THERE has been a big increase in the number of people paddleboarding amid the coronavirus lockdown, according to a watersports company.

Nick Scott, manager at Lagoon Watersports in Hove, says the firm has not been able to get hold of new boards because the pastime has become a huge hit as the restrictions ease and people look for new ways to entertain themselves outdoors.

He estimates the number of paddleboarders in Brighton has more than doubled.

He said: “There were always a handful – but we’ve seen since lockdown the number’s doubled or even tripled – I’ve never seen so many.

“We can’t get hold of paddleboards ourselves any more – all the companies are out of stock.”

Nick said that because people are not able to go on holiday as usual, they have turned to paddleboarding as a way to enjoy themselves.

The sport is relatively easy to get to grips with, which partly explains its popularity, Nick said.

It is possible to buy inflatable craft that can be carried in a rucksack and they are versatile too – people can explore rivers and lakes as well as the sea.

Though paddleboarding is often associated with younger people, Nick said many of those he instructs are middle-aged.

Lagoon Watersports runs classes, teaching the basics and helping people graduate from lying prone on the board to kneeling down and finally standing up and paddling.