Sign up for stand up paddle boarding (SUP) lessons, tours, classes, races, and other events on the beautiful Chain of Lakes in Winter Haven.
Experienced and Beginner Paddleboards Welcome
We have high expectations when it comes to just about everything in life, so when we signed up for Paddleboard Winter Haven’s 1.5 hour “First time Fun” tour for beginners, we expected nothing short of a great time. After arriving early, we spotted our instructor when we saw a spunky, fit lady bee bopping around colorful paddleboards. We were right, Paddleboard Winter Haven owner, Audrey Nettlow, greeted us with smile and enthusiasm.
After waiting for the rest of the group to arrive, we began the instruction portion of the session. We were fitted with the appropriate-sized paddle and instructed how to paddle forward, back-paddle and make turns in addition to all the other significant details we needed. There was a point after instruction when all of us beginners looked around at each other with a spark in our eyes- we were ready for our maiden voyage and Nettlow knew it. She gave us the signal and we were off in the calm, clear water of Lake Summit, near LEGOLAND Florida Resort.
Get Your Balance
Not one to admit apprehension, a few of us fiddled around on shore to see how easily others got their lake legs before setting out. Of course everyone looked like naturals. Indeed, it is much easier to balance on water than one would imagine…or maybe we’re just that good. In reality, the boards are built with stability in mind. It’s all in the stance, Nettlow told us.
Paddling on Winter Haven's Chain of Lakes
Although the age, weight, and height of our group mates varied, the relative ease we experienced on our paddleboards was similar. You see, these boards are designed with stability in mind. With the right stance and technique, which Nettlow taught us, we had no problem navigating.
Sit or Stand, Just Paddle
Nettlow allowed us to take off and do our own thing, so some chose to sit and paddle, while others stood and paddled. The weather was perfect. We spotted an anhinga bird and even picked lilies from nearby pads. We only noticed a few boats throughout our journey on the water, so nothing interfered with our paddle rhythm.
After chilling on Lake Eloise, we made our way back through the canal and onto Lake Summit again where Audrey introduced some fun props to the mix. We took turns hula hooping, playing hacky sack, jousting with inflatables and had a “Paddleboard Wars” competition, which involved two people standing on one board while attempting to rock the other off – it was kind of like watching American Gladiators.
The Conclusion: Water you Waiting For?!
The paddleboard tour was just what the doctor ordered and lived up to its “First Time Fun” title. And because Audrey didn’t have another class scheduled after ours, we were able to take our time and enjoy the midmorning sun. What a way to end it; just sitting and taking in the beauty of it all.
Paddleboard Winter Haven offers several tour, lesson, class and party options customized for you and your family when you stay in Winter Haven during your Central Florida vacation.
The sessions are easy to sign up for, and you can do so at paddleboardwinterhaven.com. You can also purchase or rent your own board from Paddleboard Winter Haven and gift certificates are available. Be sure to book your paddleboard outing, and share your experience with us after!