Monday, July 2, 2012

SUP - Bridging the Generation Gap

That's right! Back out on stand up paddleboards (SUP) - again!

Today we went out once again with Jupiter Point Paddling, this time by Grandpa's special request. As a unique Father's Day gift, my mid-sixties father-in-law joined us a few weeks ago to try something new. After hearing my own mother relay her experience (see 6/16/12 post) with smiles and laughter, he was very interested in trying this out for himself. The initial outing for dad's day had a strong current, but he was ready to stand up after only a few minutes on the board. The SUPs we use with JPP have a soft grip section on the surface referred to as "topped".  This allows for better balance without tearing up your feet - awesome for beginners and, let's be honest, general comfort.
Standing up in no time, Grandpa!
 As always, our toddler joined us too. Jace sits on the front of a 12' SUP with Daddy standing in the middle doing to the real work.  He has a blast dragging his hands or legs in the water, pointing out fish, birds and boats, and we do take swim breaks on a fabulous sandbar in the middle of the intracoastal or simply beach the boards at a secluded spot to play on the sand and in the water.  It is easy to maneuver into areas no jet ski shall tread, and nowhere near as strenuous as pulling a canoe or kayak out of the water.  Our little guy just turned 3 years old and is becoming quite the SUP pro; today he instructed his father to sit down while he paddled.  Though he tired of that quickly and passed the paddle back, the site was so cute I nearly fell off the SUP laughing and he was rewarded with a juice box on this rather hot day.
SUP and Sip!
 The temperature was 85-90 °F, but the heat index was actually 104 °F, and we have learned to utilize the bungees on the SUP (in the right hand corner of the above photo) to do more than hold a lifejacket.  Now we take a small cooler with us as a reminder to DRINK WATER while out and about.  Jumping in the water will cool you off, but the heat and saltwater are pushing dehydration on all who dare come out to play - and besides, taking the extra time to slow down and enjoy the experience is a great excuse to have a drink.
3 different generations on the water
I mentioned before this was a return to stand up paddleboarding with Grandpa; the first outing weeks ago was such a fun and new experience that Grandma said he talked about it incessantly and even mapped out his firefighter son's schedule in order to find the nearest opportunity for everyone to go again.  This trip was on such short notice, manager Cynthia actually loaned out her personal board just so we could all go!  When I asked Grandpa what his favorite part of SUP-ing is he said, "Just taking it easy, enjoying the water, and taking it all in for a change."  That is alot to say from a man of few words.
Taking it easy and taking it all in
As today's adventure was coming to a close, we turned around and the wind decided it was done relaxing and instead required us to bust our rumps and fight it all the way back.  Once realizing my full height was creating a sail and counteracting about 50% of my efforts, I dropped to my knees and gained ground (er... water) more efficiently.  I am still learning how to improve my stroke and balance each time we venture out.

We were not the only ones using a SUP as child transport today! Nice mask/snorkel, kid!
... but wouldn't it be easier to breathe with them off when you are out of the water?
Playing on the sand bar
While sharing my addiction to watery fun is a highlight for any adventure, I'm still blown away watching others - particularly those I didn't think would really get into it - when they have a blast too.  Who knows, after embracing the peace and wonder of the blue part of this planet, maybe a few will even convert to the lifestyle that loves water too.

Happy Monday, Everybody!
-Callie Sharkey

To enjoy the exact same experience we do with friendly staff, an amazing location, and great customer service, check out Jupiter Point Paddling at

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