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jo 3Credit: Ruth Kirk at Nature's Pace

My love of paddleboarding

My guest blog this week is an interview with Jo Moseley, who, since turning 50, has become a huge fan of paddleboarding.

In the last 5 years she has featured in numerous newspapers and magazines, as well as appearing on BBC Look North after paddleboarding the length of the Leeds Liverpool Canal (and made a film about it - Brave Enough- a Journey Home to Joy).  She has recently been interviewed on BBC Women's Hour, talking about her new book Stand Up Paddleboarding in Great Britain.

She also has a weekly podcast called  The Joy of SUP - The Paddleboarding Sunshine Podcast, where she chats to other paddleboarders and sports people about the joy their sport brings them.

So I think you will all agree that she is has some paddleboarding experience and miles under her belt!

How long have you been paddleboarding?

  • Six years now. I had my first lesson on Derwentwater on 24 September 2016. I had injured my knee in the January of that year and my spirits were dampened by the pain. I set myself a challenge to spend 30 minutes outside every day whatever the weather. moving in some way, as a way to get stronger and to help it heal.  My lesson was part of the Rain or Shine 30 project. 

How does paddleboarding make you feel?

  • Great question! I always refer to that afternoon as the moment I felt “like a warrior not a worrier.” I smiled for hours after. I feel the same now. Uplifted, braver, joyful, calmer and grateful. 

Where do you paddleboard?

  • Locally - either on the Leeds Liverpool Canal in or around Skipton or at Runswick Bay near Whitby on the coast. I’ve started going to the Lake District more recently and would like to explore there. 

Have you made special friends through paddleboarding?

  • Oh yes, I’ve made lots of lovely friends, especially travelling the country researching my book. I’ve met so many wonderful people. 

Tips to get started in paddleboarding

  • My top tip is always to put safety at the heart of everything you do, from where, when, how, with whom you paddle. To get started my top tip is to get a lesson or a few from a qualified instructor. It’s the best investment in your time, energy and money. 
    Always wear a buoyancy aid and the correct leash (which connects you to your board). Dress for the water temperature not the air temperature - especially in spring when the water is still cold but it feels sunny and warm. Carry a fully charged mobile phone in a waterproof case on you, not on your board. 
    Don’t go out in offshore winds at the coast! 
    Keep a drink and snacks and any spare clothes in a bag on the front of your board. 
    Above all, “if in doubt, don’t go out” is a saying we often use. And always paddle within your abilities. 
    There are lots more tips in my book, Stand Up Paddleboarding in Great Britain! These are just a few! 

How does it help the rest of your life?

  • It’s given me more confidence and sense of purpose. I do a #2minutebeachclean or #2minutelitterpick every day and definitely when I’m on my paddleboard. I’m an Ambassador for the 2 Minute Foundation which is a great honour. 
    I think I’ve become more creative as I also have a podcast called The Joy of SUP - The Paddleboarding Sunshine Podcast, where I interview wonderful women about all the health, happiness, adventure, possibility and friendship of paddleboarding. It’s been so well received and I’m thrilled with the response, ratings and reviews. 

    My coast to coast adventure in 2019 was made into a film, Brave Enough - A Journey Home to Joy, which has been screened at 5 prestigious film festivals. Again it’s opened up more experiences than I could have imagined when I took that first lesson in 2016!