15 Jul 2014

SUP in Vassiliki with Ocean Elements

Vassiliki is well known as one of Europe’s windsurfing hot-spots, but early morning in Vass provides us with some great Stand Up Paddle Boarding conditions. Andy Ridgeway, Ocean Elements private instructor in Vass, takes us through an average SUP morning where he cruises around the bay on one of our Inflatable Starboard Astro-Touring SUPs and Red Paddles.

‘The sunrise brings breath taking beauty over early morning Vassiliki bay. Before the sea breeze begins to blow, you are gifted with a mirror like surface on mill pond water that is tinted with the most breath taking shade of blue. Silhouettes of various groups of paddle boarders and moored yachts towards the harbour create an otherwise vacant bay.

So why does this appeal to the stand up paddle boarder? It doesn’t matter whether it is your first time setting eyes on a paddle board or a seasoned expert; the conditions are perfect. For beginners it couldn’t be any more forgiving. The super flat water and quiet, relaxing setting makes it the ideal opportunity to work on getting to grips with discovering the sport. For the more experienced paddler, you are able to practice your techniques uninterrupted from the elements whilst escaping from the midday heat. This is when I take the opportunity to run my stand up paddle board Sunrise Sessions.

For the past 4 years I’ve been gifted with the chance to work at Ocean Elements, watching centre grow, improve and expand from an action packed fossil in Vassiliki bay, Lefkada.  During this time the claim that paddle boarding is the current fastest growing sport worldwide becomes blatant fact. Each year I see more and more people taking to the water on SUP’s and more and more variety of confidence, age, gender, shape and size of people discovering paddle boarding as their chosen choice of discipline. The simple reason being that it is just so incredibly accessible. Anybody is able to learn. After receiving my BSUPA instructors ticket from the supping legend Sam Ross I have been teaching paddle boarding in the mornings and taking people out into the bay for the past couple of years and I am yet to find somebody who isn’t able to make use of the SUP’s. But most of all, I am yet to find somebody who hasn’t loved the experience and enjoyed themselves. 

So what does stand up paddle boarding mean to me? Easy to learn, hard to master. The most relaxing experience, to the hardest of work outs. A social activity to a competitive race. I get to choose. It’s impossible not to get addicted to it and that’s exactly what has happened to me. From the moment I stepped on a paddle board it caught me hook, line and sinker.

Andy’s Private Coaching
Ocean Elements Vassiliki

Stand Up Paddle Boarding in Vassiliki from Ocean Elements on Vimeo.


10 Jul 2014

We are hiring again!!

UK SALES REPRESENTATIVE FOR STAND UP PADDLEBOARDING – This is a unique opportunity to join a growing company formed over 20 years ago who are true leaders within the UK distribution of watersports equipment

Tushingham Sails Ltd started in the windsurfing industry. It still is the biggest distributor of windsurfing equipment in the UK. Five years ago they were one of the first companies to start distributing and marketing stand up paddle boarding equipment. The sport is growing at a significant rate.

Starboard and Red Paddle Co. are the World’s key brands. Currently the company has over 50 active accounts which include retail shops and schools. By the end of the year we expect this to exceed 100.

Currently our sales reps cover both windsurfing and stand up paddle boarding (SUP). The new job will be dedicated to SUP.

The company provides clear progression along with excellent training and support. 

We are looking for an informed and passionate sales person to join our team in the watersports industry. 

The Role: 

• Maximise the sales of all SUP products through effective sales strategies and skillful key account management.
• Liaise with customers in all new product ventures and further the customers objectives.
• Proactive lead generation and closing the sale
• Technical demonstrations
• Attend conferences and exhibitions

The Requirement:

• Happy to travel extensively across the UK
• Solid successful sales background ideally within watersports.
• Basic SUP skill needed. Further training will be given if needed.
• Full Driving Licence

Scope of role:

You will be required to manage your own time. The office is based in South Devon and management of accounts will need to be conducted from the office. Sales visits will be a key strategy, but working on sales initiatives with the help of the marketing team in the office will also be required. 

POST : Full Time. Salary £17,000 basic – with commission ( realistic projections to £30,000 first year) , plus expenses.


Tushingham Sails Ltd

WATERSPORTS: Windsurfing / Stand Up Paddleboarding / entry into Surfing


DAVE HACKFORD at: application@tushingham.com

With the Title of: ‘SUP’ job



29 May 2014

National series Race 4 Battle of the Thames

By Ryan James

16 km along the Thames, Stage 4 of the National SUP Clubs, National series saw a hot day for the UK (24 deg).

Arriving at the event early and carrying a shoulder injury I was pretty nervous about the 10 miles to come. On wednesday of that week I couldn’t even lift my right arm to get my board on the roof for training, luckily a great local physio (Dave Mott Physio Fitness) worked out what it was and got me back to about 80% and I was hoping this would be enough to secure the win. The plan was to go out hard and empty myself for the first 2 laps as I new that the longer the event went on the worse the injury could get, so I was hoping to get out of sight and out of mind from my main competition.


The start was great, I managed to get a 20 metre lead to the first buoy turn with the help of some lucky boat wakes which I took full advantage of. After that the race conditions got bumpy with 140 paddlers racing and lots of weekend boat traffic. The temperature started to rise and hydration started to run out, luckily I had preloaded with some H2O Pro-hydrate which got me through the last lap.


Being in flat water my starboard Sprint 14’0″ worked effortlessly and carried my speed well. I used a large blade ZRE (8.3) paddle for this distance event which adds the rhythm of a distance race allowing you to relax into the stroke, this combination worked faultlessly and gave me the win by 4 minutes over the whole field (All photos courtesy of Dave White). 



BOTT 2014 Results


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