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Paddlers Pathway- Brendans' Story

Profile: Male, Retired, Mid 60's.

Enjoys: Paddleboarding

First time on the water: Mid 2020

'At the age of 66 and just retired, I had plenty of time to try new things. My first attempt at

Paddleboarding was last year on a family holiday when a friend let me have a go in the sea. I found it impossible to get anywhere close to standing up.

I wanted to give it another go. When I got back home I booked a taster session with a local provider. I was getting really good at falling in. I really enjoyed being out on the water however all my focus was trying to stay standing up, something that seemed beyond me as the slightest wave would knock me off.

While out cycling along a tow path, I came upon Discover Paddling. At the time, they ran sessions along the River Avon in Bristol. I booked a paddleboarding lesson with them and became totally hooked. I booked weekly sessions with Mike.

The winter and COVID-19 lock down stopped all paddling, but come spring 2021 I started again. I completed a paddleboarding fundamentals course and attended a paddleboarding sea skills course all while paddling with Discover Paddling on their social groups. I bought a board and started going out on my own, with my new skills and knowledge.

I can not believe that at my age I have a new hobby. I am keen to keep improving and now paddling several times a week whatever the weather. Paddleboarding really does provide a tonic for positive mental health, relaxation, meeting new people and social interaction. It is so

easy to succeed to a basic level if you keep trying and don’t give up, and then there are so many new skills to develop.

As my confidence and ability improved I was now able to move my feet and even

look behind me. The sport is so addictive and relaxing, be it on my own, going up the river or in a social group.

This summer I spent a lot of time on the sea, standing up nearly all of the time, through the waves and jet ski wakes. It doesn’t matter how old you are, you still get a buzz when you achieve something new and actually stay up through the waves.

I even managed to jump on to the board from a groyne in the sea and paddle away, as well as performing poi on a paddle board. I am now looking to improve my Paddleboarding, through heavier winds and bigger waves, improve my turning skills (cross bow and step back) which are slowly getting better. I just love being out on the water, which seems to be forever calling out to me to get on my board and paddle.

I am looking forward to carrying on through the winter as I have all the right equipment. Fingers crossed I won’t get too cold!


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