Friday, November 4, 2011

Paddle Boarding and Cruising

I've wanted to try paddle boarding for months.  When I knew we were back in St. Petersburg in November, I called Christian at Stand Up Fitness here in the City to book a lesson.  I will say, I was really nervous.  I am NOT in shape and was worried that I would never get to a standing position, or that I would get blown or carried by the current to the opposite side of Tampa Bay and cause a big, embarrassing Search and Rescue event that would make the 6 O'Clock news. 

My fears were completely unfounded.  Christian was a fabulous teacher and immediately made me feel confident.  I managed to stand up first try and although, I was tense and could use to relax my legs and feet more, I had a fabulous time paddling around the Bay.  I fell off twice, but it is easy to re-board and stand back up.  Much harder to paddle and get anywhere when the wind is pulling you.

What I liked about it is, you don't have to be extremely fit...pretty well anyone can try...(I am 50).  Secondly if you get carried out too far, you can easily lay on your belly and paddle back with your arms and rescue yourself.  Third (and everyone asks me this) you don't have to wear a weensie bikini or bather. I don't like to parade in a bather, especially when tourists are watching the activities.  The guys wore Bathing shorts, some with long sleeved Tshirts on top.  A couple came with wet suits, which made me laugh because they obviously have never swam in Georgian Bay.  I wore my bather with a tank top over top and knee length yoga pants, because I didn't want to fall out of my suit from one end or the other or be a-- end in the air should I capsize. 

I honestly had so much fun and can't wait to try again.  Thank you Christian for all the encouragement.

It's so easy to cycle everywhere here so I bought a bike yesterday.  Since this is Florida, I went with a Beach Cruiser that should do me through my 80's.  All tricked out with a leopard saddle, handle grips and a peace bell.

Cruisers are so popular here, and attract a more casual, enjoy the scenery, type of rider.  The even have cruise nights here where you meet at the bike shop and cruise the neighborhood viewing all the historic homes, then ride along Coffee Pot Bayou  downtown to the pub.....and I'm in like a dirty shirt for that.

Tonight there is a Porch Party at our neighbors, tomorrow is the Farmers Market, followed by Bungalow Fest...a tour of ten historically significant bunglalows in the Historic Kenwood district.  The Raz Man doesn't know it yet, but he's Taking the Tour. Wishing you a fun and lovely weekend.


  1. The paddle boarding and cruising both sound right up my alley too. I love trying new things, but am also not in the best shape so would like it to be doable. Have a great time on at your cruisin evning this weekend.

  2. I so want to try this!! I'm 50 too. For my next FL getaway..., I might just pick St. Pete and take a lesson. Have to check them out! I did windsurf when I was in my twenties, that might help.

  3. you would buy that bike! love the leopard.

  4. What a sweeeet bike...I love that you found one Chania! Happy biking.
    The thing I found about being 'undressed' in Florida is that it takes time to feel comfortable being that exposed. Not too long though...eventually one figures out there is a different dress code there. You seem to be getting with the programme quite quickly.
    I'm jealous...would love to try paddle boarding!

  5. Good for you, Chania, for pushing yourself outside your comfort zone (and for choosing wisely your comfy and practical outfit, I had a good chuckle over the the air part.) Your cruiser is adorable and I am super super envious. It is the perfect colour and must be so comfy. Sounds like a great time, that cruising and home touring. Enjoy!

  6. I have wondered about paddle boarding, thanks for all the info!

  7. First of all, I'm so proud of you for going for it with the paddle boarding and i'm totally with you on not parading around in a bather!
    And congrats on the Townie!! I have an orange one I bought in Muskoka (with fancy Hawaiian-print fenders). I'm still in need of a bell and a cute basket. We shipped ours to Dubai (they're sitting proudly in our middle of our apartment) and i can't wait to get out riding :)

  8. Paddle boarding sounds wonderful. I think I'd have to dip the paddle in first though to see if it touched the bottom.

  9. Chania, it looks like you are making the best of your time in St. Pete. I have never had the guts to try the boards either, but now that I know I don't have to wear a bikini, I may give it a try next time I'm near the water. Love your bike! Ann

  10. That is the coolest bike EVER! You'd never get me off it, I'd cruise all over Florida on my super-cool tricked out leopard print bike :-)

    I only recently read about stand-up paddling, and I really want to try it. Good to hear that it's not too hard to do and you don't have to wear a bikini to do it :-)

    Hope you're having a great action-packed weekend :-)

  11. You've inspired me Chania...I'm going to try the paddle boarding next summer...I've seen people out on the ocean here...not going there...but will definitely take a chance on a couple of the nearby lakes...looks so much fun.
    I LOVE your leopard accessories on your new chic! But that 'Peace Bell' is the best thing ever...ring that bell Chania...ring that bell.


I love to read each and every comment and are thrilled that you take the time to send one. Thank you so much. Chania