“Challenges come in all shapes and sizes and are not just for the elite seasoned paddlers.”
This recent year first time paddlers of all different skill levels grabbed their SUP boards and took to the waters on a epic challenge of the Isle of Wight Challenge. Nine paddlers made their way around the island in three days, a path that spanned 100km and was part of the Isle of Wight Challenge. Emily King took part in this maiden expedition on NRS 12’6 inflatable SUP.
King an elite paddler completes in all aspects and disciplines of SUP. Living and also training in South Wales, has given King an advantage of the inland waterways and oceans that surrounds her. Race training and riding down rapids has given Emily a giant appetite for all things SUP related.
For Emily King, this 3 day paddle was an opportunity to take time out from her busy life and allow herself to reconnect with those around her and with nature as well. Just being in the moment and knowing that each stroke would bring her closer towards the iconic Needles of the Isle of Wight. The small group, including King, paddled through the middle of these massive high white chalk stacks that stood an impressive 30 feet in a most unusual silence.
Taking time out from such busy and often demanding lives, allowed these like minded people a chance to not only be inspired but to also take the time to re-evaluate. King took part in this “Around the Island Challenge” with a mixed array of seasoned and new paddlers. Their goal was to help raise awareness of the plastic pollution and do a beach clean up of these beautiful location.
Each shared a desire to discuss how changes in their daily habits would help to reduce an impact on the environment. They also wanted to think about their own mental health and take time to think on how they they are living in their own lives. When you’re busy, it’s hard to time much needed time for self-reflection.
When you paddle for hours at a time or sitting by the campfire, you are allowed the opportunity to have deep conversations and to think about different aspects of your life seriously or with a bit of humor. What better place to find peace than sleeping under the stars and listening to the waves moving in the oceans.
The group carried all their supplies on their boards, made it a bit of a slower pace for King but one she found as a challenge in itself. This slower pace allowed her to take in the magnificent sites and beauty that many have seen in the past 100 years.
After three days of paddling, thinking and being in the moment has gotten King thinking about her next adventure! For her, having the time to enjoy SUP at a slower pace had many benefits such as pushing limits of distance but also having the time to spend with others creating friendships and finding solutions to shared problems in their own lives. Providing a great way to grow not only as a paddler but a person as well.