After weeks of strong north easterly breezes it was somewhat of a shock to wake up to sunny skies and a light breeze on the morning of Bray Lakes Ultimate day of SUP! With a plethora of flat water boards of all different shapes and sizes for people to test and try out the stage was set for an ‘Ultimate Day of SUP’.
The day was lead by Ryan James and Marie Buchanan. Both well known in the SUP world, Ryan for his ability to make most boards look like they are powered by an engine and Marie for her ability to compete at such a high level that she regularly beats a lot of the men’s fleet, girl power at its best!!
On land clinics included:
- different types of SUPing and the boards for each of the different discipline
- paddle choice and fin types and selection
- simulator session on paddling technique including correct body position, paddle entry and exit and the power phase of the stroke.
Paul Simmons was on hand from Starboard to give the group a low down on the flat water boards and their usage.
After a quick change everyone headed out on the water armed with lots of tips from the top and had the added benefit of Ryan and Marie being on hand to help with putting their new found technique into practice. Most people were able to receive some one to one time with either Ryan or Marie, allowing them to work on specific areas and it was great to see smiles on faces as the penny dropped and they nailed their new technique!
After lunch we let the boys go off and paddle at speed round the lake and do some man type sessions, but instead of being left with the washing up….. us ladies went out for a ladies only session!
It was brilliant to see so many women on the water, at one point there were about 14 of us! It’s not often that you will catch me doing something that is specifically designed for only women to take part in, however sometimes it’s nice not to have to compete with a group of men for an instructor’s attention or ask a question that most men won’t even have considered!
So our clinic was great, asked what most of the ladies wanted to work on the resounding choice was to continue to work on practice paddle technique, but also to look at the process of turning the board, mark rounding and start line practice. With Marie on hand to give hints and help with any problems, I think the session was helpful to all and everyone finished the session having learnt something new or improved their technique.
The last session of the day was a nutrition talk by Ryan, who gave a great talk on the importance of correct hydration during racing, types of foods to avoid and the types and sort of food you should be eating regardless of sport but as a general rule. As he clearly could have talked for a week on nutrition for sport and athletes and he was only skimming the surface. But the information he gave was perfectly balanced and certainly made me want to change a few things!
All in all the day was a great success, lots of people on the water, lots of boards tested, lots of paddling styles and techniques improved upon! A BIG thank you to Ryan and Marie for running the day and the rest of the Starboard team for promoting the day and providing a few extra boards.