said, ‘You could say that…’. The taller surfer paused and then carried on. ‘What d’ya reckon about the surf? Gonna get bigger, isn’t it? Proper pumping!’.

The fisherman rested his nets and threading tool on the quayside wall. He gazed out to sea, away from the beach and towards the horizon. Out in the distance, dancing on the haze were more boats bobbing about. He rubbed his chin, briefly looked up to the sky and then focused his attention back on the two men. ‘Well?’ Asked the second in a slightly more arrogant tone to the first.

‘Yep, the surf’s going to get big alright. But it’ll be accompanied by some strong winds. It won’t be too clever to go surfing in that kind of weather,’ said the fisherman nodding subtly at the equipment each man carried.

The second, brasher, rider let out a huge guffaw. ‘What d’you know old man? The forecast reckons it’ll be all-time and perfect!’ Loud mouth’s friend looked embarrassed and nudged his friend hard in the ribs. ‘What?’ the arrogant one turned to his mate. ‘It’s true innit? There’ll be some big waves but it’s gonna be perfect. What does an old fisherman know? He don’t surf!’.

As the years had crept on and age increased the fisherman had learned when he was wasting his breath. He’d been involved in similar conversations at times in the past. When confronted by a know it all there simply wasn’t any point arguing. Instead, the fisherman shrugged his shoulders and went back to his work.

‘Come on,’ surfer two said. ‘There’re waves to be ridden and some chunky ones incoming. Let’s get on it and show this old-timer a thing or two about surfing. You ready to watch us shred mate?’ The fisherman barely looked up, instead focusing on his nets. There was a subtle, knowing smile that appeared briefly, but he let the two ‘watermen’ carry on their way. The first surfer bowed his head as he hurried past whereas the louder of the two continued his blaring appraisal of conditions and how he couldn’t wait for ‘Big Saturday’ as he put it.

Around mid-afternoon, the first weather front swooped in from out to sea. It came with howling winds, lashing rain and a serious storm surge. There were waves alright; the type of waves that you could fit buses in to. Salty behemoths marching from the depths before throwing their furious energy directly on to the sandy beach. The fisherman peered from behind his curtain and listened to the rain drum loudly on the glass. He sipped his tea, shivered slightly and heard a huge gust of wind whip around his small cottage. There was a door banging somewhere out back and he heard next door’s dog begin barking. Briefly, he thought about the two surfers and whether they’d managed to score their waves. He considered what they’d been saying about forecasts and how he’d never looked at one in thirty years. All his weather knowledge and ability to predict Mother Nature’s moods had come from hard graft and experience on the sea. He rarely got it wrong, after all his livelihood depended on it. But he didn’t like to boast. Watching, learning, noting and waiting is how he’d describe his education to those that wanted to know.

The following day was still a little breezy but it was only the remnants of the storm in effect. The fisherman donned his thick double-breasted jacked, grabbed his hat and headed to the harbour to inspect for any damage. On the way he met a few locals who were all deep in conversation about two surfers who gotten into trouble whilst braving the furious seas. One was described as being completely arrogant and determined to surf regardless of the conditions. His friend was more cautious but had gone in after his friend, apparently.

The fisherman learned the RNLI had been called out after both riders had been swept out to sea and down the coast. It had been touch and go for a while, as the rescue boat fought extremely difficult conditions to locate the men. At one point an RNLI volunteer had been sideswiped by a wave and washed off the lifeboat’s deck. Fortunately, he’d been tethered but was left dangling over the side as colleagues tried to get him back on board. After a few torrid hours, the surfers were located, both suffering from hypothermia and exposure. It was lucky they were both alive.

The fisherman shook his head, pulled up his coat’s collar and headed towards his vessel which was gently bobbing in the remnant wind and chop…

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Win a McConks SUP package in association with SUP Mag UK.

Win a McConks SUP package in association with SUP Mag UK.

As the saying goes: you’ve got to be in it to win it. We may be facing difficult times as far as stand up paddling goes but when we can head out it’ll be all the sweeter. One way you could potentially bag some new SUP gear for when you can next SUP is head over to SUP Mag UK and get involved in the prize draw where you could win either a McConks 12’8 Go Explore or McConks 11′ Go X Wild plus 100% premium carbon paddle.

To be in with a chance of winning hit the link here and follow the instructions. Good luck! (Full Ts&Cs on the SUPM site).

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McConks Coronavirus GoInspire hardship fund

SUP with kids

GoInspire hardship fund – helping where we can

We’ve been really inspired how different companies have stepped up the mark in these times of crisis, and doing all they can to help. From work canteens doing free delivered meals for the vulnerable, to restaurants turning themselves into shops, to some of the amazing things that individuals are doing to give up their time.

We’ve been wondering what we can do to help. Apart from offering our time and van to help, we’ve felt a little powerless. But maybe there is something we can do….

If you work with kids and vulnerable adults

If you’re a social enterprise or third sector organisation working exclusively with kids or vulnerable adults, want to keep running activities and can do so safely whilst still maintaining social isolation requirements, but due to the current state of the world are a little short of cash, then we want to help. We can’t promise the world, but we are sorting out new monthly payment terms and hire offers for those companies who provide essential outdoor activities for those who would struggle to get it otherwise. Contact goinspire@mcconks.com for more information.

This offer is available immediately as of 21 March 2020.

SUP sunrise
Social distancing by SUP

If you’re a key worker or teacher

Spending time on or near water is proven to be good for mental and physical wellness, and key workers are having a pretty hard time of it right now! Finding time to manage your own physical and mental wellbeing might be one barrier to getting on the water, but we don’t want ready cash to be a barrier.

So if ready cash is a barrier to you getting out on the water (notwithstanding all the other barriers at the moment), then we want to help. We’re looking to sort out new payment plans over 4 and 8 months, with an option to return the board during the payment plan if it’s no longer needed, or if the payments get too much for you. Email us at goinspire@mcconks.com if this is of interest.

This offer is available immediately as of 21 March 2020.

Go Inspire

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Try before you buy – testing a SUP whilst social distancing

Try before you buy – testing a SUP whilst social distancing

So many of you are still hoping to get out there and paddle this year, if the conversations we’ve had with lots of people are any indication.

Fiding the right board for you normally involved paddling with others. The advice generally meted out on social media is to go paddling with clubs or groups, or go to a demo centre. But we know that many of you feel that is against government guidance for social distancing, especially if there’s not a centre close to you, and are therefore a little unsure how to try or test our boards. Of course, if you are happy to still go to hire centres, then some will still be open. Our local demo centre Cotswold Water Park Hire has already said that they will still be open as usual from April, but with some additional measures and restrictions.

Well we’ve got the perfect social distancing SUP trial solution. At ~£50 for four days, you get a brand new board (still in the box – really brand spanking new) to try to your heart’s content!

Take me to my SUP trial!

It is pretty easy. Just following these steps:

  1. Head over to SUPbypost.com, select your rental period from the calendar
  2. Place your order by PayPal or Stripe
  3. Look out for your delivery: DPD will notify you of your one-hour delivery slot the day before your hire starts
  4. Have fun with the brand new board exploring your local rivers or coast, and come to the conclusion that the McConks boar is absolutely perfect for you
  5. Contact us, paying the difference between the SUPbypost hire price and the retail price, or set up a payment plan via PayPal to pay us back over 4 or 8 months.
  6. If you decide to return the board to us, drop it off at your nearest DPD, DPD local, or MyHermes drop shop.

If the board you want to try isn’t available on SUPbypost.com, then let either of us know. We can make any board we have in stock available to test with SUPbypost.

And if you don’t know what type of board you want to try…

Try out our board selector/recommendation tool

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Buy local; keep it UK – the importance of supporting domestic stand up paddle board brands.

Buy local; keep it UK – the importance of supporting domestic stand up paddle board brands.

Stand up paddle boarding, in its short time since inception, has come a long old way. In particular the domestic UK market has evolved rapidly and is now going through a maturing phase. McConks, and other stalwart UK SUP companies like Fatstick, Loco, Neptune, Hatha and a few others have built solid reputations whilst continuing to drive the sport forward and support homegrown paddlers across all disciplines of the sport.

With global health as it is currently there’s a risk to McConks and the other brands mentioned above. McConks is doing its level best to keep things going and from our point of view there’s no doubt we’ll come through this, as we’re determined and passionate. Our UK counterparts are no doubt in similar situations and will also push through. But it’s going to be tough.

Setting up a Successful paddleboarding business
Photo credit: Boardinskool, Norfolk

One thing you can do is support the UK SUP industry by buying local – as in local to this small island in the North Atlantic. McConks is super passionate about stand up paddling and as much as we are a business we’re also trying to give back where possible. This is why we don’t mind mentioning our friends at the like of Neptune, Loco and Fatstick – we’re all in this together.

Many of you may know McConks SUP were about to launch an initiative to get kids more involved in stand up paddling. That’s now on hold sadly, but the initiative will be back when the time is right. The support we’ve had from instructors and businesses all around the country has been amazing, and when it comes back, it will be bigger and better than we had ever hoped for!

If you’re looking for new stand up paddle boarding equipment, be that either boards, paddles, accessories or apparel, then why not hit up the McConks SUP shop and see what we offer. Check out the other brands as well – together we’ll overcome this and bounce back even stronger!

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Keep on keeping on – how to stay stand up paddling with COVID-19 causing disruption

SUP sunrise

Keep on keeping on – how to stay stand up paddling with COVID-19 causing disruption

We appreciate that for some stand up paddling may be a no go for the time being. If you’re affected by complete lockdown, as many are in the world, then leaving your house/flat isn’t going to happen in the short term. If, however, you can get out for a float close to your house without coming into contact with anyone – and can do so safely – then why not?

Go free wing SUP board

Before you jump in though, there are a few questions to answer and safety points to consider.

Can I get to the put-in with minimal (if any) contact with others?

Self-isolating means just that: avoiding contact. If reaching your paddling destination will result coming into contact with others then we’d say avoid it. If you need to use public transport it’s almost certainly a no. But if you’re confident you can avoid others, then load up.

Am I likely to be paddling with others?

Is your SUP spot a popular put-in? Do others regularly paddle here? Maybe you should be thinking of an alternative, quieter launch location (although one that isn’t risky). Whilst being on the water away from other paddlers isn’t as bad as being hemmed inside a building, we’d still suggest you go it alone, or with another person that you’re already in contact with, to preserve the self isolation requirement.

SUP safety – you need to consider it!

Paddling on your lonesome, whilst idyllic in some respects, does come with risk. If you are paddling totally by yourself, and if there’s nobody about and should you get into difficulty then if the proverbial hits the fan you’re going to need a means of raising the alarm, among other things… This is the list of things you should consider:

Make sure you’ve checked all your kit for signs of wear and tear. If anything needs replacing, repairing or patching then do so before you launch.

Consider dawn patrols and end of day sessions when it’s usually at its quietest. Just remember to finish before the light fades.

Tell someone of your plans, when you’re due to begin and when you’re due back.

Definitely wear a leash – the correct one for the environment you’re paddling in (coiled leash fixed to waist belt in rivers for instance).

Wear additional flotation, whether that be a buoyancy aid or inflatable float aid worn on your hip such as a Restube or similar.

Carry a means of contact such as a mobile phone in a waterproof bag. Maybe even a VHF radio if you have the appropriate training/understanding of how to use it.

Pack and stow a fresh change of clothing aboard your SUP in case of dunking and/or temperature change. Being able to add layers quickly is a must.

Start your session wearing the appropriate amount of clothing. If you’re carrying a drybag then just as with being able to add layers removing clothing is also worth considering if it gets too warm.

Avoid challenging conditions. Paddling alone in such environments, where things are more likely to go pear-shaped, isn’t wise.

Get an up to date weather forecast and understand what conditions may be incoming during your time afloat. Plan your session accordingly and give yourself enough time to get in and out BEFORE any bad weather hits. If it looks particularly grotty then switch your days around.

If paddling on tidal waters then know tide times and how the ebb and flow affects your chosen location.

Where possible stick to tried and tested destinations that you’re familiar with. Now’s not the time to test your mettle in a new arena that potentially has hazards you aren’t aware of.

Be aware of water temperatures. At time of writing (March 2020) waters are at their coldest. Cardiac shock is a real danger if you happen to fall in the drink and your body’s not used to it. See point above about wearing correct paddling attire.

Use your common sense and know your limits. It’s been used before but the phrase: ‘if in doubt don’t go out’ rings true at all times. Especially now in these uncertain times.

Finally, enjoy your stand up paddling. Now more than ever chance to indulge in something fun and physical will take your mind off the world’s problems, even if just for a short while.

Let us know if you have any other tips for making your SUPing successful when self-isolating.

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5 SUP mistakes anyone can make…

5 SUP mistakes anyone can make…

This isn’t poking fun at anyone, we all make mistakes. It’s merely a bit of fun to lighten the mood and also highlight a handful of goofs that many of us have made – even the now so-called experienced stand up paddlers amongst us. Anyway, learning by trial and error isn’t a bad thing as you’ll never forget!

Paddle the wrong way round

Who knew there was a front and back to a stand up paddle board paddle? And why wouldn’t it be the angled face (the back) that faces towards you? After all, intuitively anybody new to SUP would do the same.

Fins facing backwards

This is one we’ve seen a few times; SUP fins inserted in their box the wrong way round. As with SUP paddles SUP fins are designed to work with the rake of the skeg aiming rearwards, like in the image below. Just so you know…

McConks flush fin box

Wetsuits worn with zips at the front

Yep, another ‘wrong way round’ product that doesn’t just apply to stand up paddlers. And putting on a wetsuit back to front is probably more common mistake than the two above. The zip goes at your back – even mini chest zip wetties the same!

Waxing an already deck gripped up SUP

Actually, there isn’t anything wrong with waxing a SUP fitted with deck grip already. Extra traction is always good even if you don’t technically need it per se. Deck grip will usually provide ample engagement whereas adding surf wax will just cause a mess. Most of the time only SUPs without deck pads need waxing.

Incorrect paddle length

This mostly applies to those SUPers who own adjustable stand up paddle board paddles. It’s probably more common to have the adjustment set too long, which can damage your rotator cuff. There’re are also instances of paddles being too short which results in too stooped a paddling stance.

There are plenty more SUP goofs that we’re sure you’ve seen and maybe made the mistake of doing yourself. Let us know what you’ve seen or done.

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Coronavirus and McConks SUP | Business continuity

Coronavirus McConks SUP| Business continuity

Changing plans

We were meant to be publishing a post right now about how we were going to be helping dozens, if not hundreds, of kids get up running with stand up paddling this summer. A network of SUP instructors around the country willing to give up their time to give free lessons to vulnerable children or kids with less access to watersports, with prizes and care kits from McConks SUP. Given the latest government health advice (as of March 17, 2020) and potential for further restrictions in the coming weeks – particularly movements away from homes, such as getting to water – we’ve put this initiative on hold.

Being on a stand up paddle board, away from crowds, and SUPing in the sunlight (hopefully killing all those nasty illness bugs in the process), is one of the best ways of self-isolating and avoiding COVID19. But whilst the government has restricted all but essential travel we’re taking a little pause to decide what the right thing to do is. If you have any comments or opinions about this we’d love to hear them!

SUP supplier protections

It’s times like this that working with the right SUP industry suppliers is worth its absolute weight in gold. Our suppliers treat their workers fairly. Our factories even give paid holidays and support to people off work sick – that’s pretty unheard of in China! But it’s always been a part of doing business with us. Also, our factories operate an aseptic environment to prevent dust and dirt getting into McConks SUP gear. Paid sick leave plus an aseptic environment means that the risk of virus fragments being left on, or in, our kit when it leaves the factory is extremely low. And we only ship our products by sea, therefore the delay between shipping and arriving at our HQ means that the risk of our products carrying live coronavirus is as close to zero as it can get.

Our HQ and our distribution centre in South Wales are fastidious about cleaning hands between product picks. And as family companies, you can rest assured that workers are fully paid if they are self-isolating, therefore there is no pressure on employees to come to work whilst they might be infectious.

We can’t totally eliminate the risk of coronavirus on our products but everything we are doing at McConks SUP is trying to prevent the spread of CV19.

The future for McConks SUP

We don’t know what the world will look like on the other side of this virus but we know it will be different. We’re worried about the future for some of our friends and partners running small businesses. As SUP instructors, outdoor ed centres providing stand up paddle board tuition and tours, SUP rental businesses, riverside pubs and such it’s going to be tough. Sustained loss of income over the next few months will weigh heavily on them, and some might not make it…

McConks is not a business that has sold our soul to the devil in exchange for sales and profits. We’ve never taken on equity partners or massive structural debts. Therefore, unlike lots of others in the industry, we haven’t got a monthly ‘monster’ desperate for all of our money. Our outgoings are relatively low in comparison to many. So if we need to sit on stock for a year we can do so.

But we’re not changing anything in the near future. We’re fully open for business, as is SUPbypost.com. We currently have stock of most McConks SUP products, and we have another container arriving in May to feed the summer boom!?!

So as things stand, unless logistics are forcibly shut down by the UK government, all pre-orders will still be shipped before Easter (for pre-order batch 1), or in May (for pre-order batch 2).

Stay safe and don’t panic!

It’s easy to say. We’re trying to keep a level head ourselves at the moment and it’s difficult. Falling off a cliff in panic, if you let the ‘mental monsters’ overwhelm you, is easily done. We’re not mental health experts but disconnecting from Facebook, TV, radio for a few hours and reading a good book works wonders to reset those anxiety levels. And even better to do that stood on a SUP in the middle of a river or at the coast. If that fails just sit in your garden – after all the weather getting better now…and fresh air, Vitamin D and birdsong in your ear works wonders.

McConks SUP in a river

Whatever you do look after yourselves, your family, friends and neighbours. We don’t have immediate family in the risk categories so we’re lucky, but we know parents who are. And friends (both personal and business) who are in vulnerable categories as well – all of whom we’re thinking of regularly and sending all our best wishes to!

As always, if you’ve got any questions we’re happy to answer them on Instagram(www.instagram.com/mcconksSUP_uk), Facebook (Facebook.com/mcconksUK), or email.

If you’re unsure of what practising social distancing may look like then here’s an example. What could be a possibility is driving somewhere you know to be quiet for a paddle on your SUP. We will say this isn’t from an official source, as far as we know, but the points are sensible.

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Win a McConks Go X Wild or Go Explore 12’8

We’ve teamed up with the Paddler eZine and Stand-up Paddle Mag UK to give away an inflatable SUP package.

Here’s how to find all the details…

New early spring issue of the Paddler magazine…

The International magazine for recreational paddlers –

Check it out online @…
Free tablet and smart phone HTML5 optimised edition: http://paddlerezine.com
Free Joomag desktop page-flip digital issue: https://joom.ag/8rbC
Perfect-bound 132-page printed: https://thepaddlermag.com/subs-print-paddler
Just £27.49 (£20.99 for BC members) for six perfect bound issues a year, straight to your front door.

Good luck everyone!

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Go Inspire: It’s all about the kids…

Kids iSUP

Go Inspire: It’s all about the kids…

…If that’s not stating the obvious.

So what are McConks SUP planning? We all know how important outdoor exercise is for mental health and well being. And we also know how great watersports are for improving water-confidence and improving team and social skills for our young friends. So what we’re planning is of benefit to those paddlers who are of a younger age.

Of course, McConks SUP are a business, and a large part of what we do is about selling stand up paddle boards, paddles and SUP accessories. But we’re also human and a brand that wants to go beyond just selling gear. We want to do more – we want to give back as much as possible.

We’re still finalising all the details, and calling in lots of favours to get a few more things lined up. But we’ll be going live next week.

So stay tuned to McConks’ channels (website, social media) next week when we’ll be announcing something special for all the younger generation of SUPers out there.

If you’re not already following McConks on Instagram or twitter, then hit us up to stay in the loop –

https://www.instagram.com/mcconksuk_sup/

https://www.twitter.com/mcconksuk

p.s. if you’re one of our friendly instructors or SUP businesses that might be interested in giving something back to the kids (and we’re not already in contact), please message us.

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Could it? Will it? Weather trend for week commencing Mon 16 March, 2020.

Could it? Will it? SUP weather trend for week commencing Mon 16 March, 2020.

Could it? Will it? The Met Office seem to think it might!

After one of the wettest and windiest weather periods ever it seems the week commencing Mon 16 March, 2020 (next week in case you missed that!) could signal proper spring-like conditions with much less in the way of breeze, much more in the way of sunshine and therefore much more reason to break the habit of hibernation, emerge into the bright and get back on that SUP horse. Well, according to the Met Office, like we said (so don’t shoot us down if it doesn’t materialise!). Check out their ten day trend vid below.

10 Day Trend 11032020

Is there settled weather on the horizon….Here's Alex with the details in this week's 10 Day Trend.

Posted by Met Office on Wednesday, March 11, 2020

If you’ve been yearning for that break in meteorological conditions then now could be your chance. Birds tweeting, blue skies (hopefully) spreading and WAY more motivation to get afloat. This may be the time to kickstart your summer of SUP, 2020.

It’s also a good time to get your McConks SUP order in. Or maybe you’re after some new paddling apparel. Either way this is just the type of weather we love in the UK as it makes stand up paddling all the more enticing.

Check out the McConks SUP shop for deals on stand up paddle board packages, paddles, paddling apparel and accessories. Don’t get caught out by not having the right SUP gear just as the weather Gods serve up some much need winter respite.

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Choosing your perfect SUP with the McConks SUP Selection Wizard

Choosing your perfect SUP with the McConks SUP Selection Wizard

We’re all about making things as easy as possible here at McConks SUP – especially when it comes to getting your stand up paddle board equipment choice right. Due to having a plethora of iSUPs available the amount of gear can sometimes be overwhelming. So to combat that McConks SUP have created the SUP Selection Wizard to help you nail down your ideal paddling board partner.

Whether you’re a total beginner, improving intermediate or seasoned pro the McConks stand up paddle board Selection Wizard will steer you in the right direction. And if you fancy cross-referencing your choices then simply reset the SUP Selection Wizard and see what comes up having entered a different bunch of criteria. Or, alternatively, message us as we’re only happy to help, answer your questions and guide you along the correct path.

And don’t forget to check out our Choosing the Perfect Inflatable SUP Board article that provides further insight.

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It’s all about trust: setting up a successful stand up paddle boarding business

Setting up a Successful paddleboarding business

It’s all about trust: setting up a stand up paddle boarding business

Stand up paddleboarding, (SUP) is riding the crest of a wave right now. The ever growing popularity of paddleboarding has led to a big growth in the paddle board market, and lots of business opportunities for people looking to escape from their day job.

As McConks, we work with a large number of outdoor education providers, SUP rental businesses, and instructors, from the Princes Trust, the National Trust, and the Scout Association at a National Scale, to working with individual instructors giving learn to ride SUP lessons, or working with charter Yacht companies who provide SUP adventure weeks to small groups.

We’ve put together everything we know and have heard about setting up a successful SUP business in a series of articles below.


Setting up your SUP business

It’s all about trust

Choosing the right kit for your business

Price versus quality

Your questions answered

by those who have learned the hard way

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Win a pair of sustainable, floating UV400, polarised sunglasses!

Sustainable sunglasses

Win a pair of sustainable, ethical, floating UV400, polarised sunglasses!


We’ve always said that our HD polarised lenses are as good as the very best in terms of polarity, clarity and transmission. And we’ve got the transmission tests to prove it. But these QA sheets don’t mean that much to most people.

Wwe’ve been doing some testing on a low light winters summers day to show how our HD polarised shades compare to Oakley Prizm lenses. If you don’t already know, Oakley Prizm are lenses optimised for certain environments. Oakley themselves say:

PRIZM™ IS AN OAKLEY LENS TECHNOLOGY DESIGNED TO ENHANCE COLOR AND CONTRAST SO YOU CAN SEE MORE DETAIL.

So a few weeks ago, we got ourselves some Oakley prism lenses, and have been field testing them against our very own McConks HD Polarised lenses.



How to win a pair of McConks sustainable floating polarised sunnies

All you have to do is comment on the photos in the Facebook post, saying which are taken through a McConks HDpolarized lens, and which are taken through an Oakley Prizm Sapphire lens.


Buy McConks HD polarized sustainable, floating shades

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globosurfer.com test McConks’ Go Explore 11’4 inflatable SUP

McConks Go explore 11'4 test

We’re proud to work with media partners who review and test stand up paddle board products without demanding advertising revenue in return. The latest McConks inflatable SUP review to appear is from www.globosurfer.com who took the Go Explore 11’4 iSUP for a spin.

Achieving in excess of 90% ratings for all areas looked at we’re pretty chuffed that Globo Surfer found favour with the McConks Go Explore 11’4. Check out the test report for yourself here. Then why not head over to the McConks SUP shop and nab one for yourself ahead of the new spring/summer season of SUP.

Thanks to www.globosurfer.com for the review!