Discover paddle boarding

Interview with Let's SUP

Why is paddle boarding one of the fastest growing sports? We interviewed Dave Bartlett, one half of the duo who run Let's SUP here at DYC.

Dave, when did you first discover paddle boarding?

We had our first lesson back in 2012 on a kiting trip to Tarifa. As there was no wind and it happened to be Debs’ birthday we decided to try something new.

What draws you to the sport?

In a word, it’s simplicity. All you need is your board, paddle (and safety kit) and you’re out on the water. It’s a very quick way to gain access to beautiful views whether you are standing on the board or initially on your knees. That’s not to say it’s an easy sport though! The great thing about SUP is that there is always something else to learn, whether it’s a more advanced turning technique, sup-surfing or downwinding for example.

What made you start Let’s SUP paddle boarding here in Aberdyfi?

We first discovered Aberdyfi in 2005 and fell in love with the place. We continued to be regular visitors and wanted to find a way to live and work in our happy place. We’d continued to paddle board where we were living in the Isle of Man, developing a real passion for the sport in its different forms. We thought it would be a great activity to offer here in Aberdyfi. We finally made the move in June 2019 and feel very lucky to have received such a warm welcome from the yacht club and harbour master which enabled us to navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic.

What can customers expect from a SUP lesson with you?

We start every session with a land-based safety briefing then it’s onto the water to put this into practice. Whether you are totally new to the sport or an experienced paddle boarder, we aim to provide a fun session where you learn something new as well as enjoy seeing Aberdyfi from a different perspective. We carefully plan our sessions around the tide so the start times vary day-to-day. We offer one hour taster and progression sessions as well as a 2.5 hour tour where we travel up and down the estuary with the tide.

Are there age restrictions on your sessions?

We generally recommend a minimum age of 12 to take part in an open lesson but can consider younger children (from age 8) as part of a family group or private session. There is no upper age limit so as long as you are reasonably fit and healthy, you can give it a go at any time of life!

How many lessons do you need to learn to paddle board?

You can pick up the basics from your first lesson with us but we would recommend 3 or 4 more progression sessions to improve your skills, such as more advanced turning techniques and tips for upwind paddling.

How can I book a lesson?

Please visit our websiteand complete a booking form. DYC members receive a 25% discount so it’s just £26 for a one hour taster or progression session.

Is paddle boarding a social activity?

There are lots of events to get involved in such as racing, sup festivals (for example the SUPFest at Chelmarsh in August) and other get togethers such as the Water Skills Academy SUP symposium every October. We also offer social paddle boarding at DYC as part of Windy Club on Thursday evenings (when it’s not windy!)

Which other watersports do you enjoy?

Kite-surfing was the sport that initially drew me to the water back in 2007 and another reason we enjoyed our visits to Aberdyfi so much over the years. More recently I have discovered Wing-Foiling which is my current passion and something I would like to teach others in the future.

Thank you to Dave and Debs for giving up their time for the interview. Let's SUP supports our "Watersports for All" objectives so let's support them!

Fun for all the family....