our paddleboard instructors

The Active360 Instructors specialise in surfing, stand up paddle (SUP) and body-boarding training for; adventure center operators, water sports centres and individual instructors.

Our Instructors receive comprehensive regular in-house training to ensure high level’s of safety and excellent technical SUP knowledge.

Our coaches or instructors (we usually call them coaches as they mostly coach people rather than “instruct” them) have been trained through one or more of the existing paddlesport coach / instructor training schemes. The main ones are from the ASI (Academy of Surf Instructors, BSUPA (British Stand up Paddleboard Association) and BCU (British Canoeing). All are valid teaching programmes which cover most of the basic skills to coach, rescue and keep people safe on water. Unfortunately as SUP is still a relatively new sport without a National Governing Body (NGB) the training agencies have not yet agreed to accept the validity of or even to recognize each other’s qualifications. We treat all of these training courses as a starting point and more importantly make sure that our new coaches are also trained on the local river environment by working with our most experienced coaches before lead working as coaches. To be a good lead coach on the tidal Thames you need to have an understanding of the effects that river traffic, tide and wind conditions can have on safety. None of this is properly covered in the available courses so we provide training though our Thames Skills and Knowledge courses developed with the support and guidance of the Port of London Authority. We are keen to keep improving the way we present and introduce SUP so we are always on the look out for new ideas and fresh thinking from our SUP trips around the World.

Paul Hyman (Director)

Paul has been involved in paddle-sports for many years, mainly in white-water and surf kayaking. Paul is a Level 3 BCU coach and well-known figure in the paddle sports community in London as a result of setting up 3 canoe clubs. Paul has also worked with schools, clubs and charities across London to build and improve sports facilities for a variety of sports, now specifically Stand Up Paddleboarding. As a director of Active360, Paul is passionate about making Paddleboarding the biggest outdoor water-sport in London and across the UK.

Mohammad Nilforooshan (Director)

Mo is a civil engineer by profession with a passion for SUP. He started canoeing 6 years ago and soon moved onto white-water on the Thames Valley Weirs. Mo took up paddleboarding and SUP racing in 2011 and hasn't looked back! Mo is a strong all-round paddler, a lead instructor at Active 360 London and also coaches at canoe clubs in London.

Louise Nolan

Louise has been part of the driving force of Active360 since we started in 2011. She first got into paddle sports when her youngest son took a school kayaking course, she thought as he was having so much fun that she’d like to learn too and so her paddling obsession began. Guided by brilliant coaches, she became involved in setting up a local voluntary canoe club and five years later she has been appointed chairperson for Hammersmith Blades. Louise tried SUP in 2011 and instantly loved the sport. “I like the fact that anyone can ‘walk on water’; it is the most inclusive water sport I know”. Louise gets her greatest buzz for teaching young people and those who are less able, as she believes absolutely everyone can achieve some level of enjoyment in the sport. Louise has enjoyed paddling in various locations around the world, including India and Greece and you may occasionally spot her wearing fancy dress outfits on the board, or draped in fairy lights when paddling in the dark. Louise is a UKCC Level 1 Coach, and holds the ASI SUP level 2 instructors certificate.

Sophy Aykroyd

Sophy is an ASI qualified SUP/SUPilates and SUPyoga Instructor, with over sixteen years experience in the Fitness Industry. Sophy is also a Pilates Reformer and F.F.Yoga Instructor and has a portfolio of private clients in her personal training business. Sophy was on stage for many years and appeared in the West End, UK and European tours of The Rocky Horror Show, Hair, Buddy Holly and many more!

Sam Hyman

Sam has been paddling on the Thames since he was 5, and has years of experience in numerous disciplines, including flatwater racing, surf, white water and recreational paddling. He currently enjoys SUP racing around the country, and being a master of useless balancing exercises. 

Dan Hyman

Dan is an all round sports coach. He is a BCU level 2 Kayak Instructor who has paddled on the Thames and other rivers abroad for the past 17 years. 

Krista Bibbings

Krista began coaching during the 2015 season. She discovered SUP in 2013 after begging for a gift certificate and was instantly hooked. A lover of the outdoors, sports and coaching. If not found on the Thames may be found swimming in it or running alongside it, enjoys the diversity all Active360 locations provide.

James Roorda

James is a Dutch/Canadian that has been living in the UK since 2012 and has been paddling on the River Thames since.  His 9-5 is taken up by being an Environmental Geologist, but has a passion for sports; particularly on water (frozen or liquid form).  In addition to coaching, James is involved with a SUP club located up river in Twickenham and is making an honest attempt to race in the UK SUP Clubs N1SCO race series.  He is an ASI certified instructor and is hoping to share the excitement of SUP with beginners and experienced paddlers alike!

John Chiu

John is our American friend who recently relocated to London. His love for stand up paddle boarding started in Hawaii whilst on his honeymoon three years ago, and he has been doing it non-stop since. While in the States he ran a small private lessons and tours business. Since moving to London he has become a world traveler and ambassador for Active360 and the sport in general. John coaches for Active360, and is a Levels 1 and 2 certified SUP instructor through the ACA. He is also Thames Skills & Knowledge (TSK) and ITC Outdoors First Aid certified.

Eugene Lim

Eugene lives minutes from the Active360 Paddington base and decided to try SUP on a lark in the middle of winter. Despite the cold Eugene got bitten hard by the SUP bug and is often found paddling the idylic waterways of Regents Canal in spite of or perhaps because of the weather. He is hoping to complete a 100 mile continuous paddle from Oxford to London for the Little Black Puppy Charity.

Richard Vallance

Richard started kayaking on the River Thames at the age of 8 and has fallen in love with the diversity and excitement of the river. From 10 years of river experiences, he knows the Thames well and is therefore a confident and safe river leader.  Two years ago, Richard was introduced to the fairly new sport of paddleboarding and instantly enjoyed it. The fast learning nature of SUP makes the diverse sport enjoyable to coach and to do! Richard has the following coaching certifications: UKCC Level 1 paddle-sport instructor, 3* sea kayak and 3* white-water kayak.

Wanda Bodnar

Wanda is a Hungarian Marine Scientist who took up SUP in 2014, whilst living on the island of Texel in the Netherlands. Her daily work at a London-based environmental NGO brought her closer to the River Thames and helped us to launch our SUP Eco Tours which aims to highlight the natural history and ecology of our beautiful river. Wanda is a qualified Level 1 BSUPA and ASI instructor and has completed both TSK1 & TSK 2 (Thames Skills & Knowledge courses 1 & 2), to expand her knowledge of safe navigation on the Thames.

Think360 Sports Ltd - Trading as Active360

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E: info@active360.co.uk

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