I was thrilled to be invited to a watersports event at Hove Lagoon over the half term week. I spent my twenties pursuing adventure sports…particularly snowboarding and I really miss the opportunity to indulge in these activities now I’m a busy working Mum. This event, hosted by Adventure Connections was my chance to reconnect with that younger version of me and embrace the opportunity to have a go at two adventure sports which were completely new to me. The event promised to offer the chance to try Wakeboarding and Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP)….I’ve wanted to try both of these activities for a while…but now the prospect was a reality I was filled with a good dose of both anxiety and excitement!
Adventure Connections organise adventure days out and short breaks for events such as stag and hen do’s, corporate events and other celebrations. They offer a highly focused and experienced events management team who are able to tailor make events hassle and stress free. They even provide a range of accommodation across the UK so your entire weekend can be organised at the same time.
The Lagoon is set back from the sea front tucked away behind the beach huts and promenade. The water is only about 3 foot deep and the water is calm and totally separate from the sea. It looked absolutely idyllic on this sunny evening. The clubhouse has a bar, sofa area and benches outside. It’s a pleasant spot to sit and watch the wake boarders even if you’re not getting in the water yourself.
On arrival at we were shown where to get changed and kitted up with wetsuits, helmets and life vests. The vibe is quite laid back but I found staff knowledgeable and approachable and felt safe in their hands.
I chose to do wake boarding first….mainly because my nerves were building and I wanted to tackle the activity I was most nervous about first. Our instructor, Joe sat us on the bank of the lagoon alongside the shortest pulley system that the wake boards are operated on. He gave us an outline of what we were expected to do and answered any concerns or questions we had. We each had a go at ‘getting up’ on dry land following clear, step by step instructions from Joe. Then it was time to get in the water!
As I’ve snowboarded a lot in it felt familiar strapping a board onto my feet….being strapped down in water however was totally alien to me. I was surprised and relieved at how buoyant the board was. It popped up and let you sit in a bobbing seated position with the help of the life vest. Holding the rope pulley firmly in two hands it was time to give this a bash. Joe communicated instructions clearly reminding me to keep my arms straight, lean back and stand up. He also checked each time that I was ready for him to turn the rope pulley on. I managed to stand up first time….much to my surprise…and wobbled my way to the far end of the lagoon. At the end I gently sank into the water getting a good mouthful of salty water. I was buzzing with the thrill of the ride and relieved that it was nowhere near as terrifying as I thought it might be!
By the end of my session I was trying to do gentle carves on the water…causing the water to spray from side to side. It felt great. What an incredible experience (although…be prepared for your arms to ache in all sorts of places for the next week!)
After the excitement of wake boarding…stand up paddle boarding offered a much more laid back activity. Again we were given clear instructions on shore with constant supervision from our instructor. I thought SUP would be a doddle…but it actually takes a lot of skill to balance on one of those little planks! I felt like Bambi on ice for the first 10 minutes…but once I found my sweet spot and got into the rhythm of paddling I found it incredibly relaxing.
The evening was topped off with a barbecue as we watched the sunset over the lagoon. An absolutely perfect way to end the day. I was really impressed with the approachable professionalism of the staff at Hove Lagoon and found the Adventure Connections team enthusiastic and fun. The perfect combination for an adrenaline fuelled and fuss free event. I’d like to thank the Adventure Connections team for inviting me to attend such a fun event. Thanks to Hove a Lagoon Watersports staff for their patience and attention. If you would like to book a similar watersports experience with Adventure Connections you can find details here.