Paddle Boarding Basics: Be selective with the rental company you choose
As one of the fastest growing sports in the world, Paddle Boarding has taken on a life of it’s own. Everyone and their mother has decided to get into the “business” of paddle boarding…. which only makes things more difficult for the general public to take up this sport. Wait…. wouldn’t that mean that there are more options and more availability, so in turn it would be easier? Just the opposite. Instead this has discouraged some first time paddlers from ever making the sport a hobby of theirs. Let me explain:
A rental/tour company needs to have the following: employees, equipment, location and… that’s about it, right? Wrong. Let’s go over my 2 complaints when it comes to SOME of the other SUP companies out there.
Employees: Need to be properly trained so that they can properly train YOU. Paddle Boarding has a very low learning curve. This is great, but it only takes that 1st bad experience for someone to hang up their paddle forever. Proper training for beginners only takes 15-20 minutes if done correctly. Too many times I hear of companies who happily (or with an attitude, depending on the mood of the teenager working the rental desk that day) hand off a board and paddle to a customer without even making sure they know how to hold the paddle correctly. Yes, I know at times we feel like we can only go by what the customer tells us: “Oh I know how to paddle board, i’ve snowboarded my whole life, it’s easy.”
Change that. MAKE SURE your customer at least knows the basics. MAKE SURE your customer knows to keep the personal flotation device on the board or on their person. MAKE SURE they know NOT to stop themselves from hitting that dock by sticking their paddle out as far as they can to brace themselves. Help them feel confident as they embark on the water.
Equipment: I cannot count the amount of times I have seen people on rental boards without a leash or personal flotation device. Leashes Save Lives. I understand that is not a requirement, and I myself do not ALWAYS put leashes on my customers. If it is an incredibly flat and secluded area into which we are paddling, I may disregard the leash. HOWEVER, a PFD (personal flotation device) is ALWAYS REQUIRED. The customer does not have to wear it (as comfortable as they are), but according to the US Coast Guard the PFD does have to be at least on the paddle board when in areas that are not designated swimming areas. Feel free to look it up: http://myfwc.com/boating/regulations/paddleboard/
Those two things alone can make or break a 1st time paddle boarder on continuing the sport. Getting hurt because of improper or no instruction, or getting a fine from the US Coast Guard or FWC because of not having the proper equipment, would definitely not make my 1st experience one to write home happily about.
To book any rental or tour appointments with Zeke’s, you can contact us directly @ 772-205-6920
STAY TUNED FOR PART 2: TO SIMPLY RENT A BOARD OR HAVE A GUIDE, WHICH IS BETTER?
Florida Natives & Nature Lovers – Plain & Simple =)