The original Paddle Round The Pier was founded by Dave “Sandals” Samuel back in 1996 and quickly gained international recognition as one of the hippest fund-raising events there is. Its original concept was to bring all the surfers in the area together for a social gathering and to raise funds for charity. Beneficiaries in the past have been the RNLI (10 years), Surfers Against Sewage (5 years) The Rockinghorse Appeal (5 years),SurfAid International (5 years),Chestnut Tree House Childrens’ Hospice (1 year) Whoopsadaisy (1 year), Surf Relief UK (1 year), Teenage Cancer Trust (1 year).
The Paddle was then dropped for a number of years as the main organiser Dave moved abroad to work. It was briefly taken on under licence by environmental pressure group Surfers Against Sewage for two years but on a much smaller scale – with no marquee or prizes. In 2006 Dave and his team took back the reins to produce a record breaking event, and with each year increasing in popularity, the weekend of fun is very definitely circled on the calendar of anyone in the know!
Each shop/manufacturer who is sponsoring the event will be supplying prizes for the raffle. Every watersports- related shop in the region is invited to get involved and donate – remember if your local shop is not on the list of sponsors – you need to ask them why?
Check out the pictures of the previous paddles and see how the event has developed and how ridiculous we all looked in neon neoprene!
The original event was publicised by Dave skateboarding up and down the seafront in a sandwich board using a loud hailer!
Only three prizes were given out at the first Paddle as opposed to the £12k+ worth now!
Entrants have come from as far afield as Belgium, France, Brazil and Hawaii!
Only one dog has completed 4 Paddles – infamous “Flip Flop” sat on the front of a longboard for two years, a kayak for one year and swam round another year!
Tyler Samuel- at just 5 years old was the youngest participant to have paddled a surfboard (un-aided) round the pier.
The Paddle has raised over £150,000.00 for charity over the past few years