Here’s a press release from our new project SUPfm, a stand up paddle audio podcast focussed on a global audience.
If you are a fan of the hottest and fastest growing water sport in the world, then Friday May 1st 2015 is a date to mark in your diary. It’s the official launch of the SUPfm podcast, an online radio series devoted to stand up paddle boarding (SUP).
There aren’t many people who will visit a beach anywhere around the world this summer and not see a SUP out there. Standing on a large ‘surf board’ and paddling with a single long paddle is an increasingly common sight, with water sports companies offering SUP hires alongside their kayaks and surfboards. Unlike many water sports, however you can immediately get out there and experience all the benefits, within minutes of starting your first session. Fans are hooked by the feeling of walking on water and seeing nature from a new perspective, as well as getting a full body workout without it ever feeling like a chore.
The SUPfm podcast was created to help and inspire paddle boarders from beginners to experienced paddlers and it covers topics and interviews with the personalities who are supporting its massive growth across the world.
New episodes are released weekly and span the range of SUP activities, from racing to SUP Yoga, from adventure and exploration to fitness and training, with episodes focused on all levels of skill and experience. We have a bunch of fascinating individuals from all continents lined up to share their knowledge and experience and offer inspiration to our listeners.
The podcast is hosted by Portugal based, South African, Nick Robinson, owner of the Algarve SUP stand up paddle school and co-hosted and produced by Simon Hutchinson, owner of Hutch SUP Wear in the UK.
“Our mission is to spread the love of stand up paddling by inspiring others to take up the sport and paddle more.” Said Simon “There is an exciting spirit around this new sport and we want to share this spirit and excitement through our weekly podcast”
Subscribe to SUPfm
You can do it on iTunes or Sticher and on our website www.supfm.com
The launch weekend will offer listeners three brand new episodes, released on Friday 1st, Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd May.
The story is related below in text and photos, but if you’d prefer to watch the video of how this event started, check this out.
How the Guadiana Challenge started
In September 2014 Pedro (my business partner) and myself were paddling all areas of the Algarve to reconnoiter great spots to show our clients. We paddled almost everywhere we could, although we are so spoilt down here in Southern Portugal with fantastic paddling locations, we still have a ways to go to paddle every single place.
One of the most special trips for me was our descent of the River Guadiana from the town of Mertola in the Alentejo province to Alcoutim in the Algarve. I spent a few hours on Google Earth in the days before, flying virtually around the area and mapping out noticeable points of interest so we could gauge our progress. I wasn’t going to rely on GPS or maps as
mobile phone coverage in the area is sketchy
and batteries wear down quickly.
We didn’t have any fancy satellite chargers either, so I figured dead reckoning would be acceptable and you can’t exactly get lost on a river!
The desire to return to the Guadiana
It turned into an incredible river trip and after the first five minutes on the water, Pedro and I were already talking about bringing people back to paddle this beautiful place. I posted some photos on our Facebook page and quite a few stand up paddlers asked when we were going again. I had no plans, but then on a whim decided to pick a date and go for it.
Preparations for the Guadiana Challenge
I created a Facebook event and a registration page on Algarve SUP’s web site and before I knew it we, had 15 people signed up with more begging to come. I limited the participants and eventually we paddled with 18 stand up paddlers and a bunch of fun kayakers who came along for the ride.
Perfect weather and no challenge!
The day went off without a hitch and we had smoking hot weather and a lazy tailwind pushing us down the Guadiana River. It was an idyllic journey and at lunch time the tide started to ebb and helped us out even more. The more energetic amongst us (including Portugal’s number one, number four and number eight paddle boarders) raced home to Alcoutim in about four hours.
The more relaxed participants (myself included) paddled for six hours, but at the finish line everyone was wanting more. There were even discussions of continuing down to the river mouth another 38 kilometres further south which would bring you to the coastal town of Vila Real de Santo Antonio.
I was happy, because if that wind had turned, the trip would have turned into a real challenge. However, the elements were smiling on us and 18 like-minded people who shared the love of this fairly new sport came together and experienced something wonderful.
The Guadiana Challenge’s generous supporters
What was even more wonderful was the companies that came together to support this event.
Hutch SUP Wear
Hutch SUP Wear climbed on board early in the process and donated super high quality quick dry t-shirts that you can see all the participants wearing. Simon Hutchinson from Hutch SUP Wear didn’t just print the shirts and move on, he was an indispensable source of support and marketing assistance throughout the preparation stages.
So much so that Simon and I are embarking on an exciting new project (with a pink logo!).
Dan and Natasha Birch jumped at the chance to join us for a day out on the river to capture it all on film. This couple run Birch Photography down here in the Algarve but they’re not limited to Southern Portugal. No, no… they recently jetted off to Austria (!) at the invitation of some clients to shoot a wedding!
That shows you just how good they are and they certainly excelled on Saturday the 28th March, driving all around and capturing the Guadiana Challenge from all angles.
Aerial Vision Algarve
Paul Fuller from Aerial Vision Algarve donated his drone and his entire weekend to film us paddling down the 32km.
You can see for yourself how spectacular his aerial photos and videos are even amongst some technical difficulties out in the bush. Huge thanks to Paul and Aerial Vision Algarve.
Lastly and by no means least, Gui Martims from Honuhele.com organized the essential elements of the day, helping out with logistics and discussions with the local authorities. Gui has just about supplied boards to almost all of the paddle board rental outlets in the Algarve. He is a keen paddler and came eighth in the Portuguese SUP series last year. Thanks and good luck for this year Gui!
Guadiana Challenge 2016
The Guadiana Challenge is now firmly on the event list of many paddlers in Europe. We will be back next year and hope to double the numbers. So keep in touch with Algarve SUP and we’ll update you on the registration date for next year!