A group of ten paddleboarders are leaving London’s heat-wave summer behind and heading off to the sub-arctic conditions of east Greenlandtomorrow to undertake an outstanding challenge in one of the remotest places on earth. They will paddle 100km up the Sermilik Fjord towards the Helheim Glacier at the top of the Fjord which calves off icebergs and where ice flows directly into the water.
The expedition was designed as part of the ‘Polar Bears and Paddleboards’ project to show how versatile the sport of stand-up paddleboarding is and how it can be done anywhere in the world. It will also draw attention to the many opportunities to get active on water in the whole country.
The idea was created by the founder of London’s only paddleboarding company, Active360. Director Paul Hyman said “I really wanted to show that paddleboarding isn’t just a beach sport - it’s the world’s fastest growing sport and can be enjoyed all year round on rivers, lakes and on open water - it’s accessible, safe and a great way to keep fit, enjoy the outdoors and see nature at close hand”.
The team will use new Bear Grylls/Coreban inflatable paddleboards which can be packed into a backpack ready to fly.
The expedition includes experienced polar explorer, Justin Miles, and Charlie Head who in 2012 paddled 1000km around the
British coast from Lands End to London. Next year he is planning to paddleboard across the Atlantic.
About Polar Bears and Paddleboards
Polar Bears and Paddleboards will cover a number of community, social and environmental topics including:
- Highlight the underuse of the UK waterways for recreational and sporting activities;
- Raise awareness of the effect of pollution and litter on waterways and marine wildlife;
- Examine the impact of climate change on the Icecaps and local wildlife in Greenland;
- Demonstrate the versatility of SUP as a water sport, form of exercise and social activity;
- Actively fundraise for and raise awareness of several great charitable causes.
You can watch the adventure as it unfolds by following the team on Facebook and Twitter and by watching them live. The team will be carrying an Iridium Extreme satellite tracker phone provided by Voyage Manager, check out the tracker page on their website:
About SUP and Active360
Standing up and paddling on water has ancient origins and it’s likely that primitive cultures used it as a means of transport or hunting. The origins of the sport of Stand Up Paddleboarding - or SUP, is set in the late 1950s and early 1960s in Hawaii when a group called the Wakiki Beachboys (Wakiki is a white sand beach in Honoluhu, Hawaii) started standing on big surfboards using long paddles to manouver.
By the late 1960s with the development of shorter surfboards the sport had almost died out. It was revived in the late 1990s by the pioneers of big wave surfing who also had an appreciation of the surfing history and were looking for new ways to train.
The most famous of these were Laird Hamilton and David Calama who went on to develop SUP as a sport in its own right. SUP has grown into a worldwide sport and already surfing SUP has become a (still growing) niche area of a much bigger sport.
Active360 is a Chiswick based company commited to developing SUP in London. For more information, diary of events and videos go towww.active360.co.uk