About Bonkers Activities
About Bonkers Activities
BONKERS is the perfect PADDLEBOARD CENTRE
Bonkers HQ, Pershore, Worcestershire, WR10 1QU
FREE PARKING - WARM CHANGING ROOMS - HOT SHOWERS -
PURPOSE BUILT WATERSPORTS STORE - CLASS ROOM -
PRIVATE RIVER FRONTAGE - SUPERB LAUNCH PONTOON -
AMAZING RIVER LOCATION SO MUCH TO SEE AND DO -
LOADS OF THE BEST PADDLEBOARDS AND ALL THE GEAR
Facilities as good as any large UK centre, BUT the difference is Bonkers is still 'real' and 'friendly'. Kim will take your booking, and it will be Alex and/or Kim (or Kai for young people) that will be there on the day and run your session.
Bonkers have only the best equipment, so you have the best experience. Perfect beginner kit to make your first steps the best they can be. A fleet of touring boards for hire and river trips. Waist belts for leashes when appropriate, the best buoyancy aids for all ages and sizes, a range of wetsuits, waterproof jackets and trousers and everything you could need.
The launch area - with purpose built low level pontoon, is perfect. Bonkers chose this site many years ago for lots of reasons. The purpose built centre also has its own back field (where you can park close to the river). It is very sheltered from the wind, which is so important for paddleboarding. It is the most beautiful section of the river with loads to see and has the most amazing wildlife, like herons, cormorants, kingfishers and so much more to give you the the best possible all round recreational experience.
IMPORTANT Bonkers is not open to the public
you cant just turn up
(This is better for Covid safety, better for safeguarding young people (we are based at the youth centre), we are only on site when we have bookings, and when you are booked it means you get the best possible experience)
other days - ADVANCE BOOKINGS ONLY
British Canoeing have set up delivery partner scheme. Bonkers are proud to be one of the first in the UK become a partner, an early adopter, to help use, promote and shape this scheme.
Having this logo and being part of the scheme, helps ensure that standards of qualifications, professionalism, overall ethics all the required insurance and operating systems are all in place.
Bonkers Activities are also proud to be members of the WSA Water Skills Academy. As an Accredited Provider, Bonkers Paddleboard HQ has been audited and approved. Together we share values on safety, equipment standards and continuous progression and improvement. Professional Activity provision - all so you, the participant, have the best possible experience.....
About Your Booking
HOW TO BOOK
Covid R/A's system details (subject to change):
ONLY advance bookings are operating
You will have your own arrival time
Do NOT arrive more than 10 minutes before your session time
AND - please aim to leave the site promptly after your session
You can park for free in our front car park and walk around the side gate, or if it is dry you can drive around the back
Strictly NO Spectators (unless agreed by prior arrangement)
NO DOGS (except on our organised Doggy SUP days)
Following covid guidelines, and as it has become best practise to limit the amount of people in the changing area for many reasons, access to toilets and changing rooms may only be allowed to be used in a pre-organised system.
More details will be included in your booking confirmation email
WHAT TO BRING / WEAR
For 1 or 2 hour sessions
Please bring footwear to get wet (old trainers are fine, beach shoes or wetsuit boots), light weight clothes (quick drying sports gear is best) and a second layer like a quick drying fleece or jacket. For afterwards you will need a change of clothes and a towel.
Bonkers have a large range of full wetsuits and full waterproofs if appropriate, but please bring the above gear for most sessions, but then we can choose what is best for the day, as it will depend on the weather etc.
Buoyancy Aids and the equipment itself are provided
Wearing a wetsuit on your first ever tuition session can be a good idea so you are not worried about maybe falling in, and often makes you relax and 'go for it' a bit more. But, because of our very sheltered flat water setting, close to the centre, some people choose not to wear a wetsuit, depends on the weather and the activity, often people are more comfortable in their sports clothes. We will discuss the options and decide on the day. If you have your own wetsuit, wetsuit boots etc defiantly bring them.
Wetsuits are NOT included for hire sessions, and generally not needed for hire sessions.
(Please note - 'what to wear when paddleboarding in various locations' is whole different discussion topic that we will cover on your lesson)
For Longer sessions / Trips / Summer Activity Days
as above + Packed lunch and drinks + sunblock
Ready to Take your booking !!
We love our job - not just the coaching part, but everything about it - In fact here's a shot of Kim and Jo 'working hard' in 'the 'office'
How to Find us
All sessions are BOOKED IN ADVANCE - so please don't just turn up as the centre will not be open
PERSHORE WR10 1QU
The majority of our sessions take place at our purpose built centre - the Pershore Riverside Centre (PRC)
Drive into Pershore and take the turning off the high street signed for the 'Leisure Centre'
if you miss that turning, we are behind the ASDA store in the centre of town
Drive along King George's Way
Past the leisure Centre (20 metres) and PRC is at the end of that road
Bonkers are around the back of the building
There is a side gate in the far corner of the small car park that will be open
Drive around the back and park on the field right next to other vehicles
(if the grass is really wet, its better to park in the front car park and walk around the back to find us)
EVESHAM and other venues
If your booking is at one of our other sites we will send you all the information in your joining instructions.
Bonkers Activities is a genuine Family business. Alex and Kim have been together longer than they care to admit (since some time in the early 1990's ?) and running watersports businesses together ever since. Kai and Zak have grown up on the water with them and now Kai runs the junior activity sessions.
All this passion, combined with a lifetime of experience, translates into the best possible sessions for Bonkers clients.
Kim Bonk - Owner - Bonkers Activities
Kim is a British Canoeing LEVEL 3 Paddleboarding Coach
Kim is a dynamo that lightens up any room just by walking in - you'll never forget her laugh. Kim joined Alex as co-owner of Aztec Watersports (and life partner) in 1996 and together they taught watersports at Aztec in the summer and travelled the world for 3 months every winter, surfing and windsurfing in places like Barbados and Australia. Kim became a windsurfing instructor in 1996 and went on to become an accomplished level 3 instructor in 1998. Kim pioneered the method of getting around her windurfing students in light wind by standing on a large windsurf board and paddling around using a long paddle adapted from a kayak paddle with a handle on top....
In the 2000's Kim was the Owner/Manager the successful windsurf and kitesurf business SURFCYPRUS, Kim coordinating bookings, meeting clients arriving from the UK, liaising with local hotels and accommodation, and of course spending time on the water and coaching. All Kim’s watersports centres have had small shops attached, so she can help her clients get the right bit of kit, but this was taken to a whole new level when returning from Cyprus to the UK led to opening up the inland chain of Surf Shops called SURFANTIX. Retail evolved and so did Kim’s business into the Bonk Brand and the BONK Skate Shop. As well as a cool shop for local young people to get their scooters and skate gear, Kim also ran afterschool skate clubs, summer activity days at the skate park (combining these with watersports activities), and ran a set of mobile skate ramps to local schools.
Kim has also organised many large events, including launching the Pershore River Festival in 2016 and 2017. Her biggest and best event has been the Port Street International Fayre (2014-2018), Evesham’s biggest annual event, bringing all the community together with food, music, activities on the river.
Kim now concentrates 100% on Bonkers Activities. It will be Kim that emails, or Kim that you speak to arrange your booking. Kim has converted her decades of coaching experience across to paddleboarding and you can guarantee a fun session if Kim is involved.
Kim has recently designed a whole package of paddleboarding sessions for ladies. Relaxed refresher/improver sessions with the emphasis on having a laugh and learning at the same time.
Alex Mellor - founder and Head Coach
Alex is a true watersports industry professional. This is not a 'hobby business' or 'just weekends' but Alex's full time vocation. For the last 12 years Stand Up Paddleboarding has been Alex's everyday sport and his job - and he has spent nearly every day for those 12 years refining his stand up paddle techniques and how to teach these to others. (there's actually not many people in the industry that can say the same... most are part time, have other 'day jobs' or mainly teach other disciplines) As well as being a British Canoe Level 3 Paddleboard Coach Alex works as a Tutor, mentoring and training Instructors.
He learnt his watersports skills at a young age, living in Cornwall, kayaking solo around the coast, working in a boat building factory, delivering yachts and racing Hobie Cats. Fitting study around watersports to gain BA (hons) Recreation Management and Post Grad Cert Ed in Outdoor Education, Alex spent his student summers as professional Crew on a 75’ ocean racing Catamaran competing in events like the prestigious ‘Course de l’Europe’, as well as paddling trips to Scotland and the French Alps and races like the Ronde om Texel. Alex’s training continued through the early 1990’s gaining instructor tickets (and therefore 25years+ experience) in sailing (Senior Instructor), Windsurfing (Advanced Instructor L5), Powerboating Instructor, British Canoe L2 Kayak Coach, as well as RYA/CTp Coastal Skipper and Yachtmaster cert, kitesurfing L2 Instructor, first aid, Swift Water Rescue, Archery Instructor and more.
Windsurfing was huge in the 1990’s and Alex was at the forefront of the industry. In 1993, Alex set up his own centre, from scratch, on a previously un-used lake, Aztec Watersports. At the same time he became an RYA trainer (training the instructors and tutoring the coaches) which led to winter work travelling around the world to train windsurfing instructors, including 5 winter seasons in Barbados, 1 in Australia and several in the Canaries as well as training instructors at places like Vassiliki. In 2002 Alex and Kim set up SurfCyprus, their windurfing and kitesurfing school in Cyprus, where they lived for 3 years, playing in the sun with their 2 kids Zak and Kai, returning to the UK (due to schooling for the kids) to set up their chain of 5 surf shops shops ‘Surfantix’.
Teaching paddleboarding (and coaching watersports) is what Alex does. Core to Alex's teaching philosophy is constant improvement. Analysing each session, what went well for the clients and how to tweak things to improve people’s experiences and make it better, (that’s what he calls it, we think it might be that he is making it up as he goes along!) – but the results are amazing. Alex has modified the teaching methods to guarantee everyone gets the best results every time. Alex’s coaching goes way beyond just standing up. He has developed some unique and special techniques (ask him about ‘Sup Floss’ or 'robot arms') and he can coach you to efficient high level paddle strokes, advanced rescue techniques and loads more to enhance your paddleboarding experience. His background in outdoor education means he has always understood the benefits to wellbeing from outdoor activities and makes sure this is at the core of every session. Alex has spent the last winter getting to grips with White Water SUP Coaching, all of which will translate back into better sessions on flat water.
He also seems to think he is ‘semi-retired’, he doesn’t carry his phone (unless it’s in his buoyancy aid as part of his rescue kit), and he doesn’t really understand social media (for any of that he suggests you contact Kim)
Kai (Bosh) Mellor - Paddleboard Coach (level 3)
The picture (above far left) shows Kai over 10 years ago paddling around on one of Bonkers first plastic boards in Pershore c2010. Kai has now 'grown up' and has a fully qualified British Canoeing paddlesport Instructor for over 2 years, with his BC rescue training, First Aid Certificate and is on a progressive coach training development programme, and has recently become one of the youngest to ever qualify as the higher level British Canoe Level 3 Paddleboard Coach.
Kai is a natural athlete and a natural coach. If you look on our facebook videos you will see some of kais tricks - check out the back flip !!
Kai runs many of our kids activity sessions, in his unique fun, safe and professional way.
Kai is so friendly and fun and he balances this with skills that put us all to shame and a charming style that guarantees to get you up and paddling quickly, safely and professionally.
Zak Mellor - tech support
To complete the Bonkers Family, we shouldn’t leave out ZAK. Zak has his qualifications in paddleboarding and archery, and helps out on our big event days, but he prefers computers and the indoor life. He will shortly be working on the 2022 'Bonk' merchandising. This is a pic from the last time we got Zak on a paddleboard ;0)
Jo and Lynne - Level 3 Coaches
Lynne and Jo are paddleboarding experts (they may not admit it, but they are). Between them they have paddled hundreds of miles of rivers and canals, and at bonkers they have worked on hundreds of hours of sessions and helped introduce thousands of people to paddleboarding. This level of commitment has led them to the great achievement of becoming qualified as British Canoe Level 3 Paddleboard Coaches. Bonkers could not operate without the support from Lynne and Jo. On your paddleboard session, they could well be there, exactly where and when you need them, to make it all possible.
Tom Welland - Level 3 Coach and Instructor
Tom has been with us at Bonkers since the beginning. Tom did his BC SUP module many years ago and became a British Canoe Paddlesport instructor 2 years ago. He now co-ordinates and runs the junior training programmes with Kai, and together they run the best possible sessions. Tom has done his first aid course, FRST, Core Coach Course and has recently qualified and British Canoe Level 3 SUP Sheltered Water Coach Course.
Bonkers Elite SUP Club - Leaders and instructors
Every day we paddle at Bonkers, the staff, club members and students, always learn and progress in our friendly, fun, safe and professional environment. Personal development is an important part of what we do. We regularly have training sessions on everything from paddle techniques to rescues and first aid courses. Taking this to the next level, over 10 of our club members are now fully qualified British Canoe Paddlesport Instructors with many more qualified to help. This leads to a wonderful friendly progressive learning environment and means there is always plenty of qualified people around to help on sessions. Huge thank you to all our lovely Bonkers Crew who are always helping and making it all possible.
About H & S
Bonkers want you to relax and enjoy your sessions knowing that all the safety, insurance and quality controls are all in place.
Insurance - Bonkers are fully insured for the public liability for all the activities they participate in.
DBS - all Bonkers instructors have up to date DBS checks in place
Safeguarding - with the history of working with youth organisations, all the necessary safeguarding procedures and policies are in place. In fact, with our links to local authority support networks, we operate above and beyond any other activity orientated organisation
Qualifications and instructor training. As well as relevant NGB qualifications all staff have ongoing training and hold First aid Certificates
Bonkers have all the required detailed operating procedures in place and Risk Assessments.
RIVER LICENCE (commercial). To operate on any piece of inland water you need permission from the people who manage/own that water. For us this means a commercial licence from the Avon Navigation Trust, as well as individual licences for all our boards. Bonkers have been through the registration process with ANT and hold all the necessary commercial licences and permissions.
National Governing Body - British Canoeing - Official Delivery Partner. Bonkers are an 'early adopter' of this brand new 2021 scheme, helping to support and shape the future of the sport - ensuring standards of instruction, qualifications and operating systems.
Pershore White Water Project
Working on this one for the future....... liaising with the EA to get through their planning permission stage
This is truly exciting - a real selling point for the area - a great facility for us all to play with
This will be great for paddlers, great for young people, great for all the partner organisations, great for the area.... We are working with Avon Navigation Trust to make this a reality.