When we think of standup paddle boarding, we might envision a weekend retreat to our nearest waterway for a brisk paddle followed by a relaxing cookout with friends. Few, if any, would undertake paddling the entire coast of mainland Britain; However, that’s exactly what Brendon Prince set out to accomplish. The 48 year old father of three hopes to become the first person to complete the 3,800 mile (6,115km) challenge on a SUP and, as of writing this post, it would seem he’s on track to do just that.
Brendon’s Long Paddle started from his hometown of Torquay, Devon on the 27th of April, 2021 with the hope of completing the challenge in 90 days. With unforeseen weather conditions and less than optimal tidal forces, Brendon has extended his completion time to 120 - 125 days. The Welsh-Devonian, waterman is an experienced lifeguard and teacher whose mission it is to raise £200,000 for increased awareness for water safety, as well as to promote the safe use of ‘blue space’ for men’s health. Through Brendon’s fundraising efforts, the Long Paddle 2021 is aiming to help seven different charities (Above Water, Surf Life Saving GB, RNLI, The Wave Project, Christian Surfers UK, Andy’s Man Club, Surfers Against Sewage).
With about 75% of the journey completed, it has been anything but smooth sailing. From losing his paddle and taking a bump on the head to falling completely into the brackish water about 15 miles off the coast, Brendon’s experience has tested his resolve and his skills as a seasoned waterman. To add to his accolades, Brendon is also on track to be the first person to paddle around Scotland, which will sit nicely with the already impressive world record of longest paddleboard journey at 3,800 miles. The current world record stands at 1,429 miles (2,300km)
Brendon Prince stops by to say hello to Shower Pass UK employees Fraser Ranson and Emma Nichol
Showers Pass has the pleasure of sponsoring Brendon’s world record attempt by providing him with waterproof apparel, and judging by his photos, he has been getting good use out of the garments that were never designed for watersports specifically. When asked why he chose his Showers Pass jackets over a dry suit or wet suit, Brendon concluded that both his Refuge and Cloudburst jacket provided a superior level of breathability and freedom of movement. When you’re paddling 3,800 miles, the devil’s in the details, so it’s important to maximize efficiency. Both the Refuge and Cloudburst jackets offer a thin, waterproof barrier designed for maximum breathability, so Brendon could manage his core temperature better than what he would experience in a wet suit or dry suit.
It goes to show that the important balance between waterproof and breathable extends past the efforts of sports enthusiasts on land. A fact highlighted by the achievements of two water sport world record holders. Upon Brendon’s completion, Showers Pass will have the distinct pleasure of outfitting two athletes on their world record attempts in water sports. In 2010, Katie Spotz completed her world record attempt and became the youngest person to row an entire ocean solo, and the first American to row a boat without the help from mainland to mainland. Her choice to wear the Elite 2.1 across the Atlantic certainly surprised the Showers Pass team, but we have now come to realize that the qualities that make for a good cycling or hiking jacket apply to the challenges faced on the water as well.
If you’d like to read more about the Long Paddle, and donate to the causes to which this world record hopes to support, head on over to the official website.