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10 Aug 2021
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Beginner Paddleboarders Guide to Okaloosa Island


Okaloosa Island boasts some of the best paddleboarding conditions in Florida due to its beautiful white sand beaches and cool Gulf waters, making it the perfect place to learn how to paddleboard. Here are some tips for beginner paddleboarders who want to try out this awesome activity on Okaloosa Island.


Choosing your paddleboard

As with any other piece of equipment you purchase, it is important that you do your research before choosing a paddleboard. The first thing you should consider is whether or not you want a board for flat water or surfing. Decide what type of paddling will be most appealing and then choose from there. For example, if you know you want to spend a lot of time on lakes and rivers, look for something that can handle those types of bodies of water such as an inflatable SUP board. If you are going to spend a majority of your time in oceans and large lakes with swells, then opt for an ocean-ready board made from hard plastic. Once again, do your research so that when purchasing your paddleboard it is well within your budget and serves its purpose!


Choosing your paddleboard location

If you’re just getting started, opt for a location that’s close to shore. Not only will it provide more stability for a beginner, but also make it easier to get back in if you fall out. Our favorite spot for newbies is the Choctawhatchee Bay as it offers flat water and gentle waves. We also like some areas of the East Pass as well for an easy ride to Crab Island.


Getting Started

Whether you’re visiting or a local, getting started with paddleboarding is easy. Beginners can rent boards and equipment on Okaloosa Island. Boats, SUPs and paddles can be rented from Fantasy of Flight Marina & Family Fun Park in Fort Walton Beach. There are also several local outfitters in Destin that offer rental options. Both Emerald Coast Paddle Company and Wet Inc, for example, offer rentals at an hourly rate or by a full day for visitors coming to town who don’t want to bother with having their own board shipped down ahead of time.


Stand Up Paddle Board Safety

So, you’ve got your board, but what else do you need? Life jacket! You won’t have fun paddle boarding if you don’t have one. There are many different types of life jackets available for use on paddle boards. The type of life jacket you choose will depend on personal preference and what type of paddle board activity you plan on participating in. But either way make sure to wear it whenever out on open water.

For More info on Paddleboarding and kayaking check out Tripshock

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