The Story Behind The Original Santa SUP Parade

In 2007, Jay SUP Manning put together the very first Santa SUP parade in the south of England. Nine years on and the Christmas get-together has become an iconic event and SUP Santas have spread all over the world. Jay tells TotalSUP how it all started!

sup santas with totalsup


In 2007, there were only four of us. We thought it would be cool to get a bit festive and with SUP¬†being such new sport, what a great way to promote it and to throw some jingle festivities in. With social media on its early days it was a super great idea … and it worked plenty! The social media response was huge and ever since I have pushed it harder every christmas.


santa sup 2016

The build up around the Chrismas parades have worked so well, now tens 0f paddlers want to join and the Santa SUP tour gets merrier. In the last 3 years I have been using Canterbury, England as the event location with iconic waterways and many historic buildings and landmarks in the back drop.

This year, it has gone beyond what I was expecting in numbers, with more than 50 riders joining from all over the country as well as local paddlers. Also, being in the middle of a big city means plenty of audience to work with, which means even more fun!

sup santas

I believe my Santa SUP has given other clubs around the UK some grounds to promote SUP while giving out a Christmas vibe to it. I also think next year we will need to move to a bigger location. I will be working on it and would like to get a charity involved too.

To follow Jay on Instagram, go to @jsup_uk_fanatic_sup

About the Author

Mathieu Astier

Mathieu is the hyper-active founder of TotalSUP and a multilingual online marketing veteran with more than 20 years of experience working for top international internet companies. His love-at-first-sight for Stand Up Paddling in 2013 led him to build one of the leading online media dedicated to SUP in English and French and to turn his family lifestyle towards the ocean.

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