60-year-old Nick Seary didn’t let age put him off trying paddleboarding and now he’s SUP Bristol’s oldest qualified instructor.
“People may have a stereotype of what someone who goes paddleboarding looks like but when an old bloke like me turns up it makes it obvious that anyone can do it,” says Nick.
He took up the sport four years ago at the tender age of 56 and is now an instructor, taking dozens of wannabe paddleboarders around the Floating Harbour every week over the season.
When he took up paddleboarding it wasn’t as popular as it is now.
Nick said he’d seen the founders of SUP Bristol gliding along past his house by the Floating Harbour and thought “that looks fun”.
“I never thought that I’d end up teaching paddleboarding when I started but it’s a really nice thing to do.
“You’re outdoors and you have to really concentrate so it takes your mind off everything else.”
“Paddleboarding is for everybody,” says Nick, “because it is not physical in a highly demanding sense of a cardio workout.”
As Nick proves age is no barrier to taking up the sport: “It’s surprised me the huge range of ages I’ve taught,” he says.
“The youngest person I’ve taught is eight, the oldest 68.”
“The beauty about paddleboarding is you don’t need any special equipment bar the board”, says Nick. “You can turn up in a t-shirt and flip flops with an inflatable board and go paddleboarding anywhere.”
Within 20 to 30 minutes Nick says he can get anyone up on their feet and paddling along the Floating Harbour past the ss Great Britain and other watery landmarks.
“I can’t tell you how good the Floating Harbour is; it’s made for paddleboarding,” says Nick.
“It’s flat, enclosed and has a huge amount of history to look at and explore. You get a completely different perspective looking up from the water than looking down from the quayside.
“Paddleboarding is a fantastic feeling – you have to concentrate and you do need core strength but it is so relaxing.”
Bristol is European City of Sport 2017
A full programme of events for the year is currently being finalised, but will include, the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup, with the Bristol County Ground, home to Gloucestershire County Cricket Club, one of five venues to host the global competition.
Every month Bristol24/7 will be featuring the community sporting groups and organisations which are helping make Bristol European City of Sport 2017. If you want to be featured, email firstname.lastname@example.org