MEET THE TEAM
All our staff are DBS checked & have RYA Safe & Fun Safeguarding Certification. They are tested for Covid-19 in accordance with government guidance.
Previously our star instructor of the 2020 season at MIW, Lucy’s has spent the winter honing both her instructor and organisational skills and now is more than ready to run the show at The Paddle Hut. Lucy grew up on the water at Mersea and spends the majority of her summer out sailing, wakeboarding, windsurfing (her newest interest) and paddle boarding with her friends (and sunbathing of course!).
Donna is in charge of making sure everyone is where they are supposed to be doing what they are supposed to do. She likes a neat office and is always tidying things away so no one else can find them which drives everyone mad. When not at the office she is on her paddleboard or her boat with a gin & tonic.
Tom is Senior Instructor at Mersea Island Watersports and spends most of his time instructing over there. He loves to explore new places though so he will sometimes put in an appearance at The Paddle Hut and spread his expertise in all things water based.
What would we do without Caitlin? Mature beyond her years, she is super helpful, masters everything in less than a minute and comes up with the most brilliant ideas. She is also pretty handy on a paddleboard and in a kayak. Just about to start A levels, she is doing all her theory training to become a SUP instructor the second she turns 18. This summer she will take the RYA Powerboat 2 course so expect to see her on the water making sure everyone is ok.
Charlie has just finished his A Levels but more importantly for us has also become a BSUPA qualified paddleboard instructor. Another water baby, Charlie has spent his life on the water and is an RYA dinghy instructor as well as holding powerboat level 2. This is his first (of hopefully) many seasons with us.
Currently studying Economics at Sussex, Tim’s passions are watersports, watersports and more watersports although if he had to pick a favourite it would be sailing. He has previously worked as a lifeguard, as well as volunteering for the RNLI and helping coach the optimists series at a local yacht club. He has prior experience of working with children at Mersea Outdoors and we are excited to have him onboard.
With more disciplines and brands appearing every year, the different range of watercraft available on the market has become overwhelming for many, making the decision on which type to buy very complicated and confusing. Tests and reviews of kit go some way to clarifying the situation, but ultimately there is no substitute for trying equipment for yourself.
With many years experience in the watersports industry we have links with all the international manufacturers so it means we are able spend a lot of time testing the latest watersports products to find which is first-rate . Our good family friends at Fluid Lines share our desire for the best and stock all the kit we use.
We are a recognised test centre for RED paddleboards who are the industry leader and with good reason. We are constantly changing the types of boards we have from them meaning customers have the opportunity to try tourers, explorers and different length boards.
We like to shop local where we can and our kayaks are designed and manufactured not far from us, in Norfolk. Launched in 2010, Tootega sit on top kayaks are an internationally recognised brand. We find them to be not only striking to look at but fantastic on the water.
You’ve booked a session, now what? We’ve collated a list of frequently asked questions below.
Stand up paddle boarding or SUP is now one of the fastest growing sports in the UK. The boards look like surf boards and are paddled using a single blade paddle from a standing position. The simplicity and versatility of SUP means they can be ridden on lakes, river and the sea. It’s easy to learn and great fun as well as being an excellent core muscle workout.
Pretty much everything you need.
SUP – board, leash, paddle and buoyancy aid.
Kayaking – kayak, paddle and a buoyancy aid.
Sure thing! Go explore! Look round the estuary, marshes and backwaters and see what you can find.
The kayaks we use are extremely stable. You probably won’t flip over while paddling with us but if you do our guides are skilled at kayak rescue and will have you back in your boat in jiffy.
In summer shorts and a T shirt are fine for an introductory session, although you can hire a wet suit if you prefer. We advise wearing old trainers or water shoes as there can be sharp shells hidden in the sea bed. For poor weather or winter riding we suggest a wet suit as standard. Don’t forget to pack dry clothes and shoes as well as a towel.
Being able to swim is not essential for SUP, as you will be wearing a buoyancy aid and attached to your board via the board leash. However, you DO need to be able to swim to windsurf, sail and kayak.
If you are generally confident in the water but are feeling a bit unsure or apprehensive then book a 1-2-1 session so we can help build your confidence.
Anyone can paddle board, as a guide we would recommend from 8 upwards and they must be accompanied by an adult. For younger children we recommend you book a dedicated family session. These can be booked by emailing us. For kayaking, children as young as 4 can get involved as they sit in the front of a double.
You’ll need to arrive about 15 minutes before your session’s start time to get changed.
Yes, all our instructors hold SUP instructor qualifications from BSUPA (British Stand up Paddle Association). In addition they are all DBS checked. They also hold relevant qualifications in kayaking, sailing and windsurfing.
We have a newly refurbished centre that has changing facilities, a place to leave your stuff and hot showers for when you come off the water.
Generally, we suggest you leave them behind. Salt water doesn’t have any love for electronics. However, we do have some pretty amazing scenery so if you want to take some photos, we have waterproof cases for sale. If you are paddling solo then we definitely recommend taking some form of communication with you.
Get in touch by email: email@example.com or give us a call on: 07517 691989. We’d be happy to answer your questions.