News, events and schools' information for families across Bath and West Wiltshire

Never has the river meandering out of Bath looked so gorgeous. The views of the lush banks and overhanging trees, with the feathery white Willow seeds blowing gently across the river, was just a joy to behold and a perfect antidote to too many hours of screen time and work.

The occasion was a private paddleboarding lesson for my teenage son and me with Roger Chandler, the co-owner of Launch Point Adventures and self confessed outdoor evangelist. After meeting at a private car park just opposite the George and Dragon pub in Batheaston, we were soon issued with buoyancy aids, given an introduction to our paddleboards and were out on the water.

We were so lucky. The day of our introductory lesson was warm and sunny, and the river was quiet and still. In fact, the only other living souls we saw were a couple of kayakers with whom we exchanged a friendly hello, a gaggle of Canada geese, a solitary heron and so many gorgeous bright blue butterflies and dragonflies.

Roger explained that if you go for an early morning paddle, you might even be lucky enough to catch the flash of an otter or even see a beaver chomping on a floating branch. 

Roger and his business partner started up Launch Point Adventures in April with the idea of introducing paddleboarding to families, groups, schools and youth organisations, offering the training both in Batheaston and venues around the region.

Just a couple of days earlier he’d been out with two young children along with their dad and uncle, like us completely new to the activity. “It’s often the children who take to it more quickly,” explained Roger. “They’re more relaxed and have a better sense of balance, even if they’re not as strong as the grown-ups.”

This was something that we could support, with my teenage son graduating from paddling along on his knees – as all beginners are encouraged to try – to standing up in no time at all. With me following his lead – albeit perhaps not as smoothly – we were soon gliding along and absolutely loving the experience.

Roger is one of those wonderfully relaxed instructors who could introduce each new skill and stroke by making it sound more like a chat amongst friends than teacher/pupil type of vibe. In no time he had us learning how to stop, turn and even go backwards, as well as the wonderful advice to keep your eyes on the horizon to ensure the best balance.

As we paddled out of Bath, our techniques and confidence readily improved. While we were told that an unplanned swim in the river was a highly likely part of the experience (don’t forget to pack spare clothes and a towel!), in fact, we both managed to avoid this due to following Roger’s instructions – that was until right at the end.

You see, if you’re keen to give them a go, there are a few challenges to take on, such as 90° jumps on the board, which my son managed to land perfectly until Roger asked to video the feat when, yes, the inevitable sploosh occurred, followed by the ‘how to get back on to your paddleboard from the river’ part of the lesson.

We couldn’t have enjoyed this paddleboarding experience more. The weather and surroundings were glorious, Roger was an excellent coach and a nice bloke to boot and despite the dunking, we are both so keen to give it another go.

Roger has also just introduced a Family Lesson deal offering up to five family members a trip out together for just £80 all in. For more details on this, as well as private lessons and group bookings, go to