The Chester blog

Mindful SUP (stand up paddle boarding) is the new business from ex market cake maker Paula Skeoch Roberts, “I’ve been paddle boarding for the last 4 years. My husband says its my meditation!”

After leaving the market Paula ran a guest house in Chester which was unfortunately a victim of the first lockdown in March 2020. “It was a very difficult last year and I just thought what am i going to do with all this free time on my hands? My biggest love was paddle boarding so I decided to do my instructors course and then its been a bit of a wait with Covid and Brexit. There has been issues with people getting their kit into the country , getting paddleboards and wetsuits in. We had boards stuck when the Suez canal when closed so there was a big delay doing what we wanted to do, but I started Mindful SUP ”

On the River Dee

Paddle boarding is the fastest growing water sport in the UK, and is being considered as an Olympic sport. Paula provides 2 hour sessions costing £35 for one person or £55 for two people. All equipment is provided including wetsuits. Lessons run from Sandy Lane and Eccleston Ferry, with a Sunday lesson at The Flash in Gresford, a lake home to Gresford Sailing Club. ” I want to get people down on the river and show them how beneficial paddle boarding is to mental and physical health and how it can be an escape from everyday life. You are working muscles from top to bottom. When you’re paddling, all you’re doing is concentrating on what you’re doing and you don’t worry about what’s going on in life. Its beautiful on The Dee so you’re appreciating the scenery and the wildlife. ” Sunset / sunrise paddles are offered alongside free social paddles for board owners.

Paula says that paddle boarding is for everyone: ” A lot of it is a fear factor, people are frightened of falling in the water if they stand up, The boards are big and stable and it’s inclusive for all regardless of ability , whether you’re standing or sitting or kneeling , its about getting out there and doing it. The River Dee is one of the cleanest rivers in Europe, it has drinking water status and provides water to 3 million homes. It gets tested daily at every bridge from the source to the Estuary and any pollution can be pinpointed. The Surfers against sewage website has real time water quality alerts so people shouldn’t be frightened of going in the Dee because it is super clean.

“I am doing The Great Glen challenge in September, which is a 97km endurance race from one side to Scotland to another, from Fort William to Inverness. You can have it as a leisurely pursuit or you can take it further and do racing or touring. ”

Paula is a rep for Planet Patrol– a non profit organisation with the goal of collecting and recording a million pieces of litter using an app. They provide an annual report of their findings, listing types and brands of litter and send it to the Government. Paula has offered free monthly paddle boarding sessions in the past in exchange for doing a litter pick. “Last time we pulled out so much litter from Sandy Lane to the Groves, plastic bottles, poo bags, nappies. We use the River for free so we should look after it, you have to protect what you love.”

“All you need is to bring yourself” she says. For further details visit :

http://www.mindfulsup.co.uk or Mindful sup on facebook/instagram

for more details on Planet Patrol visit Planet Patrol – formerly Plastic Patrol – Save our Future

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