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You see them slowly paddling their way across the water. At first it may look like the person is literally standing on the surface of the water, Jesus style. They glide through the shallows, they glide through the surf. They are standup paddle boarding and they enjoy everything the water and landscape has to offer. The sport has been growing in popularity and it was about time to see what all they hype was about.

I’ve been living by the sea for almost 11 years now and had yet to step foot on a paddle board. I had no good reason not to, the situation just never seemed to come up. That all changed a couple weeks ago when two standup paddle boarding virgins took a road trip up the Gulf coast for a private lesson with Hooked On SUP.

Erin informed me that she wanted to learn how to paddle board for her birthday, seemed like an easy enough thing to make happen. I had been in contact with a paddle board instructor named Paige Moore for many months on social media, and when Erin said that was something she was interested in, I put two and two together and we hit the road.

Paige runs a company in Englewood Florida called Hooked On SUP (SUP means Standup Paddle Boarding for the cool kids in the know) out of Cape Haze Marina.

We pull into the marina and meet Paige, her husband Brian and their little dog Layla. We got the run down paddle boarding and found out that it has a huge culture behind it. The people who do SUP are passionate water people, just like surfers. SUP started in Hawaii and was made popular by famous surfers Laird Hamilton and Dave Kalama. They started paddling as a way to train when the waves were down. The guy who trained Paige is named Brody Welte, he was friends with Laird and Dave, they introduced him to the sport and Brody brought it to St. Petersburg FL. Brody was a personal trainer who started using SUP as a training tool and created a certification process called PaddleFit that is recognized by ACE (American Counsel on Exercise).

So as you can see Paige is the real deal. After hearing all this we were confident we were in good hands. It was time to hit the water to see if we could master this sport that is growing in popularity. Enjoy the video of the adventure!

Standup Paddle Boarding with Hooked On SUP

Good times! I can’t wait to get back out on the water and sneak up on more unsuspecting wild life. The fish had no idea we where there until we were on top of them. Once they noticed us, they shot through the water like torpedos, splashing the water as they did. We did see a group of manatees and even a small Bonnethead shark. The shark was about 2 feet long and swam to about a foot away from my board. He must of seen me standing there as he got close because he shot away in a blur like the fish did. Pretty cool experience.

Here are a few more photos from the trip. I’ll be posting more on the RumShopRyan Facebook page in a couple days.

Hooked on SUP

Hooked on SUP

Standup Paddle boarding

Hooked on SUP

Hooked on SUP

We had a great time learning about SUP and spending an afternoon on the water with Paige. SUP is a pretty good workout, my feet were working overtime clutching the board trying not to fall. All that “hard work” caused us to become a bit parched. Once we got back to the docks frozen drinks and Corona started to flow. We did hit up a local tiki bar and I believe there’s evidence of me singing Sweet Caroline with the guitar guy. No, I’m not posting that train wreck of a video, can’t have all of you making fun of the bald out of tune guy.

Hooked On SUP
Cape Haze Marina
6950 Placida Rd.
Englewood, FL 34224
(941) 504-1699


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About the Author: RumShopRyan

Just a salty pirate looking to explore and document the wonders of the Caribbean. Professional blogger, rum judge, consultant, marketer, and consumer of blue water beauty. To learn more, visit our About Us Page.