British Stand Up Paddle Association 2011

Simon Bassett teaches a student to SUP

Richard Marsh from BSUPA has been in touch with the latest news from the organisation. If you would like to know how this national body, which is run for stand up paddlers by stand up paddlers, is going to go forward in 2011 then read on….

For 2011 BSUPA Directors will make up of Rich Marsh, Jock Patterson and Claire Blacklock, with Andy Gratwick joining the committee, we are still looking for a new Chairman and hope to make a new appointment in near future. The directors and committee would ask you all in joining us to thank Matt Argyle for his efforts in Chairing the Association over the last couple of years, for the hard work has put in to growing BSUPA, and the opportunities such as access to inland waterways through British Waterways he has worked on for members. BSUPA also would like to thank Simon Bassett, who liked Matt stepped down from the committee at our resent AGM. Matt and Simon both co wrote the original BSUPA national series for distance and surf and in the first season Simon ran all the events with Matt across the UK.

Like Matt, Simon has been instrumental in the develop of BSUPA from an early stage and put in many hours and miles into meeting with other governing bodies to grow our association, not only with paddle boarders but also outside of the industry with other agencies, associations. Making BSUPA their point of reference when needing to discuss paddle board safety which was the case with the R.N.L.I when they developed their Beach Safety Guide in 2009. Simon was the main driving force is developing and rolling out the BSUPA coaching program and co wrote the BSUPA Instructors manual, certificates and new branding. We thank them both again for their hard effect and support of the association, and wish them every success for the future, and hope to see them out on the water.

With changes in the committee, it gives us the opportunity to look at how we can best serve the needs of its members and also how to strengthen and grow the association. We have identified three core elements:-



BSUPA trainers Simon Bassett and Andy Gratwick will front up the coaching program and will be running BSUPA instructor courses through the season. Jock, who is a BSUPA trainer will also running courses this season and we will be looking to develop the teaching program further this year and integrate AALS into the scheme. We aim to recruit new trainers in different parts of the country to assist in delivering instructor courses. With more 50 BSUPA Level 1 Instructors already qualified in 2010, we are aim is to qualify at least another 50 in 2011. We also want to increase our BSUPA accredited schools program for 2011. There are a lot of new elements to paddle surfing inland rivers coastal distance and surf so we are reviewing how all is can integrate into the scheme. We want is be very focused on safety as well as delivering the high quality training and knowledge.


We have also established that whilst many of our members are keen to compete, an area we are keen to continue and develop this side of the sport. We are aware that there is very large percentage of our membership who do not enter competitions for many reasons, but are keen to be involved and come along to member training fun weekends. We are working to arrange trips to different parts of the country, which will be run is a fun, constructive manner were safety is always paramount. These weekend are to run and organized by local clubs or shops, with the intention of raising the profile of paddle boarding within their location. These weekends are aimed at BSUPA Members but we are also keen to open them up to non-members and paddle board novices alike to make them aware to BSUPA, and its benefits to joining.

Part of BSUPA’s education element is also to increase both our association and the sport awareness to the general public and other sporting governing bodies. We have already have a successful meeting with Surfing G.B who have recently taken over the role of surfing governing body from B.S.A, to discuss BSUPA, and our position within the sport of paddle boarding here in the UK, and opportunities for closer association between both parties. More details to follow.


Thanks to the work of Matt, BSUPA has a great resource in the shape of the website. We wish to use this to greater effect over the coming year as not only a place of reference for information, but also for it’s members to share there own personal knowledge of venues, locations and places of interest to fellow members. Also using the site to assist promoting BSUPA member events and activities.

Because paddle boarding is such an easy and fun sport to pick up, so are the risks of individuals putting themselves or other in harm way. BSUPA are committed to the education of its members and non-members alike through

increased awareness and knowledge to safety, right of use and access to water. We will also continue to work towards our goal of National Governing Body status with Sport England, develop increased water safety awareness through the likes of ROSPA and RNLI, and strengthen our relationship with agencies such as British Waterways, Environmental Agencies to ensure our member can gain access to more inland waterways.

Develop associations awareness with the paddle board industry and retailers with our aim being that no body who purchases a board is at the very least is made aware of BSUPA, training that is available to them and also the benefits tin becoming a member of BSUPA.

Competitions Since its inception BSUPA has put much of its resources into developing and organizing competitions and indeed we were the first country in the world to host a National Series. However as stated earlier, whilst it is import for us to organize and stage competitions, for many of our members it is not. In the last couple of seasons we have also been let down by several people who have expressed interest in staging competitions have failed to deliver, cause us to either step in at the last minute sort out or cancel events.

We know the cost involved in organizing competitions and the cost involved for member to attend, from fuel to accommodation to booking time off work. Clearly with the current economic current none of us can effort to waste money and resources, if individuals fail to deliver. For 2011 BSUPA will be committed to staging a National Champions and to award BSUPA National Wave & Distance Champions. This competition will be staged at Watergate Bay, Cornwall over the weekend of October 15th & 16th.

The Future The above elements are all intrinsic to overall development of the association. However the association is only as good and strong as its members. The directors and committee receive no financial reimbursement for there involvement. It is done solely by an inner passion to see our sport grow and its members given the opportunity to obtain training in a safe, structured environment. To gain knowledge that allows them to explore waterways both costal and inland.

The Directors and Committee welcome additional support from other members to assist with the development and further success of British Stand Up Paddleboard Association.