Paddleboarding on the Thames
Time Out says
Friendly warning! We're working hard to be accurate. But these are unusual times, so please check that events are still happening.
When someone says ‘paddleboarding’, you’re probably more likely to think of skimming the waves in Perth, not dodging plastic bottles in Putney. But that’s where I found myself on a (thankfully) sunny Tuesday afternoon.
Leaving my digestive tract at the mercy of the Thames, I teamed up with Paul from paddleboarding school Active360. I quickly learned that this isn’t a ‘dip your toe in’ activity. You have to learn balance, stroke and steering – and that’s all before you even hit the water.
Once on the surprisingly huge and shockingly heavy board, any feelings of panic were blown away quicker than a carrier bag caught in an updraft. I had a few initial wobbles, but the board was sturdy and standing up proved quite easy; the trick is to look straight ahead and move quickly. It’s tempting to lazily scrape the oar along the board as you slice it through the water, but that’s a waste of energy. And, trust me, you need every last bit of that.
As we glided towards Putney Bridge, inner-city buildings glinting in the distance, I found a London I’d never seen before. The city was so much more serene from this point of view. So beautiful that I almost forgot about the deep burn making itself at home in my bum muscles.
Paddleboarding is easier and more enjoyable than I’d imagined. After a three-hour session, that flew by, we headed back. As soon as I put my paddle down the muscle ache hit me like a freight train. But it was worth it: instead of falling in the water, I fell in love with London all over again. I’m already planning my next paddle. Rosie Percy
Find other weird and wonderful hobbies to try in London.