our paddleboard instructors
The Active360 team specialises in teaching and coaching stand up paddleboarding in an effective, safe and fun way. Many of the team have extensive experience of coaching and river guiding in various paddlesport disciplines.
Our team members 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 (Founder & Director)
Paul is a lifelong environmentalist and has been invloved in watersports and outdoor adventure activities since the age of 18. For many years he was a keen scuba diver, kayaker and underwater hockey player. Paul is a long standing BCU Level 3 coach. Between 1999 and 2009 he set up three London Canoe Clubs all of which are still active and continue to grow.
Paul set up Active360 in 2011 to establish SUP in London and bring together his love for water sports and passion for protection of marine environments. Through paddleboarding, Paul has instroduced many people first hand to the threats facing marine environments and encouraged many to become engaged in protecting rivers and oceans. Paul promotes environmental engagement in everything he does.
Paul has paddled in India, Greenland, Iceland, Myanmar, Scotland, Thailand, Slovenia and Sardinia but always loves to return home to the Thames where he feels most at home and on which he has spent much of his life.
In 2017 Paul set up Plastice Ocean Festival and in 2018 he became a co-founder of In The Drink - a scheme to replace single use plastic cups (a major and growing source of plastic pollution) in Thames waterside bars with re-usable alternatives.
Dan Hyman (Operations Director, Kew Bridge Site Manager)
Daniel started kayaking at the age of 10. He has background in whitewater kayaking with extensive experience in UK and Alpine rivers. He became a Level 2 BCU Canoe coach aged 18, is a multisport coach and has actively coached for three kayaking clubs, outdoor centres and has worked for London Sports Trust since 2016. He has been introducing people to SUP since 2015. Dan is also a keen footballer and enjoys working with young people. He has probably got most hours of Thames' guiding and coaching experience than any other Active360 coach. Dan is best known for his ability to stay calm in any situation and not being thrown by any unforseen circumstances.
Mo Nilforooshan (Director)
Mo has been with Active360 almost since the start. He has years of coaching experience on the Thames as a Kayak/canoe coach as well as occasional SUP racer. Mo was part of Active360's 2013 Greenland expedition and worked on projects in India. Patient and gentle, Mo can make the most nervous beginner settle and calm so they can enjoy their SUP experience.
Louise Nolan (Brentford Site Manager)
Louise has been a keen Thames kayaker since 2009 and was one of the first Active360 coaches. She is a BCU and ASI coach who has extensive international paddling experience and is particularly keen on paddling in India. Louise gets her greatest pleasure from introducing people of all ages and abilities to SUP. Apart from being a racer and endurance paddler, she enjoys taking SUP to a fun level and you may occasionally spot her wearing a fancy dress outfit on the river or paddling draped in fairy lights at night.
Rebeca (Paddington Site Manager)
Rebeca has been paddling and coaching for us since 2013. She is a full time mum to 2 boys, a swimming instructor, ASI qualified SUP instructor and rescue test award. She has learned how to SUP back in her home country of Brazil, and loves all sorts of water activities. She is involved in the fight against plastic pollution and is a thames21 ambassador checking water quality on the Thames.
Richard Vallance (Head Coach)
Richard has been a keen kayaker on the tidal Thames since aged 8. Not many things on the Tideway are not known to Richard. He is an accomplished sea and whitewater kayer, a BCU coach and loves excitement and challenge. Richard is an experienced, confident and safe river leader as well as an endurance athlete who has completed the Devizes to Westminster a couple of times.
Sophy Aykroyd - Pilates & Yoga instructor
Sarah Robinson - strong endurance paddler
Furio Vitali - keen racer, 11 Cities Tour
Peter Hughes - keen kayaker & canoeist
John Chiu - swapped Eastern Seaboard of USA for London Thames
Wanda Bodnar - Marine Biologist
Nigel Muir - Richmond site Co-Manager
Mark Horne - Richmond site Co-Manager
Michelle Ellison - expeditioner & endurance paddler
Melanie Jo - expeditioner
Sam Hyman - kayak & SUP racer
Krista Bibbings - SUP & swimming instructor
Xena - dance choreographer on SUP