Sian Sykes was born on the edge of Snowdonia and enjoyed growing up in beautiful North Wales. During her adult life, she used to work in Creative Media in London as a Project Director. However after working 15 years and working 18 hour days in the industry, she wanted a better balance in life, to reconnect with nature and to be closer to the sea and mountains. That's when she re changed her focus in life and moved back home, to do what she loves doing. Now she guides people stand up paddleboarding in beautiful places.

Since working in the city, Sian has travelled the world, building up vast experience of leading expeditions to Nepal, Mongolia, India, China, Peru, Morocco and the Alps.

Sian loves a SUP challenge! Sian has completed a number of record breaking SUP challenges. She was part of the first team to cross England on a paddleboard, she was then the first person to ever SUP solo the 3 British lakes, Llyn Tegid, Windermere Lake and Loch Awe in 3 days, all unsupported. Sian was also the first person to circumnavigate Anglesey on a SUP which took her 5 days to complete the 120km journey. 

Sian is a real activist, Sian’s recent achievement was a big expedition with a real purpose by highlighting the epidemic we face with disposable single use plastics. She was the first person to SUP circumnavigate Wales (solo and unsupported), a 100km journey along canals, rivers and sea. She raised money for charity, collecting plastic along the way, inspiring others to make a pledge against plastics and educational talks.

Sian enjoys linking her love for the water and mountains through SUP. Her love for the outdoors is infectious, and she’s inspired people of all ages and from all walks of life to get out and SUP.   

Sian is a Global Ambassador for Starboard, and team rider for Starboard UK, as well as an official partner for Peak UK and ambassador for Water Skills Academy and Aquapac.

Sian is the regular ‘Expert’ in SUP International Magazine sharing her expert knowledge for its readers. To find out more about Sian, visit her website here.


  • Qualified WSA SUP Expedition Guide (world first!)

  • Qualified WSA SUP Foundation

  • Qualified WSA SUP Adventure Guide

  • Qualified WSA SUP Coach Safety & Rescue

  • Qualified Academy of Surfing Instructors (ASI) Stand up paddleboarding (SUP) instructor - Level 1 & 2

  • Qualified Water Safety Rescue Award Academy of Surfing Instructors (ASI)

  • Qualified International Mountain Leader (IML)

  • Qualified Summer Mountain Leader (ML)

  • Qualified BC/UKCC Level 1 (paddlesport coach)

  • Qualified BC/UKCC 2 Star

  • Qualified BC/UKCC 3 Star Canoe

  • Qualified BC/UKCC Foundation Safety and Rescue Training (FSRT)

  • BC/UKCC SUP Support Discipline Module

  • BC/UKCC Coastal and Tidal Planning

  • VHF Radio Licence

  • American Avalanche Association (AAA) Level 1

  • Single Pitch Award (SPA) Climbing Instructor

  • National Indoor Climbing Award Scheme (NICAS)

  • Instructor Qualified Rescue Emergency Care (REC2) First Aid

  • Qualified Rescue Emergency Care Advanced (REC4) First Aid

  • Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) Supervisor & Assessor

  • Volunteer Regional Rep for Surfers Against Sewage

  • Member of The Alpine Club

  • Member of The Mountain Training Association (MTA)

  • Member of The British Association of International Mountain Leaders (BAIML)

  • Member of the BC/UKCC


“Let’s do our bit to help protect our beautiful beaches, oceans and wildlife. ”

Sian is an environmental activist, inspired by her family. She has a real passion for protecting the environment. She is a regional rep for Surfers Against Sewage and currently helping towards Anglesey getting its plastic free status, as well as organising communities to get involved with beach cleans.

Since falling in love with SUP, Sian has completed a number of stand up paddleboarding challenges, which she raised money for her preferred charities.

Her most recent trip was an expedition with a real aim, to stand up paddleboard (SUP)  all the way around Wales whilst fundraising money for Surfers Against Sewage, The North Wales Wildlife Trust and The RNLI. During the expedition Sian raised awareness about marine litter and the whole expedition was single use plastic free (SUP). So it was a SUP Against SUP expedition! Credit to Surfers Against Sewage for the name.

The expedition was roughly 1000km journey around Wales including inland canals, rivers and along the rugged coastline, tackling the 2nd fastest flow of water in the world, negotiating busy shipping channels and challenging exposed headlands with complex waters. During the expedition she wild camped along the way. 

The aim of the trip is to bridge the gap between inland and coast, to highlight there is a problem of marine litter. We live in such a beautiful place and we need to make a change to protect it. Sadly 8 million bits of plastic enters our seas every day. 80% of marine litter originates from land-based sources. Sadly 1 million sea birds and 100,000 mammals die every year from the affects of marine litter. This has to change. Sian's mission was to raise awareness, to inspire and educate others along the way to reduce single use plastic consumption.

Sian has done numerous talks and educational workshops to raise awareness and inspire. Get in touch with us if you wish Sian to do attend and event.