Stand up paddle boarding in Swansea & Gower
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European stand up paddleboard championships with Mi Richarsdon

The European stand up paddleboard championships are being held in Lacanau, France 18th-24th June 2016 and there will be a Welsh team and English team representing there. Matt Barker-Smith, owner of The Sup Hut will be entering the sup surf category for team England and his wife Abi has been selected to compete in the sup surf category for team Wales!!

Abi caught up with her team mates from the Welsh team to ask them a few questions about the upcoming competition- each member will feature over the next few weeks.

Mi Richardson

Mi richardson Sup


Hi Mi , which discipline will you be entering and how are you feeling about the competition?Hi Abi I’m in the Technical Race & distance race – I’m excited to be part of the team, and nervous about the competition.
How will you prepare for the competition ?Practising buoy turns, and taking my 12’6 race-board out in surf. (Surfing on a 12’6 still feels like an odd combination of games – like playing badminton with a cricket bat.)
Do you have a regular exercise regime?Not really – I enjoy SUP surfing and the occasional race, Pilates and circuits. I do something most days, but it’s all fairly casual – for fun and to keep fit.
What board and paddle will you be using?2016 Starboard All star 12’6 x 24; Quickblade V drive 91 paddle
How did you get in to stand up Paddleboarding? When we moved here in 2008, SUP seemed to be just surfacing. Chris Griffiths (Guts) lent Jim his board to try, then I tried Jim’s. I didn’t use my surfboard again after that (not that I was much good!).
Favourite sup holiday destination? Costa Rica
Your husband Jim is also on the team, how will you both manage to train and balance family life? We’re lucky that our daughters both like the water too. Bee would have been racing in this competition, if it wasn’t for her A’ Level exams, and Eve surfed with me in Langland today. In truth, I’m not sure how well we’ll balance other things, but it’s only for a month, the dogs will still be walked and thankfully some very supportive grandparents live nearby!
What are you most looking forward to about the competition?being part of a team and meeting other teams.

Sup race gower
And least?! A thumping Atlantic swell – Lacanau’s apparently good at producing those!
Any advice for people wanting to get in to racing?Easy first steps are to look on the SUP Gower website for local races, hire a race board from Matt and take part. It’s a very friendly group and it doesn’t take itself too seriously.
Why should more people get in to stand up paddleboarding?Because they’re missing out if they don’t. It’s great exercise and the beaches are even more beautiful from the water.
As a keen stand up paddle surfer which is your favourite beach to surf? Langland, Swansea
Who do you surf with regularly?Jo Ibrahim/ Blewett (just as well you asked that question – she’d kill me if she didn’t get a mention!), Kath Jones and Jim.
What’s your favourite distance paddle? Langland to Pwll du point and back.
Any tips for people wanting to take up stand up paddleboarding? Have a lesson – you’ll soon be on your feet and can find a board which suits you.

Sup racing up Swansea Tawe river


Thanks Mi and Good luck in the the Euros

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Here at SUP Gower We offer Stand up paddle lessons & Foiling Lessons ( wing sup - wing foil - sup foil -surf-foil & Efoil ) Plus Hire & Clinics. Our showroom and Plant based Cafe is stocked with boards, paddles, coffee & cake and all the food and gear you need to get on the water. GROUND plant based & much more.
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