About Bonkers Activities

ABOUT

About Bonkers Activities

Alex and Kim will be known to many of you as they have set up, owned, and run several local and international outdoor activity centres. - starting with setting up Aztec Watersports in 1993. 

Based in the Vale of Evesham their passion is to provide memorable, life enhancing outdoor experiences.

 

Bonkers specialise in making it feel easy, safe and professional, whilst making sure you are learning and having fun. 

Working with partners. Bonkers are proud to help support the local youth charity -  Pershore Youth Centre Charity so they can continue their youth support and youth work programmes for the community. Bonkers also work with Avon Navigation Trust on the delivery of their activity programmes.  

 

BONKERS have a FULL ON CENTRE

FREE PARKING      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 that will be there on the day and run your session. 

Stand Up Paddleboarding experts

We have always paddled around on boards and as soon as paddleboarding became a thing, over 10 years ago, Alex bought his first SUP board and has been at the forefront of the sport ever since. 

Alex and Kim are industry professionals and LOVE paddleboarding, know and understand SUP specific coaching techniques that have taken years to perfect, paddle everyday, and genuinely look forward to every coaching session. 

Open Times 

Bonkers is not open to the public - you cant just turn up

CLOSED MONDAYS 

other days - ADVANCE BOOKINGS ONLY 

Contact Kim with when you would like to come, and we will book you into a time slot that suits you

By limiting access to the site, to strict arrival times, we can ensure safe social distancing. 

But this also means everyone gets the space and the service they deserve

The Bonkers Centre is unique

Private Parking - Private River Frontage

About Your Booking

 

​       HOW TO BOOK

Covid system details: 

ONLY advance bookings are operating

You will have your own arrival time 

Do NOT arrive more than 10 minutes before your session time 

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

 

Access to toilets is allowed, changing rooms are only allowed to be used in some situations

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 jacket. For afterwards you will need a change of clothes and a towel.

  • Bonkers have full waterproofs if appropriate, but please bring the above gear as for most sessions this is best.

  • Buoyancy Aids and the equipment itself are provided

  • Wetsuits are available for people on tuition sessions, but not always the right thing to wear, so bring your sports clothes. Wetsuits are NOT included for hire sessions (and not necessary for hire sessions if you have the basic skills and experience required to hire)

  • For lessons - If you have a wetsuit - bring it. We have plenty of centre wetsuits. We don't always use them, depends on the conditions and the activity. If it is your first paddleboard lesson some people feel more comfortable out of a wetsuit, others prefer to put one on. The choice will be yours, and we will discuss this on the day depending on the weather conditions etc. We have plenty of wetsuits, warm showers and full facilities 

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' 

Contact  bonkersactivities@hotmail.com 

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

Our purpose built centre is at 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 yrds) 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 the water

(if its really wet, its ok 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. 

 

About Staff

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.

Kim said - "I love my job and I love my family. I am so happy that I get to enjoy both together"

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 dynamo that lightens up any room just by walking in. Kim joined Alex as co-owner of Aztec Watersports (and life partner) in 1995 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....

Kim was the driving force behind the successful holiday business SurfCyprus. As Owner/Manager of this successful windsurf and kitesurf business, 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

Many of you will know Kim from her 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 - Instructor  - Bonkers Activities

Alex is a true watersports industry professional. He learnt his 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’. Alex’s training continued through the early 1990’s gaining instructor tickets in sailing (SI), Windsurfing (Advanced), Powerboating, BCU L2 Kayak Coach, as well as Yachtmasters, kitesurfing, first aid, archery and more.

Alex has always paddled around on boards and boats, on flat water, moving rivers and some very extreme tidal locations. This has included paddling trips to the French Alps, Scotland and longer expeditions like sailing round the north of Scotland, sailing around the whole of the UK, and competing in events like The Ronde om Texel (Round Texel race, Holland) and Europeans on his Hurricane 5.9.

 

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 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’.  

When paddleboarding started to became a ‘thing’ c15 years ago, it was initially quite hard to get hold of decent equipment, and when Alex paddled his fibreglass Elite custom board around the midlands, he used to get weird comments or even the ‘just one cornetto’ song on a regular basis.  Before iSUPs were a thing, 10 years ago, Bonkers Activities had a fleet of plastic boards in Pershore (check out Kais pic below!!) and have been honing and developing teaching paddleboarding ever since.

Alex now loves everything about paddleboarding and is slowing being converted to the love of everything to do with the UK's inland waterways. Alex does some freelance work as a consultant and rescue technician for the local waterways authority (Avon Navigation Trust), and has developed his skills as an RYA inland Waterways Instructor and RYA Powerboat Instructor and has of course paddleboarding hundreds (actually it's thousands) of miles of UK inland canals and rivers.

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 can we tweak things to improve people’s experiences, improve how we do things 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 everytime. 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. He also seems to think he is ‘semi-retired’, he doesn’t carry his phone (unless it’s in his dry bag kit for emergency communications), and he doesn’t really understand social media (for any of that he suggests you contact Kim)

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Kai Mellor - instructor  - Bonkers Activities

The picture (above left) shows Kai over 10 years ago paddling around on one of Bonkers first plastic boards. Kai did his first BC Sup Module 4 years ago and is now a qualified British Canoe Instructor (pic above right)

Kai is a natural athlete. If you look on our facebook videos you will see Kai playing the banjo on a board, doing a front flip onto a board and even a pic of him riding a unicycle on a board.

Kai runs many of our kids activity sessions, in his unique fun, safe and professional way. Kai is still at 6th form, so not always onsite, but it's always fun when he is.

Zak Mellor 

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. This is a pic from the last time we got Zak on a paddleboard ;0)

Club member Instructors - personal development

Every day we paddle at Bonkers the staff, club members and students, always learn and progress in our freindly, 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. Taking this to the next level, over 10 of our club members are now fully qualified paddlesport instructors. 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. 

 

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.