A Red Ride Out – The Power of Paddle Boarding, Devon
Posted by Robyn Dawson
We are always overwhelmed with the support and positive energy from our Red community and the second UK Red Ride Out of the summer certainly reinforced that feeling. The theme for this Ride Out event explored our connection to the water and celebrated the positive impacts that paddleboarding has on our physical and mental well-being.
Set in the paddle hotspot of Firestone Bay, in the heart of Plymouth, Devon and hosted alongside our friends at South West SUP, we were joined by a small group of paddlers and swimmers who kindly shared their stories and SUP experiences throughout the day.
We kickstarted the event with breakfast and an energising early morning yoga session in partnership with Boochi Kombucha and Ekay Yoga. The morning stretch established the intention for the day, which was to have fun and find your inner child. It's so easy as adults to forget the importance of play and the South West SUP team did a great job of revisiting that theme as they rallied the group for light-hearted games on and off the water.
“Life without play is a grind, existing not living, doing things out of the necessity for survival.” (Vaughan, C. & Brown, S).
The sun was shining for the first, slightly choppy paddle out to Drake’s island which allowed the group to view the historical land from a unique perspective and the group got to know one another as we navigated our way around the island.
Back in the bay, we ramped up the fun with a variety of SUP games which of course resulted in a lot of time in the water – well, that was the idea!
Pro-Change Jackets on, we warmed up and tuned in to a lunchtime talk with performance coach, Stuart Croxford. Stuart shared his personal journey, a journey that led to him uncovering the positive effects of sport - both on and off the water – a discovery that has strongly enriched his recovery and overall drive for life.
Feeling refreshed and energised (more games) it was time to get back on the water. The wind and waves were still a little challenging, the group took on a longer distance paddle across Plymouth sound to discover a secret cove. The return paddle allowed for some rich conversations and more time to connect and reflect on our own passions for paddling.
"On a day that was filled with special moments focused on the power of paddleboarding, this was our favourite. A newly bonded band of adventurers, connecting through a shared passion. A challenging paddle to a secret cove for some rich conversation and real connections" - SOUTH WEST SUP
The conversations continued with a stimulating talk from cold water swimmers Caroline Blackler and Cordelia Roberts from the Plymouth Swim Collective. The ladies shared their love for cold water immersion and swimming all year round – Cordelia is currently midway through her own challenge to swim in the sea every day!
Suitably inspired we swapped our SUPs for our swimmers and a rejuvenating dip in natures tonic gave us a sample of the incredible mental and physical benefits of immersing in the big blue.
"The Red Ride out was an amazing day. A packed itinerary of paddling, yoga, SUP games, and inspirational talks. It was great to meet some of the Red team who were so lovely and helpful. I made new paddle buddies and came away exhausted but happy" Jo Burne
Following an uplifting acoustic session from local musician Calvin Thomas our guests were invited to reflect and revisit the day with Blue Health coach Lizzi Larbaleister from Going Coastal Blue. During her interactive talk, Lizzi explained the philosophy of Blue Health and how and why our experiences in and around blue spaces help to promote mental, physical, spiritual and psychological wellbeing – and the role that paddleboarding has played to broaden this positive effect on social health and happiness – the true power of paddleboarding!
"I had such a good day at the Ride Out, meeting people who love paddleboarding, loved meeting members of the RED community and experiencing and learning about the scientific benefits of being on the paddleboard and why it's so good for your mental health and blue mind”. Alan, Red Paddle Owner
Words, Robyn Dawson