Stand up paddleboarding is a new sport that is sweeping the nation. A stand up paddleboard is a very long, wide and stable surfboard upon which you can stand and paddle using a very long paddle. Although it sounds difficult, its a lot easier than it sounds. And it is tons of fun.
The new sport is absolutely perfect for our area of Florida because although we occasionally have waves big enough to surf in the Gulf of Mexico, most of the time we don't have waves and instead have very clear beautiful blue green water. The best thing about a stand up paddleboard is that you can use the board when the water is flat, and you can also use it to ride the surf if there are waves.
Stand up paddleboards (also known as "SUPs") are great for all ages. Young kids love the idea of standing on a surfboard, and the SUPs are big enough that parents can stand and paddle while their kids sit on the front. Older kids can paddle themselves arround or can play "King of the Paddleboard." Adults can use them to stay in shape by paddling vigorously for miles along our coast, or to tool around leisurely and just enjoy the sun. Surfers of all ages can use SUPs to catch small waves that you could not catch on a traditional sufboard, and even to surf bigger waves usually ridden with a shortboard.
A few weeks ago, I took out two SUPs with my 7 and 9 year old daughters. We had an absolute ball. I was paddling the 7 year old around on the front of the board while my 9 year old daughter was paddling her own board. We had races. We jumped off the boards. We all got on one board. We did it all. And it was great. About a week later, we had 2-3 foot waves at the hotel and I decided to try surfing with an SUP. While I could not have ridden the waves on a traditional surfboard, I was able to catch them by paddling into them with the SUP. It was a workout, but it was exhilirating catching these waves and riding them to the beach -- in Naples -- which is not known for its surfing.
We have been so impressed by this new, clean and environmentally friendly sport, that we have partnered with nearby True Blue surf shop to provide our guests with the opportunity to rent two Surftech paddleboards right at the hotel. All you need to do is see our beach attendant, and he will bring the board to the beach for you so that you can try them. Be prepared for a workout, but also be prepared for some serious fun as you experience a whole new way to view the Gulf.
So check out our newest amenity -- Stand Up Paddleboarding. But be careful, you may get addicted to this exciting new sport and find yourself leaving for home with a new paddleboard!