After spending a few weeks in the beautiful mountains of Chamonix, I was going to be changing the scenery by ditching the mountains for some fun in the water. Instead of hiking and biking, I was going to be spending a day jam-packed with stand up paddle boarding, kayaking and much more.
The team at the Southampton Boat Show and British Marine invited a number of adventure influencers and media to a day at the OTC for an Aqua Bootcamp. After being in the mountains for a while I was more than ready for some water-related activities!
Why a day of water sports?
You’re probably wondering what was a day like this created for, to have fun? Yes, of course, but to emphasise the importance of water safety. Something British Marine are very keen to push, but without losing the fun element of taking part in water activities.
As an open water swimmer and stand up paddle boarder, I’m very familiar with water safety and it is a huge part of the deciding point of when I should and shouldn’t take part in activities. The thing that most people forget is that water can change very quickly, especially in the sea. Familiarising yourself with the surroundings that you’re doing your activity is extremely important. Alternatively there are places like OTC (where our Aqua bootcamp was held), which give you a safer environment to try activities out before taking them further afield.
Welcome to the Aqua Bootcamp.
We kicked the day off with a chat from the organisers, some goodies bags and a selection of exhibitors eager to share details of their products. I was extremely excited as we’d be doing some stand up paddle boarding first. Luckily I’ve actually paddle boarded quite a bit, so was for once, feeling pretty confident about being able to stand up and paddle off! I must admit though that the wind did catch me! You had to quickly navigate away from other water users too.
After some handy tips from the OTC team on safety and how to paddle in open waters, we got a chance to play a water game, taking on the kayakers. I won’t lie both shoulders and quads were a touch sore the next day – but it was great challenge and something a bit different.
The rest of the day
There was a choice of an afternoon activity which I did decide not to do, and instead sent my husband off to go try it out. He went to do Fliteboarding (after a morning of windsurfing), which looks great…not to mention complicated, but I was happier paddling on a SUP or Kayak. He did say it was hard but awesome! It looked it too!
As mentioned, the whole day was centred around water safety without losing that fun element. Being safe in open water is such a big thing and something many people forget about. Water can change quickly, know your safety points, but ultimately go do it just be aware.
Thanks to the Southampton Boat Show (16th-25th September) and British Marine for a fantastic day out at the Aqua Bootcamp!