Hutch SUP WEAR was a little too early in its short life to go to the National Watersports Festival to sell, so we did the next best thing instead and went for a customer’s eye view, to look around and really experience the weekend.
Two of us (Simon & Ben) turned up early on Saturday morning and pitched the tent in perfectly still and sunny weather. It could have been the Caribbean instead of 5 miles from Portsmouth. Unfortunately it wasn’t great for the kite or wind surfers but it was great for us.
The weekend belonged to the paddlers, on SUPs and kayaks who filled the water.
Some of the more adventurous types got a good mile off-shore in the mirror flat conditions.
What really struck me over the two days was the strong social part of stand up paddling. Little flotillas of friends headed off in various directions along the coast or to practice their pivot turns for their races later in the day.
Stand-up paddling is uniquely flexible and geared to whatever you are looking for: adrenalin or zen, social or individual, racing or pootling and the barriers for getting out there are a lot lower than those for the wind based sports.
The evening was definitely adrenalin filled.
A huge crowd sat on the shore with a drink (or several) as darkness fell. Short course SUP racing for adults and children was followed by some spectacular freestyle windsurfing moves where the competitors flashed into the floodlit area towed by jet skis.
The party then kicked off.
The morning after was a quieter one as we focused on re-hydration, but after a couple of bacon sandwiches we were back in action, out on the water and enjoying the beauty of a pan flat sea.
It was a great weekend, plenty to do regardless of your level and we’ll definitely be back next year and this time with a trade stall. If you want to find out more about the event click here for their website.