Great Escape: Stand-Up Paddle Boarding
Stand-up paddle boarding is a fun and easy way to enjoy the water. The unique watersport is perfect for all ages and fitness levels.
If you’re lucky to have a workplace window, you may have gazed outside and fantasized about digging your feet in the warm white sand and collecting seashells. The beach is calling your name and the weather is perfect for becoming one with the sea.
You can hit the waves with a jetski or boat rental, or you can try a new way to enjoy the surf: Stand-up Paddle Boarding.
The growing sport offers a unique way to enjoy the water and stay fit at the same time. The way it works is you stand on an oversized surfboard that's light and stable enough for you to move around on it without falling over. Using a long, thin oar, paddle your board across the intracoastal's smooth waters.
Boards come in all sizes. It's fairly easy to keep your balance, though lessons will help you learn the basics. Most rental shops offer instructional lessons when you rent your paddle board.
Before you head out, consider the ocean's waves. Check the day's forecast for currents and rip tides. The smoother the water, the easier it will be to paddle. Some people prefer a little chop to make the ride more of a workout.
Stand-up paddling is great for all ages and all fitness lessons. It’s easy to learn, and a fun way to stay in shape.
Here are area shops offering stand-up paddle board rentals:
Island Shop offers one of the area’s most affordable rates. Cost is $50 per full day, or $30 for a half day. It's located at 309 Gulf Boulevard in Indian Rocks Beach. For more information, call (727) 596-2244.
Water Sports West offers a free demo lesson every Wednesday. Rental cost is $50 per day (no half day available). The shop is located at 12900 Walsingham Road in Largo. For more information, call (727) 517-7000).
Treasure Island Beach Rentals offers a variety of specials: $30 for 90 minutes; $50 for three hours; and $85 for a full day. The shop is located at 10400 Gulf Blvd. in Treasure Island. For more information, call (727) 485-4407.