Save and learn – Get SUP Safe

We’ve been working with our extensive network of clubs, schools and instructors to find a way of giving free lessons to customers who buy a board from us. It’s taken a while to figure out the logistics and the best way of achieving this. Final details are being ironed out, and will follow very shortly. But the broad principles are:

Each instructor, club, school etc that takes part in the initiative will get a unique voucher code

That voucher code gives you a 5% discount on the purchase of any new paddleboard from us (whether preorder or from current stock)

The voucher code also triggers a payment to them from McConks that covers the cost of an introductory safety session with them, or that you can use as a discount to an experience or longer session.

The logistics of organising the safety session are the responsibility of the customer and the instructor / school etc

We’re currently working with the instructors/businesses to sort out their voucher codes. They’ll be contacting their networks directly, and we’ll be promoting this via our recommended by McConks interactive map.

Recommended by McConks interactive map

Why are we doing this?

Quite simply, it’s the right thing to do.

Paddleboarding is mostly a pretty safe sport, and most risks are easily avoided. But because it is such an easy sport to do (pretty much anyone of any age can just get on the right board for them and paddle), it is very accessible to people without any watersports experience, and without a full awareness of the risks. And it doesn’t matter how much information we put on our website about safety, about risks, about getting a lesson with a qualified instructor, there will always be customers who just get on the board and go. Very occasionally, one or more of these might need to be rescued. And in the rarest of cases, tragically, this can lead to fatalities – like the very sad case of Simon Flynn.

We’ve been leading the way at McConks, by including quick release safety belts in all of our paddleboards, and by providing lost of safety advice on our website. But this isn’t enough as the events of last year have shown. There is a lot of goodwill in the industry to change things, but the lack of a governing body and the reticence of government to legislate, means that the industry will only move slowly – agreeing things by a committee of brands, training organisations and safety bodies, all of whom have their own agenda and politics, will take months if not years. And we want to act now before the Spring and Summer season bring more happy and keen paddlers to the water.

How can we afford to do this?

You could turn that question on it’s head and ask how can we afford NOT to do this? What value do you place on a life?

But we’re hoping that the majority of our new customers this year will be referred via instructors/clubs/schools which will significantly reduce the amount of customer content we have about how to fit a fin, or how to hold the paddle, or whether it’s safe to paddle in offshore winds, or how to fit the waist belt. And this reduces our costs. We had already set aside profit from last year to produce a series of safety videos. Many of those are now unnecessary after many of the training orgs have been busy producing videos over the autumn and winter, and we’re currently funding SUPhubUK to pull all of those together into a single independent compendium of the most important things a beginner needs to know before getting on the water). So we can now use that investment to help fund this initiative.

I’m not part of a club or network that has a voucher code. What do I need to do?

In the first instance, find a local instructor, group or club, and get them to get in touch with us to register (only the suitably qualified will be able to access this scheme).

Or alternatively use the voucher code ‘GetSUPsafe2022’ and we will arrange regional SUP safety courses in the Spring.

If you want to preorder for end of May 2022, you get a 10% discount if you use voucher code ‘GETSUPSAFE_MayPreorder’ at checkout.

And don’t forget, you can get three months interest free credit with PayPal in Three!