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City Life to Outdoor Life, an inspiring SUP activist Tackling Plastic Pollution: Sian’s Story!

Sian Sykes has embraced an outdoor lifestyle and highlights the surge of single use plastics and how they impact our waters.

Meet Sian Sykes, a wonderful soul who was born on the edge of Snowdonia and had the absolute joy of growing up in the breathtaking beauty of North Wales. As she embarked on her journey into adulthood, she found herself working in the vibrant world of Creative Media in the bustling city of London, where she excelled as a Project Director.

After dedicating an impressive 15 years to her career, Sian realized she yearned for a better balance in life. Feeling a deep longing to reconnect with nature and be closer to the serene sea and awe-inspiring mountains, she decided it was time for a change. Nature has a way of pulling us back, doesn’t it? It’s no surprise she wanted to embrace it fully.

After years of working in a demanding career, Sian decided to listen to her heart and return to her roots. Now, she finds pure joy in guiding people on thrilling stand-up paddle boarding adventures in stunning locations and encourages others to embrace the outdoor lifestyle with Sian as your guide, you’ll feel her infectious enthusiasm and love for the great outdoors. She’s transformed her passion into a wonderful opportunity to share nature’s beauty and create unforgettable memories for her paddlers.

Not only does she cherish the sea and mountains, but she also enjoys the perfect work-life balance. Sian’s zest for life is contagious, and her desire to help others experience the wonders of an outdoor life and paddle boarding makes her a special guide.

Woman paddling with outdoor lifestyle


After her time in the city, Sian’s adventurous spirit took her on a globe-trotting journey. She’s been to incredible places like Nepal, Mongolia, India, China, Peru, Morocco, and the Alps, gaining extensive experience in leading expeditions. Her passion for exploration and love for diverse cultures have enriched her life and made her an exceptional guide. Whether it’s trekking through majestic mountains or immersing in new cultures, Sian’s vast experiences have shaped her into an inspiring and friendly expedition leader. You’re in for an unforgettable adventure with her!

She’s achieved some remarkable SUP milestones that are worth celebrating. Not only was she part of the pioneering team that crossed England on a paddle board, but she also accomplished the extraordinary feat of being the first person to solo SUP across three magnificent British lakes – Llyn Tegid, Windermere Lake, and Loch Awe – all in just three days, without any outside support!

But her achievements don’t stop there; Sian’s adventurous spirit led her to become the first person to successfully circumnavigate Anglesey on a SUP, conquering a challenging 120km journey over five days, despite facing tough sea conditions.

Her determination, courage, and love for SUP have taken her on incredible adventures, setting records and inspiring others along the way to embrace the outdoor life. Sian’s accomplishments are a true testament to her passion for the sport and her unwavering spirit.

SUP Activist

Undaunted by the challenge ahead, Sian undertook a groundbreaking solo and unsupported SUP circumnavigation of Wales, covering an astonishing distance of 1000km. Her journey took her along serene canals, rivers, and sometimes tumultuous seas, pushing the boundaries of what was deemed possible. However, Sian’s mission was not merely about setting records. It was a heartfelt endeavour to raise awareness about plastic pollution and its detrimental effects on our planet. Throughout her expedition, she tirelessly collected plastic waste she encountered, emphasising the urgency of finding sustainable solutions to this global crisis.

As an activist at heart, Sian used her incredible journey as a powerful platform for positive change. By raising funds for charity, she channeled her adventures towards supporting important causes, exemplifying the true essence of giving back.

But her activism didn’t stop there. With warmth and sincerity, Sian engaged with communities through educational talks, where she passionately shared her experiences and knowledge about plastic pollution. Her friendly and approachable nature made her message all the more impactful, inspiring countless individuals to take action and make their pledge to protect the environment. As an activist, adventurer, and friend to the planet, Sian’s dedication knows no bounds. She serves as a beacon of hope, reminding us all of the power we hold as individuals to effect change.

Through her passion, determination, and love for our natural world and the outdoor life, Sian continues to inspire and empower us to come together and safeguard the beauty of our planet for generations to come.

Sian’s deep affection for water and mountains is evident in her exhilarating SUP adventures. Her infectious passion for the outdoors has a magical way of inspiring people from all walks of life, regardless of age or background, to come together and embrace the joy of stand-up paddleboarding. Through her enthusiasm, she ignites a spark in others, encouraging them to explore nature’s wonders and discover the thrill of gliding on serene waters. Sian’s welcoming spirit and genuine love for SUP create a warm and inclusive atmosphere, making each journey a memorable experience for everyone lucky enough to paddle alongside her.

Embrace the Outdoor Life

A great way for women to get involved and kickstart their career in the outdoors is the Outdoor Instructor Training course, this course is open to anyone and Sian encourages more women to sign up and start their careers in the outdoors as an activity instructor. The course is over 15 weeks and you gain 16 Qualifications that will really fast track you into a career in the outdoors and become an activity instructor as well as give you the chance to meet other likeminded inspiring women embracing the outdoor life.

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Listen to Sian’s Story!

Listen to the full podcast episode HERE.

We’re proud to sponsor Tough Girl Challenges, Tough Girl Challenges is hosting a podcast which speaks with empowering women who embrace the outdoor life in the outdoors industry and are committed to amplifying the voices of women in outdoor professions and inspiring others to follow in their footsteps.

Start your adventure in the outdoors and become an Activity Instructor by joining our Outdoor Instructor Training course:

Sian engaged with communities through educational talks, where she passionately shared her experiences and knowledge about plastic pollution.

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