Here at McConks, as a small family business, not only have we never had the funds to pay for a filming campaign, we also prefer to fill your social media with photos of ourselves (our boys are damn cute y’know!) and our customers having fun. We want to show real people having real fun in the different stand up paddle boarding environments and the varied weather we experience in our great country. Ok, we’ve had the odd shot of sun-drenched foreign climes, courtesy of infrequent holidays, but it’s mostly been stand up paddling in good ole Britain. It’s more ‘us’ than the slick, commercialised, models-in-bikini filled films that you normally see.

However, every now and again, an opportunity comes along that’s far too good to miss – especially when it happens in an autumn where life in Britain was…

 

… well, grim and boring at best, heart-breaking at worst.

 

Andy received a call from Carl Prechezer (he who directed cult surf classic Blue Juice) saying he’d love to film some promotional stuff with us. He’s a keen stand up paddle boarder and surfer, and having seen the market explode in recent years was keen to get involved on a professional level. Having stumbled across McConks on social media, he felt a genuine connection with our stand up paddle boarding brand and really wanted to work with us. Our first reaction was excitement (mega excitement in fact), but before we said yes, we put our sensible heads on and discussed our values, budget and generally made sure that Carl got what we are about.

Fast forward a few weeks of phone calls, and we arrived at Lake 32 Outdoor Centre, who had kindly jumped at the chance to allow us to film there, to meet Carl, and for him to meet us and scope out the potential for stand up paddling boarding on the lake (a shout out to our very good friends at Lake 86 Cotswold water park hire, and also to Lake 12 Cotswold outdoor activities centre who also offered up their facilities). A cuppa on the shore, a trip out on the water to see filming spots, captained by Lake 32′s lovely Dan, and a chat round the fire later and we were all buzzing to get going. We rounded up a few more McConks friends and customers, both locally in the Cotswolds and near Brighton, where Carl and cameraman Al are based, to prevent our ugly mugs filling up the whole film.

The prospect of a few days at the lake, filming and having fun definitely brightened up the autumn, and we felt very fortunate heading off to do it during the November lockdown! Don’t worry though, a lot of time was spent making sure the whole 2 days would be covid-secure and as few people were involved as possible. We had two days to play with, with Carl and Al bringing their campervans to stay overnight. We happened to mention that our tent was pretty, and before we knew it we’d agreed to camp over too so we could get the evening fire pit and marshmallow shots.

Thankfully the weather gods smiled on us, and we arrived for filming on the Sunday to glorious sunshine. What followed was 2 days of awesome stand up paddle boarding fun, managed by Carl who was very patient when directing people who were a lot more amateurish than he’s used to, and Al who brought more filming equipment than we’ve ever seen before! There was lots of repeated scenes, a meltdown by 2 freezing mini-McConks in the middle of the lake, hours spent by Andy trying to attach LED strip-lights to the boards before sunset, a dense fog rather than the fiery sunrise we were hoping for, a school-run done still miked up, talking heads interviews that were constantly interrupted by cars and planes and by the fact that Andy and I were inexperienced (and frankly rubbish interviewees), and a very cold night spent in the tent. However, there was also amazing camaraderie, a roaring fire, freshly fried chips, a beautiful night paddle, some chips, a unique experience for our boys, more chips and a lot of fun. We left the lake on Monday evening (eventually, after a flat battery which nearly caused us to throw a major tantrum) cold and shattered but happy and excited to see the final results.

Carl knuckled down to work his magic, and we were so thrilled to see the result. It is beautiful, and we feel captures the essence of us and our stand up paddle boarding business perfectly. Yes it was November, so it’s not all beautiful warm sunshine, but to us paddle boarding is about making the most of the great outdoors whatever the weather, and wherever your local water is. It’s letting nature work her magic on your mental health and well-being, and mostly about enjoying yourself! 

Check out the video below.  And if you agree with what we stand for, and what we believe in, please share!

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