Check out our Instructor team

Brian Johncey:

Brian has been involved in the watersports industry since the 70s as both a qualified instructor and retailer.  Over 40 years of knowledge, passion and experience show in the sessions he deliver at the SUP School.

SUP is such a social sport that helps brings people together whilst getting fit.

As a qualified canoe, sub aqua and windsurfing instructor, Brian was quick to recognise SUP and became the first in Europe to successfully fully complete the Academy of Surfing Instructors course to ASI levels 1 & 2. He also received the RYA Power Boat levels 1 & 2 and high speed planing and control certification, Activity First Aider and National Rescue Award from the Royal National Life Saving Society as well as the enhanced CRB certificate.

Piotr Kadziela

For over a decade, Piotr honed his skills as a paddler, starting off with kayaks, until he found his love for stand up paddleboarding taking over.      Thousands of miles travelled both on and off the water, his adventures have seen him paddle on oceans, rivers, canals, lochs and harbours in four continents.

I’m so lucky to have met so many wonderful people paddling over the years.

As a qualified instructor, Piotr has gained huge experience whilst attaining:  Saving Federation and RLSS IQL Level 2 Lifeguard, First Aid, Diver with the ACUC and for good measure a few awards from the RYA, BSUPA, the list goes on.

Matthew Webb:

Matts first experience of stand up paddle boarding was on a lesson with Blue Chip back in 2011.  That one lesson was the catalyst that has seen him paddle in Spain, Greece, Switzerland and throughout the UK.

His passion for touring is infectious and that shows in the Wednesday evening Blue Chip outings that he runs. In his own words:

“You get to see and hear so much more from the water that you’d never experience otherwise. “

As well as entering his first races as well as the UK Club Championships in 2014, Matthew kept himself super busy with his newly gained ASI Instructor qualification.   Running the Blue Chip Saturday morning teaching sessions, he offers an enjoyable lesson that gives the students a great insight into the sport and its many qualities.

To top it all off, Matthew decided to qualify as a British Canoeing SUP Instructor in 2017, furthering his own personal development and skills.

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Sarah Thornley

Sarah is well known throughout the UK SUP scene as she is busy running SUPJunkie as well as being a qualified ASI coach for Blue Chip.

SUP has brought a whole new dimension to my world – the wonderful people I have met through it have been a joy

Paddling since 2012, she has been on an amazing journey, becoming an ASI Instructor Course in 2014 and then more recently obtaining the British Canoeing SUP Instructor course in 2017.

Her passion for racing and the sport in general is evident having raced for 5 years in the UK and also internationally at the infamous SUP Nautic Race in Paris.

Blue Chip is where her journey started and is still “family” and whilst she continues to be heavily involved in the GBSUP National Series races flat water and technical events, teaching for Blue Chip means she is constantly inspiring others to take up the great sport of Stand Up Paddleboarding.

Paul Ellis:

Loving it in sunny South Africa was where Paul had his first go on a stand up paddleboard.   Way back in 2010 he found this new, emerging sport and was instantly hooked.  Since then he’s paddled all over, including Spain, Italy, the Maldives, Japan, Israel and finally the Netherlands where he has twice competed in the famous 11 Cities Race.

He decided to work towards the ASI Instructor exam back in 2012 and since then has been a regular with Blue Chip teachng the Saturday morning sessions as well as 1-2-1 sessions for anyone looking to further their skills.

Pauls real love is his Starboard Big Easy … a board well suited to teaching, touring and all round paddling enjoyment on the river.

Richard Dudley

Richard learnt to windsurf in 1983 and has travelled the world to find wind and waves. In 2007, while out in the Hebrides, he borrowed a Starboard SUP from John Hibbard (before he founded Red Paddle Co.). The heavy board, big waves, paddle which kept coming apart and baptism of fire on a SUP, meant he wasn’t entirely sold on the sport.

Not sure if it helps but I also have a PhD in Physics so might be able to equate why you’re going so fast down river.

A few years later and with Brian’s constant ‘come and try these inflatable SUPs on the river, in the pool etc….’ Richard bought a Red Paddle 10’8 (with windsurf attachment just in case) and joined the Blue Chip SUPer Club weekly paddles. The penny finally dropped and now he does more SUPing than windsurfing, enjoying the sports diversity from touring, to white water, surf & windsurf SUPing with the challenge of foil SUPing yet to be tried.

Richard qualified as a British Canoeing SUP Instructor in 2018 to spread the SUPing love, holds an RYA Powerboat Level 2 qualification.

Terry Paton

Terry first paddled with Bluechip in 2010 and has since paddled and competed in St John’s Rush in Jacksonville Florida, he has also paddled in California, Zanzibar, Spain, France, Holland to name just a few locations.

I absolutely love a challenge and am very conscious about the environment we paddle in so it’s a real privelege to guide other into this new experience.

Terry completed an ASI water rescue course in 2013 after finding a little more time on his hands qualified as a British Canoeing SUP Instructor in 2017 he supports and teaches at our Saturday morning SUP courses.

Terry has been first aid qualified for most of his life and also has an enhanced CRB certificate.