The Long Paddle 2021, also known as TLP 2021, is the name given to the extraordinary campaign driven by devoted waterman Brendon Prince and his mission to raise awareness of unnecessary drownings in the UK.
Hoping to crowdfund the development of the world’s first gamified water safety app, the former lifeguard, teacher and avid water safety spokesman set off in April 2021, determined to circumnavigate mainland Britain on a stand up paddle board. He would return 141 days later, setting several world records in the process and becoming the first man in history to complete the 4000-mile journey, trusted SUP at his side.
Brendon grew up on a farm in South Wales, with the sea (Severn Estuary) less than a mile from his front door. Unfortunately, the Severn is a rather muddy and uninviting so Brendon spent all his junior years in the river that boarders his family home. Building home made rafts, swimming and generally messing about in the water was a daily adventure.
Taking a PE & Outdoor Education degree at Exeter University (Marjons) gave easy access to the sea and perpetuated Brendon’s love of water. Brendon was Head of Outdoor Education at a SW boys’ grammar school for almost 25 years, teaching all water sports and inspiring water safety awareness in thousands of young men.
Adventures have been a big part of Brendon’s endeavours, from testing survival clothing in the freezing waters of Iceland and ice climbing in the Himalayas, Alps and the Canadian Rockies to Kayaking the massive waters of the Indus. He is no stranger to the hardships of physical endurance, having raised money through swimming, running, kayaking, SUPing and MTB during many unique events and activities.
As an off duty beach lifeguard, Brendon’s life was changed forever when he tried to rescue but lost three souls to drowning on the North Cornish coast. From that moment, Brendon has engineered his life to provide water safety education for the children of Great Britain. He is the chairman of a Surf Life Saving Club in Devon and formed the charity Above Water. In 2019, he gave up 25 years of teaching to fully devote his time to training teachers and pupils in water safety.
Brendon has been SUP boarding since 2008, his main activities being SUP surfing and racing. Over the years, Brendon has been pushing the distances on his board and regularly paddles 100km per day on the south coast of Devon and beyond. In 2020, Brendon and his friend Noah paddled the 280km from Sennen (Lands End) to Torquay on Rescue SUPs (big, very slow boards) in just over three days. They raised £5000 for charity.
Brendon has always thought circumnavigating mainland Britain would be the ultimate test of a waterman; pushing the known boundaries of physical and mental endeavour but also the ultimate test of weather and water flow knowledge.
Brendon has visited hundreds of schools and communities, teaching over 100,000 children how to stay safe in the water and drowning prevention.
Be part of The Long Paddle community, only together can great adventures be achieved!