#THISISMYADVENTURE - SUP Girl Carra
In the latest instalment of our #THISISMYADVENTURE series, we meet Carra, to talk all things SUP and dig a little deeper into the sports recent rise in popularity.
How it all began..
As with many people who’ve discovered stand-up paddle boarding, Carra’s adventure began on holiday.
After returning, Carra used SUP to help escape city life, an inflatable SUP gave her the freedom to jump on tubes and trains and head off!
Living in London without a car meant a lot of her initial trips were based around the river Thames and the south coast such as Brighton, but having recently moved back to Cheshire, she has access to a huge adventure playground!
‘I have the freedom and ease of having a car now so in recent weeks I have been everywhere! Wales for a coastal paddle, the Lake District for a lake paddle and Chester for a river paddle!’
You really don’t need a lot of equipment to get started and SUP is practically open to anyone.
Equipment wise, Carra has her own inflatable board which came with a paddle, the pump, the leash and a big rucksack to carry it all in.
Clothing depends on the elements but generally a wetsuit in the sea and quick drying clothing on the river. Dry bags are also a great addition, for your picnic and a change of clothes etc.
And of course....a life jacket!
A day out on my board will start with plenty of research, Cara explains, ‘Ensuring the weather (particularity the wind) isn't too strong that day! Them I study maps to find lakes, coast line or sections of a river that look interesting. Finding easy launch and exit points are the key! I also use Instagram, what a fantastic tool to show other SUP-ers adventures and see if its accessible to me’.
Carra’s advice would be to find a rental place first, perhaps get a lesson or two, then look at buying your own board.
We asked Carra to give us a couple of highlights from her experiences so far..
‘My favorite paddle was one on the River Thames. I set off from Richmond and was heading towards the Hammersmith. It was very early morning and mod week and quite quiet. Suddenly I heard a splash and I turned around to find a seal following me! I'd heard rumours that seals had been spotted this far up the river but I really didn't expect to ever see one! He paddled with me for a while and even attempted to get on the board’!
The second exceptional paddle was from Newborough Beach in Anglesey. A beautiful beach with a back drop of a pine forest and deep dunes. Extremely calm and crystal clear waters. I was able to explore the Island of Llanddwyn and was again followed by a seal!
’If you have a passion for it, there is always a lake, a river or part of the coast that you can get to and explore. Life is enriched with adventures and its down to you to get out and make them happen. Everyone has to start somewhere so don't expect to get it on the first trip! Expect a few falls and be open to learning’.
So what’s next..
Carra’s recently started a blog to help others get started and to share her own adventures - www.supgirl.uk
Her next challenge is to learn to SUP surf in Snowdonia at the artificial wave machine! She’s also aiming to become a qualified SUP instructor to help others on their journey.
And of course, plenty of adventures!
You can follow her adventures on her Instagram - @supgirl.uk