What we want to accomplish with this series of Interviews with our Ambassadors is to show stand up paddleboarding is a sport for everyone and it allows you to be involved and engaged on a amateur or professional level. There are no obstacles to become part of our paddleboarding family. This time we want to introduce you Tom Farnell (@tomsuplife) and his paddleboarding story. We hope this will inspire you to try SUP and we thank Tom for everything he showed us this year and for helping us in promoting this incredible sport to a wider audience. Enjoy!
What initially got you into SUP and what makes it so special to you?
My friends Jamie and Andy started paddle boarding, they asked if I wanted to join them and next thing you know I’m hooked on the first go. Falling in constantly, laughing so much and enjoying the scenery. Ever since the first paddle, I realised it was the most peaceful fun sport I have done. It makes it so special to me because not only do I get to have a great time but I also get to switch off, I couldn’t preach anymore how good paddle boarding is for mental health. I’ve had a very tough year with my brother passing from cancer but small things like paddle boarding just make it a little easier to feel a moment of clarity and peace.
What would you say is the 3 things you’ll always take to go paddling?
Phone, great for photos, videos and there just incase of an emergency. Dry bag, best to keep everything dry and safe. Water, best to keep hydrated and even better with the amazing water bottle Bluefin provides.
What has been your favourite place to SUP so far and why?
Wow this is a tough question, so many amazing spots! But if I had to pick one, so far it would have to be Lee Bay, amazing secluded spot with incredible scenery and wildlife.
What would be your dream location to SUP?
Again another hard question but if I had to pick somewhere it has to be Norway. The idea of paddle boarding in the Fjords or in the snow within the mountains just sounds incredible and a perfect dream.
What would you like to see for the future of SUP and from Bluefin SUP?
I love the approach of going more sustainable and environment friendly. Such as the recyclable packaging Bluefin now wrap their boards and products in. I know other companies are taking on this approach too which is great to see but it would be even better to keep this momentum going and go the extra step. Such as encouraging and helping individuals to help do their part with ways to keep our waters/coastlines clean from plastic and rubbish. Imagine with all the people who paddle board, if everyone one picked up a few bottles or cans, to then recycle them once home, the difference this could make specially in those areas only paddle boarders go would be amazing. Going back to mental health, it would be nice to see opportunities for groups of people to meet up and share their paddle boarding experiences together. Even if it ends up just being a paddle, chatting and having a good time.
What would be your best tip to anyone who’s beginning to SUP and/or is scared to try?
My best tip would have to be embrace it, it’s okay to fall in and it’s expected too. If you prepare yourself to fall in by wearing suitable wetsuits, buoyancy aid, leash etc while being in a more suitable environment such as a calm day at the beach then it allows you to learn while knowing there’s less risks to feel scared of. If you are trying for the first time then it’s always good to have someone with you, specially someone who is competent at paddle boarding. It’s okay to be scared and nervous, this helps you be aware and not complacent but after giving it a go or once you stand up for the time, you’ll start to get the buzz for it and realise it isn’t actually that scary. You just have to always remember to respect the water and be prepared.
What makes you proud to be an ambassador?
Where do I start, the fact I get to share my experiences with people while representing Bluefin is amazing. I feel so privileged to be an ambassador, I love their ethos and the paddle boards are incredible, as I’m sure you all agree. To be a part of the ambassador program is very rewarding and fun, I’m able to show people my passion while pushing myself to do things I haven’t done before like write a blog!