Unlocking hidden urban adventures
A long pole with blades attached is the key to unlocking hidden street art, secretive wildlife and a world of adventure right in the heart of the city. Urban dwellers barely notice this realm that's hiding in plain sight.
All that is set to change during this months Waterfront Festival, thanks to Leeds based Gather Outdoors and SUP Bristol: two of the countries coolest adventure brands collaborating to offer a series of water-borne experiences during the festival.
Stand up paddling, or SUP as its known, is blowing up wet spots worldwide. This adventure sport, which sees folk heading out for a cruise on an oversized surfboard propelled by a single bladed paddle, is coming to Leeds for one weekend only. SUP Bristol are usually found teaching Stand Up Paddling along Bristol's vibrant waterfront, but for the festival weekend they will be teaching the basics right here in Leeds.
“I used to live in Leeds, and always thought the waterways were underused, so we were delighted to get involved when Gather Outdoors invited us up. Its great to be able to come back and help folk experience the urban adventures we've shared with so many folk back home.” says Tim Trew of SUP Bristol.
Its not just great fun and a novel way to experience the city, SUP is also a fantastic exercise to build upper body strength, develop core stability and killer abs, thanks to the twisting motion of paddling. Plus, as you paddle out, you are guaranteed to receive admiring glances from the shore. They might not know what you're doing, but they know you look damn hot doing it! Booking is essential, don't miss out! Book Here
These good folk from Bristol are heading north thanks to an invite from Leeds based adventure retailer Gather Outdoors. “Helping folk immerse themselves in the great outdoors is what we do” explains Tim Frenneaux of Gather Outdoors. “I started Gather to give outdoor adventure a fresh image, and SUP is the sport of the moment. So as soon as I got involved with the waterfront festival, I got straight in touch with SUP Bristol.”
Gather Outdoors have a strong social ethos and a novel twist on the sharing economy: they offer some of their equipment for people to buy together and share the cost. They call it Crew Buy. They figure folk are better paying for the good times than the down time.
One of their first Crew Buy products were the innovative Oru Kayaks: proper kayaks, that fold down to the size of a suitcase: 'Oru' being Japanese for fold. The design of these craft is so innovative, they now hang in the permanent collection of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
Festival attendees can try their hand at paddling an Oru Kayak, for free, in taster sessions being run from the Gather Outdoors stall at Granary Wharf. Folk who prefer brews to boats are welcome to drop by for a chat and a free cup of wood-fired tea or coffee, whilst children and kidults fold their own origami boats. Their stall will be packed with stylish and functional outdoor equipment. They have a specific focus on sustainable products, such as board shorts made from recycled plastic bottles, wooden sunglasses, backpacks from sustainable sew shops and handmade longboards made from Sheffield Sycamore. Discounts are available for recycling plastic drinks bottles with them.
Stop by their stall all weekend or visit www.gatheroutdoors.co.uk