Discovery

Active360 Richmond: A stand-up paddleboarding adventure

by Maria Rangin

After a year of restrictions and lockdowns, the UK is finally on track to open up for exciting adventures and experiences again. What better way to start the journey back to normality than to try stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) and go exploring the beautiful waterways of leafy Richmond? 

Active360 Richmond offers a wide range of wonderful SUP adventures, and will start opening up for small group sessions again from the end of March. We spoke with their co-founder, Nigel Muir, to find out more about the soaring popularity of SUP, and what the future has in store for their activity centre. 

During our conversation, we were very impressed by the passion Nigel clearly has for the outdoors, and the positive energy he brings to his business every day. 

SUP in beautiful Richmond.png

We started off by asking about what makes Active360 Richmond so popular

‘We adapt our coaching to each individual that joins us, making sure everyone is comfortable on the board before going out on the river. We paddle in small groups. If people want to go at a faster pace, one of our junior coaches will accompany them, while one of our senior coaches will spend extra time with those that need more guidance and support.’ 

Nigel continues; ‘Our coaches are highly trained professionals. They know the river well, and are very passionate about sharing the sport. It is not just a job for them, they genuinely love being out on the river themselves.’

Active360 Richmond offers many different sessions, including private and small group lessons, expeditions and tours, as well as rentals and lesson packages for those interested in getting into the sport on a more regular basis. 

Book a SUP session with Active360 Richmond

So how did Active360 Richmond get started?

Having both paddled for years, SUP coaches Mark and Nigel dreamt of starting their own centre. They finally founded Active360 Richmond in 2019, partnering with sister company Active360, based down the river at Kew Bridge. Nigel tells us;

‘Mark and I have always loved the outdoors. Teaching SUP gives us the opportunity to spend most of our days outdoors and share our passion with others. It is incredible to see everyone come back from their sessions with a smile on their face. That is what we get out of it. It is incredibly nice to be out on the river and get to introduce people to the amazing sensation and adventure of SUP.’

Richmond was their favourite stretch of the river and the perfect location for their new business. It took them 6 months of negotiations, but they managed to get their dream spot right by Richmond Bridge.

‘We are in a wonderful place, perfect to explore on a paddleboard. With the restrictions lifting, we look forward to opening up and welcoming people back. Usually you can see hundreds of people walking and paddling around this really picturesque area of the Thames every day, and we can’t wait to see that again.’

Book a SUP session this season

SUP is one of the most popular watersports in the UK, and we’re curious to hear why Nigel thinks this is

‘SUP  has grown absolutely massively. It is easy and accessible. Some people like to use their paddleboards to chill or explore, others to surf or even to race. There are loads of different niches and avenues for people getting into the sport. There truly is something for everyone.’

Thinking back, he explains; ‘It has really gone from nowhere to being extremely popular. I started 8 or 9 years ago, and it was a long time before I saw another paddleboard. Now, they are everywhere. The use of SUP has truly expanded and diversified over the years.’

SUP with Active360 Richmond

Now, what does the future look like?

‘Our goal is to continue to diversify our SUP sessions as well as adding kayaks. We will offer more SUP yoga, SUP pilates and fitness sessions, and continue to do more niche adventures and expeditions.'

He continues by mentioning a few examples of new exciting adventures to expect this season; ‘We are planning a brand new history trip, launching later this year. The river is rich in history and we paddle past iconic Richmond Bridge, stunning buildings such as Marble Hill House, Ham House and the grounds of the former Richmond Palace. We are also launching a wildlife tour and arranging more long trips and expeditions as there are so many amazing places to explore. We do one all the way from Hampton Court down to Richmond, and have many more to come.’

Go on a SUP adventure with Active360 Richmond

After spending an hour talking to Nigel about the wonderful world of SUP, it is easy to see all the energy he puts into inspiring others and sharing his love of the outdoors. We’re excited to see them return to normal as the restrictions are lifted, welcoming all their customers back onto the water. 

Have a look at all of their different SUP sessions, book yourself onto your next adventure or buy a voucher for someone you care about.

If you’re looking for more inspiration, follow eola us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Read More:

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