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Surfing in London?!! Yep you heard it right. Today it was announced that plans are being made to bring waves inland to the capital city with a new artificial wave pool. If all goes to plan smart suits and surfboards will become the norm, and those in the city will be able to enjoy the surf just as much as those living by the sea. Read on to find out more about this exciting development…

Surfers (L-R) Jessica Rowe, Veranika Lim, Sophie Hellyer and Frank Hodgson cross London’s Millennium Bridge as a partnership is announced between Lee Valley Regional Park Authority and The Wave to create an inland surfing destination in the capital for people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities. Photo : John Nguyen/PA Wire.

Press Release:

£40m Surfing Destination Planned for London: State of the art project planned for Edmonton’s Lee Valley Leisure Complex

Surfing could be coming to London, according to plans announced today by Lee Valley Regional Park Authority (LVRPA) and inland surfing specialists, The Wave. The £40m project would enhance around 100 acres of land in Lee Valley Regional Park and could make London the first capital city in the world to offer an inland surfing destination.

LVRPA, as landowner, and The Wave, whose first inland surfing venue will open in Bristol next year, will work together to develop a planning application for a world-class surfing destination called The Wave London. This sustainable and visionary project will be the centrepiece of an exciting reinvigoration of land adjacent to the Lee Valley Athletics Centre in Edmonton, North London and will bring both visitors and jobs to the area.

The concept, unveiled today, will allow people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to have a go at surfing, whether it’s a child stepping on a board for the first time, or a pro-surfer training for the Olympics. The Wavegarden Cove technology generates up to 1,000 quality waves per hour, with heights starting at 50cm and peaking at almost 2m. The popularity of surfing is growing, and the sport will feature for the first time at the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020.

Engagement with local communities and interested organisations will take place alongside extensive, detailed site analysis – and subject to the results of this, a planning application will be submitted. If plans are approved by the London Borough of Enfield and the Mayor of London, The Wave London would offer a new purpose-built surfing lake and could feature other elements, such as a high-performance surfing and skateboarding centre, health and rehabilitation, cycle trails, high ropes, and glamping accommodation.

Proposed plan for new London Wave Pool

The existing lake in the north of the Lee Valley Leisure Complex will not be affected by The Wave London and the project aims to enhance its biodiversity. Activities at the world-class Lee Valley Athletics Centre would continue as normal.

Shaun Dawson, Chief Executive of Lee Valley Regional Park Authoritysaid: “These proposals have the potential to create a stunning new regional leisure hub bringing health, fitness, sport and outdoor activities to millions of people along with many new jobs.

“This leisure development would complement our existing world class sports venues up and down the 26-mile-long Regional Park, including our three hugely popular London 2012 legacy venues providing the best cycling, white water, hockey and tennis opportunities to be found anywhere.

“Lee Valley Leisure Complex was once a sewage works and rubbish dumps. A generation ago we built what was then Europe’s largest leisure centre. Now we hope to bring inland surfing here to create an outstanding new leisure destination for the capital and the region. This marks another exciting chapter in the history of the Lee Valley.”

Nick Hounsfield, Founder of The Wave said: “Surfing is an incredible sport which has proven health benefits – both physically and mentally. The Wave London would give people the chance to try surfing and experience these benefits in an urban environment. Being in the water, catching waves, has the ability to change lives, whilst being so much fun!

“We want to create a space where people can have an amazing time by connecting with nature, each other and themselves. We know we can enhance this space, and encourage more people to get outside in nature and get active.

“We have already started to build The Wave Bristol. From the very beginning we have worked closely with local communities to ensure our project meets their needs and provides world-class surfing facilities for professionals and beginners alike. We look forward to working with local Edmonton residents, organisations and partners in the same way to ensure The Wave London works for both them and visitors to the area.”

About the site

Lee Valley Leisure Complex is home to Lee Valley Athletics Centre, which opened in 2007, the newly refurbished 12 screen Odeon Luxe Lee Valley and a wedding and events venue. Lee Valley Golf Course and Lee Valley Camping and Caravan Park, Edmonton are also on the site and, if the scheme goes ahead, will close. LVRPA is already exploring opportunities with the London Borough of Enfield to provide alternative facilities for golfers. The site is designated as Green Belt and has been used for leisure since the 1970s.

About the technology

The Wave London will use Wavegarden’s Cove technology, which can generate up to 1000 quality waves per hour, with heights starting at 50cm and peaking at almost 2m (6.5ft), allowing people of all ages and abilities to experience the joy of surfing. With the potential to host over 80 users at the same time, the Cove has six different surfing zones that offer waves of different size and power specifically designed to provide ideal conditions for everyone, from professionals to newcomers picking up a surfboard for the very first time.

About surfing*

·      Surfing is a fast growing sport – c.40% increase in participation in the last two years.
·      Demand for surfing is high in London – estimated 117,000 surfers
·      In the UK it is estimated that there are c.650,000 regular surfers – over 2.5 million surfs a year
·      Surfing will become an Olympic sport for the first time at the 2020 Games in Tokyo
* Statistics from British Marine Association Annual Watersports Participation Survey

Press release: The Wave– Nathalie Golden and Abby Richardson at Fresh Communication

 

The worlds best are coming to London on the 7th – 8th July. The city of London will offer great viewing for spectators, as well as plenty of opportunity to get involved in the racing too. Read the APP Press Release below…

The Association of Paddlesurf Professionals (APP), announced today that it will be bringing the opening leg of its 2018 World Tour to central London for the first time this summer.

The London SUP Open will see a series of elite stand-up paddle board races take place on the River Thames and Royal Docks on 7th – 8th July 2018 as the biggest names in international SUP descend on the capital.

Outside of the Pro competition, a major focus of the London SUP Open will center on mass participation, from 1km entry level races, to multiple distance races and sprint formats:  these races are open to everyone and will provide a full weekend of fun and activity for all the family.

Entries are now open at www.londonsupopen.com (#londonsupopen)

London SUP Open to provide something for everyone, with participation at every level and a spectacle to remember

London will proudly kick off the four-stop racing tour which will also visit New York City, San Francisco and Paris. The weekend of racing starts on Saturday 7 July with a pro race along the River Thames finishing at the Houses of Parliament.

Proceedings will then head to East London’s Royal Docks, with a series of sprint and long distance, pro and amateur races taking place on the water over the weekend. The general public are able to watch the events completely free of charge as the biggest names in SUP battle it out right here in the capital.

As part of the event, the Royal Docks in Newham, East London will be transformed into an urban beach lifestyle zone for one weekend only, with food and beverage stands, shopping, live music and stunning spots to check out all the action.

There will be extensive opportunities for stand-up paddle boarders of all ages and abilities to have a go at SUP – the world’s fastest growing participation sport. For novices and beginners, there will be trial zones, as well as SUP Yoga and SUP Polo areas. There will also be a dedicated space where little ones can have a go, too. Entry to the event village is free of charge and open to all.

More on these all new ‘Urban Beach Lifestyle Festivals’, inclusive of registration for all events, go to citypaddlefestivals.com and follow @citypaddlefestivals

The APP World Tour takes to the World’s most iconic Cities

The APP World Tour builds on the foundations laid by the Waterman League since its inception in 2009, with a laser focus on growing the sport, creating icons, delivering a dynamic show and ensuring an all-inclusive experience that inspires participation at every level across key markets worldwide.

Tristan Boxford, CEO of the APP World Tour said, “The APP World Tour is excited to kick off the 2018 season in London: as one of the most iconic and recognisable cities in the world, London provides not only the ideal backdrop for this all-important opening stop of the APP World Tour Season for 2018, but held at the Royal Docks, a central venue that will welcome participation for all complimented by music and entertainment for a true ‘beach lifestyle’ festival in the heart of the City.”

The 2018 Season on the APP World Tour for Racing sees a concentrated focus on the World’s major Cities, as it starts with the London SUP Open, heads to New York City for the New York SUP Open, then onto San Francisco for a unique extreme race in XL surf, capped off with the Paris SUP Open in December, with World Tour Surfing taking place in New York and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. FOr more on the Tour, go to www.appworldtour.com and follow @appworldtour

Wherever we live and however busy our lives are it’s important we take the time to stop now and then, and allow our body and minds to recover. Even when surrounded by a busy city life, taking to the water allows us to escape from it all, and re-set the body clock. The natural connection which SUP yoga provides between our body and the environment, is just one way in which SUP can strengthen our lives.

For more information about SUP yoga and SUP fitness visit SUP fit’s website. www.supfit.co.uk

 

On Saturday 7th May Blue Chip hosted the 6th Battle of the Thames SUP event in London UK. With a great turn out of competitors and great weather the 2016 event was set to be bigger and brighter than ever before. There were different courses and classes, including a shorter 2 mile course to the full 10 mile course for the 12’6 and 14′ classes.

This years event was anything but relaxing to watch, with the top 5 places in the womens and mens fleet changing places on every lap passed the river side dock. Check out the SUPboarder event video to find out what really happened at the 2016 event. Its also a good way to check out the different paddling techniques, and see why the fast guys and girls are fast!

The Battle of the Thames is the first event to make up the 2016 ‘UK SUP’ series of races. The next stop is BaySUP in Bournemouth on the 18th June.

A big thanks to Blue Chip and their SUP crew for organizing a great event for all paddlers and spectators.

For great images of the event check out Dave White and Georgia Wharton
SUPboarder feature image by Dave White.

Please find the top results below. We apologise for not having all the classes below but for full results visit the Blue Chip website here.

Mens 14′ Class
  1. Ollie Shilston
  2. Pete Holliday
  3. Zoltan Erdelyi
  4. Ben Payne
  5. Andy Joyce
Womens 14’Class
  1. Christine Anderson
  2. Helen Fincham
  3. Wilma Zwikker- Killgallon
Mens 12’6” Class
  1. Alex Mullaney
  2. Peter Kosinsk
  3. Glenn Eldridge
  4. Maurice Guy
  5. Scott Warren
Womens 12’6” Class
  1. Ginnie Odetayo
  2. Marie Buchanan
  3. Tarryn Brown
  4. Emily King
  5. Lisa Walden
Naish N1SCO Racing
  1. Alex Tobutt
  2. Bryce Dyer
  3. Stuart Appleby
  4. Pete Vale
  5. Keith Gorman

 

Active360 mass paddle

Clubs and schools are the backbone of SUP in the UK, encouraging people onto the water for the first time and supporting them to get more out of their SUP experiences. In this, the third in a regular series on the UK club scene, SUPboarder sat down with Paul Hyman from Active360 to talk SUP;

Active360 mass paddle
Active360 mass paddle

SB / Lets start with where the school is based and how it started?

PH / We are based in London.
I had seen SUP a few times while kayak surfing in Donegal and North Cornwall and thought in early 2011 that it would be good to get something going in London. I’d set up a few canoe clubs on the Thames and coached people on the river since 2000 so I knew the river was very underused. SUP seemed a good way to get more people out using the Thames and local canals. I was joined a few months later by Mohammad a friend who I’d coached whitewater kayaking some years earlier and he soon became a co-director and brought lots of energy and ideas. From there we gradually involved more people and now have around 20 involved part-time in coaching and generally running the business.

SUP yoga
SUP yoga

SB / And has it changed much since then?

PH / It’s grown but the original idea to focus on developing SUP from every angle (360 degrees) has remained. We have been developing coaching, trips and expeditions, charity fundraising events, SUP Yoga, SUPBall, racing and most recently our own design SUP equipment.

SB / Where are you based and what’s great about paddling there? What would bring other paddlers to take a look at the area?

PH / We started out with a base at Kew Bridge and another on the Grand Union Canal at Brentford Lock. Within a few years we were invited to set up new bases at Paddington Basin and Putney. We have also been invited to set up SUP at Islington Boating Base this year.

Each base has its own local features. The Thames is tidal in London with a big tidal range and strong currents – so there’s a lot for beginners to learn about the risks and how to manage them. The river is never the same and because we paddle at different times of the day and night we get to see it at all different stages of tide.

Wildlife on the river is prolific and varied and that’s much the same on the canals which offer a very urban experience of paddling through a great city. It’s interesting to see that many people like both types of venue once they have tried them. Some think the canals might be dull but then they realize how fun and sociable it can be to paddle along historic routes through a city and to stop off at a canalside café.

The canals are still water so also work well for SUP Yoga and SUP pilates and this has begun to take off well in London.

SB / Tell us some more about the school and what types of paddling you do.

PH / We run regular trips on the rivers and canals. Most of these are open to all levels so we teach the beginners and offer ongoing coaching for improvers. We also take part in and organize a range of local events like Tidefest (part of the Thames Festival) and the annual Thames SUP Marathon which raises money for St Marks Hospital Trust for its pioneering work to fight colon cancer. We also like to take people away to paddle in exciting places like Greenland, Odisha, Sardinia, Iceland, the Hebrides etc