HOW FIT DO I NEED TO BE?
You need a reasonable level of fitness, you must be able to swim and you will also need to be able to kneel for a while and get to your feet from kneeling.
WHAT TO BRING/WEAR
People often ask me whether the water is cold. I can't always tell them because I hardly ever get wet! Paddleboarding is a pretty dry sport although of course you may fall in the first couple of times you try it.
You don't really need any special clothes. I liken it to running, so, in summer, shorts and a t-shirt is fine, (even swimming gear) sunglasses, a hat and suncream. If it's a bit chilly then moisture-wicking leggings and rash vest or long sleeved t-shirt, maybe a light weight jacket. In winter you will probably need a wetsuit and neoprene hat and gloves, but there's always the danger of being too hot! It's worth having a change of clothes in the car as well. There can be sharp things on the sea/river bed so, in summer, a pair of swim shoes are fine and in chillier months surf or dive boots, or neoprene socks (or both if it's very chilly). Please eat before you come for a lesson (you don't want to have to stop because of low blood sugar!) and bring water for before, during and afterwards.
- Swim shoes or neoprene socks
- Sunglasses (with strap) - I do have some spare straps
- Running leggings
- Rash vest, long or short sleeved t-shirt
- Light weight jacket
- Shorty wetsuit if the weather is less than 18 degrees
- Neoprene hat and gloves - winter
- Surf/dive boots - winter
- A snack
I do have a selection of wetsuits and neoprene booties if required.
Directions: CT5 1EE
By foot - Walk along the beach, the sea is on the right of you, round the harbour, past the tennis courts and 'Wavecrest' until you come to the beach huts. I am on the beach in front of the beach huts.
By car - Travel along Island Wall (away from the town) until you reach the lane to the right, just in front of the 3T limit sign. It can be hard to park at busy times so please give yourself plenty of time. I will be on the beach in front of the beach huts.
Directions: Grove Road, CT3 4BP
By car - When you arrive at the Grove Ferry car parks please proceed to the right hand one and head to Canoe Wild at the far end. You will need change for the car parking. It is £1.30 during the week and £2 at the weekends. The machine does not give change.
I have done hundreds of hours of paddling and am well qualified (with the ASI, Academy of Surfing Instructors) to teach you. I also have additional qualifications in First Aid and Water Rescue - and I am fully insured with BGi. I take water safety extremely seriously and I undertake comprehensive Dynamic Risk Assessments prior to any SUP activity. All my equipment is regularly tested, replaced and cleaned.
Buoyancy aids are not considered essential for sup activities. This is because you are already attached to your board via a quick release leash. I do, however, provide them, as they offer extra protection and security in the water.
I always carry a comprehensive First Aid kit and a mobile phone while out on the water.
It's fine if you have had no previous water sports experience but you will be asked to sign a disclosure form prior to all activities and you must be able to confirm that you are able to swim 50m unaided. Please do disclose any health conditions to me at the time of booking.
PARENT AND CHILD LESSONS
In order to comply with AALA (Adventure Activities Licensing Authority) guidelines WhitstableSUP can only give lessons on the sea to under 18s with a parent present. If the lesson takes place on the river at Grove Ferry the child can have a lesson unaccompanied as the company I work with, Canoe Wild, has the AALA licence.
WHAT IF I CANCEL OR POSTPONE?
Please note my cancellation policy:
- If the client needs to cancel or reschedule up to 48 hours before their scheduled lesson please contact me.
- If the client need to cancel within 24 hours or doesn't turn up on the day I don't provide refunds and will take 100%.
- If I cancel the lesson due to dangerous or unsuitable conditions the client will receive a full refund or have the option of rescheduling.
- No refund is offered if the client refuses to comply with the Whitstable SUP policy and the Instructor determines the client cannot participate in the activity (e.g. client is under the influence of drugs or alcohol)
If the client advises the me of a medical condition that I decide would make it unsafe for the client to participate in the activity, a full refund will be offered. If the I become aware of a client’s medical condition after the lesson has commenced , and I determine it is unsafe for the client to continue in the activity, no refund will be offered
No refund is offered if it rains!
VOUCHERS AND POSTPONED LESSONS
Vouchers and postponed (by the client) lessons are valid from April to the end of September (and cannot be carried over to the following season).
I am as flexible as I can be with cancellations and rescheduling. I know plans change and always try to accommodate any requests. However, as SUP is a seasonal sport and my diary fills up very quickly I do need to impose these restrictions. If your plans change, or you have any issues, please always contact me.
SUPing is an outdoor water sport. I do my best to fulfill all booked lessons on the agreed date and time - however - we are at the mercy of tides and the weather and sometimes rearranging or cancelling is inevitable. I offer a choice of rescheduling the lesson or a full refund in the rare cases this does occur. I offer a choice of venues - the first choice is on the sea at West Beach, Whitstable but you also have the choice of having the lesson on the river at Grove Ferry in the event that the conditions are not suitable in Whitstable (directions will be confirmed if this is necessary). We will confirm the lesson a day or two before it is scheduled.
COMPLAINTS POLICY AND PROCEDURE
Whitstable SUP is committed to effectively, efficiently, promptly and fairly handling all complaints about its services.
Any complaint will be treated seriously, investigated thoroughly and dealt with according to the
merit of the complaint.
The circumstances and results of any complaint investigation will be analysed thoroughly by senior management and acted on appropriately so as to improve Whitstable SUP functions and remove any grounds for future complaints.
Clients may make a complaint by telephone or in writing to:
Lucy Boutwood at Whitstable SUP
Phone: 07976 528 996
Postal Address: 122 Island Wall, Whitstable, CT5 1EE
The Director (Education) at the
Academy of Surfing Instructors (ASI) Head Office Australia
Phone: +61 2 9365 4170
Recording and Resolution of the Complaint:
- The ASI Accredited School is notified of the complaint.
- All complaints are recorded on the Client Complaint form
- The ASI Accredited School investigates the complaint.
- Clients are notified in writing of the outcome of the complaint within 60 days from the time of receiving the complaint.
- All complaint information is filed on the Complaints File
- Should the client not be satisfied, then the client can seek arbitration by a third party acceptable to all parties to the grievance.
- If the complaint is not satisfactorily resolved within 60 days from the occurrence of the complaint, the client may request the ASI Accredited School to seek the services of a third party.
- Arbitration will be undertaken when both the ASI Accredited School and the client agree on a third party.
- If the complaint/grievance is still unresolved, the client will be advised of external organisations of appeal.