Paddle Boarding in Destin Florida

Paddle Boarding in Destin Florida and spending time on the beach are among my family’s favorite activities.  My passion for video and paddle boarding combined into great family memories and phenomenal wildlife video footage over the past 5 years.  While paddle boarding in Destin Florida with my family, we recorded our encounters sharks, dolphins, sea turtles, and gigantic jellyfish.

 

Keep reading this article to learn how to get into the sport of paddle boarding (SUP – Stand Up Paddle boarding), increase chance to encounter wildlife, best paddle board gear, and much more.

Paddle Board Gear I Recommend:

 

 

Getting Started

Before investing time and money into paddle boarding, I recommend renting a paddle board for a day or multiple days to make certain you like the sport.

Lets face it, paddle boarding simply looks cool.  A person standing up on a paddle board in the ocean or lake appeals to most people.  Some people invest a lot of money in a paddle board before they step foot on one.  In short, don’t be one of these people.  Hobbies are expensive and paddle boarding is no exception to this rule.

Like most water sports, paddle boarding is a fun sport and a great full body workout.  Your entire body is involved in each proper paddle stroke – legs, core, arms, shoulders, back, etc..  Paddle boarding is harder than it looks – just be mindful of this fact.

Most paddle board retailers allow potential customers to try paddle boarding for free.  They have demo days where they bring out a variety of boards for people to try out on the water.  A few SUP dealers also have ponds or lakes at their store to help people decide whether to buy or not to buy a board.  Trust me, paddle board resellers and manufacturers want you to enjoy the sport and become a life long customer.  They don’t want to sell you a board you will never use.

I encourage you to buy a used board before buying new.  As your paddle board skill increases, you will gravitate to a certain style of paddling which may call for a specific type of board.

 

Paddle Board Gear

The essential gear for paddle boarding are a paddle board, paddle, safety gear (life jacket & ankle strap), and a way to transport your board.

Choosing a Paddle Board

Before deciding on a board, you must consider what activities you plan to do while paddle boarding.  Race paddling?  Leisure paddling?  Fishing?  Ocean paddle surfing?  Flat lake paddling?  Will you be traveling with your board on a plane?  You must also consider your strength and body weight.  For example, it is difficult for a person 250 pounds or above to stay balanced on a race board.  A board that is at least 34″ wide and 12′ long will be a good choice for people who weigh 250 pounds or more.

Most paddle board retailers have knowledgable staff at their stores to help guide you to the correct board.  So, don’t worry if you don’t know have all the answers or if you are unsure of what board you want/need.

Paddle Board Manufacturers in Destin, Florida

There are 2 paddle board manufacturers who have their headquarters very close to Destin.  Bote Boards have a store in Destin and they manufacture their boards in Fort Walton Beach.  Yolo Board have a store in Miramar Beach and Santa Rosa Beach (30A).  I believe Yolo is headquartered in Santa Rosa Beach.  Both companies produce great boards and each have their own style.

Some people say Bote is a ‘Destin/Fishing Company’ and Yolo is a ’30A Surf/Bike Company’.  People who like 30A go with Yolo and people who like to stick around Destin go with Bote.  This is just perception and isn’t true in my opinion, but it is true for others.  I have a strong preference between the two companies due to my paddle board purchasing history.

 

Paddle Board History

When I first got into paddle boarding, I bought a 12′ Yolo fishing board.  I chose Yolo simply because when I thought of paddle boarding, I thought of Yolo.  This was a case of great branding and marketing by Yolo.  I chose the fishing board because I am 6’7″ and 225 pounds, so I needed something stable.  I also wanted a board that would be large enough to paddle my children.  Within a matter of 10 months, I wanted a faster board because this one was wide and heavy.

Paddle Boarding in Destin Florida - Yolo Blue Marlin Fishing Board

 

Bote was fairly new at the time, but not as popular as Yolo – at least in my mind they were not.  Before I bought another board for myself, I bought my wife an 11′ Yolo recreation board for her birthday.  She still has this board and it fits her needs perfectly.  Yolo doesn’t sell this 11′ foot rec board any longer, which makes me happy I bought it.