Neilson SUP Armada: Coming to Bewl!
With the Neilson SUP Armada festival coming to Bewl on 21-23rd, July we thought we would find out a bit more about this exciting event and everything behind it from event director, Dan Charlish. Here’s what he had to say…
What’s to love about SUP?
What’s not to love? SUP is a fantastic water sport which is not only great fun but also so accessible for everyone, easy to pick up and you don’t need loads of equipment. Unlike some sports it only takes a few taster sessions to establish the basics, then you are fine to get out on the boards! Also, it’s a sport suitable for all ages- last year we had participants from as young as 5 right through to their 70s, which is what we love about it.
How much practise does it take to feel confident at SUP?
It all depends on the level of sport you currently do, but the majority of the time we have people do a taster session to help establish balance and technique and then they are off on their way! Last year we had people do a taster session in the morning then compete and help break a world record in the afternoon, which shows just how easy it is to pick up!
What age can you start SUP?
All ages- last year we had children as young as five on the boards which was great to see.
Tell us more about SUP yoga..
SUP Armada is there to promote all aspects of SUP, from development, games and fitness plus everything in between. The concept of Yoga is huge nowadays and so doing it on a SUP board provides an extra challenge. With the extra buoyancy of the board it requires that little bit extra stability which is excellent for core strength. The boards are fixed in a star like formation, all attached together so they stay in one place, and the instructor teaches yoga from the middle- great fun and a great challenge.
How can we get more involved in SUP around East Sussex and Kent?
As SUP is the fastest growing water sport, the British Stand-Up Paddleboading Association (BSUPA) is working with schools all over East Sussex and Kent to promote this sport. The festival will be able to supply all information on where to go and put interested paddle-boarders in touch with their local school/organisation.
What record will you be attempting to break at Bewl Water?
The world record attempt at Bewl Water will be the maximum people SUPing together. This will be over a 1 mile course. It is allowed to be at a steady pace but the stream of SUP participants cannot be broken.
Have you attempted to break this record before?
Yes- we have broken this record 3 times before (last year at Bewl). This year we are aiming to break it for the 4th time!
Tell us more about the Euro Tour…
Very importantly we are bringing the Euro Tour to Bewl Water. This is the SUP equivalent of Formula 1, and Bewl will be the only location in the UK that the Euro Tour will stop at which is incredibly exciting. Everyone can take part in this race (like the London marathon- usually professionals are at the forefront but all participants complete the same course).
Can you raise money for charity at Neilson SUP Armada?
Of course- typically tickets for the Euro Tour race are £40 but if you are fundraising then your ticket is free as we want to encourage as much fundraising as possible. With the funds raised there will be a ‘Youth Kite and SUP tour’. This involves 8 stops throughout the country which will allow children and youths who are never able to participate in these types of sports the chance to do so, which is a great opportunity for them!
What other exciting things can we expect to see at the SUP Armada?
Throughout the day there will be taster sessions, development, SUP yoga, games including team races and dragon boarding (rows of 4 people doing SUP together) and much much more!
This year we are holding a full weekend festival. This includes camping, ‘glamping’ and live entertainment so you can arrive on the Friday and stay right through to Sunday and be a part of all the action!