Rich Brook: Owner and Chief Instructor

Rich was introduced to adventure activities at the age of 7, and fell in love with the outdoor lifestyle. Equally at home on the water or dangling from a rock face, his childhood was always full of adventure. And would shape his educational and career path, leaving school with a Scholarship to Newcastle University to study Naval Architecture.

 

“ I’ve always been fascinated by the intricacies of boat and board design and how they interact with fluid dynamics.”

 

He spent his first summer break working for a well know children’s activity company and decided that actually he would be much more suited to Outdoor Education, and spent the next four years with the company working all over the UK delivering a wide range of introductory outdoor experiences.

 

“Those first years in the industry are some of my fondest, I made some great friendships and had some of the most rewarding experiences working with children of all abilities and backgrounds.”

 

He then went to Plas Menai, The Welsh National Watersports Centre to further his Coaching development, spending a winter training in one of the most challenging environments in the UK, before heading out to the warmer climates of the Mediterranean to teach sailing and windsurfing. He returned to Plas Menai that winter and continued to work at the centre for the following three years, taking on an Assistant Coaching position for the Junior Welsh Windsurfing Squad.

 

“Even though I now live in Shropshire, I’ve always had a deep connection with Wales and in particular the Menai Strait, probably because my parents lived on Anglesey when I took my first baby steps. It’s always felt like home and for an outdoor enthusiast the area is just like one giant playground, from watersports to mountaineering, there is always somewhere new to explore.”

 

In the winter of 2012 Rich was diagnosed with cataracts and underwent two successful eye operations and decided to take a break from instructing and ended up managing the construction of large scale solar parks in the UK.

 

“The environment has always been something I’ve been keen to protect so while I decided on my next steps, it seemed like a good fit.”

 

By the time the solar company had completed it’s projects in the Uk and was heading out to the Middle East, Rich had begun to embrace two other passions Music and Writing. So he remained in the UK, playing with Synergy, a Wedding and Events Band and working on his first Adventure Thriller Novel, which he later published in 2017.

 

Like for so many people the global pandemic had a profound impact on Rich, although he did manage to finish writing his second book, the music had been completely shutdown.

 

“It was one of those moments where I just decided to turn a negative into a positive. I’d already been thinking about going back into coaching, and just thought that this was the perfect opportunity to setup the Paddleboarding business I’d been dreaming about for so long. It hasn’t been the easiest six months setting up a company in the middle of a pandemic, with supply chain issues and then having to isolate on the very day I was intending to open, but it’s certainly been an experience, the support I’ve had from family, friends, industry partners, and the Standup Paddleboarding community has been phenomenal and I can’t thank them enough. To have the chance to add to the ten years coaching experience I already have is great. I love being able to help people to develop their skills or just to learn something new. And to have that potential to set someone on their path to becoming the next personality within the sport is a real privilege.”