Summer’s sunset is on the horizon, but there is still time for you to take your family or your friends on an adventure. Luckily, you won’t have to go far or spend a lot of money to experience the joy of doing something new together.
This summer my husband and I relocated from Orlando to the Space Coast. In the midst of our house hunting, packing, and unpacking, we also had our second- wedding anniversary. Our lives were chaotic—to say the least— but we still wanted to do something incredibly special. With that in mind, we drove down to Cocoa Beach and purchased two stand-up paddleboards.
Now I know you’re probably asking yourself, “Where is the romance in that kind of purchase?” I see where you might be headed with this, but hear me out. What could be more romantic than cultivating a brand new hobby/adventure with your best friend?
Did you know, stand-up paddle boarding is emerging as Florida’s top tourist activity and one of the best stand-up paddle boarding destinations in the country? According to the U.S. Coastguard’s official blog, “stand-up paddle boarding is the fastest growing water sport in the world.” Our very own Space Coast offers 72 miles of pristine coastline teeming with beautiful wildlife. On a stand-up paddleboard, or SUP, you can experience diverse ecosystems and stunning wildlife in a brand new way.
SUP’s popularity has spread from professional surfers in off-season training to the likes of Eva Longoria who was seen grabbing her oar on July 13, in Malibu, as part of her new reality television show Ready For Love.
SUP might owe its popularity to the many celebrities who have been seen paddle boarding on the world’s best beaches. But, I’d like to suggest that it’s continued popularity has grown from the simple joy of doing something that is so much fun, with the added bonus of a superior core workout. Stand-up paddle boarding engages legs, back, feet, arms, neck and stomach muscles in a graceful display of complete core strength and balance. But don’t worry, you will be having so much fun, you won’t even know you’re improving your figure. Paddle boarding is a sport anyone can do. Trust me, even with my terrible coordination and inapt athleticism, I can manage it just fine. In fact, I love the whole experience!
SUP Eco Adventures in Melbourne, Fla is offering $10 dollars off its Eco tours and lessons this month. Sobe Surf in Cocoa Beach offers 2-hour guided tours on the Banana River Thousand Islands area. It also has a Sunset Paddle every night from 7 to 8 p.m. for $15 dollars. And if neither of those options interests you, I tried calling local surf shops around the area. Most offered a 4-hour rental, for a $30 dollar fee. Cool huh?
Having owned our stand-up paddle boards for about a month now, I can honestly say I don’t regret throwing tradition to the wind on our second anniversary this year. My favorite memories on the SUP so far, include exploring the Indian River with my husband who saw a manatee and watching my stepson grin from ear-to-ear as he caught a big wave off the Indialantic beach.
Here’s to your summer adventures. May they be endless.
Tennessee transplant, Jaimee Preston, is excited to call the Space Coast her new home. With an avid love for adventure, all things outdoors, and writing, she hopes to inspire readers to see their community with fresh eyes and new perspective. Got questions for Jaimee, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.