Saturday, June 16, 2012

SUP-ing with Family!

After our recent spectacular experience with Stand Up Paddleboarding (see the 5/23 blog entry for details) we decided to return to Jupiter Point Paddling for another round.  I often regale my family with our tales of family adventure, and this time my mother was coming along for the ride!  She planned to be in town from Arizona for our son's 3rd birthday and I had been setting our agenda for the week.  Turns out Mom had even researched SUP online when I mentioned our plans - this is actually a VERY big deal for my Mom.  So now you have a self proclaimed "balance-challened" grandma who lives in the desert getting on a Stand Up Paddleboard. This is the tale of that experience:

Manager Cynthia showing my Mom the ropes of SUP
She was apprehensive to be sure, but my Mom is a real trooper when it comes to trying out crazy new things just because her daughter says "hey, Mom, let's go!" This includes activities that range from hiking in Hawaii to skydiving over the Arizona desert.  So, just a quick tutorial with Jupiter Point Paddling Manager Cynthia, and Mom was on the board! She started on her knees (as I did) because lowering your center of gravity makes balancing super easy.

On a SUP within minutes!

Not long after the lesson, she was ready to stand up and is even shown below waving to her 3-yr old grandson sitting on another SUP with dad!The water was wonderfully calm that day and we first traveled out to a great sandbar in the middle of the intracoastal waterway.  There we immediately found animals enjoying the calm day and warm waters.

Hi, Grandma!!
The weather was perfect and I have to suggest taking the day off just to go SUP-ing during the week. The waterways are not as busy, so less boat wakes to contend with and flat water makes it easier to see the wildlife underneath the surface.  Don't forget your polarized sunglasses! Sunscreen is also important as we were out for nearly 2 hours and the tranquility actually made time fly. We kept the little one from toasting, but I still turned pink.
Large west Indian sea eggs (sea urchin sp.), conchs, and even the largest live sand dollars I had ever seen were scattered everywhere! I shared a few with the Jupiter Point Splash Campers so Camp Director Deb could explain what types of wildlife could be found and how to treat animals met on their adventures. Now... they saw manatees that day, but we headed the opposite direction and missed them! But, there is always next time...
Daddy found a conch! (this shell was empty, but there were plenty of live ones we found too)
Mom holding the first LIVE sand dollar she had ever seen
Interacting with wildlife is always tricky. It is important to remain respectful and we did not keep any live critters found. But while remembering to honor the watery world we love so much, do not deny yourself those wonderful experiences that become the memories that shape your life.  We put the sand dollar back safely, but the expression on my own mother's face is priceless to me.  I actually got to share and teach something to the woman who spent a significant chunk of her life sharing and teaching me - so that was special on a whole new level, and I am glad we all went exploring together.
This is why my husband will likely NOT be joining me for my first yoga-boarding session

What defines a great day? In Florida especially, I feel that a day without watery interactions is a day partly wasted. When you discover something new, it will start appearing all around you. Stand Up Paddleboards just graced the cover of Outside Weekends and even stood life size on a Florida tourism display at the local airport. Yeah, this SUP stuff is catching a serious wave... so why don't YOU go ride it too?
-Callie Sharkey

If you are looking to have this experience for yourself, check out or hit up their facebook page. Next week we are taking Grandpa out for the first time, I cannot wait to try the Yoga-Boarding program, and we are even looking to get some local firefighters out on the water as well. So, yeah... this is probably our newest family passion - find one for yourself and share it with your family too!

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