The origins of stand up paddle boarding (SUP) are believed to date back over 2,000 years ago, to a time when ancient Peruvian fishermen made rudimentary boards from reeds and paddled out to sea with the aid of a long bamboo shaft as a paddle. It is rumoured that after a lengthy day of fishing, they surfed the Pacific waves for fun, before returning safely back to shore.
The more modern roots of SUP, as a recreational sport and a variation on traditional surfing and kayaking, started in the 1940’s in Waikiki, Hawaii, and has been steadily growing in popularity ever since.
Despite the somewhat cooler climate, this stand-up style of paddle surfing has become increasingly popular across the UK in recent years, along with the development and growth of SUP Yoga. However, you don’t need to live near the sea or be an athletic surfer or yoga expert to take advantage of these popular water sports, which offer a variety of health and wellbeing benefits.
Situated along the picturesque River Trent, our CALM SUP sessions are led by qualified BSUPA (British Stand Up Paddle Association) instructors who will introduce you to all the basics, helping you develop and master your paddle boarding skills.
Our unique and CALM approach to all our SUP sessions, reflects our CALM ethos - where our friendly support will help develop both your confidence and ability. Our SUP sessions also promise to deliver plenty of fun along the way!
Where the Journey Began
We launched our BSUPA affiliated SUP school in the summer of 2019, with experienced water sports enthusiast, Dave Bryon, at the helm - heading up CALM’s SUP operations. Former Managing Director of airline bmibaby, Dave is an avid wakeboarder as well as being proficient in stand up paddle boarding, gaining his BSUPA Level 1 instructor qualification back in 2013 and Level 2 Tour specialism in 2020. Dave also runs our Instructor training courses and has amassed over 800 hours of teaching experience to date. When he’s not on the water, Dave takes his stand-up skills to a different audience – performing on the stand up comedy circuit. And he definitely brings his sense of humour to the water, helping to deliver thoroughly entertaining SUP sessions.
Apart from promising a good bout of fresh air in the great outdoors, our CALM SUP sessions also deliver a great low impact exercise, working everything from your core all the way down to your toes - helping you to develop balance, strength, and endurance. In addition, the peacefulness of being on the water surrounded by wildlife, including the beautiful Kingfishers that we often spot, offers a mini escape from the busy day to day life, providing an increased sense of calm and mindfulness.
We run a variety of SUP classes for you to choose from, designed to cater to a range of needs, and we have a wide range of boards available for you to use depending on your ability and which SUP session you’re booked on to.
We always recommend taking at least one of our Beginner sessions for those who haven’t tried SUP before or for those who haven’t been trained by a SUP instructor. This 90 minute lesson will take you through all the basics, including how best to stand up and find your balance on the board as well as teaching you a range of techniques and positions, helping you develop a good level of competence on the water.
Our Improver Sessions are also 90 minutes long, utilising different boards to help you build your paddling and on the water skills - which includes learning turns! Both our beginner and improver sessions take place along varied routes on the unspoilt River Trent.
We also run a series of Evening paddles during the Summer months – where we don head torches and glow sticks to explore the magical moonlit waters, giving you the opportunity to see the river and Burton in a completely different light. This is also a great chance to spot nocturnal animals such as bats, owls and even mink along the riverbank.
And for those of you who fancy a slightly longer experience, we also offer our SUP Safari Tours. Taking around 4 hours to complete, our tours start on the River Tame at Elford, paddle boarding a steady 25K to reach base back at Burton on the River Trent, taking in all the beautiful scenery along the way. This is definitely one not to be missed.
CALM SUP Yoga
We proudly launched our SUP Yoga sessions in August 2019, which have proved increasingly popular ever since. And for those of you who have never tried SUP Yoga before, we highly recommend you give it a go! Starting with a short peaceful paddle along the tranquil River Trent, the surrounding wildlife and gentle sway and sounds of the river will help you feel truly connected to nature. This calming and mindful session lends itself perfectly for the ensuing guided Yoga session – and there is nothing quite so special as Savasana on a SUP board.
Our SUP sessions welcome everyone over 18 years of age, and some sessions are suitable for over 16 years if accompanied by a parent or guardian. In addition to our scheduled SUP classes, we are also able to offer private 1-1 sessions, group bookings and corporate, team building events.
To find out more about our bespoke bookings or to discuss any needs you might have, please get in touch. For further information about our SUP sessions availability and to make a booking, please check out the timetable section of the website or visit the CALM app.
We look forward to seeing you soon on the water!