The wonderful world of Back of Beyond Adventures

by Joanna Mills

After so many months of lockdown, we’ve all been dreaming of the fun and amazing adventures we can have when things open up once more. Our incredible partner outlets are now very excited to welcome customers back. 

We sat down with Piers Osborne, the founder of Back of Beyond Adventures, for a coffee and chatter recently to find out why everyone should take this opportunity to get back out on the water.

Piers’ passion for watersports and breadth of experience is inspiring. During our conversation we learnt more about him, the industry as a whole, and why so many people love taking time away from their daily lives to clear their minds and explore the back of beyond.

We started by talking about Back of Beyond Adventure’s wonderful activities such as kayaking, canoeing and stand-up paddleboarding (SUP)

Richmond Canoe Trip

We asked Piers why Back of Beyond Adventures is unique and what makes it stand out among the crowd. He explained:

“It’s all about the sense of community. We have people who return to us time and time again because of who we are and how we bring people together.” He went on to explain, “When people join one of our activities, they get to meet people they otherwise wouldn’t get a chance to know. And they form incredible bonds! We make sure everyone feels welcome and has fun. People feel free to let go, be themselves, and enjoy their time with us.”

Many of their activities offer a chance to stop off on the beautiful riverside for a delicious picnic, or a cheeky visit to the pub. It’s a true testament to the beauty of the locations, and the sense of community Piers describes.

Back of Beyond Kayak Class

So, how did it all get started for Back of Beyond Adventures?

Back of Beyond started as a Sunday Club in Cornwall, teaching media students essential outdoor skills which they could use in their extreme sports media work. From there, the business grew to include classes for family and friends, and later larger groups and parties. In 2008, the team decided it was time to bring their business up to London.

“I didn't realise for a long time that growing up doing watersports or going to the beach after school everyday wasn’t normal for a lot of people. I grew up in Cornwall so was lucky enough to have these experiences from a really young age.” 

This early experience of watersports and adventures sparked a passion for the outdoors which Piers was keen to pass on. 

“I wanted to give this back to other people so they could experience that surfer lifestyle even if they lived in a big city like London. It’s the gift of being able to see and experience life outdoors.”

Back of Beyond Richmond Trip

What does Piers think about the future of watersports?

“We’ve seen a lot of changes over the past fifteen years!” 

Canoeing and kayaking have always been fantastically popular sports and there has been a huge rise in the popularity of SUP. It is now one of the fastest growing sports in the UK. Piers believes the rise of SUP is down to its accessibility to those not living near the coast. 

“People SUP for an activity which is good for the body. It is a full body workout! But what they then discover is that it is also good for the mind. This is why so many of our customers return to the sport. Finding a moment of tranquillity means they can go back home and work feeling rejuvenated and energised, so they can be the best versions of themselves.”

Back of Beyond calm water SUP

So what is up next for Piers and Back of Beyond Adventures?

“We want to do more of this! We love being able to meet so many people and share our passion with them. We really want to keep doing that for as long as we can.” 

Piers is also passionate about environmental causes and cares deeply about looking after the world. 

“Looking after our beautiful surroundings is also a key part of what we do. I’m passionate about the environment. Without these gorgeous landscapes we wouldn’t be able to have such incredible adventures. I really want to continue supporting positive organizations such as Surfers against Sewage and initiatives such as Paddle & Pick events wherever I can. Every time I go out on the water I clean up plastics and rubbish to help keep our environment as healthy and clean as possible.”

Back of Beyond Kayak- Unsplash

If there is one thing Piers wants people to take away from their visit to Back of Beyond, it’s that sense of adventure and a love of the outdoors. If you're ready for your next adventure why not book yourself a place on one of their trips or sessions this summer?

All this is just a stone's throw away from the heart of the city, and as Piers says, it's time to discover adventure on your doorstep!

If you’re looking for more adventures you can find and book your next experience on the eola marketplace

For more inspiration, check out 7 places to go stand-up paddleboarding in London or 10 awesome activities to try this year.

For daily updates, activities and adventures follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Keep dreaming and keep safe!

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