Stand up and just go with the flo as a new paddle boarding business opens in Cleethorpes
7th August 2017
FORGET surfin’ USA and head on down to the North Promenade in Cleethorpes for a new stand-up paddle boarding business.
Former Matthew Humberstone pupil Toni Buckle-Weavers, 29, and her husband Vince, 39, have opened their new venture Ebb & Flo in the resort.
With the sun shining it was proving popular, as customers streamed in to enquire about hiring equipment or taking lessons.
Mum-of-two Toni explained: “We’ve just been putting feelers out and it’s been word of mouth, friends and family predominantly.
“We started planning last summer, did an instructor’s course in October and put together a business plan in November and got a loan in January.
“It’s the beginning of summer so we thought let’s go for it!
“My husband and I have been paddle boarding for about two years, there’s a lot of general interest.
“People have been coming up to us and asking about hiring them.”
It’s the couple’s first venture into owning a business of their own as Vince also works at Cristal Global as a project manager.
“He’s the backbone,” said Toni.
“He’s built the shop, renovated it for me and done everything for me – he’s been amazing.”
Along with paddle board hire and lessons for both children and adults (aged 18+) there is SUP (stand-up paddle) yoga.
“It’s for everybody, we are trying to branch out into occasions, too, such as birthdays,” continued Toni.
“We’ve got a giant paddle board, it’s a fab thing to try out.
“It’s one big giant board for lots of people.”
They also accommodate a kids club, which runs out of school time from 8am to 3pm. The kids clubs is divided into two groups, one suitable for under 8s and one for over 8s. Kids can enjoy a whole day by the beach and take part in paddle boarding and skate boarding.
“It’s what we used to do when we were young – play outside,” added Toni.
“It’s been awesome, better than I expected.
“The response has been amazing, there’s been loads of people out there this morning.
“I’m really happy that people are embracing it and taking it up.
“You can be eight to 80, it doesn’t matter and young kids can be sat with their parents on a board.”
One of the couple’s two sons, Luca, 9, was also out enjoying the water and even found it exciting when he falls in. Keen to encourage other children to try it he said: “It’s really fun. Instead of sitting on a sofa watching TV, you can do something like this!”
Toni hopes it will grow in popularity: “I hope it’s successful, that people embrace and love it – everybody that’s come has loved it.
“We are also working closely with the Coastguard and Beach Safety.”
Jamie King, senior Coastguard operations officer for Lincolnshire was enthusiastic about the venture and said: “Cleethorpes needs this, we’ve given advice on all matters of safety – what to do in the event of emergency.
“We’ve talked about safety equipment and just making sure that things are in place and everyone comes down and enjoys it.
“ I’m going to come down and try it myself.
“It’s making good use of the seafront, it’s good to see people doing that high level of activity.
“I’m really pleased with it, it’s getting popular – paddle boarding and kayaking.
“If people are going out, let someone know where you are going, have a means of communication with the shore, such as a mobile phone in a waterproof case so in the event of an emergency, dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.”
Debbie Simons, 52 from Cleethorpes was all smiles as she returned to the beach with her paddle board.
She said: “I never thought I would be able to do this but clearly I can.
“At my age you do need a wet suit as it’s a bit cold.
“I love the fresh air and sunshine, being outdoors is wonderful, absolutely wonderful.
“I would recommend it 100 per cent, it’s a really fantastic experience.
“That’s it now, I’m hooked and I might buy myself a board.
“You’ve got the keep fit aspect and the fun aspect of it, the views.
“I’m going to have a lesson too to see how that goes.
“I’ve just had a taster too, learning about kneeling down and kneeling up.”
Toni does advise that a lesson is taken before hiring, especially for those who have never tried it before. You can hire boards by the hour for £10, have a group lesson for £30, an individual or two-to-one lesson for £45.
Although the board and if necessary buoyancy aids are provided, you do need your own wet suit and these can be hired locally from Reef Rash. Wet suits are ideal for beginners and younger ones not used to the cooler water temperature.
A leash must be securely fastened to your foot so if you do fall off, your board will not float away and you can simply get back on.
Do to popularity, booking is advised for lessons, although for board hire you can simply turn up.
For more information phone 07715 267357. Ebb and Flo is open seven days a week around tide times.
Alternatively, go to their Instagram or Facebook page Ebbandfloliving or visit www.ebb-flo.co.uk
News Courtesy: www.humberbusiness.com