Two vital extras to budget for when you buy an SUP

SUP lessons are vital for safety at sea

SUP lessons are vital for safety at sea - Credit: Archant

Stand up saddle boarding (SUP) has become the 'go to' activity for fitness and wellbeing for 2020 with almost 10,000 boards sold per week in the UK.

Brendon Prince, founder of Above Water

Brendon Prince, founder of Above Water - Credit: Archant

A warm evening at Meadfoot beach this week had 62 paddle boards meandering its rocky coastline with countless bathers, kayaks and a few pink flamingo inflatables.

Devon must be one of the 'world hubs' for SUP as some of the biggest world brands are based here - Red Paddle Co, Starboard, Two Bare Feet, Circle One, Ocean Monkeys and quite a few more.

There are many activities to access the sea but SUP has struck a chord with many. Whether you take your SUP out for a mindful, relaxing pursuit with friends or see it as a tool for a great full body workout, there seems to be something for everyone - not forgetting the opportunity to see some of the best wildlife the British Isles has to offer.

SUP is a big part of my 'water life'. This week alone I have been hit by flying mackerel, chased by a pod of dolphins near the Ore Stone and had a very friendly but fishy, seal, slide across the front of my board at Fishcombe Point.

SUP is hugely popular in Torbay

SUP is hugely popular in Torbay - Credit: Archant

With the sound of pumps straining under the pressure of paddlers keen to get out on the water, comes responsibility. Responsibility to do everything in your power to keep yourself and others safe when paddle boarding.

Wind, swell and currents - yes, we do have them in Torbay - and temperature can all change. Would you be prepared for such changes? Would you have the paddle strength and skill to get out of any potentially dangerous situations?

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In the weeks since lockdown, my friends and I have helped and towed a number of paddlers back to shore, including stopping two 'first time' inflatable paddlers helplessly being taken to Portland by a strong wind.

When a SUP is bought there are two more very important added expenditures. The first is a personal floatation device (PFD) and the second is a stand up paddle board lesson.

The PFD could save your life and the lesson... well, you wouldn't take a car out for a first-time spin without learning to drive! SUP is the same.

Look for lessons at WeSUP in Torquay, Reach Outdoors at Goodrington and Grenville House in Brixham.

Torbay is a stunning place to stand up paddle board, love the sea and stay safe.