Stand Up Paddleboarding in the Most Unlikely of Places

For many, stand up paddleboarding (SUP) is both the ultimate way to relax and a form of keeping fit as well. However, it’s also a way to see new places and reach out to like-minded individuals in the paddleboarding community as well. Said to be one of the fastest growing recreational activities in the world, its no wonder many businesses are offering SUP in the unlikeliest of places.

You only have to look back to 2011, when SUP was first beginning to gather steam to look at how casinos and resorts started to tap into the popularity SUP. The inaugural SUP Awards was held at The Casino San Clemente in San Clemente, California. The adventure brand Teva decided to team up with the casino to showcase the event with this local casino. The event has celebrities such as Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney in attendance. It was also held a couple of days before the annual Gerry Lopez Battle of the Paddle race.

And its events such as these that held build the profile of SUP. Even the Battle of the Paddle race regularly teams up with casinos in the area to help its marketing efforts. But why have casinos become a worthy partner for SUP over the years?

Most notably from SUP’s side of the table because they offer financial support but also help promote packages including SUP, accommodation and alternative entertainment. Establishments such as Stand Up Paddle Aruba is said to be so popular not just because of the stunning location but also because it offers it’s visitors a wide array of entertainment such as its casino on the resort.

Casinos have been drawn to the growing appeal of SUP, too with the recreational activities profile growing exponentially over the last 5 years. Many casinos have taken large hits in their revenues since online gaming became a prevalent part of pop culture. When the first online casino portal InterCasino was launched in 1996, many land-based casinos had to diversify their portfolios to stay in business. Hence why so many offer a wide array of entertainment such as our beloved SUP.

So, next time you want to book a SUP-themed vacation, have a look around at some of the packages offered by some of the more diverse resorts that have on-site casinos and entertainment houses as it may just elevate your vacation to the next level. Places like the aforementioned SUP Aruba take the experience of our favorite recreational activity to a whole new level.

Paddle Board River

Stand Up Paddle Board: SUP & Fitness

I always feel bad for my friends that are stuck on a treadmill running in place like a hamster. Granted some really enjoy this tedious torture, at Bare Life we rather be out with nature, paddling with dolphins while still getting a great cardio workout. As most have heard, paddle boarding provides an amazing full body workout that will improve ones core strength, cardio fitness, balance, flexibility with virtually no impact on the joints. Almost sounds like those famous 2am infomercials. Even though paddling boarding is a full body workout, individuals of all ages and fitness levels can participate in this growing sport.

Just like any other exercise, what you put into paddle boarding is what you will get out. If your goal is to burn an insane amount of calories while having fun, paddle boarding might be just for you. In an hour with an intense pace, woman typical burn between 400-700 calories while men will burn 600-1000+ calories. Who ever thought you can burn so many calories while out on your Stand Up Paddle Board. As with other fitness exercises, technique is king. Poor paddling technique will greatly affect how many calories you burn. Proper paddling technique will give you one of the most full body workouts out there. Not only is proper technique important for fitness, but also for overall health. Improper technique can put great stress on the shoulders resulting in inflammation and even injuries.

Intense paddling is not for everyone. When I am not training I enjoy long leisurely paddles. Not only does this allow me to relax and focus on my paddle stroke, but I get to take in the scenery. I can go to my favorite spot on the water and always see something different. Generally speaking, women can expect to burn 200-300 calories while leisurely paddling and men can expect to burn 300-400. For more accurate numbers, invest in a good heart rate monitor. Not only is this a great Paddle Board Accessories but it will help track your fitness and overall health goals.

For those looking to burn even more calories while paddle boarding there is always excursuses that you can perform on the Paddle Board . From push ups to squats to mountain climbers to lunges, there are endless combinations of exercise that you can perform. Add some interval training in with speed paddling and you will smell that fat burning off you. Regardless of what type of paddling you are doing, always have fun and be safe!

Paddle Board Tampa

Stand Up Paddle Boards: New LIFTSUP Handle

As you may of noticed, their are a number of paddle boards that are now using this new little innovation called the LIFT SUP Handle. This patented handle is a fully retractable deck handle that greatly helps with transporting a Stand Up Paddle Board The LIFT UP Handle quickly and easily pops out of the deck of the paddle board, providing a great grip and leverage point for your fingers. As a result, this will greatly reduce fatigue and stress which can be caused by traditional handles. I come to love my LIFT SUP Handle when my car cant get me near the water. Even though I am usually close to the water,Paddle Boarding in Tampa does require some walking in order to get to those special spots!

There is nothing worse then trying to pull up a paddle board from a dock. You can always try to manhandle the board, but you risk scratches and even denting the board. Since the LIFT SUP handle pops out, you will have much better leverage for pulling that paddle board out of the water. Not only does the LIFT SUP Handle help with transportation, its also a great option for adding security to your paddle board. For those that leave their paddle board outside, the LIFT SUP handles allows you to loop through a cable that will help you safely secure your paddle board. By far this handle has become one of our favorite Paddle Board Accessories .

At Bare Life, we are spoiled with our stand up paddle board models that use the LIFT SUP handle. This handle helps us save time and energy when transporting our boards. I find myself rarely putting a paddle board overhead to transport around “tricky” areas, no need when you have the handy LIFT SUP handle!


Stand Up Paddle Board: Paddle Board Construction

Ever look at your paddle board and have no clue what some parts are or what its made out of? No worries, your not alone. Paddle Boards are made out of different materials using different techniques. All of the fiberglass boards sold at Bare Life are made using only molded EPS foam. This provides a core that is lighter, performs better in adverse weather conditions and in the heat and cold. EPS foam is brighter and has a better appearance compared to other foams. Most importantly, this foam is tough as heck and creates better strength for the board. Some boards on the market use the term XPS Foam. This foam is similar to EPS but can cause delimitation issues, mainly as gas escapes over time. The only upside to XPS cores is that they are easier to shape, paint, and airbrush. When in doubt, pick a board that has EPS Foam over XPS Foam. You might notice a line that runs through the middle of your board. This is call a stringer. This is a re-enforced piece of Balsa that runs the length of the board to increase the boards strength.

Some boards have an automatic vent plug. This is an air vent that allows the core of the Stand Up Paddle Board to breath without ever having to remove or replace the air vent. Check to make sure its an automatic vent, as some boards require the user to remove the vent to allow the air to escape. Whats great about these vents is they are always working and water will never get in them. As you know, you cant always keep your paddle board out of direct sunlight, these vents will help minimize and potential damage. Some boards have cargo anchors. They can be found at the nose of the board, usually in set of fours. After stringing bungie cord through these anchors you are now able to secure gear. A single anchor is found at the tail of the board, which can be used with an ankle leash. Almost all paddle boards come with a deck or traction pad. We prefer the EVA memory foam deck pad as they provide amazing comfort and durability. Some users prefer a bare board and use surf wax as traction, usually this is seen for boards used for paddle surfing. Since I mainly us my Paddle Boarding in Tampa , I need it for long paddles and not so much for surfing. Right smack in the middle of the paddle board is a handle, making carrying the board much easier. The handle may be recessed in the board or you may be lucky enough to have a LIFTSUP handle. Whats nice about these handles is they pop out to give you better leverage. Since they pop out, you can use these handles to better secure your SUP board when not in use.

Flipping the board over and you will see the fin. The fin is used to keep you going straight and provide stability. Fins can range in size and for activity. I have both a shallow water and open water fin. Majority of the time, the paddle board will be equipped with a bahne fin box, this makes it easy to instal vast majority of fins. Whenever people see me on my paddle board, I always have a few Paddle Board Accessories with me. I never leave home without my waterproof bluetooth speakers which streams music from my cell phone which is protected by my DryCase . When I am not in a swimming, surfing, or bathing zone, my must have accessory is a life jacket. Not only is the crucial for safety, but its also the law!!

Adventure Model Black Construction Stand Up Paddle Board

Stand Up Paddle Board: Wrong Turn

It was a perfect day for a down river run on the beautiful Hillsborough River. This was our second run down this secluded spot. Its safe to say, we where the first and only to tackle this run on a Stand Up Paddle Board. The paddle started off with a bang, spotting a thick 10 foot gator that was just as surprised to see us as we were to see it. My buddy John almost went in the water as the gator stirred up a big wake. As we were heading down river we had to be careful of falling trees. The water was clear and shallow with tons of limbs, branches, and tree trunks laying in our path. As some know, if your fin catches anything in the water, the board will suddenly stop and your moment will keep you moving forward. This can be dangerous as you can fall and damage your board or injure yourself.

As we kept paddling the river began to narrow, causing the current to pick up. We came up to a fork in the river. Before we could decide which direction to go in, we saw two giant alligators slide into the water from the bank. With there heads as thick as the body of a acoustic guitar, they slithered there way to the left side of the fork. We immediately decided it was best to swing right to stay clear of the gators. What made matters worse was spotting a few baby gators following the giants…we came across a gators nest. This is Paddle Boarding in Tampa for you.

We continued down river, but noticed the scenery was completely new to us. The water was getting extremely shallow and narrow. This is not uncommon for the river to appear different, especially after a big storm which will knock down trees and cause destruction to the river. After John’s paddle board got stuck on a fallen tree we decided to bring the boards on the bank and walk down stream to see if the river opens up. We hiked through the ruff terrain, making it difficult without any shoes. We kept our eyes peeled for any snakes, as water moccasin and rattler snakes are common in this area. After 10 minutes of walking, the river was stagnate and became a mere puddle. We were lost. We walked back to our boards, trying to figure out where we took a wrong turn. Luckily for me, I launched a gps tracking app before we started our Paddle Board adventure.

We studied the map carefully and concluded we made the wrong turn at the alligators nest. We carried out boards back to this minefield and were greeted again by the two giant gators sunning themselves on the bank. I made sure my GoPro was recording, at least we could get some amazing footage if something went wrong. The gators slide back in the water again and guarded exactly where we needed to go. The giants disappeared in a deep pool of water when we came near, we escaped unharmed. My Paddle Board Accessories saved the day. Bringing a cell phone along a paddle might be scary for some, but I have no worries as I have mine protected by my DryCase .

Always practice safety when paddle boarding. I always tell at least two people where I am going and a time frame to expect me back. If you are doing a trip where there are a few forks bad turns on the way, track your paddle with a gps or smartphone app. The extra preparation is worth it in the long run!

Gator Following Paddle Boards

Stand Up Paddle Boarding: What lies beneath (Fresh Water)

When standing up on a paddle board you have a great view of everything around you. I always slip on a pair ofpolarized sunglasses that reduces the glare on the water and allows me to see all the neat critters that lie beneath. Depending on which water I’m on (fresh or salt) I usually see many species of fish, turtles, crabs, sting rays, manta rays, and sometime critters I wish I didn’t see, such as alligators. Beside for the obvious enjoyment of viewing all these beautiful creators there is a safety concern of what lies beneath.

Whenever I am at my nearest water source, the Hillsborough River I am always at the lookout for whats beneath me. This is one of my personal favorite spots to paddle board in Tampa. While this waterway is peaceful and scenic, it does have its dangerous. Believe it or not, I am more scared of falling trees and branches hide under the water then alligators. When a gator sees any type of object occupied by a human, the gator almost always scatters in the water and is no threat. Even though I know gators rarely attack humans. The true danger of rivers and lakes is not so much the animals, but fallen trees and branches. I learned this the hard way….many times.

I was enjoying myself as usual and was heading upstream the river at a fast pace. My polarized glasses cuts through the glare on the water and I can see a everything in the crystal clear water. I crossed the path of a fallen tree that was resting in the water. I thought nothing of it and just paddled straight over it. I go to take my next stroke when my board suddenly stops in the water, my momentum takes me forward and I go soaring with my paddle in my hands and crashing on top of the board. This caught me completely off guard and I did not have enough time to react and fall in the water, not on my precious paddle board! Worse then my bruised ego I actually cracked the top of Lisa (what I call my board).

I wish I could say this was my last time getting caught up on branches but I haven’t dinged my board since! Whenever I see a tree laying underwater that I cant avoid I will immediately drop down to me knees and pray. Sitting or kneeling on the stand up paddle board while going over a tree will minimize damage and keep you from falling on top of the board. The board itself never gets caught on the tree, it has always been my fin. I changed my 10 inch fin to a shallow water fin and have not had an incident since. The shallow water fin only sits about 5 inches bellow the board and is excellent for cutting through weeds and grass. I keep my 10 inch handy for open water paddling. If its your first time at a new spot check online before you go or as some locals about things you need to be cautious off. After a big storm or heavy rain take your time and keep your eyes pealed for what lies beneath.

New Mexico Paddle Boarding and Rafting Vacations

New Mexico Paddle Boarding

If you’re looking for a fun and adventurous vacation idea that is something a little out of the ordinary, consider New Mexico paddle boarding or white water rafting. These are great ways to experience the beautiful outdoors of New Mexico while also getting some exercise and excitement. You can go New Mexico river rafting down well known rivers such as the Rio Grande or the Rio Chama or you can find smaller places to get out on the water. There are many different options when it comes to paddle boarding and rafting New Mexico so start planning your trip today!

Paddle Boarding In New Mexico
One of the best things about paddle boating in New Mexico is that you can have a great time whether you’re going alone or with a large group. Paddle boating offers you and your friends or family the opportunity to enjoy each other’s company in a fun and exciting way. During the slower points on the river you can relax and chat while traveling down the river, or you can push yourselves a little bit and make it into a competition.

There are so many different options available when paddle boarding down the river you’ll want to come back again and again. Just like rafting down a river you can take a casual trip down a calm area or you can go down a white water area if you’re brave enough. Of course, you’ll want to start out with a slower speed and work your way up as you gain experience.

White Water Rafting Adventures
New Mexico is home to multiple exciting white water rafting trips along the Rio Chama and Rio Grande Rivers. Whether you are looking for an outing that the whole family can enjoy, or a fast paced thrill ride, New Mexico’s waters are ready for you.

For those seeking a more relaxing trip, the Rio Chama may be your best bet. This run offers a smoother ride, allowing you and you group to encounter calmer rapids while still getting the true outdoor rafting experience. The Rio Chama can be broken up into a full 5 hour day trip or can be a multi-day event. No matter how long you decide to raft, it is truly a wonderful time.

Many people want to take white water rafting to another level. For those brave enough to take on fast paced waters and Class IV rapids, Taos Box rafting is the trip for you. Taos Box is found at the heart of the Rio Grande Gorge and can be an intense experience. Rapids such as Power Line Falls, The Rock Garden, and Sunset will keep you on the edge of your seat. Although this trip is not meant for everyone, it is perfect for the thrill-seeker.

New Mexico River Adventures is pleased to offer exciting paddle boarding trips and white water rafting in New Mexico. Learn more about these outdoor adventures and contact us today at

Stand Up Paddle Board: SUP in Tampa

Ever wished that you had a place where you can enjoy almost every paddle board condition? Lucky for us a Bare Life, Tampa offers some of the best waters. stand up paddle board in Tampa is unique to say the least. Being a peninsula, Florida is surrounded by water on three sides. On the West coast we have the smooth, flat, and chill Gulf of Mexico. On the East coast, we have the waves, beauty, and party atmosphere of the Atlantic ocean. To the South we have crystal clear waters and amazing fishing found in the Keys. Between the three, lies countless river and springs. Truly the best of both worlds.

For days that we are tight on time, we love traveling on the Hillsborough River. Being only 5 minutes away from this peaceful body of water, we are on it at least three times a week. Tampa is not known for our rapids. Instead we have slow moving rivers that are filled with amazing wildlife. I always find it a little unsettling when I am on the river with me 12 foot paddle board and I see an alligator close to the same size. I have a very healthy respect for these giants and alligator attacks are scarce. Along with gators, we see countless fish, birds, snakes, and deer while on the river. As the seasons change, so does the wildlife. The spring months are my favorite time to hit the river. There are hundreds of species of birds, including the Green Heron, Nighthawks, Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Osprey, and my personal favorite, the Roseate Spoonbill. As much as I love stand up paddle boarding on the fresh water, I always visit the salty treats that Tampa offers.

A short trip from Tampa is the beautiful Gulf of Mexico, a favorite spot for us at Bare Life. These waters are crystal clear with unique paddle board conditions. Often times these waters are flat and glassy. During the summer months one needs to be careful of late afternoon storms that role in almost always on schedule. The Gulf of Mexico has some amazing wildlife, including dolphins, fish, stingrays, manatees, and the occasional shark. Some of my best experiences of paddle boarding on the Gulf is when I find a pod of dolphins. These friendly and curious mammals often swim and play next to my paddle board. When lucky, they will show off their intense ariel tricks with breathe taking jumps, spins, and flips. While the Gulf of Mexico is not known for its surf, we do get the occasional storm that will bring waves that are perfect for stand up surf. Lucky for us, great surf is located on a tankful of gas just East of Tampa, on the Atlantic Ocean.

Located all over Florida, and just North of Tampa are fresh water springs. Most famous are Crystal River, Blue Springs, and Silver Springs. For those that remember, Silver Springs is the location of the 6 original Tarzan movies and scenes from James Bond movies as well. The best springs are the ones off the beaten path. Not always ideal for hauling around a huge paddle board. Lucky for us, with adventures that require hiking, we cary our
inflatable paddle board. The paddling conditions of these springs are very similar to our rivers, expect the water is crystal clear and always 72 degrees. Manatees will collect near these springs to stay warm during the winter. Paddle boarding near these peaceful animals is truly a once in a lifetime experience. These herd animals are very friendly and social. They will often swim aside a paddle boarder love to get gentle rubs! Every time I paddle board within the waters of Tampa I fall in love with the sport all over again.

Stand Up Paddle Board: 50 Shades of Paddle Boards

Sorry ladies, this wont be an article about what can be done with a carbon fiber paddle. Picking the perfect stand up paddle board can be difficult. Their are many factors that need to be considered, size, shape, paddle conditions, experience level, and even graphics/colors. As most will think, its more important to get the size and shape of the paddle board nailed down first, but graphics and colors also plays an important role. Granted you want a paddle board thats visually appealing to your taste, but how about one that stands out of the crowd

The last place a paddle boarder ever wants to blend in is on the water. This vast wonder is full of unexpected challenges and obstacles. This is one reason, why I am partial to paddle boards that are bright, loud, and stand out. Some say its due to my personality, while it may be partially true, safety on the water is always on my mind. The fact is a certain color or cool graphics wont make the board travel any faster, but it does play a crucial role with being visible on the water.

No need to sweat if your perfect board does not stand out on the water.There are several things that can be done to achieve this affect. Having a nice bright orange personal flotation device attached to the front of the board will definitely increase the boards visibility. Wearing bright colors while paddling will help draw the attention to other boaters and paddlers. Even if the paddler and the board are decked out in the brightest neon colors, take the proper persuasions while paddling. Always respect who has the right of way while on the water and don’t play chicken with a water craft that can easily destroy a paddle board. Lastly, I always tell at least two people where and when I am going paddle boarding. One can never be to safe while on the water. For the ladies that stuck through this article because of the title, here is your reward.