2nd July 2023Wild Women SUP Symposium
September 2022 saw the first ever Women SUP Symposium organised in Scotland,for women and led by women. This event was organised by myself, Helen Trehoret, from Barrachou Paddle, Finstere, France.
Why did I organise this event?
This project was born out of an addiction to paddling in Scotland. A place that I have paddled in for the best part of ten years. After years of showing a good friend around Scotland, I decided that it was time to encourage other women to explore the wilds. But why only open this to women only? I decided that a women’s only event would provide a supportive community that would help challenge and develop the skills of the women paddlers. Also in my experience women are more likely to share their lack of confidence and fears when found in a supportive group, and more often this is found amongst other women.
Photo Credit: Claire Scott
Thirdly seeing “wild” SUP holidays targeted at women groups were often led by men, so I felt that this was the opportunity to empower women to take on leadership roles when paddling in more “wilder” locations. Basing the even in Cannich offered paddlers conditions that were quintessential Scottish, but at the same time providing a sheltered location for the groups, which is why it was based out of Cannich, Scotland. A beautiful village at the start of the Glen Affric.
So the project was born we need to fast forward a few years! The weekend had arrived and 30 ladies signed up, we were ready to charge up the Scottish lochs armed with our t-shirts provided by our chief supporter ASI academy of surfing instructors. I reached out to five instructors that all had slightly different theme and area of paddle expertise. The wonderful thing about instructing is that most instructors have something a little different to add, that can really improve one’s paddling.
The instructor roster comprised of Leanne Bird that took the SUP fitness and mobility sessions, Samantha Rutt running paddling turns and technique, Emy Mcleod running the SUP confidence sessions, Jess Philips that ran the river SUP session, and finally myself that gave workshops on SUP expeditions.
After the Friday night meet and greet, we were all ready to go. All the sessions were based at Loch Beinn a’Mheadhoin, a Loch that runs West to East, with a few in-Loch Peninsulas scattered around that help give a bit of protection from the furious Scottish wind, except the River SUP.
The first session to take place was that of recent world record holder Samantha Rutt, fresh off her Irish Sea crossing. The theme for her workshops was to break down the paddle technique and turns for the paddler, going into the bio mechanical processes that hinder or help our turns. Once the theory was nailed, paddlers moved to the water and before long were nailing their step back turns, as the session moved on the improvement level improved, with paddlers spinning their paddleboards around like heros!
Emy Mcleod sessions were centred around gaining confidence on the water, the weekend was based on around multiple skill levels, from beginners to those who had a few miles under their belt. This session allowed those who were new to the sport to gain their confidence in their paddling, getting their body position correct, and their weight evenly distributed, aspects of paddling that often bypassed with the eagerness to get onto the water. At the end of both sessions there were very few ladies who fell in or remained on their knees! A testament to the success of the sessions!
Hidden around the corner in a serene and protected bay was the Leanne Bird, her sessions focus of fitness and mobility in SUP paddling. The session proved a success judging from the level of laughs and the general sounds of ladies pushing themselves to the next level. We sometimes forget that SUP paddling is a sport and in order to get the most of it, you do need a level of fitness, especially in paddling in the conditions Scotland throws at you!
The fourth instructor, Jess Philips was on River SUP duty. This was a beginner session aimed at giving the paddlers a taster into a different SUP paradigm. The ladies were packed off for the day to explore the River Glass, a grade 1 / 2 river that weaves its way down from Glen Affric. The ladies armed with river fins, helmets and quick release belts were introduced to rapid running. They all came back with smiles, a few bruises and an addiction to rapids.
My sessions were land based and focused on planning your next expedition, the main goal for the weekend. I felt I wanted to arm paddlers with the skills to plan their own expeditions, emphasising that expeditions don’t need to be multi day events, they could be just across a sea, lake, loch or down a river, maybe 500m, maybe 4 miles, or 50 miles, it all doesn’t matter, as long as the ladies are getting out there! The focus of my session was on navigation, reading the tides, and planning for expedition. I talked about my successes and my errors in the trips that I have organised. At the end of the session, I hope to have planted a seed!
And of course you can not have an event with a social. The Saturday night we shared a bbq, drinks and listened to a discussion about Samantha Rutt’s epic paddle from Northern Ireland to Scotland. Hopefully inspiring other paddlers to set themselves challenges.
To conclude the weekend, we added a SUP expedition bolt on trip. Organised to put into place the skills that the paddlers had learnt over the weekend. Everyone has a dream of paddling and staying the night in wilds, but to do alone is sometimes daunting. After morning preparation and briefing we set off to paddle across the other side of Glen Affric.
Each paddler carried their own tent, and belongings. Heading up the glen with high spirits, and a head wind, we paddled past the Glen Affric Lodge and made it to the other side.
After an evening spent around a fire, started by a very able South African, Caryn Foster, we settled down for the night. The next day after a brew, breakfast, and rapid bathe in the loch we headed back. The conditions on the way back up the glen were captivating and provided the perfect send off for the paddlers on the trip!
The weekend was a resounding success, great friendships made, stories and experiences swapped, and more importantly we all left promising to do it again next year. The weekend was a success due to the support of ASI academy of instructors, and the instructors present that weekend that gave a YES, as soon as I asked, and more importantly the success was down to the ladies who came to Scotland, from far and from not so far, they came with their positivity and paddle vibes. A special thanks and mention to Pat Macdonald and Claire Scott for assisting during the weekend! See you again next year! For more information for the Wild Women SUP Symposium 2023 head over to www.barrachoupaddle.com
28th June 2023Its great to see more and more people out on the water. Apart from thinking about the type of board and paddle needed, the choice of safety equipment is always on the top of the list of conversations. So it is time to look for a SUP specific pfd!
The question which comes up often is which pfd to wear? And when?
I have been paddling for 10 years now, and I have been in some bad situations, but having the correct wet suit, a pfd and a leash has really helped me.
So my OWN rules for PFDs are if I am SUP surfing no way, it would be dangerous to wear a PFD.
If I am venturing out of the of my home inlet into the open ocean and solo I would wear a PFD without a doubt. Plus the French Law states that if you are 300 metres from the shoreline you are required to wear one at all times.
I also ALWAYS wear one when I surfski, that is because the risk of not getting back into the surfski is a lot higher than a SUP board. When working as a SUP instructor for my company Barrachou Paddle I also wear one, its the French law!
So you looking for a SUP specific pfd which one to chose? I have 5 PFDs that I have used and still use for SUP!
1. Baltic SUP Pro
This buoyancy is developed specifically for Stand Up Paddleboarding. SUP Pro is designed to give the user maximum mobility, both on the board and in the water The buoyancy aid has a long body, which is well suited for SUP use. Suitable for beginners as well as experienced paddlers it is designed to give the user maximum mobility, both on the board and in the water.
The buoyancy material has a unique design and division on the front of the buoyancy aid. It is thin, compact and flexible which makes it easier for the wearer to get up on the board from the water and makes the buoyancy aid follow the paddle movement. Easy on and off through a side zip, and to don over the head. Adjustable waistband and zippered pocket on the front. Reflectors on the shoulder areas. 50N buoyancy and is classified as a buoyancy aid. The Baltic SUP Pro is available to buy from our shop!
2 . Stearns Life Belt, this is a really good and functional piece to use in SUP. It is really easy to clip into place and you don’t feel it is there. It is ideal for SUP racing as you can put a water pack on your back and then the race lycra fits easily over it. The negatives are that it is self inflating, so you need to launch it yourself. So that is a question that you need to think about, Are you capable of inflating it by yourself?
3. Decathlon PFD. This is cost effective, I use these for my company. They look good and are light. The position of the arms does not inhabit the paddling. The down side to this that there is a crouch strap that is a bit awkward, and that there are no pockets to put keys, water proof phone pouches or snacks in it.
4. Vaikobi PFD. This is an expensive but good option it cost me around about 130 euro. It is designed for surfsking, but I wear it for SUP racing and SUP touring. It is light weight and doesn’t inhabit the arms when paddling. There are mesh pockets to put in snacks, keys and phone. Plus there is a clip for a VHF (another requirement for venturing 300m offshore in France).
The other positives for the Vaikobi PFD is that there is a pouch for water at the back should you need refreshments on a journey or in a race.
The negatives are that it is expensive. Maybe not a cost you want to outlay at the beginning of your paddle career!
5. Yak Kayak PFD, I have been using this for years, before SUP took off and technology improved. It is OK, the water pouch is quite restrictive and it is really tight fighting. But ideal for kayaking. When doing the eskimo roll it gives that little bit of lift needed to roll the kayak!
So whether you wear one is your choice, but it is advised, and I will be wearing one! But where you wear a pfd depends on the exact discipline of SUP that you do! The choice of pfd you chose will depend on the amount of money you want to spend, and the exact type of paddling that you will be doing!
26th June 2023Are you new to SUP paddling? And are you unsure how to plan your session to avoid being blown out to sea? It is not easy to plan and the last thing you want is to be that person who is rescued by the RNLI.
So here is my guide to knowing when is a good time to paddle or not!
For most of my sessions I use windguru, this is the best fit for where I live. I can see the wind, the wind direction, the wave height and the wave periods.
I can also see the pattern of weather that will come, so I can plan ahead.
Waves: The green box signifies the wave data. Look out for the height, Personally something over 1.2m is fun for SUP surfing all the way to 2m. But for touring on your iSUP this is not easy paddle conditions. You should be looking for 0.5m max.
But this is dependent on the spot. For example when La Torche and La Palue (2 spots in Bretagne/ Brittany,France) states it its 2m it really is 2m and possibly 2.5m in a set, and heavy. Then my normal spot Goulien in Crozon when it says it is 1.5m, it will be 1.2m, highest wave in the set is 1.5m. This is a function of the beach profile, and orientation of the beach to the swell.
The Wave period is important. You want to look for something along the lines of 10 / 11 seconds between each wave if you want to SUP surf or downwind. Those of us on the Atlantic coast, in the UK, or in France, we get our swell from the Atlantic, so it has a long way to travel to get to us (called fetch), so we are used to numbers around 10 or 11.
Those who surf on the East coast of the UK, or on the other side of the North sea, Denmark, the swell is generally from wind so the numbers are 8 or 9, still good. So it is all dependent on where you are for the numbers.
2 or 3 up to 7 seconds between each wave is wind swell this indicates you will be having a wobbling time on choppy water.
Wind Speed: The black box signifies the wind speed and gusts in knots, I use knots (knots= Kph x 1.85 or 2 if you want to keep it simple). But in windguru they help us by colour mapping what is good and bad for your sport. Green and light blue for surfing and SUP surfing is great. Purple for windsurfing. Downwind SUP yellow / orange and even purple.
Wind is the SUPrs friend or foe. Generally up to 13 KM/h is manageable . After this you need to think about what direction it is blowing. And if you have the correct level to go out paddling.
Wind Direction: This is in the red box. This is important to us in the water.
I sup surf so I’m constantly looking at the wind, I can be out in up to 20 KM/h but after that it becomes technically difficult to paddle, and sometimes tiring if I am out on a smaller volume board. SO what do you look for?
On shore wind is ok for SUP surfing at 25KM/h the wind will push the wave down, so it may be difficult to take off on it.
For SUP touring this is the perfect wind because eventually you will get pushed back onshore.
Off shore wind is good, this will jack up the wave and make it steeper, so easy to take off on.
For SUP touring this is to be avoided!
Side shore / cross shore, this lies somewhere in the middle for quality of wave, again it depends on what spot you are in.
Example from my normal spot in Crozon, France.
I normally surf on the red star, this can take onshore and offshore wind. The offshore arrow being the one that starts on the land and finishes at sea, the onshore the opposite.
So if I position myself at the red star I can imagine what would happen to myself if I was to get in at this point and start paddling an iSUP in 60KM/h, in shore or offshore.
When it is blowing side shore I move up to the north part of the beach and then it is more sheltered. Something that you should consider.
We never get southerlies but if we did I would stay in the red spot. So always go where the wind is good.
A good wind predictor is the app windty . You can run the simulation to predict the strength and direction of your choosen site.
The world’s largest tidal range of 16.3 metres (53.5 feet) occurs in Bay of Fundy,Â Canada,Â and the United Kingdom regularly experiences tidal ranges up to 15 metres (49 feet) between England and Walesin the Severn Estuary
Unfortunately for us living here in Finistere and the UK we do have a lot of difference between low and high tide, depending on the coefficient, or the phase of the moon.
My spot Goulien works well going onto high and 1 hour after low. My really local spot, which is 2 km from my house works ONLY 1 hour before and after high tide when the coefficient is more than 70.
Tides can be tricky here is a link to a more in depth article of tide prediction.
Magic Seaweed Explained
I sometimes use magic seaweed (MSW) for spots that I don’t know (basically anything out of finistere in France). And mostly for SUP surfing.
I have put in the my local spot Boutrouilles.
Today it is bad. I only look at the black box to see the height of the surf 0.6 – 0.9m its ok. But then I look at the blue box and I see 38KM/h gusting to 61KM/h, windy and stormy, and possibly blown out. I never really look at the red box for data, but I do sometimes look at what direction the waves are coming in at.
For Boutrouilles spot to work the swell needs northwest to north-north west. The tide chart also tells me when high tide is happening so I can be there for 1 hour before. However, MSW does all the work for me and gives me a colour indicator Red being bad – Green being good I’d say today it’s pretty accurate – not surfing weather but I’ll go for a surfski).
Now compare this too later on in the week. The black shows a good swell height, so fun waves to be had, maybe I ‘ll take my longsup out. The red box tells me the wave direction is good for this spot. The wind is low and good! The sun is out, and the tide is high at night so I can go for a sunset paddle.
Finally, the waves you get are all dependent on the beach profile of your beach, will it be a nice peeling wave or will it be a gutsy heavy wave. The only solution to that is to go out and watch other people. Remember the waves always look smaller than they are!
There are other forecast tools
surf-forecast.com and surfline (surfline I use when I go to Los Angeles to surf). The key is finding what is right for your spot, and for you.
What to learn more about SUP session planning? Then come along to the Wild Women SUP Symposium in September. The perfect place and time to learn more about SUP paddling! [...]Read more...
16th June 2023Our SUP sessions are mostly based around the tide, especially if you are based on the ocean. So how do we predict the tide so that we can have the safest SUP / stand up paddleboarding session.
So what is the definition of tides?
The first step is to understand why the tides occur. High and low tides are caused by the moon. The moon’s gravitational pull generates something called the tidal force. The tidal force causes Earth—and its water—to bulge out on the side closest to the moon and the side farthest from the moon. These bulges of water are high tides.
Now that we understand what is a tide, we now need to explore where the biggest tide ranges are in the world. There are several locations across the world with high tidal ranges.
So what is a tidal range?
A tidal range is the difference between a high tide and its corresponding low tide in a given area (or vice versa). As we know, the moon has the biggest influence on the tide frequency and range. The spring tides, and therefore their effect on the tidal range is increased when a spring tide coincides with the equinox. Large tidal ranges occur in coastal locations. Land formations and topology of the seabed affect tidal range, for example, bodies of water between two land masses funnel water, restricting their ability to dissipate, resulting in a large tidal range. The highest tidal ranges in such locations can see the difference between the rise and fall of 12m, wherein open water, this range is just 0.6m. For this reason it is no coincidence that the largest tides are located where they are.
So how do you predict tides?
There are 2 cycles to look out for spring and neap tides. Spring tides are in essence when we have a full moon so this happens every 28 days or so. The neaps is the time inbetween.
The spring tides are the greatest difference in time between high and low tides, this means that the curve will be more pronounced. Neap tides have a smaller change in tidal difference over time, therefore the curve will be alot smaller.
So why is this significant?
It is important to look at tidal times to see when the tidal flow will be stronger. Spring tides will have a flow on the ebb and the flow, because there is a bigger volume of water flowing. Neaps will have less flow, though at specific parts of the tidals cycle there will still be a current.
So what is a tidal cycle? and why is it important?
So we now know what period the tide is in, whether a spring or neap. Now we look at the 12 hour cycle of the tide. We know that there is a low and high tide, and that it happens over a 12 hour period. So what we do is divide the cycle into twelfths. Don’t get too confused. Using this graph we can see exactly what this means. The tule of twelfths means that the 1st hour of low tide there is almost no flow, this then moves through to 2nd hour, then 3rd hour. It is in this 3rd and 4th hour that the flow is strongest. This is mid tide. The flow then decreases in strength until it gets to high tide on the 6th hour. Spring tides will mean that there will be strong flow, and even at neap tides, there will be a flow of some sort significance. So being at high tide in a spring is not the strongest part of the tide!
The next step will be now how the geography affects the local flow!
Geography is everything!
so how does the local geography affect the tidal flow? There are places in the UK that have particular tidal flows. In estuaries, you will have to take into account the length to account for the change in tides. In areas such as North West Scotland and places that have an array of islands this will affect flow, this is because of the squeeze that happens in the flow. The islands channel the water and create a flow of water that increases in force.
Southampton, double high water. This is a phenonomen that happens because the location of Isle of Wight. The tidal flow goes from East to West, and because of the position of the isle of Wight it means that Southampton gets a high tide a say 6PM and then again 3 hours later as the water flow loops around the isle of Wight.
So what next?
So now that you know the time of high tide, you can calculate the time when the current is at its strongest. You also know that it will depend on the geographical location of your spot, and of course whether it is spring or neaps. Use the tide to help you on your SUP journey, plan accordingly and your session will be the best.
If you want more information on SUP session planning, then come along to the Wild Women SUP Symposium in September! .
7th March 2023Top 5 places to SUP in Brittany, France!
From cultured cities to pristine nature sites, France offers endless tourist attractions. Including North Finistere. Discover this fascinating and diverse region with our list of the best places to visit in Finistere. So are you ready to explore a totally new place? Somewhere completley off the beaten track that you won’t find it any guidebooks. Lets being with the location, Finistere is found in North West France. The department (region in French) is the hot bed for French SUP boarders, and this no surprise, given the location and conditions found in this relatively unknown region. This is the reason that you should be this region compared to other regions in France.
Let me talk you through North Finistere, and at the end offer you the SUP trip that will blow your mind, packed full of breathtaking white sand beaches, and spectacularly translucent Sea. What is more this is a destination that is only 30 Minutes from the UK (OK plus the ferry!) or 1 hour from Paris (By plane). Read more about the most perfect paddleboard holiday in France and the top 5 places to paddle in! And after you have finished reading, book yourself a SUP holiday with Barrachou Paddle!
Top 5 Best Places to Paddle!
So are you ready to explore a new area of France? Read on to find out the TOP 5 places to SUP in France!
In Breton this means in Breton “Poul beuz an aneval” which means “The abyss where the beast was drowned”.
There is a fable story about a dragon, children, and a dad who saved the day. Paddling here is immense, found just off of Brignongan Plage, you can paddle between the rocks exploring different beaches, and spying on basking seals. The best part of this area finding an empty beach with crystal clear water, and what is more you will have this to yourself! Imagine paddling here!
An old fisherman village found in the village, Kerlouan. This site is famous for a custom house that is nestled between two huge rocks. In fact this site is famous for rocks. But what might fear into some paddlers, its a blessing for us! With rocks comes aquatic life, it is not unusual to find schools of fish, dolphins and seals in this area.
Meneham has two ports, whatever one you want to chose will depend on the conditions. But you will enchanted by the curious seals that swim underneath your board, or maybe they will just follow you as you explore the seagrass gardens that are found scattered in this area! This part of the Atlantic is famous for its high tide coefficients, which means its all about timing! This is why you need to take a guide, from Barrachou Paddle!
3. Ile Vierge, Lilia.
Translated into English this means the Virgin islands! Named by monks back in 1450. However, in Ile Vierge, is home to the Ile Vierge lighthouse the tallest stone lighthouse in Europe, standing tall at 33 metres high. A truly jaw dropping sight! Just next to this is an old lighthouse keeper (and light house), named the “mason de gardiens”, it has been authentically restored into a gite. After paddling over to the island you can live the life of a true light house keeper! ?
To get to the Ile Vierge you start at Lilia, Plouguerneau. This is small port village with a samll number of Fish restaurants and Oyster bars. A perfect stop for the post or pre session lunch, either sampling locally caught oysters or having a hearty crepe complet! Once you have navigated past the local fishing boats docked in the small port, you will instantly seduced by serenity of the bay.
What is here? This is an area of beauty from the sea grass gardens, flowing sea weed, to the scattered islabds of course more seals!
Guisseny, This is a village that was founded over a 1200 years ago by an Irish Monk. Here is the heartlland of Breton culture, language and stories. This is not France as you know it. If you are looking for slow living, and tourism, this is the place to come. Guisseny is a village that is situated along the Ocean. It starts with a enormous bay that in summer is the perfect place to explore, further along you come to the Port de Curnic, where the action is during the summer!
What is great about Guisseny is that there are so many bays that you can find what you want depending on the conditions, whether it be Wing foiling at the Vougout, Surfing at the port, or downwind paddling in the winter! Guisseny is the watersports action centre of North Finistere, but remarkable remains empty!
Owned by a local Christian charity this is an offshore island found in the middle of the bay. Stagadon is tidal lagoon which opens up at mid to low tide exposing water so translucent you would you think you were in the Caribbean. This is the Jewell in the crown for North Finistere. Referred to often as the Maldives of North Finistere!
Located on the Stagadon is a rustic hostel on the island allowing you to fully embrace the Robinson Crusoe life! This island is only accessible by water, meaning that once the day trippers have left you have this island to yourself!
Barrachou Multi Activity Holidays
Can you imagine your SUP holiday here? Well this is the time to get involved. Immerse yourself in the real France, and book a trip to North Finistere with Barrachou Paddle! . We offer a 5 day Yoga and Paddleboarding holiday, that combines all these destinations, along with expert guides! North Finistere, is off the beaten track. The France that doesn’t get the glamour. ? [...]Read more...
18th January 2023Why is the Sea Cold?
The temperature of the water is integral for our sport! This is because to know the temperature is to know what to wear for your SUP session! Sometimes we even have to weigh up if the conditions are worth putting on all that neoprene! In this article we will look at what cause the temperature of the ocean to change so much.
In some places in the world the water changes dramatically from season to season, in other parts of the world there is hardly any variations. But contrary to popular belief the variation in temperatures isn’t not directly linked to latitude, so what and why do we have these fluctuations?
The Myths of Water Temperature
Logically, in Europe you would assume the more North you are the colder the water would be; however, this is not true. The Outer Hebrides, Scotland only sees a fluctuation of 5°C, whereas off the German Bite, around Denmark, the water temperature fluctuates by up to 15°C. In France, during the summer you could just about surf without a wetsuit, but go further south to Galicia, in Northwest Spain, you would need a 4/3 wetsuit.
So, what controls the water temperature?
There are 2 main factors that control the temperatures 1. Currents and 2. Upwelling
The first factor is the regulatory effect of ocean currents, in areas where there is a strong surface current flowing past the coast, the surface water is continually replenished by water from elsewhere giving it little time to warm up or cool down with the seasons. The water brought in by currents may originate from somewhere where the temperature is completely different, giving the coastal waters a totally uncharacteristic temperatures for their position. A perfect example is the Benguela current in Southern Africa, that brings water in from Antarctica, making the waters around South Africa a bit chillier than expected!
The second factor is upwelling. The phenomenon of coastal upwelling is particularly apparent in Southern Africa, and South America. These areas combined with the trade winds and Coriolis force drives water away from the land, only to be replaced with colder water from the depths. In the coastal waters in Namibia it is not uncommon to find water temperatures of 11°C with land temperatures as high as 40°C, exactly for this reason, plus a combination of the strong currents, that drives the water away preventing it for being warmed up.
Shallow Seas, High Temperature Fluctuations!
So we have touched briefly on the currents and forces found in the oceans (principally the Atlantic), but what about the seas? We can generally consider seas as more confined and shallow bodies of waters. For example, the North Sea, and The Baltic Sea these are very shallow bodies of waters. In these bodies of water there is relatively little circulation of water. They are out of the reach of the oceanic currents. In these bodies of water, the water column hardly ever moves, so it really does have time to heat up cool down with the seasons. In the Baltic Sea up in the Bothnian Sea and Gulf of Finland the water is so stagnant that the water creates a Thermocline, the water can be stratified into layers of temperature, just because there is very little water movement.
Slow heating of the Sea!
If you are a regular in the sea, you will notice that sea temperature is completely out of phase for the season that you are in. This is because the sea takes a long time to heat up! There is in general a 3-month lag time between the seasons and the water temperature. Peak temperature in Europe is normally around September and the lowest temperature is around March. It is in March that you will need your hoods, and gloves. Why is this, this is because the ocean requires an enormous amount of energy to even raise the temperature a few degrees. Then when the heat input is reduced, the ocean takes a few months to cool down.
Why does the ocean not freeze?
The sea contains salt, and the high concentration of salt lowers the freezing point from 0° C to -2°C. Couple this with the fact the ocean is a large body of water, so it would need to have a constant temperature of below freezing to freeze over. This is why places like the Eastern and Northern reaches of the Baltic Sea are (or can be) frozen in winter, but not the entrance to the sea.
So now we know that latitude has no bearing on water temperature, it is a product of other forces and systems at work. With this in mind you will be able to think about what exactly you need to wear when going on the water.
Helen Trehoret is an oceanographer and geographer, based out of France. Helen leads SUP holidays in France, and in Scotland. Helen is the lead instructor for the Wild Women SUP Symposium, where she teaches the theory of SUP Expeditions, and Planning, using her knowledge from her career as an oceanorgrapher and kayak/ SUP instructore.
9th December 2022Après des années de réflexion, de recherche et d’attente, 2022 est l’année où j’ai terminé le légendaire circuit de paddle en Knoydart?!
Où se trouve Knoydart??
Nous devons d’abord décrire l’emplacement de Knoydart. Il s’agit d’une péninsule située au nord de l’Écosse. À environ 3 heures de route au nord de Glasgow et à 2 heures à l’ouest d’Inverness. Knoydart est la même latitude que l’île de Skye, elle n’est accessible que par voie d’eau (ferry, kayak de mer, paddle, Canoë) ou par une marche héroïque de quelques jours. C’est sauvage, et c’est la quintessence de l’Écosse. La péninsule a fait l’objet d’un transfert communautaire il y a quelques années.
La péninsule est maintenant gérée par la Knoydart Foundation pour le bénéfice de la communauté. J’avais l’intention de prendre le ferry pour Inverie, le centre communautaire de la péninsule de Knoydart. Le ferry est arrivé, et après avoir chargé toutes les fournitures pour la péninsule, nous sommes tous montés à bord. Le ferry est sorti de Mallaig, au nord de la péninsule de Morar, et a ensuite pris sur la droite pour remonter le Loch Nevis. Nous étions entourés de hautes montagnes de part et d’autre du Loch, puis nous avons repéré Inverie, et avons ralenti pour venir à côté. Avant de pouvoir débarquer, nous avons dû décharger le bateau, tous les passagers ont alors formé une chaîne pour décharger des paquets allant des livraisons amazoniennes aux vélos?!
Après un petit arrêt à l’auberge Old Forge, récemment rénovée, nous avons continué jusqu’au Knoydart Bunkhouse, où nous avions réservé pour une nuit?! Nous avons ensuite pris une bonne pinte au pub, avant de planifier les expéditions des jours suivants?!
Jour 2 : À Tarbet
À cause du mauvais temps, nous avons décidé de prendre le ferry pour Tarbet. Le ferry est parti à 15 heures, ce qui nous a laissé le temps d’explorer la péninsule. Nous nous sommes inscrits au guide Ranger à 11 heures, ce dernier nous a emmenés faire le tour de la communauté et de l’arrière de la montagne, et nous a expliqué la flore et la faune de la région. Il a également expliqué que la communauté a été mise en place pour essayer de maintenir la durabilité de celle-ci, et essayer de réduire la dépendance vis-à-vis de la terre ferme, ce qui est évidemment difficile à gérer dans les conditions rudes de l’ouest de l’Écosse. Son amour de la communauté et son désir de rendre la pareille étaient impressionnants. Après une visite très intéressante de la péninsule, nous nous sommes dirigés vers le quai de Ferry.
Le ferry était vide quand nous nous sommes dirigés vers Tarbet, en direction de la prochaine péninsule, nous savions que nous avions pris les bonnes décisions quand des vagues successives de pluie sont passées au-dessus. Après un transfert de bateau à bateau juste à la sortie de Tarbet, nous sommes montés à bord d’un semi-rigide, qui nous a déposés sur une cale très glissante. Nous avons alors commencé à charger et à nous diriger vers le col de l’autre côté du secteur. L’idée était de monter et de passer le col pour atteindre Loch Morar, et de monter le camp avant le coucher du soleil.
Après une heure de marche sur le col, nous avons rencontré une bifurcation dans le chemin, nous pouvions soit descendre directement vers Loch Morar, soit continuer le long de la crête pour atteindre une plage qui était située à côté d’un domaine, appelé “Swordland”, un pavillon qui a été utilisé comme école d’entraînement STS 23 b pendant la Seconde Guerre mondiale par le Special Operations Executive. Nous avons découvert que nous avions marché trop loin le long de la crête, à ce moment-là nous avons été forcés de descendre vers la plage par Swordland. Après avoir demandé la permission au propriétaire du terrain, nous nous sommes installés sur une plage juste au bord du Loch Morar. Après avoir monté le camp et bu une bière, nous avons profité du coucher de soleil sur les montagnes.
Le temps et le vent s’étaient alors calmés pour laisser place à une nuit presque calme. Les étoiles étaient incroyables et probablement les plus belles étoiles que nous ayons vues tous les deux.
Le lendemain matin, nous nous sommes réveillés tôt pour gonfler notre Itiwit 12’6″. La raison pour laquelle je les utilise est que ce sont des planches incroyablement stables, elles sont capables de porter jusqu’à 120 kg. Même en portant cette charge, il est possible de faire du downwind et du upwind sans effort. J’ai également utilisé le paddle Itiwit 3 pièces en carbone. Encore une fois, un équipement formidable de Decathlon. Pour un bon rapport qualité-prix, je recommande également Decathlon, qui prend au sérieux la recherche et le développement.
Après avoir gonflé les paddles, nous sommes partis vers 6 h 30 du matin, afin de profiter des vents légers. Notre objectif était de remonter directement jusqu’à Morar, où nous avions garé une de nos voitures. Le Loch Morar est un Loch qui s’étend d’ouest en est, le long d’une ligne de faille, il mesure 17 km et à certains endroits il a plus de 300 m de profondeur. Le loch est surtout connu pour être la masse d’eau douce la plus profonde du Royaume-Uni (et la troisième plus profonde d’Europe).
Il est entouré de montagnes et est donc très protégé des vents du nord, vents que nous avons eus ce jour-là. Nous avons pagayé directement vers les îles qui se trouvent à l’extrémité ouest du Loch Morar. Nous avons pagayé sur le côté nord du Loch pour nous protéger des vents, le trajet en paddle sur Morar était magique, avec des eaux calmes, et sans personne dans les environs.
Après 3 heures en pagayant, nous avons atteint les îles et nous nous sommes arrêtés pour faire une pause. Ces îles sont fortement boisées et sont parsemées de plages de sable doré. Passer une journée sur Loch Morar c’est comme avoir sa propre île à soi, tout seul?! Nous pratiquions le paddle sur le Loch Morar pendant la saison de chasse, et nous avons eu le malheur d’être pris dans un feu croisé, alors assurez-vous de consulter le calendrier de chasse avant de vous rendre dans les collines?! On y trouve également des cerfs rouges, des aigles de mer, des aigles royaux et des loutres?! Ouvrez donc l’œil pour voir ces animaux?! Nous avons parcouru environ 10 km dans la matinée, et à 12 heures, nous avions terminé. Nous avons donc eu le temps de retourner à Mallaig pour prendre un repas de Fish and Chips, puis de nous rendre sur les sables chantants de Morar pour camper et faire une sieste dans l’après-midi?!
Quelle est la prochaine étape??
Je prévois de faire ce voyage en 2023. Cependant, le voyage est très flexible, il aura lieu, mais si le temps n’est pas de notre côté, alors nous prendrons le ferry pour Tarbet, qui à mon avis est le meilleur choix, car cette partie du circuit n’est pas la plus intéressante. En 2023, nous prendrons le ferry jusqu’à Tarbet, où nous camperons, avant d’explorer la partie supérieure du Loch Nevis. Cette partie prendra une journée, avant de franchir le col vers Loch Morar, pour revenir à Morar en paddle. De plus, si le vent est dans la direction opposée, nous commencerons à Morar et nous terminerons à Mallaig. Cette excursion est destinée aux pagayeurs de niveau intermédiaire, capables de se dépasser légèrement. Un bon sens de l’aventure est certainement nécessaire.
Avez vous l’nvie de venir avec nous? alors regardez les détails de suite===> Circuit SUP de Knoydart
Si vous souhaitez améliorer vos compétences dans le sauvage en ecosse, alors regardez notre événement en Ecosse Wild Women SUP Symposium qui aura lieu en septembre. C’est le moment idéal pour développer vos compétences en matière de pagaie?!
5th December 2022After years of contemplating, researching and waiting 2022 became the year that I completed themuch fabled Knoydart SUP circuit!
Where is Knoydart?
Knoydart is a pennisula at the same latitude as the isle of Skye, it is only accesible by water (a ferry, sea kayak, SUP, Canoe) or a heroic walk in over a few days. It is rugged, and its quintessential Scottish. The pennisula was part of community by-out a few years ago.
The pennisula is now run by the Knoydart Foundation, for the benefit of the community. My plan was to take the ferry to Inverie, the community hub of the Knoydart Pennisula. The Ferry arrived, and after loading on all the supplies for the penisula we all went aboard. The ferry cruised out of Mallaig, on the North of Morar Pennisula and then took a right turn to head up Loch Nevis, we were surrounded by tall mountains on either side of the Loch, eventually we spotted Inverie, and slowed down to come along side. Before we could disembark we had to unload the boat, all the passengers then formed a chain to unload packages ranging from amazon deliveries to bycycles!
After a short pitstop at the newly revamped Old Forge Inn, we carried on until the Knoydart Bunkhouse, where we had booked in for a night! We then had a hearty pint back at the pub, before planning the next days expeditions!
Day 2: To Tarbet
Due to the inclement weather we opted to take the ferry to Tarbet. The ferry left at 3pm, so this gave us time to explore the Pennisula. We booked onto the Ranger guide at 11am, the ranger took took us around the community and over the back end of the moutain, and explained the flora and fauna of the area. He also explained the community set up to try to keep the community sustainable, and try to love towards less dependency on the main land, obviously this is difficult to manage in the harsh conditions of West Scotland. What was impressive was his love of the community, and the drive to give back. After a very interesting tour of the Pennisula, we then headed to Ferry wharf.
The ferry was empty as we headed to Tarbet, heading towards the next pennisula we knew we had made the right decisions as the wave after wave of rain squalls passed over. After a boat-to-boat transfer just outside Tarbet, we then boarded a semi rigide, who dropped us off at a very slippy slip way. We then started loading up, and heading over the pass to the other side of range. The plan was to walk up and over the pass to hit Loch Morar, to make camp before sunset.
After an hour hike over the pass we hit a split in the path, we had the decision to head straight down to Loch Morar, or continue along the ridge to hit a beach that was located beside an estate, called Swordland, a lodge that was used as training school STS 23b during the Second World War by the Special Operations Executive. We found out that we had walked too far along the ridge, at this point we were forced to head down to the beach by Swordland. After asking the land owner for permission, we settled in on a beach right on the Loch Morar. After making camp, and enjoying a beer, we enjoyed the sun set over the mountains. By this time the weather and wind had calmed right down to give an almost still night. The stars were incredible and probably the most beautiful stars that we had both seen.
The next morning we woke early to inflate our Itiwit 12’6″ tourer boards. The reason I use these is because they are incredible stable boards, they are capable of carrying up to 120 KG. Even when carrying this load they can downwind and upwind effortlessly. I also used the Itiwit 3 Piece Carbon Paddle. Again a cracking piece of equipment for Decathlon. For value for money I also recommend Decathlon, whats more they take their research and development seriously.
After inflating the paddleboards, we set off around 6.30am, this was to take advantage of the light winds. The aim of the paddle was to head straight up to Morar, where we had parked one of our cars. Loch Morar is a Loch that lies from West to East, along a fault line, it measures 17 KM and at some points it is more than 300 m deep. The loch is best known for being the deepest body of fresh water in the United Kingdom (and the third deepest in Europe).
It is surrounded by mountains therefore it is very protected from all Northly winds, winds which we had on that day. We paddled straight for islands that are found at the westerly end of Loch Morar. We paddled on the Northern side of the Loch to protect ourselves from the winds, the SUP journey on Morar was magical, with calm waters, and not a person in site.
After 3 hours of SUP paddling we reached the islands, and stopped for break. These islands are heavily wooded and are dotted with golden sand beaches, so spending a day on Loch Morar means you could have your own island all to yourself! We were SUP paddling on Loch Morar in Stalking season, and had the misfortune to get caught up in cross fire, so make sure you check out the stalking programme before you head into the hills! Also on show are (other) red deer, sea eagles, golden eagles, and otters! So keep an eye out for these animals! We covered about 10 KM in the morning, and by 12PM we were finished. Giving us plenty of time to head back into Mallaig to get a fish supper, and then head to the singing sands of Morar to make camp and take an afternoon nap!
I am planning on running this trip in 2023. However, the trip is very flexible, it will run, but if the weather is not on our side, then we will be taking the ferry to Tarbet, which in my opinion is a better option as this part of the circuit is not the most interesting. In 2023 we will take the ferry to Tarbet, and make camp, before exploring the upper reaches of Loch Nevis. This part would take a day, before heading over the pass to Loch Morar, to paddle back to Morar. Whats more if the wind is in the opposite direction then we will start at Morar and end at Mallaig. The trip is for intermediate paddlers, who are capable of pushing themselves slightly. A good sense of adventure is definetly needed. For more information head to our page===> Knoydart SUP Circuit
If you are looking to increase your skills in Wild Paddling then come along to the Wild Women SUP Symposium held in September, this is the perfect time to develop your paddle skills! [...]Read more...
23rd November 2022 5 meilleurs produits à offrir à une personne fanatique de paddle!
Noël approche, et nous commençons tous à penser à l’achat de cadeaux. Que pouvons-nous acheter à nos proches pour Noël?? Surtout s’ils sont obnubilés par le paddle?? Que peut-on acheter à ceux qui ont déjà en rapport avec le paddle ? Barrachou Paddle peut vous aider à faire vos achats de Noël en paddle?! Voici notre suggestion pour les 5 meilleurs produits à offrir à une personne qui adore le paddle! Voici notre suggestion pour les 5 meilleurs produits à offrir à une personne fanatique de paddle.
Nouveau gilet spécifique aux paddle
Baltic lifejackets a lancé une nouvelle gamme de vestes de sauvetage spécifiques aux PADDLE. Deux dans la gamme semblent intéressants pour les paddleurs, que ce soit pour le surf-ski, le PADDLE ou le foil paddle.
Dans cette gamme se trouvent le PADDLE Pro et le PADDLE Elite. Cette gamme de gilet est un véritable concurrent sur le marché, elle a été soigneusement pensée pour les paddleurs de PADDLE, OC et surf-ski. Alors qu’est-ce qui rend cette veste tellement meilleure que les autres??
Les deux GILET sont légères, elles donnent l’impression de faire partie de votre corps, ce qui vous permet de vous concentrer sur le paddling. La SUP Pro est la version la moins chère et est destinée aux paddleurs intermédiaires. Elle dispose d’une poche intégrée à l’avant pour ranger vos snacks, cartes. La GILET est fermée par des fermetures à glissière réglables sur le côté, suivis de deux sangles, permettant un ajustement confortable et ergonomique. De plus, la Baltic SUP PRO PFD s’adapte parfaitement aux paddleuses, en réduisant l’encombrement sur l’avant du corps, ce qui peut être un obstacle à la pratique du SUP. La Baltic SUP PRO a une flottabilité de 50N, et existe en 3 tailles, Small, Medium et Large, et est disponible en 3 couleurs, jaune, blanc et rose.
Le modèle supérieur est la SUP Elite, extrêmement léger et destiné aux paddleurs de compétition. Il y a des poches à l’avant et à l’arrière pour permettre d’emporter des snacks à l’avant et une poche de réhydratation à l’arrière, ainsi qu’une poche à cordon de serrage. La matière est extrêmement subtile et douce, avec un côté en maille. La gilet Baltic SUP Elite est fermée par une fermeture à glissière qui permet à la gilet d’être bien ajustée. L’intérieur de la GILET dispose également d’une pochette pour ranger les cartes ou tout autre équipement essentiel.
Comment acheter votre GILET Baltic SUP pro ou elite? Allez sur notre Page Boutique et cliquez?! Voici un cadeau qui fera le bonheur de votre ami(e)/femme/mari/partenaire accro aux paddle?!
Offrez à vos amis ou à votre famille la journée parfaite avec une carte cadeau Barrachou Paddle, d’une valeur de 50 euros, qui comprend le paddle, PADDLE, le gilet et les conseils d’un expert pour savoir quand pagayer. Alors, comment l’acheter?? Rendez-vous sur notre boutique, cliquez et nous vous enverrons votre certificat directement chez vous?!
Si vous souhaitez offrir à votre partenaire un petit quelque chose de plus, pourquoi ne pas penser à un Voyage PADDLE dans le Finistère?! Vous n’avez probablement jamais entendu parler du Finistère Nord, mais il y a une raison, il est hors des sentiers battus?!
Vous aurez l’occasion de pratiquer le paddle dans certaines des meilleures conditions et dans certains des meilleurs endroits de Finistère, des plages blanches désertes et des îles, aux phoques repérés dans les îles au large de Lilia. Les forfaits de voyage sont de 5 jours et sont situés autour de Plouguerneau, Cote des Légendes, et Guisseny. Les prix commencent à partir de 600 euros par personne. Pour plus d’informations, contactez-nous à email@example.com
Festival de surf-ski du Finistère
Le Finistère offre certaines des meilleures conditions de surf au monde. Situé sur une péninsule, le Finistère est orienté pour capter le vent et la houle de toutes les directions, il y a toujours du vent dans le Finistère. L’entraîneur espagnol Nacho Soler Fabre sera présent pour donner des conseils techniques et pratiques sur l’océan et dans notre salle de classe ultramoderne.
D’une durée de 4 jours, ce sera le moment d’entamer votre entraînement de surf-ski de présaison. L’analyse, le barbecue et la course sont inclus dans le prix?! Le week-end se déroule du 14 au 17 avril. Ce week-end de Pâques sera parfait ! Vous n’êtes pas sûr du Finistère?? Si cela ne vous convainc pas, alors qu’est-ce qui le fera??
Alors pourquoi ne pas offrir à votre partenaire, votre femme ou votre ami un billet pour venir s’entraîner dans les meilleures conditions du monde?? Achetez votre billet maintenant à Festival Finistere Surfski.
Wild Women PADDLE Symposium 2023
Le tout premier colloque Wild Womens SUP Symposium s’est tenu en 2022, et quel succès?!
Pendant deux jours, 30 femmes se sont réunies pour perfectionner leurs compétences en paddle, et l’événement s’est terminé par une expédition de paddle dans la nature?! Et il en sera de même en 2023?! Lisez tout sur l’événement 2022 dans le magazine TotalSUP !
Pendant 3 jours, le Wild Women SUP Symposium se tiendra une fois de plus à Cannich, en Écosse. Cinq instructrices de SUP seront présentes pour assurer un encadrement de qualité. Les thèmes abordés comprennent la planification d’une expédition, les compétences en SUP et les compétences en SUP dans le conditions eaux-vivre. Inscrivez-vous rapidement pour réserver votre place ou offrez à votre partenaire/fille/femme/mère le cadeau de sa vie?! Comment réserver?? Cliquez ici pour le billet d’entrée anticipé?! Les prix augmenteront après janvier?!
Affiches de la Côte des Légendes
Souvenez-vous de votre voyage dans le Finistère Nord grâce à ces superbes posters?!
Trois sites sont disponibles, Ile Vierge, Plouguerneau, Kerlouan et Guisseny. Ce sont nos 3 endroits préférés pour pagayer?!
Si vous n’avez pas encore visité notre site, ces affiches sont le début de votre aventure ! Nous proposons des excursions d’une journée et des vacances de paddle à Plouguerneau, et le phare de l’île Vierge est l’un de nos sites paddle préférés, niché parmi les rochers et les champs d’algues, et nous proposons un voyage incluant une nuit à Stagadon. Une véritable expérience de Robinson Crusoé?! C’est donc notre Top 5 des cadeaux?! Vous êtes donc prêt à recevoir le meilleur cadeau qui soit ! N’hésitez pas à nous contacter si vous souhaitez de plus amples informations?! [...]Read more...
22nd November 2022Christmas is approaching, and its the time when we all start thinking about present buying, what can we buy our loved ones for christmas? Especially if they are obesssed with paddling? What do we buy those who have everything paddle related? Well Barrachou Paddle can help you with your SUP christmas shopping! Here our suggestion for the top 5 products for the SUP obsessed person!
1. New SUP Specific PFD
Baltic lifejackets have launched a new range of SUP specific pfds. There are two in the range that are look interesting for paddlers, whether surfski, SUP or foil paddling.
In there range are the SUP Pro and the SUP elite. This range of PFDs is a real contender for the market, it has been carefully thought out for SUP, OC and surfski paddlers. So what makes this jacket so much better than the others?
TBoth PFDs are lightweight, they both feel like it is part of your body, leaving you to concentrate on your paddling.
The SUP Pro is the less expensive version and is aimed at the intermediate paddler. It has an integrated pocket at the front to stash your snacks, maps. the PFD is closed shut by adjustable zips at the side, followed by two straps, giving a comfortable and ergonomic fit. Whats more the Baltic SUP PRO PFD is a perfect fit for female paddlers, giving less bulk on the front of the body, something that can be a hindrance in SUP paddling. The Baltci SUP PRO has a bouyancy guidance of 50N, and comes in 3 sizes, Small, Medium and Large, and is available in 3 colours, yellow, white and pink.
The next mode is the SUP Elite this is extremely lightweight and aimed at the competitive paddler. There are front and back pockets to allow for snacks in the front and a rehydration pocket in the back, as well as draw string pocket. The material is extremey subtle and soft, with a mesh side. The Baltic SUP elite PFD is closed by a zipper that gives the PFD a snug fit. The inside of the PFD also has a mess pocket to stash maps or any other essential equipment.
How do you buy your Baltic SUP PFD? go to our Shop page and click away! This is one present that will make your SUP addict friend/wife/husband/partner happy!
2. Gift Certificate
Give your friends or family the perfect day out with a Barrachou Paddle Gift Card, worth 50 euros, it includes the paddle, SUP, gilet, and expert knowledge of when to paddle. So how do you buy this? Head over to our shop , just click and then we will post your certificate to straight to your house!
If you are looking to getting something a little bit more for your partner, then why don’t you think about a perfect SUP trip to Finistere! Youhave probably never heard of North Finistere, but there is a reason, its off the beaten track! You will have the opportunity to paddle in some of the best conditions and places in Finsitere, from deserted white beaches, and islands, to seal spotted in the offshore islands in Lilia. Trip packages are for 5 days and are based around Plouguerneau, Cote des Legendes, and Guisseny. Prices start from 600 euros per person. For more information contact us at Barrachousup@gmail.com
3. Finistere Surfski Festival
Finistere has some of the worlds best surfski conditions. Found on a pennisula Finistere is orientated to catch the wind and swell from all directions, there is always wind to be found in Finistere. Spanish coach Nacho Soler Fabre will be on hand to give technical and practical coaching on the ocean and in our state-of-the-art classroom.
Based over 4 days this will be the time to get in your pre season surfski training started. Including in the price is analysis, BBQ, and a race! The weekend is held on the 14th – 17th April. This will be the perfect Easter weekend! Unsure about Finistere? Then check out our video if this won’t persuade you then what will?
So why don’t you buy your partner, or wife, or friend a ticket to come and train in the worlds best conditions. Get your ticket now at Finistere Surfski Festival
4. Wild Women SUP Symposium 2023
The 1st ever Wild Womens SUP Symposium was held in 2022, and what a success it was! Over 2 days 30 women gathered to progess their paddle skills, and the event was finished off with a SUP expedition into the wilds! And the same will be done in 2023! Read all about the 2022 event in SUP the Magazine!
Over 3 days the Wild Women SUP Symposium will once again in Cannich, Scotland. 5 Female SUP instructors will be on hand to deliver high quality coaching, themes included expedition planning, SUP Skills, and River SUP skills. Get in early to book your place or give your partner / daughter / wife / mum the gift of ther life! How do you book? Click here for the Early Bird Ticket! Prices will increase after Janaury!
5. Cote des Legendes Posters
Remember your trip to North Finistere with these awesome posters! Three locations are available, Ile Vierge, Plouguerneau, Kerlouan and Guisseny. These are our 3 favourite paddle locations! And available here!
If you haven’t yet been to our location then these posters are the start of your adventure! We offer day trips and SUP holidays to Plouguerneau, and the lighthouse found on the Ile Vierge is one of our favourite SUP locations, nestled amongst the rocks and sea grass fields, whats more we offer a trip that includes an over night stay in Stagadon. A true Robinson Cruiseo experience!
So that is our Top 5 presents! So you are ready to get the best present ever! If you need any more information get in touch!
25th June 2022Coach Sam in the news!
Coach Samantha Rutt is on track to paddle from Scotland to Ireland or vice versa!
Sam will be coaching at the Wild Women SUP Symposium. This would be a great opportunity to learn from one of the best in the industry!
Read on about Sam’s story and her quest to paddle across the Celtic Sea / Irish Sea.
Feeling inspired? Then Book onto the Wild Women SUP Symposium Now! [...]Read more...
19th June 2022Wild Women SUP Symposium 2022
The wild women SUP symposium has been organised to gather together women who want to learn and progress their paddle skills, especially in wild environment.This is the first of its type, thanks to the growing popularity of the sport this is the time to learn, this is the time to celebrate our sport. It is weekend designed for women paddlers to get together, improve their skills and have fun!
We talk about why you should put this event in your diary! and come share the stoke of paddling in the wild!
Why come to the Wild Women SUP symposium?
I (Helen Trehoret) have been paddling SUP for over 10 years. About 7 years ago I started traveling to Scotland to SUP paddle. I paddle routes that were used by Canoe and kayak paddlers, and adapted them to suit SUP paddling. Sometimes routes can be a more tricky for those on SUP boards than on kayak boards, due to either the water depth (we have fins on the SUPs) or the wind direction. Unlike sit down paddling SUP paddling can be a bit more trickier when faced with wind. Unless you nail your technique.
I am really passionate about SUP expeditions, the SUP expedition market is growing especially with women only trips. However, with most women only expeditions the leaders are often men. My vision is to bring women together for them to develop their paddle techniques, for them to learn about expedition paddling so that at the end of the weekend the women can find the confidence to plan, and carry out a SUP expedition or adventure. This is why we have incorporated workshops such as expedition planning, navigation and of course technique. This is why we have a group of great women coaches!
We have Samantha Rutt on board, top UK paddler, who is reknown for her great technique coaching! As well as her paddle achievements, including some great distance paddling. As well as two local paddlers Emy McCleod and Jess Philips who are at home in the Lochs and rivers in Scotland!
Another reason I organised this event is to give an opportunity for women, to get together to develop friendships, and to develop connections that hopefully will end with expedition paddling! It would be amazing if on the back of this weekend we could create friendships that went on to do SUP expeditions!
Scotland is an amazing place to paddle! One thing it has is water and lots of it! The lochs are orientated in such a way that no matter what the prevailing wind direction you will always find a loch that offers either shelter from the wind or the ultimate downwind. It is this coupled with the fact that in Scotland you have the right to roam, means that you can still explore the wilds and pitch a tent, without negotiating the wrath of angry land owners.
An additional fact is that in Scotland you can go wild quite quickly. A drive down a glen and you are all of a sudden alone, more often and not you are next to a Loch. This is why SUP paddling is amazing, you can stop the car, inflate your SUP and paddle across the Loch, either to set up camp or stay in a bothy. SUP expeditions don’t have to be 1000 KM paddle down the Yukon, it can just be a quick, short paddle over the Loch.
Why women only?
After 15 years paddling professionally and for leisure it is plain to see that at times paddling with (some) men is just difficult. I am an accomplished paddler and at times I feel that I am mansplained. Although I have the confidence to laugh it off, or to control the direction of the conversation I admit that to some women this can have a negative effect. This weekend is just to share the stoke of wild paddling and encourage as many women to get on the board and paddle, without having to be aware of any dynamics that may put some women off! However, if you are coming to the event with your male partner, they are very much welcome to the evening social and bbq! This is not a problem!
I have had some great paddle expeditions in Scotland. One of my favorite trips was a downwind on Loch Trieg. The wind was exactly on point and we downwinded all the way to the bottom of the Loch. From there we stashed our SUP boards and then walked to the Youth Hostel at Loch Ossian, to stay the night. The next day we walked back and the wind turn 180 degrees and we were blown straight back up the Loch! It was a truly magical 2 days.
I have also planned a SUP expedition and arrived at the Loch to find it completely frozen over!
Are you tempted to come along? This is going to be a great weekend! BBQ, Film and loads of workshops.
Head over to our Page for more information on the weekend!
or if you are locked in then Book now using this link! [...]Read more...
14th February 2021SUP paddling has exploded but where did it all start?
Here is the full history of the sport that has gripped the world!
Ready to get paddling? Check out our SUP destination in North Finistere, France!
See you on the water! [...]Read more...
28th January 2021We are in the throngs of winter here in the Northern Hemisphere and it is the time to turn to the clothing that keeps you warm, and safe.
So what to wear when SUP paddling in winter to keep you nice and toasty, so that you can focus on enjoying your session? I will take you through my winter paddling clothes, and what suits me in my paddle sessions here in North Finistere, France!
The Best SUP Trousers
I will start on the bottom half, what trousers to wear whilst SUP paddling? I wear Vaikobi V Cold Flex Paddle trousers, originally designed for the surfski world they are a perfect cross over training torusers for SUP paddling.
The material is super soft, stretchy and extremely comfortable. The Vaikobi V Cold Flex Paddle tousers are made from a material that feels like fleece, but at the same time feels like lycra. Technically speaking the material is made from a hybrid of super stretch, perforated neoprene and hydro fleece fabric. The fleece feel is actually a plush inner fleece lining designed to maintain my body temperature at the an optimum level to ensure peak performance, without over heating. Something that I would need to work on!
I wear a thermal layer from decathlon on my top half, this is a specific paddling top, with a neoprene and mix cotton fabric. It keeps me insulated in the winter, and I can use it in the summer to protect myself from the sun. It is part of my summer SUP paddling clothes.
When its raining or there is a cold wind I opt for the Palm Vantage Cag. This is a lightweight shell layer that protects me from cold winds and horizontal weather. It is breathable and has a storm hood, that I can tighten to protect head from a rain shower, or horizontal rain. Its not designed to be totally immersed in water like a semi dry top, rather it is designed to be lighweight and make life a little easier whilst paddling!
The all important headwear. In the winter I favour my Breeze SUP wear Beany. It is made of wool and keeps my head nice and toasty. But I only bring out the beany when the weather is cold but not wet. For wet weather I always take a baseball cap, this means the rain drips away from eyes, I have been paddling in hailstorms and wearing a cap is definitely effective!
During winter I always wear my 5mm Ripcurl booties. I don’t wear split toes, because I feel the open toes are alot easier to put on.
If it is really baltic and I am paddling in Scotland I have a drysuit, this is not necesscary in France. But it definitely keeps me warm and toasty. The coast of dry suits is quite prohibitive, and I wouldn’t recommend the investment unless you live in the Baltic regions!
I have a SUP skin, that is a semi dry, but I find this a little too cool in winter, Especially if I may fall in the water! If I feel I will be in the water alot in the session then I will use my Ripcurl Flashbomb, and a hood. I wore this combo recently when foiling in my local area, the water temperature was 8 degrees and I was extremely toasty!
What ever you chose to wear when paddling you have to consider the paddling environment, and the type of paddling that you will be doing. Sprint SUP sessions will require you to wear something breathable and loose. Foiling will require something that will keep you warm. Keep an eye out on clothing from other paddle sports, they will be effective in SUP paddling, and well tested. What every you chose, have fun and see you on the water soon! [...]Read more...
24th November 2020Predicting Tides, Wind and Waves!
New to the sport? Don’t know where to begin with predicting conditions?
Then follow this guide and you will have the perfect paddle session!
Want to read more? Head over to SUP Mag UK for the full publication!
Tides… wind… waves… and what to be aware of [...]Read more...
11th April 2020Welcome to Barrachou Movie Days!
We are in strange times right now, it has been 4 weeks since I have been on the water, and after 7 months of paddling daily it is a shock to the system. I am no medical expert so I have no advice to give, but keeping a positive mind helps us, and looking forward to some epic water time also helps our state of mind.
Until then we need to find things to do, right?
So I have compiled a list of my favourite SUP / surf movies to keep you busy. Each day I will be updating the page with a new awesome film.
Day 1. Movie 1
Lost in the Swell
This is a series of films brought to you by 3 breton lads. Each year they go in search of epic waves, providing us with some unusual and exciting situations.
The most recent adventures took us to Gabon, Africa. The 3 breton’s used fat bikes to cycle along the coast. Some of the series is has English subtitles, if not, we can all follow the vibe eh?
Luckily for us here in confinement there is a brand new series being released on Monday 13th April 2020. The new series can be watched at 12 pm French time at Lost the swell – Patalluvil, and each day there will be a new episode until Saturday!
But if you have the afternoon to while away, head over to their you tube page and get watching!
Watch === >>> Lost in the Swell
Day 2. Movie 2
Jamaica Surf Women.
I watched this film at the Brest Surf Festival back in 2019. Made by 2 west country girls, it was a film that I needed to watch, and I wasn’t disappointed. This is exactly how I see the whole charade of the surf industry. It points its camera in one direction but actually the other direction is something actually alot more human and interesting.
The documentary tells the story of Imani Wilmot and her efforts to transform the lives of Afro-Carribean women through surfing. It was created, in collaboration with Imani, who is herself a filmmaker, by Cornwall based production company The Right To Roam, made up of duo Joya Berrow and Lucy Jane.
Sometimes we can get lost in the whole cultural hippy thing of surfing. Fundamentally it is a sport, it can be extremely accessible, and it can be used as a tool to life people up from their lives like all other sports. I would watch this then think about ourselves. Actually we are ok. Sometimes we need to stop aspiring to being Kelly Slater, and just use the sport as a tool. A tool to bring communities together. Quite relavant in this period.
Read the full interview here!
Day 3. Movie 3
Can I surf that
River Surf girl Brittany Parker
Can I Surf That is group of ladies, chasing big waves, and promoting love for the sport that rules their lives – River Surfing.
River Surfing is a growing sport, taking the world’s curiosity by storm. It has been a project two years in the making
This documentary follows the journey of four waterwomen with an insatiable appetite for whitewater and adventure! Get a look inside the River Standup Paddling community and meet some rowdy people who live for river surfing. Featuring professional SUP athlete Brittany Parker, with many guest appearances from world-wide river surfers, this documentary will have you craving an adventure of your own!
Day 4. Movie 4
A Land Shaped by Women
Iceland has been ranked first in gender equality by the U.N. nine years in a row. World champion snowboarders Anne-Flore Marxer and Aline Bock hit the road to explore the terrain, and the people, that make this feminist country so unique. A winter filled with carving on the snow and surfing is quite the dream, followed by discussions into why us females are always thought of not quite the same us men. Interesting watch!
Happy Watching, and I’m personally motivated to head over to Iceland!
Day 5. Movie 5
The next film in the list is Unstoppable with Bethany Hamilton
This film follows the footsteps of Bethany Hamilton from the il fated attack to the present day. Not letting her past get in the way and showing some immense determination is awe inspiring. This film is available to watch on netflix. I recommend it. Bethany’s victory against Steph Gilmore in Cloud break was quite unbelievable, juggling the athlete and mum hat quite successfully.
Day 6 . Movie 6
The next film choice is Failte. This movie about a group of watermen from France who go discover the wves in Ireland fimed by Mathieu Jonneaux
This is the story of a band of surfers, Mathieu Babarit, Samuel Guillet, Stevie Portelot, Lionel Angibaud and Benoît Carpentier are all accomplished in their own disciplines.
They leave France to surf, paddle, and windsurf in Ireland, and at the same time discovering its Celtic culture. The surfers open up about their passion for the sea, their addiction for the ocean and their addiction to riding waves.
Day 7. Movie 7
The 7th and final fil of the weak is……….
Take Every Wave with Laird Hamilton
I wish I could give you the full feature, but I can’t. It is available in itunes though!
The reason this is the final one is because, quite honestly. I want to be Laird. Live in Hawaii, surf all day, and try new things. However, I am in Finistere, and its not Hawaii. So it is a great film to dream about!
If you feel the need to get on the water don’t forget to check out our paddle spots! See you on the water!
31st December 2018Paddling with Children
I am a paddle geek, I paddle anything that is open, a SUP, a canoe, ocean outrigger, a surfski, anything where I am not stuck, or when I “feel” stuck. But, I am a mother of 2 young kids, and my husband works offshore so he is gone for 6 months of the year.
So if I want to paddle during these times I have to take my children with me. I live on the beach, 20 m in fact. It would be insane for me not to take the children on the water there. It is more difficult for me to take them to the nearest soft play (1 hour by car), and also more traumatic.
Here are 10 tips that help me paddle with my kids.
1. Be selective. I live on the Atlantic coast so I have to be very selective with the choice of equipment and the days that I take my kids. I normally stop all operations about November till about March. No one wants a cold and traumatised kid. It might stop them loving the sea forever.
2. Keep expectations and goals low. If you get 20 minutes in the water, that is better than 20 minutes in the house.
3. Buoyancy aid, PFD or what ever you call them. I put them on my kids, and I wear one if I think you need too (I don’t when I can stand in the water)…
4. Take a paddle for yourself and a paddle for your child. If your children are like mine they will want to take your paddle from you…any resistance will result in the normal “scene”. I have also order kids size surfski paddles, this helps the oldest to be involved especially in the K2 surfski. For the SUP I take just the paddle face with me, from a 3 part travel paddle.
5. Don’t punch about your weight. If you aren’t happy or comfortable, don’t go.
6. Make it fun. Play pirates, or mermaids. You have to really get into role play. Sometimes you just need to paddle very fast. They like speed for some reason
7.If they fall in, grab them, and put them back on the board or surfksi or canoe. Don’t make a fuss. Laugh it off. They feed off of your nerves!
8. Allow the children to be involved in the paddle. Asking a 3 year old to fetch something for the session will make them feel involved. My kids carry the paddles, that is the deal, and now I ask the oldest to help me carry an end of the SUP or surfski. (Clearly this doesn’t work for a 2 year old!).
9. Dress appropriately. You need to wear clothes that will allow you to jump into the water if it goes a bit a wry. I wear a wetsuit in the winter even if its calm, and in the summer what temperatures are 18 degrees, so it a long john will work.
For the kids they have their own wetsuits. This definitely helps when they fall in.
10. Don’t give up, if the 1st time is traumatic, have another go. Keep on going, and going. It’ll get easier! The children will moan, they will say they prefer to be on the sofa and watching tv. But keep on going!
Interested in paddling with other women or mums? Come along to the Wild Women SUP Symposium in September!
14th October 2018I am fresh back from The Pacific Paddle Games in Doheny State Beach, California, where I was working for TotalSUP. For those that might not know it is the season finale for the paddle league, the competitive league for international SUPÂ athletes (as well as the APP tour).Â I was on the beach and had ring side action to the races. There I witnessed paddlers young, and not so young really push themselves all through weekend, it was amazing! The talk of the weekend was the Â youngster Tyler Bashor pull one out of the bag, after being off his board, taking a swim, he then pulled off an awesome come back and take the win, incredible and a real lesson that it is not over, until it is over! I also saw an outsider Brazilian Gui Dos Reis, stir up the mix and come 2nd overall in the contest, truly exceptional paddling! There was also local paddler Candice Appleby finally lift the crown for Queen of Doheny! It was a contest of everything was possible and valiant paddling efforts.
Photo Credit: Helen Trehoret
But what I saw that excited me the most, being a woman paddler (blatantly bias) was two women pull off something that was big, and it did not go unnoticed!
Photo Credit: LinaÂ Augaitis
The two women who blew my mind away last weekend were the British paddler Ginnie Odetayo and the Canadian paddler Lina Augaitis. What blew me away about these two paddlers were that they not only stormed the event with their results, they were able to do it being a mum, not of 1 child but of 3 and 2 respectively.Â I am a mum of 2 kids, a bit sporty, but I m not an athlete I paddle almost everyday, I playÂ (dabble) in sport (hockey) at a recreational level, so I think I know what it entails to juggle being a mum and still blaze a trail for sport, especially the sport of paddling. Sometimes it is only possible to go paddling 8 pm at night, sometimes 17 hours after you began the day! So I can only imagine the levels of commitment, determination and drive that is needed to compete with the top 20 in the world whilst being a mum! These two remarkable women really put on a show that is inspiring to us other mothers!
I often tell people it is not the actual event that exhausts me, it is the night when I return home from the event, where I have to bath, dress and read my kids a story, when all I want to do is go sit on the sofa and play pokemon.Â It is truly difficult. Add to the mix that these two athletes are also working, so a mum, an athlete and aÂ worker. That is the ultimate women. So I hope to see more of Ginnie and Lina on the world circuit, and every time I do I will cheer for them! You two were my stand out performers of the weekend! You showed that everything is possible!