Wanna get up close to dolphins? Yes? Then you’ll need something that floats to stand on and a paddle board is the perfect option. You stand at your full height on a paddle board so you’ll have a great view of the sea life in the water, the beach, and the horizon all from one vantage point.
Stand up paddle boarding is crazy popular right now in every beach town, and Pensacola Beach, Florida is no exception. It started in Hawaii in the sixties but has really taken off around the world in the last decade. One of the reasons it’s so popular is that, unlike surfing, it is relatively easy to learn.
Paddle boarding also offers a great full body workout. Core strength anyone? Athletes like skiers and snowboarders are adopting it as one of their favorite cross-training activities. So get out there and give it a try and see the Gulf Coast from a whole new point of view.
If it’s your first time we suggest you learn on what us locals call the ‘soundside’ of the island. Once you get more experienced give it a go on the Gulf of Mexico. Early mornings on calm days are the best time to see dolphins.
Coastal Paddle Company can help you with lessons and set you up with the right gear to maximize your experience. They have two locations for rentals and lessons. Their original shop is at the foot of the 3 mile bridge in Gulf Breeze, and their second shop is on Via de Luna Drive on Pensacola Beach across the street from Red Fish Blue Fish Restaurant. Also be sure to visit their retail store at 314 Gulf Breeze Parkway to shop such brands as YOLO, Tom’s, OluKai and more.
Beginner or expert, they can set you up with everything you need. They offer group lessons on Saturday mornings, or you can schedule a private lesson anytime. They also offer excursions like full moon paddles, and explorations of lesser known local areas.