McConks SUP – the BIG bounce back!
We’ll back on the water stand up paddle boarding soon! There’s no question. Our world may have changed irreversibly by then but maybe for the better in the long run. Maybe we’ll be kinder to each other, have more empathy with others. Maybe we’ll travel less now we’ve explored our what’s in our back yards a bit more thoroughly. Maybe we’ll buy more locally more regularly. There are hopefully lots of positive changes coming out of the COVID19 hiatus. But one element that won’t have altered is our appreciation, want and desire to get outdoors, to experience nature and be part of something natural.
SUP is just that…The act of paddling stood on top of a floating craft – inflatable or rigid – is a ‘real feel’ activity and feels like you’re immersed in nature. Even just bobbing along, without paddling feels good, and leaves you feeling revitalised and fulfilled at the end of the SUP-session. It’s hard to convey in words, or to quantify in pictures and video, yet all SUPers know the feeling only too well.
As the government starts to think and talk about the end of lockdown, we’re looking towards the future and can start to see that there’s light at the end of the tunnel. That first dip of your paddle blade; the first glide from the river bank; the first sight of a kingfisher; the first sight of a dolphin or otter;practising those pivot turns (you not the otter); that sense of excitement as your round the bend not knowing what delights you might find; heart rate increasing; sounds of nature, sun beating down; a slight breeze maybe; a touch of swell in the mix. This is what we’ve got to look forward to. It will happen again when we bounce back.
And bounce back McConks will too! Stand up paddle boarding is not disappearing from the world any time soon. We all need activities like SUP in our lives. It might be even more a solitary (or small group) sport in the next few weeks, months and years, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The shared experience will still be there when we communicate having been on the water, even in virtual communication.
Bouncing back from setbacks is human nature. Learning and becoming more resilient and learning from past mistakes are also signs of the human ability to evolve. Paddling for many is a release; a form of escapism yet we’ll also evolve within SUP and as a community with common interests. Despite some of the heated discussions that there have been around whether one should paddle during lockdown, there is more that unites most of us than divides us!
So, if you haven’t been doing so already it’s time to prepare; prepare to bounce back. Prepare to bounce back in to SUP. We can’t wait!
Ways to prepare for the BIG SUP bounce back –
Check your existing SUP gear over. Make sure there’s no damage to your board, paddle or fins (especially if you’ve been larking around with them in the garden like we have! If there is, and you can repair, then do so. If you need to replace some bits then do it sooner rather than later. We’re already sending out replacement fins and screws to the most forward looking paddlers. And supply chains across the SUP space have been interrupted, so supplies of spares might run dry if demand exceeds supply.
Give your paddling apparel a look/see. Make sure it’s clean and fresh for that first session back afloat. If wetsuit zips are corroded with salt you’ll need to sort them out. For anyone needing new kit then hit up the McConks shop where there’re plenty of available accessories like SUP pumps, rashvests, polarised sunnies and more.
If you’ve been holding off getting your first SUP, replacing your old machine or adding to your quiver then now’s the time. Make sure you’re adequately kitted out with some quality McConks SUP gear, all of which you can find in our online shop.
It’s been tough for some people to keep on top of fitness during lockdown. If like us you’ve been cultivating a lockdown belly, it’s time to kickstart training for the BIG SUP bounce back. So, go for a run (safely of course). Maybe get your bike out. If you need to familiarise yourself with balancing again then bust out the balance board. If you don’t have one check out the range of McConks balance boards we have in the shop (produced by the awesome daddyboards).
Get planning! Decide where you’re going to paddle and how you’re going to achieve this. It doesn’t need to be an epic journey, race or surf sesh. A mellow float up and down your local stretch will suffice. Get your head back into SUP and thinking like a paddler. If you’re looking for inspiration about where to paddle, make sure you check out SUPhubUK – the most complete map of spots, events, instructors and clubs covering the UK.
You can also start perusing weather forecast data again. Whilst predictions a few weeks out aren’t 100% accurate they can at least give some indication of general conditions, and help you spot when the next settled period of dry and calm weather is likely to be.
We’ll not lie: it’s not going to be easy coming out of this lockdown period. We’ve all experienced all kinds of stresses and strains – whether than be financial worries, personal loss, job security or a whole heap of other possible concerns. But there are few better tonics to stress and anxiety than spending time on or near water. And as we all know, SUP is far and away the best thing to do on water! It’s by no means the be all and end all but it’ll help.
McConks SUP: bouncing back into stand up paddle boarding since 2020!