At Finla, we think it’s important to promote conscientious, eco-friendly paddleboarding. As lovers of the great outdoors, we understand our responsibility to take care of nature as we interact with it.
As you glide over the water with hardly a ripple on the surface, not a sound and no fumes, it’s hard to believe that we might be having a negative environmental impact. But don’t be deterred. With just a little extra care and awareness, we can paddle with a clear conscience.
WHAT ARE WE DOING WRONG?
In the UK, invasive species of plants and animals have found their way into our waterways, and can cause significant damage to our native wildlife, ecosystems and health. In short, our equipment can exacerbate the problem, as we unknowingly transfer spores from one body of water to the next.
This may sound like a fairly abstract problem, but consider the grey squirrel. Accidentally introduced to our fair Isle, they have now bullied our native red squirrels out of the picture. Japanese Knotweed is another, so strong it suppresses all other plant life and can push through tarmac. Invasive species can clog our waterways, upset delicate ecosystems and carry disease. It’s important for us to know our place in the scheme of this problem, and do everything we can to prevent it.
WHAT CAN WE DO?
It’s very simple. Use your paddleboard, enjoy it, delight in it, but just make sure to add a proper post-boarding clean to your routine. To be thorough, follow these three simple rules:
Firstly, check your board, paddle and clothing after leaving the water for any mud, creatures or plant material. Your board is likely to have creases, nooks and crannies, so be sure to check in all of the hard-to-reach places. If you find anything, leave it at the site. You may have been come-day-go-day about going home with fronds sticking out of your hair before, but now you know better.
Secondly, use a clean source of water to wash all of your equipment thoroughly. Many sites now have dedicated ‘Check, Clean, Dry’ facilities, providing you with a jet washer to really get into the cracks. If you know that your location is more rural, plan ahead! Take a water container and sluice yourself off that way. Another method is to submerge smaller items of your kit in hot water (45°c) for 15 minutes.
Finally, the clue is in the title! Some invasive species have been known to live for days in moist conditions, so get all of your equipment dry! The most effective method is to leave all and any of your kit in the sunshine, but we do appreciate that this is Great Britain. Whatever gets the job done!
We hope we have raised a little awareness about the importance of the ‘Check, Clean, Dry’ initiative. A little bit of effort from all of us could keep our waterways flowing, our wildlife protected and our consciences clear.
N.B Some invasive creatures cause more of a stir than others! Our very own Tenby Lifeboat Station has had a foreign visitor lately, affectionately known as Wally the Walrus! Read more here.