ABOUT STEVE CARTER
Steve has been on the water since a young age, sailing dinghies and then discovering windsurfing &
Catamaran racing in the 70’s. A passion for boats & water-skiing led Steve to coaching water skiers,
wakeboarders & driving Tournaments at the major UK clubs abroad for 10 + years. A love of the
ocean led him to the South West & although a late comer to surfing quickly made up for lost time.
Instantly hooked on SUP from the early days using an old kayak paddle with the T piece handle of a
snow shovel gaffer taped on a 12 foot surf board he quickly got into SUP. Fully into Surfing, Racing
ultimately Downwind Paddling, SUP travel has taken him to numerous countries. Including North
of the Arctic Circle, Fiji, NZ, Costa Rica, Greece, USA, Switzerland & many more. Holding an RYA
advanced Powerboat and Instructor qualification and being a WSA Adventure Guide Steve quickly
saw the benefits of boat accessed downwind paddling and formulated procedures for safe boat
accessed DW runs.
On meeting Steve West and learning about Outrigger Canoe Paddling from the master it was a
natural step to get fully immersed within the Sport of Outrigger canoe paddling. Steve has raced and
paddled 6 man & 1 man Outrigger canoes both in the UK & abroad and is active in promoting the
sport as Captain at his local club in Carbis bay as well as articles in SUP magazines, OC Ambassador to
Paddle Round the Pier and paddling racing with other OC clubs around the UK.
Outside of Paddling Steve loves skiing, mountain biking & Sailing, and works as senior leader at a
sports company in the outdoor industry.
ABOUT MARK PRICE
Mark grew up in a small village on the south coast of Dorset where he spent most of his time lifeguarding, teaching people to sail Hobie Cats and playing/teaching volleyball.
He has degrees in Sport Science and Sports Injuries, Sport Science and Business and a Master’s in Business. During his study, he trained as a teacher, personal trainer and fitness coach, and worked with athletes up to international level on developing sport specific training programmes for the David Lloyd and Virgin Active Health Groups.
Mark eventually moved to a career in Health Care and in 2002 he discovered kite sports where in his own words he got totally carried away with all disciplines on land, sea and snow. He taught beginner and freestyle kiteboarding at the largest kite park in the UK, competed, judged at national events and ended up Directing the National Kiteboard and Buggy Freestyle Champs in 2006.
Fast forward 4 years to a very expensive ZERO wind kitesurfing trip to Jeri in Brazil where he discovered stand up paddleboarding. Since that trip to Brazil in 2010, his kites have seen less, and less use. He has paddled all over the world, racing for 5 years and Ground Crewed for Red Bull SUP Athletes at the MR340 Race on the Missouri River.
Mark founded PEAKSUP & Northern SUP Racing and co-directs SALTWALK Race Team and the TRENT100. He most recently joined the organising team of GBSUP which runs the National short course race series and he will be co-directing SUPX, the White-Water Race Tournament at Paddle in the Park in Nottingham in June.
Mark says he mainly races to meet people and keep fit to pursue his passion for adventure and white water which he loves to share with as many people as possible. He really enjoys applying what he’s learned about business, human performance and sports development to his own passion for sport to help others achieve their goals.
ABOUT ANDY CAMPBELL
Andy moved to the west coast of wales when he was 10, and instantly become a massive water enthusiast. Andy grew up Surfing, Body boarding, Skateboarding, Skimboarding, Swimming, and Fishing whenever he could get near the sea. With his love for the outdoors he got into other sports such as Snowboarding and Downhill Mountain Biking, which he used to compete in. As a person who loves to try new things, he picked up a paddleboard and instantly saw the appeal of the sport, whether it was surfing waves or just cruising up the amazing cardigan bay coastline, it got him on the water whatever the weather. This came along at the same time he was having to slow the downhill mountain biking down due to injuries and cost, so he found paddleboarding filled a big hole left from biking and took its place. Plus living 1 minute walk from the beach made it more accessible then biking. He decided to take his passion and wanted to show others this amazing sport.
Andy is a WSA trained stand up paddleboard instructor and adventure guide, and also a team rider for Fatsticks Paddleboards, Liquid Sup Paddles, Bomber Eyewear Europe, and now a brand ambassador for the Water Skills Academy.
Andy can be seen on the water literally everyday in all conditions whether he’s teaching, surfing, distance swimming, fishing, or just training. He is always looking to improve, and plans to never stop learning or growing up.
ABOUT MICHELLE STEWARDSON
From a work background of psychiatric Social Work it’s not really the basis you expect for a SUP Instructor and owner of a SUP school but Michelle is never happier than when in or on the water. Her interest in water sports started in earnest when at university and work in Nottingham, where she led kayaking groups on the River Trent and spent many an evening on the white water run.
On moving to the Isle of Man, almost 20 years ago and with so much fantastic coastline she became a member of the RNLI, where she remains an active volunteer on an ALB (and is even known to act as a relief mechanic). As part of her RNLI role Michelle also trained with Rescue 3 becoming a swift water rescue technician and Flood Boat Operator as part of her role in the RNLI’s National Flood Rescue team.
Not content with the RNLI alone, Michelle trained as a PADI Staff Instructor, running a small dive operation for several years.
Her SUP epiphany came about a decade ago when on holiday in Cornwall where she met the team from Harlyn Watersports – So much so that she completed her SUP instructor training with SUP Bristol in 2016 and set up Saltworks SUP www.saltworks-sup.co.ukin the same year.
This was the first commercial paddleboarding operation on the Isle of Man. In 2017 a trip to Wales lead to the completion of the Adventure Guide course with WSA.
Michelle is an enthusiastic teacher and passionate about introducing people to the water, SUP and showcasing the Isle of Man coastline in all of its UNESCO biosphere glory.
With the rapid growth of paddleboarding on the island Saltworks SUP, in conjunction with WSA, was pleased to provide the first I SUP SAFE courses on island and continues to support projects such as the RNLI’s #respectthewater campaign with safe access for all being a key goal in Saltworks SUP daily operations.
ABOUT STACEY SMITHSON-GREY
I was first really introduced to paddling in December 2010 in the warmer climates and waters of Belize, where I had been asked to take part in the La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge, a 4 day 170 mile race, with only 12 weeks to prepare and to learn how to paddle with 2 others in a Canadian Canoe. Fortunately the 3 of us were quick learners and physically fit we even managed to hold our own and finish 3rd ladies team ahead of a few unrespecting Belizean teams.
Whilst still living in Belize in November 2011 I had my first experience on a Stand Up Paddleboard. Having always had an interest in learning to surf this to me was the next best thing and what a setting to learn this new sport. In my 1st year of SUP I got to paddle in the Sea around Caribbean islands navigating tourist boat traffic, explore the local rivers and amazing caves and even had my first introduction to White Water Sup.
On moving back to the UK, landlocked Nottingham to be more precise, I found Stand Up Paddle Boarding in the Midlands – CENTRAL SUP and completed my introduction to SUP awards. Why the lessons, to me it was important to learn the basics correctly and gain more knowledge and confidence to head out alone and paddle. It also led to being introduced to the world of social paddling and racing. I didn’t stick at racing for long, but it did let me meet some amazing people who introduced me to some other awesome paddling experiences; multi day events and sup surfing. This is where my love of endurance paddling and touring came about- just a few examples:
- Trent 100
- Active360 ~Marathons
- Grand Union Canal 100km Challenge
- River Clyde 24hr challenge
- Wye 100
Spring 2012 I was fortunate to gain my instructors Qualification under the tuition of STEVE WEST, enabling me to set up a sister Central SUP Club in Nottingham giving me the opportunity to put my instructing skills to the test and introduce many others to the world of SUP – the best part of instructing for me is seeing the smile on someone’s face when they stand up for the first time. The club ran for 2 summers before a change in work meant I could no longer commit to regular sessions so Social Sup was born and has been running now for 4 years this year.
The purpose of Social Sup is just as it says, social paddling, anything from short flat water paddles to multi day adventures, including taking boards up Snowdon.
Stepping away from running a club has led to more adventures, given me more time to meet up with other paddlers and guest instruct for other clubs/schools.
Fast forward to my most recent adventures; I moved to just outside Monmouthshire at the end of 2018, within metres of the River Wye a well-known Canoeing River and home of the WYE 100, a 100-mile canoe trail normally covered in 4 days. Talking with regular Social Sup’ers, a plan was hatched for the SUP #Wye100Adventure and the introduction of #PaddleandPitch. 14 paddlers and 4 days of SUPing and camping along the beautiful River in unbelievable unheard of UK bank holiday sunshine – makes this type of paddling addictive. I have since hosted a number of meet ups; single day paddles on the River Wye and run a shorter 2-day Paddle and Pitch, and will be running plenty more. I have also managed to combine my Paddling with my love of hiking and introduced #PaddleandPlod as an option to my SUP meet ups . Setting off from Symonds Yat we paddle 16km to Redbrook, drop kit off and plod (hike) back to get cars taking advantage of having the Offas Dyke Path and Wye Valley Walking trails. When I’m not on the River Wye you will find me out exploring, visiting other SUP clubs/groups or SUP surfing.
Although I don’t teach formally these days, I still offer advise and guidance and enjoy learning from others too, this is why I have kept my self registered as an instructor and why i continue to learn.
ABOUT SARAH THORNLEY
I have been Stand up paddleboarding since 2012 having had no previous watersports experience. I became an ASI Instructor in 2014 and since then have been teaching with the Blue Chip Super Club, based at Thames Sailing Club, Surbiton. I also qualified as a British Canoeing SUP Instructor in 2017. I raced for five years culminating in becoming joint Overall National Champion 2017 in the 14′ class. I’ve raced flatwater, technical, sprints, competed in the famous SUP Nautic Race in Paris and dabbled in a little whitewater and SUP polo. Over the past couple of years, I have taken up SUP surfing and last year bought an Outrigger Canoe which has refuelled my love for racing. My husband and I started Supjunkie in 2018 to report on races worldwide but more particularly in the UK, including the UKN1SCO Championships, the London Crossing, the British SUP Club Championships and the GBSUP National Series races. Over the last two years I have been working closely with GBSUP and now head up their Media Team. I am a regular contributor to Stand Up Paddle Mag and the Paddler Magazine.”