Stand-up Paddleboard Safari

By | August 15, 2013

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paddleboard1I’m sure everyone has noticed people at the beach, river or any of our area waterways on a long surf board with a paddle.  According to a good friend of mine, they have been around in Hawaii for many years.  Here on our waterways, their popularity has been growing in more recent years, as an alternative mode of transportation rather than kayaking or canoeing.

Recently, we finally decided to try Stand-up paddle boarding for ourselves.  We took a group of all ages from nine years old and up.  I must say, it was one of the most enjoyable things to do with friends and family, in my opinion.  Everyone enjoyed it immensely.  While we all navigated the waters and mangrove tunnels, we could chat and share what we were seeing and learning.  Paddle boarding also provides a great workout.  Even for those who aren’t really active all the time.

We went to meet with Shawn, owner of Surferbus, out west on Manatee Avenue.  You will typically see the big wood-paneled bus out there in the same location every day.  Check their website just to be sure, sometimes he closes to do a youth camp, etc,  Shawn began by giving us a quick lesson on how to sit, kneel and stand-up on the board.  He then gave us a quick instruction on how to use the paddle.  Steering is similar to that used when canoeing or kayaking.  Everyone in my group was able to master all three positions in this small bay area on their first time.

There is a protected mangrove trail that leads to the west of the bay.  You can head around, get a feel for the board and see some nature as you go.  We saw plenty of birds, fish and dolphin.  Shawn says paddlers often see manatee in the area as well.  I highly recommend Stand-up paddle boarding as a fun, active outing for any group.  My whole group is excited to go again already!

You can reach Surferbus at (941)527-6355 or their website for information or reservations.  There are a few other paddle board rental companies in our area.  Give one a try!

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