Meet The Team

Founded by John Wilson with inspiration from Simon Palmer in the spring of 2014 after their first SUP board meeting during an epic paddle board adventure from the centre of the Lake District to the Irish Sea. Lake District Paddle Boarding was born and SUP arrived in the Lake District. We now have dedicated team of friendly, welcoming and fully qualified SUP instructors, so if it’s your first time and you want to be in safe hands say hello to the team.

We are passionate about introducing more people to this new and exciting water sport and have been pioneering the use of SUP for river running and lake touring in the North of England as well as getting out on the Surf. If you haven’t tried Stand up paddleboarding yet or want to improve your existing skills.

John Wilson

Managed by John Wilson, Lake District Paddle Boarding is part of Active8events (UK) Ltd, who have been delivering high energy adventure events within the Lake District for the last 25 years. John is married with two children, his main interests are: rock climbing, cycling, snowboarding, fly fishing and stand up paddle boarding obviously! When he’s not on the water he’s in the office planning adventures answering phones and doing the admin.


You’ll know when you’ve met BO. Born in Carlisle. Cumbria just wasn’t big enough for him, he has climbed, paddled, dived, surfed and latterly kite surfed his way round the globe. He now splits his time between guiding in the Himalaya, building climbing walls in Singapore, kite surfing in Tariffa or Brazil and when he’s home in the Lakes he’s out on his SUP board steaming down the lake. The king of understatement, it’s always a pleasure to sit back and listen to one of Bo’s stories. Bo lives in the North lakes and runs our Stand Up Paddleboarding River Tours as well as SUP intro lessons on Derwentwater.

Tim Whitehead

Tim looks nothing like Jason Momoa, however if its aqua man you want then you’ve found him. Tim is the real Aqua man, river, ocean, sea or lake, Tim is in his element. From sailing across the Atlantic, huge wilderness canoe expeditions, SUP adventures, windsurfing foiling, he does it all. His depth of experience is second to none, this combined with his ability to pass on his knowledge and experience to others makes him an amazing guide and Coach. He always has a smile and shares his love for life with everyone he meets, a true gentleman.

Duncan Firth

Duncan brings a measured calm to any session he hosts . Modest and considerate at all times, he never lets on just how much experience he has. He’s been involved in adventure sport since school days, representing the Country at slalom skiing, racing 470’s at national level. He served his apprenticeship under the legendary Allan Aldred and went on to manage two LEA  outdoor centres, he’s a BCU coach, RYA centre inspector and runs his own private guiding company “Experience the Lakes”. He has more outdoor qualifications than the whole team put together, including a level 2 hygiene certificate. So if you stop for a picnic, your in safe hands!

Matt Cutler

Born in Bishop Auckland made at the University or Cumbria, Ambleside campus, where he graduated in Environmental science and Outdoor education. Matt joined the team in 2022. He lives for adventure and passing on his love of the outdoor life to others . His travels have taken him all round Europe with little more than a hammock, passport and SUP board. When he’s not adventure touring on his SUP, he’s out in the fells Mountain biking and exploring the most out there locations.  With Matt life is not a competition just a very cool journey Despite this attitude he still managed to take SUPFEST sprint race champion title in  2019 beating the rest of the field with his effortless paddling style. Matt runs our Windermere base at The Langdale Chase hotel and is always up for a post paddle pint.

Mick Stockdale

Mick is the only true monkey hanger on the team! His greatest achievement in life is to still have it! Mick has lived in Keswick as long as any of us can remember, a paddling and rock climbing addict with his particular passion being the remote and highly adventurous climbs on the far Northern sea stacks and cliffs. Where the combined danger of  big seas, loose rock, aggressive sea birds and ledges running with fulmar vomit get him going. As a respite from this kind of thrill seeking Mick is a regular on the beaches of Portugal where the combination of cheap flights and big Atlantic swells give him his winter Fix of fun. Mick is one of our lead instructors for Ullswater and Derwentwater paddle board lessons.

Harrison Clarke

Harrison is one of the youngsters on the Lake District paddleboarding team. He has been instructing in the outdoors for over seven years and has been part of the Lake District paddleboarding team since 2021. His enthusiasm and relaxed manner made him an instant hit with both our clients and the older hands in our collective. He is the embodiment of the outdoor lifestyle professional, balancing his work life balance with an enviable simplicity. When he’s not guiding and teaching for Lake District paddleboarding, he’s off on his own adventures, exploring what the world as to offer. From mountains and rockfaces, to its wilderness rivers and seas he’s totally at home in the most extreme environments. He balances this extreme lifestyle with a love of culture and good food and a fanatical passion for board games.