As Founder and Director of Britain’s top stand-up paddleboarding company, Active 360, Paul Hyman has met a raft of challenges as he’s paddled around the world. But taking to the water wearing a long, fake, white Santa beard tested him to the limit.
This month Paul conquered one of his toughest sporting assignments yet – when he took part in the Active 360 Christmas Party.
It involved a big group of SUP paddleboarders donning fancy dress and paddling four and a half miles down the Thames. Paul dressed in full Santa Claus outfit for the occasion, including a huge, bushy, tickly Santa beard.
“I found the beard got in my way a lot, which meant I couldn’t see what I was doing or where I was going,” said Paul. “Mind you, it was better than going dressed as an elk, which my friend did last year.
“That proved to be very hot and I felt the Santa suit seemed the far better option, despite the beard which was rather cumbersome. Mind you, the funny looks and laughs I got from onlookers when Santa paddled under Hammersmith Bridge made it all worthwhile.” Paddle Santa Santa
The paddle party set off from Kew Bridge and travelled to Putney, passing under four bridges, Kew Railway Bridge, Chiswick Bridge, Barnes Railway Bridge and Hammersmith Bridge.
The finish line was on Putney Embankment outside the Hub HQ of Crewroom, where the team were on hand to offer paddlers a chance to try on some of our latest kit, including items such as the Elemental Paddle Gloves.
Crewroom support teams also administered “first aid” – ie hot drinks and mince pies. Medics advised a further trip to the Duke’s Head pub afterwards.
These are exciting times for both Active 360 and Crewroom as the companies are collaborating in a new SUP club, to be officially launched next spring. “We’ve measured up the racks at Crewroom where boards will be stored and the new club will be named ‘SUP London',’” Paul revealed.
“Before Christmas, we’ll also be meeting with the Port of London Authority to arrange permission for SUP paddling downstream of Putney Bridge, which will be the first time in two years that this has been allowed.”