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‘Tis the season to be merry: the gift of sustainable giving

‘Tis the season to be merry: the gift of sustainable giving

Giving gifts, when you get it right, is a joy. When you’ve bought a present that makes you happy as well as makes the recipient happy, you know you’ve nailed it.

But if you’re anything like us, you probably find it a bit of a struggle every year to square the circle of buying interesting and meaningful presents and remaining sustainable and ethical.

After the madness of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, we’re a little sick of false bargains and gimmicky marketing tricks as we are. And from some of the comments and emails we’ve received recently, we know we’re not alone.

So these are our tips for buying gifts that paddleboarders will love, without buying yourself a guilty conscience.

Experience gifts and memories that last

Study after study, and personal experience have shown that the best types of Christmas present are experiences rather than things: you remember and talk about experiences for years, but things lose their value quickly as the next best thing becomes available. And if you don’t to buy an experience (maybe you’re worried about that useless loved one forgetting about the voucher, and it expiring – been there, done that!), the next best thing you can do is to buy thing that helps them get out there and make their own experiences! 

Check out our long read on the 5 psychological reasons why experiences are the best gifts.  If you’re not convinced, this article will convince you!

Buy from a small company

Buying from a small company sometimes takes a bit more effort, or planning, than buying from amazon, or ebay for example. But it is so much more rewarding.  Often, the personal customer service you get is way better than anything offered by a nameless, faceless multi-national. And the products are often much better as well.

We personally recommend all of the small companies in the article below, but also check out the SUPhubUK map to find your nearest SUP shop or SUP provider

And finally, buy ethical

At McConks we pride ourselves on being as sustainable and ethical as we can be – whether that be low impact manufacture, or organic and fairwear clothing.  And that’s why you can buy with confidence from us, guilt free.  If you’re interested, you can find out more about our ethical principles here, or you can read about what we do to give something back through our Go Inspire initiative here.

Gifts under £50

Gifts over £50

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Chris Freeman SUP photos

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Chris Freeman is one of the most prolific SUP photographers in the west of of England.  He’s also one of the nicest paddlers you’ll meet. Which is good, because if you ever get into difficulties in the Severn Area, Chris is one of the trained volunteers who might come to your rescue with SARA (Severn Area Rescue Association).

Chris is a frequent paddler with SUP Stroud, SUP Gloucester and SUP Slimbridge and so has many action and landscape photos of the River Severn, River Wye, Sharpness Canal, Stroudwater navigation and other canals in the Cotswold Canals.

Here are a selection of his action shots from recent paddles. If you’re a journalist looking for unique SUP photos, check out his profile, and give him a shout if you want to purchase any.

See this post on the McConks Map

See these photos on the McConks photowall

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Team McConks album

Team McConks photowall

Team McConks photowall

We get lots of photos sent from our lovely extended family – holiday photos, fun photos, photos of kids growing up.  We love getting them, and we love seeing our kit being used around the world. It makes all the late nights and hard work worth it to see those smiles!

But some of you have asked if we could create a gallery of the photos you’ve sent, even asking if it’s possible for you to upload them directly. and the answer has always been no, because we’ve not been able to configure the website securely enough to allow this to happen.

We did it!

Guess what… We’ve finally found a secure way to do it 🙂 You can now use a simple form to upload photos to the Team McConks photowall.

And even better, you can write a short note or short article. as part of the upload! So you can provide some words to set the scene or to promote your favourite cause.

Team McConks photowall
Feature on our photowall.

Map your photos and footage

We’re also implementing a way that you’ll be able to add a pin to a map to locate the photos, which will then open up the post and photos.   It’s in beta at the moment, but you can try it here.

Map your challenges and travels on McConks Map. This video is of Roger Chandler being the first person EVER to circumnavigate Menorca on a SUP. And he did it on a McConks Go Explore 12’8

Upload from your phone or tablet

But the best bit?  You can do all of this direct from your phone or tablet. The upload has been optimised for mobile. So snap away with your snazzy new waterproof phone, and upload on the go. No more waiting around ’til you get in front of a laptop!

The small print

You retain full copyright of your photos, and if McConks ever would like to use the photos in any of our marketing, we will of course ask for permission.

The only rules about submitting a post and photos are:

  1. Keep it clean and legal
  2. You remain responsible and liable for the content
  3. Make it fun
  4. You agree that we can share a link to the post you’ve created on social media (Facebook, Insta, Twitter, Pinterest)

p.s. There might be short delay between submitting your post and photos and the post going live on the website. Sorry about this, but we do need to check that the content is suitable for our webpage, and not spammy.  The posts will appear here, and we will (eventually) put a link to the feed on our homepage.

p.p.s If you want to promote your SUP related business through this feed, you’re welcome to do so as long as you feature our products as part of the photos/feed please.  You can add a URL, so you can use this as part of your SEO strategy.

p.p.p.s   You will also be able to view all of the photos in a photo gallery, but we’re still working on that!