Stand up Paddle Boarding for Beginners

Stand up paddleboarding is an activity growing fast in popularity. Whether this is due to the coronavirus (stand up paddleboarding is a good social distancing activity) or something else, we are not really sure, but we’ve certainly seen a lot more people out and about doing just this. Have you ever been stand up paddle boarding?

What is stand up paddleboarding?

Stand up paddle boarding (or SUP) is like surfing but isn’t. Instead of using waves to propel yourself like in surfing, you use a paddle to push yourself along still waters or waves. You can paddleboard on a lake, a river, or the ocean. You can stand up on the board, or kneel if you prefer.

It originated in Hawaii and has been around for hundreds of years, though the modern version dates from around the year 1900.

Photo by Matt Zhou on Unsplash

Is stand up paddle boarding difficult?

Stand up paddleboarding is very accessible as an activity. It doesn’t require the skill of surfing, and is easier to get into than kayaking. It’s suitable for people of all ages and it can be taught in a few hours, unlike surfing where you often need multiple lessons for a sustained period of time to really pick it up.

Have a look at this article from Isle, Surf and Sup to learn more about how easy it is to get into stand up paddleboarding – https://www.islesurfandsup.com/is-paddle-boarding-hard/

How to do stand up paddle boarding

Stand up paddleboarding is basically standing or kneeling on a board while using a paddle to propel yourself. It’s all about balance and momentum – like cycling. There’s not much else to it. Learn to balance yourself. Learn to move from a kneeling position to a standing position. Get the hang of paddling and turning your board in a different direction. It’s all about practice.

Here’s a great video from Tin Box Traveller

What stand up paddle board to buy

Getting the right sized paddleboard is important. Longer and wider boards provide better stability but might be difficult to paddle, especially if you’re short and lightweight yourself. Wider boards are good for increased stability in moving water – such as rapids.

Bigger boards are more difficult to store but inflatable SUPs are available and these provide good stability too.

The HandiRack, our universal inflatable roof bars, are a great way of transporting your SUP.

HandiRack Inflatable Roof Bars

HandiRack Inflatable Roof Bars

Have a read of this article from PumpedUpSup to learn more about ideal SUP sizes – https://www.pumpedupsup.com/blogs/news/what-size-sup-board-is-right-for-you

Photo by Grant Durr on Unsplash

What to wear when stand up paddle boarding

What to wear when stand up paddle boarding is kind of important but there’s not really specialist SUP wear – it’s the same stuff you’d wear if you were surfing. A wet suit is good but then swim-shorts and t-shirts are fine too. The plan isn’t to spend too much time in the water anyway!

You should wear a floatation device, especially if you are not a strong swimmer. Children should certainly wear one.

If it’s a cold day (or even if it’s not) you might also want to wear thermals. The water can be cold even if the sun is shining.

On your feet, water shoes are a good option. Bare feet are fine, until you fall in and need to walk on the bottom of the riverbed.

If it’s a hot day, then don’t forget your sunscreen and shades.

It’s also important that you get a board leash – like in surfing – so your board stays close to you if you fall in the water.

Where to go stand up paddle boarding

There are lots of places around the UK to go stand up paddleboarding, but like kayaking, you might need a license to access some waterways. While some stretches of water are public access, many are under the control of the Canal & River Trust, the Environment Agency, the Broads Authority and a number of other waterway authorities.

You can get a temporary licence (30 days) from The Canal & River Trust https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/enjoy-the-waterways/canoeing-and-kayaking/paddle-boarding-the-basics or an annual membership from British Canoeing which includes a licence for a host of managed waterways around the UK and liability insurance – https://www.britishcanoeing.org.uk/news/2019/stand-up-paddle-boarding-on-canals-and-rivers

Check out the list of locations covered by British Canoeing membership and those not included to find a suitable place near you – https://www.britishcanoeing.org.uk/go-canoeing/access-and-environment/licensing

The CAMBA Kart, our innovative board and paddlesports trolley makes getting your SUP to the waters edge much easier.

CAMBA Kart Paddlesports Trolley

Is stand up paddleboarding safe?

Stand up paddleboarding is as safe as it can be for an activity that is physical and done on water, which can be unpredictable. It’s important that you, as with other watersports, respect the water and take notice of the safety advice from your instructor.

Check out safety advice from the RNLI at https://rnli.org/safety/choose-your-activity/stand-up-paddle-boarding

Are you a stand up paddleboarder?

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8 At-home Activities to Keep the Adventure Spirit Alive

We know what it’s like when you’re yearning to get out and enjoy the great outdoors but circumstances mean you’re stuck at home for now. Whether it’s a global pandemic, lack of funds, or work commitments keeping you from going too far, there are activities you can do which will help satisfy your craving for adventure (for now, anyway).

Here are 9 outdoor and adventure activities you can do at home.

Build a climbing wall

A climbing wall for you or the children can be done outside or even inside if you have enough wall space. While you probably don’t have the space for a full climbing rig, you can set something up for a spot of bouldering.
Take a look at https://thecreatedhome.com/diy-climbing-wall to see how you could set something up indoors.
Outdoors, you will need a solid wall or some sizeable pieces of wood and some climbing studs. You can buy these online, for example at https://www.amazon.co.uk/Climbing-Holds

A climbing wall can be a considerable expense but it also makes a good project which will help you while away a few hours. A well-built climbing wall can last a very long time too, so this is definitely an investment in both time and money.

Do some back garden camping


A firm at-home favourite is back garden camping. There’s nothing like sleeping under canvas and in your garden is still a good way of getting your body clock in sync with nature. The downside is that you don’t really get a change of scenery, but on the upside, you get a toilet nearby and you know who’s used it! You can also get away with not having to take lots of equipment and supplies with you and you will never have the problem of not having taken suitable clothing.

Have a read of our blog post – Camping Equipment List: What camping gear do I need?

Do some back garden cooking


Cooking on an open camp fire or even using your regular gas camping kitchen is a change from your home’s kitchen. Food always tastes different when it’s cooked on a camping stove and it always reminds me of being outdoors and on holiday. Back garden cooking is always good preparation for cooking when camping if you’ve not done it before.

What can you make?

Well how about hot dogs or burgers, and s’mores for dessert? I like making fried chicken wraps and one pot meals like vegetable curry are always a winner.

Check out these camping recipes from Mini Travellers for some more ideas https://minitravellers.co.uk/12-delicious-camping-recipes

Hold a back garden festival


If you really want to get into the festival spirit then why not hold your own backyard festival? As well as the tent you can also put on some music, play your own, and do some crafting too. Face painting and festival hair always make my children ridiculously excited. What would you do at your own personal festival?

Have a look at https://minitravellers.co.uk/10-festival-themed-party-ideas/ for some festival themed party ideas.
Read this https://tinboxtraveller.co.uk/how-to-throw-garden-festival/ for tips on how to throw your own garden festival by Tin Box Traveller.

Hold your own cycling event


Indoor cycling is a great way to exercise when you can’t get out and about but isn’t it boring when they only thing you have to look it is the wall? We can’t all afford a Peloton to take part in classes with others but what about using your own TV and the videos that others have kindly made? Check out this YouTube account for some brilliant cycling videos – can you imagine pedalling along to these? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVbBtdw-_SCqGDs6-_awaDg

In terms of the equipment you will need – if you don’t have an exercise bike, then you could adapt your own bikes to use indoors. You will need ramps or stands – either bought or make your own. This one looks interesting if you can’t get hold of a ready-made one …… http://tidybrownwren.blogspot.com/2011/06/how-to-make-your-own-exercise-bike-for.html

For smaller cyclists, I’ve seen a set-up which uses stabilisers placed onto props so the back wheel is lifted off the floor. Genius! https://www.heart.co.uk/lifestyle/parenting/mum-sets-up-genius-indoor-cycle-studio/

Do some orienteering


If you can get out and about into your neighbourhood, then how about creating an orienteering challenge? Get a street map of your local area or make your own using Google Maps.

This is a good way of introducing using a compass too. You can make the map and route as easy or as complicated as you like.

Nature spotting


There might not be anything more exciting than mini beasts in your garden but some back garden wildlife spotting is a good warm up for the real thing. There’s lots to spot in your garden such as earthworms, ladybirds, spiders, and all manner of domestic birds like pigeons, sparrows, and robins.

Download a bug safari sheet from the RSPB at https://www.rspb.org.uk/fun-and-learning/for-families/family-wild-challenge/activities/go-on-a-bug-safari/ and a bird spotting sheet at https://www.rspb.org.uk/fun-and-learning/for-families/family-wild-challenge/activities/go-birdwatching/

Build a bivouac

Building a den is a great activity for indoor or out but a proper bivouac is the best! Made from branches, building a bivouac feels like a real survival activity. Have you ever made one?

Here are some tips from Countryfile – https://www.countryfile.com/how-to/outdoor-skills/how-to-make-a-bivouac/

What activities do you do when stuck at home?

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HandiRack Inflatable Roof Bars

The HandiRack – the inflatable roof rack for your car

Probably our most famous product is the HandiRack inflatable roof rack – have you got one? They are a great way of adding extra carrying capacity to your car. They fit all types of car – well, the ones that have a roof – they are much cheaper than standard roof bars, and they fold down very small when not in use – what’s not to love?

The HandiRack roof bars are available in either black or limited edition Camo print for those adventures where you want to blend into the great outdoors. These universal roof bars are great for carrying a canoe or kayak, or for teaming up with our HandiHoldall to add extra room for a camping trip, or moving home, or for all that extra shopping.

Read on to learn everything you need to know about our most popular item.

HandiRack Inflatable Roof Bars

HandiRack Inflatable Roof Bars

How to fit HandiRack inflatable roof bars

One question we are asked frequently is…… are HandiRack inflatable roof bars easy to fit? The answer is yes. It’s not that you don’t need to make an effort here because you do have to do something yourself to get them on your car, but we provide full instructions and really, there’s not much to think about.

In short, you need to unroll and lay the bars out in position on your car, strap them on, and then inflate. It is really simple but can take a little getting used to. We recommend that you work out how to fit them in advance of your trip – there’s nothing like trying to do something unfamiliar when you’re on a schedule!

Check out these videos to help you to understand how easy fitting the HandiRack is……..

How to use HandiRack inflatable roof rack

We have seen the HandiRack being used for a variety of jobs. Kayaks and surfboards, garden benches, for a house move, to the official HandiHoldall for extra carrying capacity, and everything in between.

HandiRack extras:-

All variants of the HandiRack come with a wet weather kit. This is a small addition which provides extra protection during rainy weather. You can also buy this as an extra at https://www.handiworld.com/product/handirack-wet-weather-kit/

We would recommend you use the Anti-slip racks as a way of minimising wear and tear on your vehicle and limiting the movement on your luggage. These can be purchased in a bundle with the HandiRack at https://www.handiworld.com/handirack-anti-slip-pads/ or at https://www.handiworld.com/handirack-camo-anti-slip-pads/ for the Camo version.

HandiRack + HandiHoldall 400 Litres Bundle

The HandiHoldall, a soft roof box, is designed to work the HandiRack. If you buy a HandiHoldall at the same time as the HandiRack, you can get a special bundle deal. HandiHoldalls are available in a variety of sizes from 175 litres to 400 litres. Please check out our website at https://www.handiworld.com/soft-roof-boxes-roof-bars/.

HandiRack Reviews

We’re really pleased with the reviews continuing to come in for the HandiRack carrier. As much as we have faith in our universal roof bars, it’s always extra reassuring to see that customers are happy and that the products have stood up to the real-world tests thrown at them!

This review from Mel is for the HandiRack inflatable roof rack and our HandiHoldall – a great combination which efficiently adds carrying capacity at relatively low cost and requires minimal storage.


© Trustpilot 2019

See this review at Trustpilot – https://www.trustpilot.com/reviews/5d62f4a6f018690bd053cd35

Thanks to Tiffany for sending us this pic of the HandiRack on top of her Fiat 500. They show that our universal roof bars can indeed fit on a smaller 3-door car!

Whether you’re thinking of buying a HandiRack for camping, for carrying something oversized like a canoe or kayak or a garden bench, or when moving home, we are happy that the inflatable HandiRack is a good value solution, especially if you’re not only on a budget but also have to be frugal with your storage requirements – the HandiRack is a lot easier to store than a regular set of roof bars, and the complementary HandiHoldall easier than a hard shell roof box!

If you’d like to buy both the HandiRack inflatable roof bars and a HandiHoldall soft roof box then check out our bundle deals – they will save you money! If you have any further questions about any of the items in our store, then please do get in touch.

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HandiHoldall 330 Litres Weatherproof Soft Roof Box

The HandiHoldall – The Flexible Roof Bag

The HandiHoldall is a flexible roof bag designed to fit our patented inflatable roof bars, the HandiRack. Available in three sizes, the HandiHoldall is a good way of adding carrying capacity to your car for a camping trip, or moving home at low cost. Because the HandiHoldall folds up again when not in use, it’s ideal if you don’t have enough storage space at home for a roof box.

How to fit the HandiHoldall

The HandiHoldall is very easy to fit. It is designed to work perfectly with the HandiRack and we highly recommend the HandiHoldall as your roof bag if you own a HandiRack; while other roof bags may fit the HandiRack, none do as well as the official HandiHoldall. If you buy the HandiRack and HandiHoldall together, we do a special discounted bundle deal. Please ask if you have any questions.

You can also use the HandiHoldall on a regular set of roof bars using our roof bar fitting kit, which comes included with every HandiHoldall.

Each product comes complete with fitting instructions; watch our video for an idea of how to fit the HandiHoldall and the HandiRack.

Want to see a HandiHoldall in action on a regular roof rack? Check our Erin’s video of her family camping trip and a look at how the roof bar fitting kit works. Thanks to Erin at Yorkshire Tots for taking the time to give the HandiHoldall a thorough testing.

Is the HandiHoldall waterproof?

The HandiHoldall 400 litre and the 175 litre are completely waterproof. They are built to keep out the water. Have a look of this video of them being tested!

The HandiHoldall 330 litres is weather resistant. We advise putting waterproof items into the HandiHoldall and using inner bags where possible. The 330 litre HandiHoldall can fit 2 x 95l or 2 x 135l HandiDuffel bags inside, and we have a bundle deal available – check out https://www.handiworld.com/handiholdall-330-litres-category/ for more details.

HandiHoldall reviews

We’re really pleased with the reviews continuing to come in for the HandiHoldall. As much as we have faith in our products, it’s always extra reassuring to see that customers are happy and that the products have stood up to the real-world tests thrown at them!


© Trustpilot 2019

See this review at Trustpilot – https://www.trustpilot.com/reviews/5d62f4a6f018690bd053cd35


© Trustpilot 2019

See this review at Trustpilot – https://www.trustpilot.com/users/574d830c0000ff000a24e8b3

We’ve also had this review in for the HandiHoldall and the HandiRack direct from a happy customer. Thank you to Sharon for the feedback and for the pic of them both working together on her car.

“I am just writing to say how impressed I am with the HandiRack and HandHoldall package. 

The first thing that impressed me was the incredibly quick delivery. 

We used the HandiRack and HandiHoldall to travel up to Yorkshire and it was brilliant. We stopped once to check it and it hadn’t moved an inch and nothing was flapping about.

Once we got to Yorkshire we put the rack on my sister’s car and used it to transport a sofa bought in a charity shop, saving us the £25 delivery charge. I think we entertained the locals getting the sofa onto the roof but once up there and strapped down with the tie downs we had an uneventful journey.

My sister thinks it is a great idea and I will be recommending it to everyone.”

So there we have it; the HandiHoldall is a great way of adding carrying capacity to your car when you don’t have any room at home to store a regular roof box. If you have any questions about bundle deals, fitting, or anything else, please do get in touch.

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