nene local | helen dawson


Category: Thrapston News

Nene Valley SUP Encourage Fun on the River

Nene Valley SUP loaned Nene Local Magazine a couple of paddle boards – here’s how we got on.

This July I attended a Stand-Up Paddleboard (SUP) evening of SUP and meditation.  I was nervous but excited to try SUP but found I loved it!  Living by the River Nene, I soon found there is quite a few small businesses set up for SUP around here.

One such business is Nene Valley SUP, who contacted Nene Local Magazine to see if we’d like to take a look at what they offer.

We booked August 6th as our date try out Nene Valley SUP.  They do SUP lessons and group paddles, but we tried the board hire.  I was told I could pick up my board between 8-9am, they do deliver but as I only lived in the next town, I came out to pick up our two boards.

Nene Valley SUP

Board collection in progress…

The two very large bags contained all we needed.  Inflatable paddleboard, detachable fins, collapsible paddle, repair kit – just in case, strap to tie you to the board (so it can’t float away if you fall off), plus a full manual.  the manual not only has full instructions on how to inflate and how to get started, it also has things like safety advice and river etiquette for if you see a boat.  Nene Valley SUP also supply buoyancy aids which should be worn.

I was meeting my friend at 2pm, so I thought I would try pumping up a board this morning just to see how it was, for this article.  The instructions are good and easy to follow.  The pump is a very good pump, as it’s quite tricky to pump the last bits of air into the board to make it sturdy – a good pump is essential.

Pumping the inflatable SUP is easy and quick, until you get to almost done. Of course, it needs the maximum amount of air in it for it to be solid enough and not give under your weight.  A solid board is nice and stable.

On the pump there’s a gauge to show how pumped up it needs to be.

We met at The Woolpack Inn in Thrapston, where there is an EA 48 hour mooring with a shallow enough edge to get in.  Caroline and I pumped up our boards.  To get to the correct Psi (on the gauge on the pump) was tough, I think with practise we would improve, but it took us around an half an hour to blow them up.  It was a muggy, hot day so we had quite a workout before we started.

Nene Valley SUP

A workout in itself!

Both of us had previously been on paddleboards in the group paddle, so knew a little about what we were doing.  Although, the manual fully explains how to launch your paddle board.

Our paddle took us from the Woolpack to Denford Lock and back.  Around 2.4 miles.  You can take your paddle boards and go wherever you wish on your days hire. The ideal, especially for beginners, is to paddle up stream first, as on your return you’re more tired and so it’s helpful to have the addition of the current to take you along.

We negotiated the fishermen in the reeds, all were good natured, and we could chat as we paddled by.  There were also four narrowboats coming along at various intervals, we tended to stop and hold the reeds while they passed, but as we get more experienced, I’m sure we’ll just keep going along.

As you paddle, it’s so lovely and peaceful.  Watching fish jumping in the water, dragonflies hitching a cheeky ride on the board, swans regally floating by at eye level…sometimes you’re close enough to your buddy to chat and other times you’re floating and paddling ahead.  I’m sure I speak for Caroline too when I say I didn’t once think of anything other than what I was doing.  At this present time with all that’s on the news and going on in the world I was amazed at my own mindful thoughts.

Nene Valley SUP

Our paddle took us back to the Woolpack Inn, as we’d locked everything we didn’t need in our car, that was parked there.  We returned to the place we’d launched and attempted to get out.  Our arms and legs were pretty tired at this point, and I would warn that getting out can be tricky for a beginner.  Of course, getting out with a great lack of elegance made us laugh, and this in turn made it even more difficult to get out.  We must have looked quite a site!

Nene Valley SUP

Tired yet grinning!

We wiped our boards dry, rolled them up and popped them back in the bag, with all the other equipment ready for me to return them to Nene Valley SUP.

We were hugely tired but grinning from ear to ear after a brilliant afternoon!  If you’re a different fitness level you can paddle further or less far accordingly, so you don’t have to wear yourself out if you don’t want to.

Nene Valley SUP is a relaxed company, having fun is top priority.  They supply all you need for a fabulous day out, the instruction manual is easy to follow, and everything is quite straightforward.  They’ll even supply a ‘dry bag’ if you want to take a picnic out with you.  We took water, which I would highly recommend!Nene Valley SUP


For More Information




Tranquility Time Paddling Along the River Nene

Tranquility Time and River Spirit SUP team up for an evening of relaxation…

Nene Local Magazine went on an adventure on Monday evening.  Here at the magazine we are an outdoorsy family and have kayaked in the past and love our boating – Helen from Nene Local says “I’d spotted people on paddle boards from the boat before and knew I wanted to try it.”

Time for Tranquility Retreats had partnered with River Spirit SUP (Stand up Paddle Boarding) to put on an evening paddle along the River Nene, along with a floating meditation.  Our time began by being added to a Messenger group so we could be given direction and instructions on what to wear, what to bring etc.

So by the time we arrived at the venue in Ringstead, we had all ‘met’ each other in messenger.  Lyndz did her demo and safety instructions whilst Sue got us to fill out our forms.

Paddleboarding | nene local

Our valuables, like phones and car keys were safely stowed away in the building and we put on our buoyancy aids.  We were all given a paddle board and paddle and invited safely, one by one into the water – at this point we were kneeling on the paddle boards as we were all beginners.

Up stream first as this is the most tiring direction, we paddled along next to the ducks and the occasional heron, for around half a mile.  It was a windy evening so fighting the current and the wind provided an excellent work out!

As we turned the bend into a more sheltered part of the river we lined up and posed for some photos.  Personally, I thought the balance and steering was quite doable, tricky at times but not too difficult. I’d been anxious during the day but needn’t have worried, as I loved it.

There is a great oak tree near the lock we had paddled to, and we congregated under the tree, lay on our boards and Susan took us on a wonderfully relaxing,  guided meditation.   Lyndz oversaw that no one floated away as we were all lying down with our eyes closed.  It was surprisingly easy to relax.

We did have a rainstorm on our way back, but we laughed our way through it and soldiered on regardless.  Our return paddle was easier being downstream and most of us had a go at standing up on the board.  Lyndz expertly got us having a go and facing any nervousness we had.

Standing for me will certainly need a bit more practice but I was glad I had a go.

My evening paddle might just have sparked a new hobby for me…….


For more information

River Spirit SUP Facebook:

Time for Tranquility Facebook:


Ignite Business Speaker Event – Grow Your Business

Ignite Business Speaker Event

Do You Want to Grow Your Business?


Ignite events bring together top national and international business speakers and local businesses together for a day of learning, personal growth, networking and collaborations.  At the end of each event, attendees will be armed with information and ideas they can apply straightaway to their own business.

What’s more, for any interested businessperson, there’s an opportunity to promote the business with a short speaker slot.

Speakers and attendees will feel invigorated, inspired, excited, motivated, buzzing and eager to take the next steps to make your business the success they dream it to be.


More About Ignite


Integrity; Honesty; Loyalty; Kindness



To provide all business owners with the tools, motivation and inspiration to grow their business through interactive and collaborative events.



Ignite is …

  • Different: Ignite focusses the mind
  • Positive
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Speakers List

  • Numerology in Business with Samantha Sutherland – A bit different this one! Nothing to do with accounts!
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Next Event

Let us re-ignite your spark on Friday 10th September 2021, at Wicksteed Park, Kettering.

Book here

About the organiser

Kathryn Slack is the founder and host of the Ignite Business Speaker Events and a Communication Coach.


Kathryn has over 30 years of corporate experience, most latterly as a Project Manager.  Over 30 years she has worked with big names such as Primark, Heinz, Kelloggs, Unilever, Proctor & Gamble, EE, Mars and so many more across so many business sectors.


Kathryn started her own business at the end of 2017 and specialised in improving people’s public speaking, presentation skills, and their networking pitch.  She also helps business owners put together that powerful presentation or gripping speech.  To see someone go from Raw to Refined, Terrified to Terrific gives Kathryn her joy and inspires her to carry on.


Kathryn noticed there were lots of networking meetings in her local area but there were no events bringing businesses together to listen and learn from each other and business experts in a less formal environment. There were training courses but these didn’t quite hit the spot.

kathryn slack

She developed Ignite!


The whole ethos of Ignite is to Inspire, Collaborate, Motivate and Educate.  Only by bringing businesses together can this be achieved. Only by giving businesses inspiration, motivation and the opportunity to collaborate can they grow and be the success they’re aspiring to be.


Ask to be an event sponsor here

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