January 2021 started with challenges for all in the outdoor adventure industry. The Covid-19 lockdown of winter 2020/21 kept us away from the wild spaces of Scotland that we love, it put a full stop to guiding our clients in the ocean and mountains and like everyone else, here at OV, the uncertainty of our future was at the forefront of our minds.
However, as restrictions began to lift and the UK wearily emerged from the indoors, it became quickly apparent that there was a huge need for the outdoors and adventure. The collective understanding of the importance of green and blue spaces for our minds and bodies seemed to have brewed within people during the long dark months of closed doors, too many Netflix series, and too many takeaways.
Riding this wave of outdoor enthusiasm, Ocean Vertical had its busiest and most successful summer to date. During 2021 we made huge leaps forward in achieving our vision for our Ethical Adventure Company, and we have some very exciting plans unfolding for 2022.
Here are our highlights of the last year:
Mollie Hughes joined OV as a director.
In May 2021, world record breaking mountaineer and polar expeditioner Mollie Hughes joined the team as a director of OV. Mollie joined forces with founders Adrian Boot and Stevie Boyle to help elevate Ocean Vertical to the next level over the coming years. Find out more about Mollie and her role at OV here.
Ocean Vertical in the Press
During 2021 we received some great attention from the press. We appeared in many newspapers and online articles including The Scotsman, The Herald, The Edinburgh Evening News and The East Lothian Courier. However, the most fun we had was taking The Scottish Sun journalist, Matt Bendoris, out on a coasteering adventure in Dunbar. With a reasonably sized swell and lots of big jumps, Stevie and Mollie put Matt through his paces. Check out Matt’s article here for some hilarious photos, videos and a fun description of our Coasteering session. We would like to say a huge thank you to our friends at Beeline PR for their help this year.
Coasteering With Gail Porter
In August 2021, we were joined by Scottish TV legend Gail Porter for a coasteering session while assisting in the filming of a TV pilot. Gail arrived with a fear of heights, a fear of water and a slight hangover from watching Basement Jaxx at Fringe By The Sea festival the night before. However, she left with a huge sense of achievement after facing her fears head on. We had so much fun with Gail and loved seeing her transformation during a couple of hours in the water.
Corporate Team Days
In 2021 we delivered Corporate Team Adventure days for clients from across the business world. We combined paddle boarding, yoga, and mindfulness sessions with post activity dinner parties at OV HQ catered by our friends Barbarella Beets. We had so much fun delivering these corporate days and can’t wait to run more during 2022. [Please scroll down and read on!]
ASI Paddle Board Instructor Courses
During 2021 dozens of new ASI Paddle Board Instructors graduated from our training courses. Ocean Vertical are an accredited ASI (Association of Surf Instructors) school, and our founder Stevie Boyle delivered many ASI instructor training courses at our HQ in Dunbar and across the UK.
Bumper Summer Season
Summer 2021 was our busiest summer to date, with locals and visitors alike joining us for Paddle Boarding, Coasteering, SUP Yoga, Rock Climbing and Summer Mountaineering. We would like to say a huge thank you to all our clients who joined us in the ocean, on lochs and in the mountains this year, it was great to share the adventure with you. Our instructors, Stevie, Kirsty, Jacob and Rick worked tirelessly throughout the summer months delivering top quality, fun and informative sessions - thanks guys!
In November 2021, we continued our tradition of taking a stand against Black Friday by celebrating Blue Friday instead. Our directors Mollie, Stevie and Adrian joined forces with Tommy Dale from Caledonian Horticulture for our 3rd consecutive East Lothian litter pick. We travelled to lay-bys, car parks and beaches where we collected countless face masks, food containers, drinks bottles, used fireworks and various unmentionables. Small, localised efforts can make a huge difference. Who is joining us next year?
Looking Ahead to 2022
Here at Ocean Vertical 2022 is set to be a great year! We have recently secured a permanent premises at Hedderwick Hill Stables, Dunbar and are spending the winter months preparing it for opening in April / May 2022. This space will become our Head Office, as well as a place to welcome clients before and after their sessions to grab a cup of coffee and hang out. Our new premises will include changing, toilet and coffee facilities as well as a classroom for our professional training courses and events space for our corporate events.
We cannot wait to open our doors in April / May - watch this space for an invite to the opening party! Later in 2022, Ocean Vertical are hoping to run our first overseas expedition, keep an eye on our social media over the next few months to find out more!
Thank you for taking the time to read our 2021 year in review, the start of the year began with many challenges but what unfolded post-lockdown became our most successful year to date. We are moving into 2022 with a renewed sense of excitement, with more resilience for the challenges which may arise and firmly focused on our purpose of sharing our love for adventure in the natural world with our clients and ensuring the survival of our last remaining wild places.