Paddleboard Orlando

Posted: August 3, 2011 in Fitness, Motivational, Reviews

I’ve been talking a lot lately about my favorite outdoor activity: Stand Up Paddle Boarding. Since I’ve started doing this, I’ve been getting a lot of questions from friends asking things like:

What is it?
Where did it come from?
How did you get in to paddle boarding?

So I’ll take this post to tell you a little bit about it.

A Brief History…

This is going to be very brief because I haven’t actually researched where it came from until today. If you’d like the history of Paddle Boarding according to Wikipedia, click this link. As far as explaining how I got in to it, I just saw people doing it. The first one I saw was my uncle, Mark. He shared some pictures of him out in the surf and on flat water on his Facebook.

Here are a few:

That first one is my favorite. The airborne dog seems to like it too. After seeing my uncle, I started a few Google searches for Paddle Boarding and I came across Paddleboard Orlando.

Paddleboard Orlando

This seemed pretty perfect. I managed to find paddle board lessons in the town where I live. I really thought I’d need to head out to a coastal area and learn there. This was much more convenient. Paddleboard Orlando is owned by Ned Johnson and David Rose. In addition to the paddle board lessons they host, they have a paddle board store set up at Ski World Orlando. You can also shop online here: Paddleboard Orlando Store. You’ve got to take a look at both websites if you’re interested in this sport.

My First Time

Ned explains the basics.

I went out on my first paddle board lesson with Paddleboard Orlando on June 22, 2011. I was still slightly over 300 pounds and I didn’t bother mentioning that to the owners. That was bad on my part. I arrived at Dinky Dock in Winter Park just before 6:30 p.m. Ned showed up with the boards and paddles. There were around 12 other people there for the lesson. We were each fitted for proper paddle according to height. After that, we were given a board. They gave me the biggest board they had but didn’t bring a board that was large enough to support my weight. I was able to sit/kneel and paddle. I tried standing up on the board and fell off into the lake. I think after that, I was just slightly scared to try again since I wasn’t up for looking like an idiot twice. Everyone else stood up on their first try. I still had a great time. I enjoyed the feeling of being out on the water and going wherever I wanted while getting great exercise. Everyone there enjoyed the experience. Some were on their second lesson and came back with a friend. Ned was extremely informative and encouraging. I told him I’d be coming back with friends and he told me he’d bring a bigger board if I let him know in advance.

Take 2

One of the SUP Cruise Meetups

So after my first lesson, my father took an interest. He was ready to buy some paddle boards. I convinced him to come out to one of the beginner lessons with Paddleboard Orlando first. We both signed up and I asked Ned to bring the big board. This time I was under 300 pounds and determined to stand up on that board. I already had the paddling part down and just needed to balance myself enough to stand. We met on the shore by dinky dock again and Ned sized us all up for paddles and boards. After all the ladies were helped on to their boards, Ned helped me and then dad. We both stood up right away and never fell off. On top of that, I was putting a pretty good amount of strength into my strokes so I was able to stay right up at the front of the group next to Ned. The whole time he would throw me little words of encouragement by telling me “Dude I’m so stoked you’re standing”. The best part of the beginner paddle board cruise was toward the end of the lesson where Ned yelled out to the group “I’m not feeling it. Let’s stay out a bit longer.” Why not? The weather was nice. Everyone was successful and enjoying the new sport. I couldn’t get enough of it. So we all brought our boards to a spot on the water where we took a break to sit on the boards to rest and chat. It was great talking to some of the others that were first timers.

Proud Owners

On the Banana River with my new 12' paddle board.

Since that night, dad and I have been shopping around for boards and he found and purchased two twelve foot boards. We take them out on the Banana River in the morning and at sunset when I come to visit him. It really is a great way to get outside, burn some calories, take in the scenery and be at peace. I have to give major props to Paddleboard Orlando for giving me my first lessons and for getting me incredibly excited about Stand Up Paddleboarding. If you’re looking to tap in to a new outdoor activity, give this a try.

Paddleboard Orlando host multiple paddle boarding events each month. If you’re interested in signing up for one of the meetups, go to and sign up for a free account. Once you’ve done that, go look at the calendar and find a beginner SUP cruise that works with your schedule. They’ve got great special rates for Florida Residents that are well worth the price. Go check out Paddleboard Orlando and email me at to let me know if you’re going for a lesson. I’ll be glad to come along!

Talk to you later!

  1. Heather says:

    This looks like a ton of fun—if I could only get over my fear of being in water where I can’t see my feet! 😉

    • Pasquale says:

      Heather: You’ll see your feet just fine because they’ll be on the board ABOVE the water. When you and the fam move back, we should go out with Paddle Board Orlando some weekend for fun!

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