20k paddle from Southport to Blackpool

ots-supnorth.co paddle southport ots onthespot ots otsnews.co.uk_0

Team SUP North from Southport achieved an ambition yesterday when they paddled from Southport pier to Blackpool’s north pier and tower.

Lucy from SUP North explains:

‘Alan, Simon and I have all been stand up paddle boarding for between a year and eighteen months and formed SUP North in Spring 2013.

We were going on trips and making the most of our coastal location and wanted to share the ‘stoke’ with others.

ots-supnorth.co 1 paddle southport ots onthespot ots otsnews.co.uk_0

We undertook a few point to point journeys, including Southport to Formby, Moreton on the Wirral to Ainsdale and a 5 mile ‘down-winder’ along the Wirral coast in 25mph wind. We can see Blackpool tower from our front window and have long held an ambition to paddle there, but needed the right conditions.

ots-supnorth.co 2 paddle southport ots onthespot ots otsnews.co.uk_0

An aborted surf trip due to the current erratic weather was the catalyst – we needed a decent paddle! Sunday’s weather looked spot on – reasonably high spring tide (so there would be water under Southport pier), a light southerly breeze to help us on our way, minimum sea swell forecast and a sunny day. We were all free – we were on.

ots-supnorth.co 3 paddle southport ots onthespot ots otsnews.co.uk_0

We prepared ourselves with a good breakfast, tested the VHF radio, charged the phones, filled the hydration packs and packed high energy snacks. Our inflatable stand up paddle boards are made of the same material as RIB boats used by the military, and they can be deflated and rolled up for the journey back. We took a 12’6″ Race board, new race board that’s 4 inches narrower and an all-round 10’6″ board suitable for flat water paddling or surfing.

ots-supnorth.co 4 paddle southport ots onthespot ots otsnews.co.uk_0

The journey started into the wind, heading across the marine lake, crossing the coastal road and paddling to the pier for a quick photo. I wonder what the people on the pier, enjoying the pleasant weather, thought when we paddled off into the distance.

ots-supnorth.co 5 paddle southport ots onthespot ots otsnews.co.uk_0

Although the wind was in our favour, it wasn’t strong enough to generate any swell in our direction of travel, so we were constantly paddling across the waves, which is hard work. A momentary lapse of concentration and you’re in, especially Simon on his new, narrow race board.

ots-supnorth.co 6 paddle southport ots onthespot ots otsnews.co.uk_0

As the tide turned the conditions became more difficult and our pace slowed. Simon took a couple of dips off the narrow board and I had a dunking too. It was actually quite warm dressed in winter wetsuits, so not entirely unpleasant to fall in. We took a couple of breaks, rafting up the boards together, although it was a bit nauseating bobbing up and down!

The wind picked up a bit and turned a bit more onshore – not very helpful, but we ploughed on. Passing the dunes at Lytham felt like a turning point, but we still had almost 10km to go to reach the tower. Paddling past the Big One at the Pleasure Beach made some nice pictures, but the closed-down-for-the-season piers were a bit eery.

ots-supnorth.co 7 paddle southport ots onthespot ots otsnews.co.uk_0

In between the piers were some nice little waves – we couldn’t believe there was no one else out on them. The coast in our area is terribly under-used! We surfed a few little waves, but needed to press on to meet our lift home. We did succumb and catch several waves in front of the tower, including the last one all the way in to the beach.

A quick change in front of the tower, deflating and rolling up our boards and we were done. Grateful of a lift instead of a long train journey, and a stop for food on the way back to Southport.

SUP North teach stand up paddle boarding on Southport’s marine lake. It’s an accessible watersport suitable for just about everybody, with no prior skills needed.

ots-supnorth.co 8 paddle southport ots onthespot ots otsnews.co.uk_0

For more information contact them on [email protected] or go to www.supnorth.co

Submit News Contact us with your community, business or sport news. Phone 07930717137 Email [email protected]

Twitter www.twitter.com/onthespot_news

Facebook www.facebook.com/otsnews.co.uk



OTS News