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McConks SUP: keeping things going through winter with Waterland Outdoor Activities.

Pic: Daniel James Pix

Winter is definitely looming with weather having mostly taken a tumble. But as we’ve said in other articles: just because it isn’t summer anymore doesn’t mean your stand up paddle boarding has to come to a grinding halt. In fact, far from it. With the correct water wear there’s absolutely no reason not to paddle during the off season – especially when things are this fun!

Waterland Outdoor Activites – friends of McConks SUP – are a case in point. Keeping on with stand up (at our local haunt no less – Lake32 at the Cotswold Water Park) the crew is loaning the McConks inflatable obstacles and a McConks Mega iSUP. Simply put: it doesn’t matter if the days are getting shorter and temperatures are becoming chillier. With fun like this on offer at SUP 32 Club (d’ya see what they did there?) there’s no reason not to indulge.

What are you doing to make winter a season of SUP fun?

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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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3 reasons why you should consider paddleboarding for the first time!

Group SUP on giant SUP boards

3 reasons why paddleboarding is easier than you think it might be

One of our customers customers (that’s not a typo!) has recently written a blog on why paddleboarding is so accessible and easy for everyone!

You can read the full article by clicking the button at the bottom… but what did Claire from Weekend Candy conclude:

  1. It’s a great way to explore your local rivers, lakes and canals
  2. It’s easy and affordable
  3. You don’t need to be superfit – as Claire says, ” Best of all, for someone like me whose fitness took a nosedive when I hit 40, you don’t need to be super athletic to give stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) a try. Amen. “

Thanks to Claire for writing such a great write up of her day with one of our partner companies, Inspire2Adventure, on the River Wye.

You can read the full article by clicking the button below