Welcome to The Surrey Hills Adventure Company

The Home of Adventure in Surrey.


The SHAC is an outdoor adventure organisation that does everything it can to get you outside to take some risks, have some fun and enjoy the beauty of the Surrey Hills and all it has to offer.   We also strive to educate people about our local environment and help them learn how best to cohabit with nature whilst enjoying the well documented health and mental benefits.

 Please note that we operate from more than one location so make sure you are coming to the correct location for the activity. Please check your booking confirmation for the location of your activity.

Our water activities take place at The SHACs SUP and Wild Swimming lagoon in Buckland Surrey , please click here for details:

  • New for 2020 our SUP Center at Dapdune Wharf in Guildford, details coming soon.

  • Our Woodland activities are held at Belmont School, Holmbury St Mary- The SHAC lagoon, Buckland Park, Reigate and Birtley House Estate in Bramley Guildford.

  • Mountain Biking Courses are held across the Surrey Hills Including but not limited to Leith Hill and Holmbury Hill in the heart of the Surrey Hills.


Introducing The Surrey Hills Adventure Company. 
Many people believe we are turning into a cotton wool society that are missing out on important experiences that help raise self-esteem, give confidence and increase motivation. The SHAC is here to help redress the balance through adventure.

Current research suggests that not allowing young people to engage in independent mobility and environmental learning, denies them the opportunity to develop the skills and resilience that they need to be able to be safe and manage complex environments effectively. There are also indications that such restrictions have long-term implications for young people’s future development, health and well-being.

The PRIMARY objective of SHAC is to help redress the balance by combining outdoor adventure with education and to re-connect children and adults with the great outdoors. We aim to help increase the understanding of the woodland and the water and its ecology whilst introducing the benefits of taking risks in a safe, well managed and informative environment.

Our courses deliver and inspire passion, motivating young people to become successful learners and to develop as healthy, confident, enterprising and responsible citizens with an understanding and mindfulness towards our environment.

The core values of our courses echo the key concepts of outdoor learning and education:  Challenge, enjoyment, relevance, depth, development of the whole person and an adventurous approach to learning, connecting your curriculum to the wider world. Through practical, hands on learning children gain a deeper understanding of the concepts taught. 

It is often argued that exposing young people to risk is dangerous. We strongly believe that the polar opposite is true. Teaching young people to manage risks and to give them the skills to make good decisions and not to just know facts is extremely important for the development of a young person.
 

Welcome to the Surrey Hills Adventure Company.

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THE BOXING DAY BIG PADDLE & SWIM




Join us, this Thursday, at the Lagoon for some Festive SUP Fun!


Time :  10am - 12pm
Location : Buckland Park Lagoon, Buckland Road, Reigate, Reigate, Surrey. RH3 7BG


You can bring your own SUP, or hire one of ours, plus we have winter wetsuits available too!


What to Wear for Stand Up Paddle Boarding in Winter

Not just a summer sport!



Autumn and winter actually offer something of the best and most beautiful paddling of the year. The cold weather sunsets and sunrises frame some of the most scenic views that can be seen from the water in the Surrey Hills and beyond.

We are often asked about what to wear for winter SUP paddling so we thought it might be useful to write down some of our advice, based on our own paddle boarding experience.

Firstly it depends on where and what discipline of paddling you are planning to enjoy through the winter and for what purpose. We will start with leisure and fitness paddling on flat water, lagoons, lakes and inland waterways.


Leisure/Fitness SUP


Dependent on your paddling experience and your confidence in yourself regarding not falling in you can approach winter paddling in similar way to your winter trail running or MTB rides. If you are at a stage where you are confident that it is unlikely you will fall our advise is to dress as if you were going for a winter run or ride and for the weather conditions appropriate to the day.

  1. Keep the extremities warm ie hats, gloves and a good 5mm pair of wetsuit boots will keep you comfortable and warm during your session. 

  2. We would also recommend wetsuit leggings and a top rather than a full wetsuit as this can be more comfortable for paddling in. If you do end up in the drink you will be out the water and back on your board pretty damn quickly! The neoprene base layer will soon warm up as you continue paddling and you will be back on track. 

  3. Alternatively there are drysuit options available to you which can also come in two pieces.



Please note that winter wetsuits are always available to hire from SHAC at the lagoon in Buckland when you choose a Intro or Progression to SUP as well as for SUP Freerides.

As with all outdoor winter activities the best way to manage body temperature is by wearing layers that can be removed or added as required. Your base layer is the key element and best to be neoprene.

It is also essential to have a spare set of warm clothes ready to change into once you are off the water.

Our top tip is to always remember that cold water shock is a very real thing! As always the key is to either get out quickly and back on your board and paddling or take a moment to let the body adjust and focus on your breathing before trying to swim. Leashes are essential in all paddling disciplines and weather conditions, even more so than a personal flotation device, this keeps you connected to the board and prevents a long swim home, the board can be your flotation device and you can get out the water on to it, however without a leash your board can be quickly taken away by wind or swell which means you are stuck in the water with a long swim home - always wear a leash and select the right one for the discipline you plan to enjoy! Leash selection blog coming soon.





Winter SUP Racing


If you are now at the stage that you have or want to try racing paddle boards there are plenty of winter race series that happen across the country and further afield. The best advice we can give is to be bold and start cold! Don’t wear to much because as the race progresses you will become much warmer like going for a winter run, in a race environment you don’t want to be having to remove layers and strap them to your board or put them in a back pack and lose time.

We advise SUP racers to wear a good neoprene-based base layer, warm wetsuit boots, hat, paddling gloves and possibly a wind proof jacket for windy conditions.

#TEAMSHAC


Surfing and Downwinding


Both these disciplines are ocean based activities and will require a full surfing style wetsuit 3-5mm in thickness depending on the suit. With surfing it is inevitable that you will be in the water so keeping warm is key, neoprene boots, gloves and hood or beanie are the best way to enjoy a decent surf session.



Similarly with downwinding it can be quite likely you will end up in the water at some point, less so than surfing but the chances are still pretty high especially if you have limited experience so things remain as above but you may consider a two piece option for your neoprene base layer and a decent wind proof jacket over the top.

As always a leash is the most important piece of safety equipment as with all disciplines, you should also consider a personal flotation device, dependent on your experience and the tides and conditions. Please also take care to select the right leash for the discipline you are enjoying, for example a quick release leash for rivers. article to follow on leash selection in due course.

We have now entered the colder months of the year but stand up paddle boarding at the SHAC doesn’t stop for the cold. Freeride sessions are available on Sundays from 10am - 1pm and our new progression session on a Sunday morning from 10.15 - 11.15 as well as Winter Introduction to SUP sessions 11.30 - 12.30.



Find out more about the Surrey Hills Adventure Company and winter SUP programme or get in touch to book a winter SUP experience.

Christmas Holiday Adventures with The SHAC


The SHACs Winter Woodland Adventure Days
Christmas Holiday Dates Now Available
Please click on the links for your preferred location below.

"The Surrey Hills Adventure Company Holiday Adventures are located @ Belmont Preparatory School, Holmbury St Mary and New for 2019 our New Sites Wigwam Woods at Birtley House Estate Bramley and Viking Camp at Buckland Park Lake Reigate.


The SHAC at Belmont School - Holmbury St Mary - Nr Dorking Click Here - Mon 16th and Wed 18th Dec

SUP NIGHT RIDER SESSIONS - THURSDAYS 6-8PM


THE SHAC's SUP NIGHT RIDER SESSIONS ARE BACK OUT ON THE MAIN LAKE EVERY THURSDAY 6-8PM STARTING TONIGHT - 31ST OCTOBER.

PADDLING IN THE DARK IS A UNIQUE AND WONDERFUL EXPERIENCE, THE ADDED ELEMENT OF DARKNESS NOT ONLY BRINGS PEACE AND TRANQUILITY BUT ALSO HEIGHTENS THE SENSES AND INCREASES MINDFUL ACTIVITY. GET AWAY FROM IT ALL FOR AN HOUR OR TWO AND RECHARGE YOUR TRANQUILITY BANKS UNDER THE STARS.


PLEASE NOTE THAT YOU MUST HAVE COMPLETED AND INTRODUCTION SESSION WITH THE SHAC BEFORE ATTENDING A NIGHT RIDER SESSION. WETSUITS ARE RECOMMENDED - WINTER WETSUITS ARE AVAILABLE TO HIRE BUT PLEASE LET US KNOW IF YOU NEED ONE. WET SUIT BOOTS ARE RECOMMENDED AND ARE ALSO AVAILABLE TO HIRE IF REQUIRED.