Situated on North Quay in their shipping container, Ben and Elena run a popular SUP and surf school.
I am greeted by the friendly black labrador Hev and the open faces and big smiles. These two vibrant business owners offer a wide range of water loving services in the warmer months.
My fear of open water is something that I am both, honest about and determined to overcome. When this pair moved next to where I frequently train both myself and clients I immediately took an active interest. Through building a friendship with the pair and Ben’s mum Paula, my days on the quay became both more sociable and diverse.
Before I knew it Elena had persuaded me to try SUPing! At low water the three of us set off for my first ever voyage on the calm water while the butterflies in my stomach soured higher than I could have ever imagine and me legs wobbly with fear. Their calm and patient manor allowed for my fear to dissipate encouraging me to paddle closer and closer to a more comfortable state.
I found myself out on the water with Elena a lot throughout that summer, every session I became more and more confident with both being so close to the water and confident in the practice.
We paddled, we laughed, we talked, we travelled in silence.
Sunsets as a backdrop quietening my internal dialogue after busy days allowing me to tend to myself and practice mindfulness on the water as I paddled towards a calmer self. SUPing for me became a tool in my self-care tool box.
Elena’s contagious laugh and smile combined with Ben’s passion and drive for new ideas are a winning combination. Both working hard, long hours yet always finding time to stop to welcome others and encourage conversation which is an integral part of creating a community in an increasingly busy world.
The day the shipping container moved to North Quay I knew that there were exciting times ahead.