Paddle Round The Pier (PRTP) is officially Europe's biggest free beach festival. From a small charity event run by surfers back in the 90's, PRTP has grown in leaps and bounds over the years and continues to feature the best in beach culture, urban and street sports, live music and family fun. And the best thing is that it's all for charity!
Kiteworld Magazine is proud to be a part of PRTP and after recently attending a press launch party on Brighton Beach, K-Dubya front men Jim Gaunt and Ash Phelps got the low down on what is making this years event so special.
After a few freebie drinks and sandwiches and a couple of photo opportunities for the local paper, Paddle Director Dave “Sandlals” Samuel talked us through what we can expect from this years event with great enthusiasm. First and foremost will of course be the paddle round the pier itself – the perfect way to raise money for charity and get a great sense of achievement from a day at the beach. This year is set to have the biggest number of entrants to date using whatever they can to paddle with, whether it be a surfboard, kayak, canoe, bodyboard, kitesurf-board, or even a lilo! Plus continuing on from previous years will be the 'Paddle Something Unusual' option, where you have to do just that. Previous accolades go to the Thunderbirds' Tracy Island, a tennis court and a bed.
They'll be tons of other events on the water to check out and take part in, including the Pier2Pier Malibu and SUP Race (from the eastern side of the Brighton Pier to the west side of the West Pier), the Funky Puffin Euro-Enduro SUP Race (from Brighton to Worthing and back with a 1st prize of £1000), wakeboarding, outrigger canoes, Neilson sailing regatta, Stand-Up Paddleboarding and much more.
The land events don't look too shabby either. These include the Animal Relentless Bike Tour, the Ocean Sports Board Riders Turn or Burn Slalom Skate Contest, the Brighton Cougars Streetball Contest, paddleskating, urban athletics, street surfing, martial arts and again, much more.
Providing the backing tracks to your weekend of fun will be a host of acts starting at 10am each day. Already confirmed are Transformer, Jo Harman Project, Wide Eyed Order and Dani Wilde. We'll be listing more confirmed bands soon.
One thing that hit home from Dave “Sandles” was the importance of keeping the festival free. It was something that he stood for strongly and even though the option to charge makes sense in terms of making money to keep the festival going he was adamant that the soul and purity of PRTP is kept just as it was when it started back in 1996.
With an original concept to bring together all the local surfers for a social gathering and to raise funds for charity, over ten years later and the only thing that has changed is that it is not just the local surfers who Dave hopes to bring together. Kitesurfers, windsurfers, the RNLI and others can now all come together and share their stories.
Surfaid, the Lifeboats and Whoopsadaisy are the charities for this years event and just £1 can make a difference. To learn more about them and how you can help click here.
So with a final sandwich to see us off it was music to our ears that this years PRTP looks set to be the biggest and best yet. Kiteworld Magazine will be there with our own stall and will be talking everything kitesurfing if you fancy dropping by and saying how do.
We'll be keeping you updated with the latest happenings on the beach nearer the time.
For more information on PRTP click here
For more information on 'Paddle Something Unusual' click here