Boardskillz is multifaceted water sports provider specialising in stand up paddle board (SUP) lessons, taster sessions and experiences; surf trips and surf hire, windsurfing tuition and kite surfing hire. Based in North Shields just outside Tynemouth, Boardskillz works across a number of locations throughout the North East of England and Cumbria including South Shields, Seaburn, Blyth, Northumberland, Durham, Saltburn, Scarborough and The Lake District. As one of the first SUP Schools in the UK, Joe has spent years teaching people how to paddle board so is well placed to take you from beginner to winner with minimum fuss. For those looking to de-stress from work there’s no better way of unwinding than one of Boardskillz’ Micro SUP Adventures incorporating fast track SUP coaching and wild camping over a couple of days at beautiful locations like Bamburgh, the North Yorkshire Coast or Ulswater or Coniston Water in the Lakes.

Alongside our core SUP activity, Boardskillz provides private tuition for windsurfing and windSUP; offers performance surfboard hire, surf trips and directional kiteboard hire. It is also possible to have professional standard photographs taken either as part of your coaching session or as a dedicated resource. We also offer video coaching with our more specialist paddle surfing clinics and will be rolling out some winter SUP trips for 2017.

So who’s behind the business? Joe Thwaites set up Boardskillz back in 2009 wanting a complete change of lifestyle after his recruitment business fell on hard times following the credit crunch. Joe has been in the water over 30yrs and has surfed, paddle surfed and windsurfed in some of the World’s most challenging locations. When he’s not spreading the love for all things water, Joe runs the Loco brand which produces stand up paddle boards and associated accessories as well as surfboards and kiteboards. He’s already seen some success himself in competitive SUP events as well as nurturing a team of international riders including some of the UK’s best SUP Surfers and upcoming grom riders.

Needless to say you’re in safe and very competent hands, in fact Joe was teaching SUP before any training organisations existed so what he doesn’t know isn’t worth knowing. You’ll soon gather he knows his stuff by the speed of your progress but whether he’ll remember your name is debatable. We all joke about it but those years as a club DJ seem to have taken their toll on his short term memory unless you’re South American and smoking hot of course!

Sally Anderson has been paddling for a couple of seasons and will be helping Joe with larger group sessions. Sally is a pole instructor when she’s not SUPing and also likes climbing with her other half where time allows. She’ll be spearheading our SUP Ball and ladies SUP fitness programmes in 2017.