Recently, the Jacksonville Moms Blog team took to the sea for an afternoon of stand-up paddleboarding with Jax Surf & Paddle. Having never been on a paddleboard on the ocean, I was a bit nervous, but we all had an amazing time! Jax Surf & Paddle made everything so easy. We met at their paddle school location on 1st Street in Neptune Beach, and after completing our waivers, I expected to grab a board and lug it to the beach, but they had already taken care of everything! Not to mention, it was so lovely to stroll the beach carrying little more than a towel and a water bottle instead of a week’s worth of snacks and two bags of toys. A tent was set up on the beach, along with several boards, paddles, chairs and everything else we needed.
Our group settled in with a few adult beverages (to calm the nerves, of course) and listened to the amazing instructors cover the basics — everything from how to hold the paddle to the best way to fall off the board safely, all the while making us laugh and not feel overwhelmed. We were a group of moms with varying athletic and swimming abilities, and the instructors took their time to make sure all of our questions were answered and everyone felt confident going in the water.
The waves were pretty rough, so getting in the water with the big board was a bit tricky, but we were each paired with an instructor who helped us every step of the way. Once we were in the water, the real fun began. I immediately tried to stand up, which meant that I was able to immediately practice that whole falling-off-the-board-safely skill I had just learned. Thankfully, the water felt great, and I was much less nervous once I was wet and had survived my first fall.
We had so much fun laughing, chatting and cheering each other on in the water. It was so beautiful to be out on the ocean amongst friends, enjoying the views and learning something new together.
I managed to stand up on the board a few times, but the water was a bit too bumpy for me to ever feel fully confident while standing up. As our instructors had told us, our paddleboarding experience was whatever we wanted to make it, so I spent the last part of the afternoon sitting on the board, paddling leisurely and chatting with my friends. And it was perfect.
I came out of the water feeling exhilarated and excited to have tried something new. A few of our team members chose to watch from the beach, and it was so much fun hearing their point of view from the shore. Another perk? Not having to clean up or bring anything back! The Jax Surf & Paddle team took care of everything while we took our time heading back. We stopped at the paddle school to change, and then we headed to the Jax Surf & Paddle retail store a few blocks away for some post-paddling wine and a little shopping. The store has so many cute beachy things, and I’ve already been back a few times to pick up gifts and supplies for the summer.
If you are looking for a unique outing with your friends, family or coworkers, a paddleboarding party with Jax Surf & Paddle is a wonderful experience!
More About Jax Surf & Paddle
Jax Surf & Paddle offers a variety of public, private and group lessons, classes and eco tours for paddleboarding and surfing, as well as a children’s Surf Camp (for ages 6 to 16) throughout the spring and summer months. The shop also offers an extensive list of beach rentals including paddleboards, surfboards, kayaks, bicycles, beach umbrellas and more!