I have never had the chance to either paddle board or do SUP Pilates before. And when I heard about a new class starting up in the Docklands I jumped at the chance! It’s so, so popular now and along with my review I have listed all the information on how you can also get involved.
It all takes place at Wake Up Docklands. The closets station is North Greenwich and while I’ve been there before to access Wake Up Doacklands where the class takes place, you have to take the Emirates Cable Car! (I’d never ridden it before and was pretty excited)
Once you reach the other side, Wake Up Doacklands is just there. (When you’re on the cable car, as you reach the end of the journey it’s on your right). It also has showers and places to store your bags as well as changing facilities.
You can wear a wetsuit to do the class however wetsuit restrict movement, especially in the Pilates section. And as the weather was nice we were given the choice and I decided to wear normal sportswear and hope that I didn’t get wet (my hair!).
There were seven of us in total and we were split into two groups. I was in the group first paddleboarding. We were given a lesson on how to use the paddles correctly to make sure we get the most movement out of each stroke, and then on the paddleboard!
Initially you start out on your knees and then when you feel a little more comfortable get onto your feet. I’d done wind surfing in Sri Lanka and so had hoped this would be for me like swimming is for a fish.
My legs were shaking when I stood up and I was absolutely sure I was going to fall. Then I started paddling and then…well then I didn’t fall in. Suddenly my confidence started to come back. I started to stroke harder making sure my technique was correct.
Paddleboarding is an amazing arm and core workout. If done correctly your arms should be stacked one over the other every time you stroke and your core should turn in the direction of the stroke each time. You also need to stabilise your core in order to balance on the board.
After a while I didn’t have to force myself to look up – I just was and wasn’t terrified of promptly falling in. There were open water swimmers sharing this part of the Thames with us, as well as geese and their adorable goslings. All too soon the class finished and it was time to swap over with the other group and do some SUP Pilates.
I first heard of SUP through instagram. And until I saw Ruth’s class I only thought you could do SUP Yoga. SUP means Stand Up Paddleboard and like paddleboarding is an amazing workout because you are constantly engaging your core and trying to stay balanced.
The Pilates class Ruth took us through was slow and steady with clear instructions and demonstrations. We worked on our arms, legs, and core. We even did modified burpees which on a paddle board takes on a whole new element of danger!
There were times when I couldn’t balance on the board or when a wave from a neighbouring activity would gently rock my board. That gentle wave felt like a small tsunami and I was convinced that I would fall in (my hair!). Thankfully I didn’t and the shavasana on the board in the sunshine was one of the best ever. I didn’t reach a meditative state but I was happy and blissed out.
I LOVED both classes. This is the kind of stuff I always wish I would do and actually having the chance to do it, and then doing it was amazing. The paddle boarding and the Pilates were deceptively intense workouts and I felt them in my body (especially my arms) the next day.
We also had drinks and energy balls courtesy of CPress (them with the Amazon packaging).
How you can get involved
SUP Pilates classes are £25 and Ruth recommends that you come in normal fitness clothes (which you are happy to get wet). You can of course wear a wetsuit and these will be available there. She teaches small groups and one-to-one paddleboard Pilates. All the details are below and more are on her website here.
Group Class times:
Tuesdays (from 13th June) 6pm-7pm
Wednesdays (from 14th June) 6.30pm-7.30pm
Saturday 10th June 11.30-12.30pm
Sunday 18th June 2.30-3.30pm
Sunday 3 July 2.30-3.30pm
Saturday 8th July 3-4pm
Sat 15th July 11.30-12.30
Sunday 26th July 3-4pm
Booking is essential for these and you book for the classes via Wake Up Docklands and feel free to contact Rush directly if you want any more information – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you so much Ruth for giving me the chance to try this – I had the best time! If you do decide to go, you can also do what I did and channel your inner beach bum!
Disclaimer: I was given the chance to try paddle boarding and SUP Pilates free of charge. This hasn’t influenced this review at all.