Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Getting the bored on board

I'd be the first to admit that I'm a bit of a wimp when it comes to outdoor pursuits. I don't like anything involving heights, water, long distances, being cold or taking risks. So pretty much all of it really. 

But a company providing safe outdoor activities came to my attention recently and has managed to tempt me away from my desk... well, to think about it at least.

Berkshire-based Crossover Boardriders offers people of all ages the opportunity to skateboard, snowboard, mountainboard, wakeboard, windsurf, skimboard and surf in a fun and safe environment.

Run by a vibrant bunch of Christians, the organisation works hard to engage young people as well as their friends and family, in healthy, positive, activities through which friendships can be fostered.

Crossover Boardriders organises outings to a range of facilities where boardsports can be learnt and enjoyed under proper supervision. And when they’re not getting people up on their boards, they are hosting social nights where the latest boardriding films are shown, food is munched and relationships are strengthened.

Company founder Guy Higgins explains: "When I was a kid I would talk my parents into driving me to the coast so I could surf and skimboard. As soon as my friends passed their driving tests we would be off on adventures to Wales, Devon and the south coast. 

"A couple of years ago I was praying about what I should give my time to. God gave me the name, the logo and the vision. I have rarely heard God so clearly. I raised some money for the artwork and an insurance policy and Crossover Boardriders was born."

And you don't have to have any experience to get involved. "We ride all sorts of boards so there is something for everyone," explains Guy. Wakeboarding, surfing, snowboarding, skateboarding, stand-up paddleboarding, skimboarding. It doesn’t matter if you are an expert or complete beginner, you are welcome. We have run skateboard schools for kids aged five and above; but we have also run stand-up paddleboarding sessions just for adults.

But what do boardsports and Christianity have in common? Isn't it all a bit dangerous? According to Guy it doesn't have to be, and there's nothing wrong with a bit of adventure. 

"I think God likes adventure, He is an adventure! I wanted to give people the chance to experience the thrill of boardsports but in an environment that parents trust. That doesn’t mean in a Christian bubble, it means in a friendly environment with expert tuition and lots of laughs," he says.

"The health benefits are huge, not only for the body but also the soul. You are outside in God’s creation riding with friends and family; it’s exciting and calming at the same time." 

Don't be scared by the pictures; Crossover Boardriders offers activities for all ages and wimp levels, so even landlubbers have no excuse for chickening out. 

It's the perfect way to entertain your kids/friends and get a bit of fresh air, so if you've been surfing the net for a great boarding break, look no further. More details (and some great pics) are available on the company's website.

Read more from Joy in the latest issue of Sorted magazine. 

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