A FESTIVE fleet of Santas, reindeer, snowmen, elves and even a Christmas pudding have hit the water for an annual paddleboarding fundraising event.

BH Activity Junkies held its Santa parade along the River Stour on the morning of Saturday, December 16.

A group of around 40 people all decked out in Christmas-themed costumes took to the water on the river.

Paddling against the wind and current, the sea of Santas made its way from Mayors Mead car park up to Tuckton Bridge.

Bournemouth Echo: BH Activity Junkies SUP Santa parade

There, the group posed for a photo before a much faster return downstream for Christmas refreshments at The Boathouse.

Group founders, Neil Woods and Sam Arnold said it was ‘amazing’ to see so many people out for the event.

“We started the group nearly four years ago, it’s a free community Facebook group, basically started coming out of Covid,” Sam said.

“We wanted to get people out and active, so we do paddleboarding, running, climbing, mountain biking, all sorts of stuff.

“This is one of our favourite events of the year, getting on the water, because everyone gets to dress up.

“We always do it as a fundraising event, so this year we are raising money for the RNLI, which we’ve got a link for on our Facebook page, if anyone wants to donate.”

Bournemouth Echo: Group founders Neil Woods and Sam Arnold

Sam said the event is always good to get everyone out on the water and into the Christmas Spirit.

“It’s just really good fun,” she said.

“To be honest, it’s been a really difficult year for paddleboarding, weather-wise because it’s been a really windy year.

“[That’s] part of the reason why we wanted to raise money for the RNLI, because they’ve had their work cut out this year, rescuing people and things like that.

“We never know if this sort of event can go ahead, because of the weather and things like that. So, we’ve been really lucky that the weather has stayed on our side, and we’ve actually got everyone out.

“This is an amazing turnout, we’re really pleased.”

For more information, search BH Activity Junkies on Facebook.