When Gulf Breeze native Kevin Cook and his family founded Coastal Paddle Company in 2010, it was not to follow a trend, but rather to share his passion for paddleboarding with locals and visitors to the area.
Stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) operations are popping up all over the place, but Coastal Paddle is among the first to hit our shores, providing the best experience out there. With its origin in Hawaii, stand up paddleboarding has become a stand-out among watersports, both for fun and fitness.
The feat is accomplished on two feet, firmly planted on a large board while propelling across the water with a single paddle. Cook bases his retail store and by-appointment adventure location in Gulf Breeze, with a daily rental and instruction base on Pensacola Beach – located between Red Fish Blue Fish and Soundside Market.
We had the chance to talk with two of his knowledgeable and passionate guides, Jacob Timpa and Colin McCreary, who shared insight on Coastal Paddle’s rentals and lessons.
If you are familiar with the sport, you can simply rent a board and paddle wherever you like for a reasonable fee – $20 for the first hour, and $10 for each additional hour. There are also weekly or daily rates.
With a laugh, Timpa says they’d rent you a board for a year if you wanted it, but for anything over a week, you may as well invest in your own. (Lucky for you, the Coastal Paddle Company retail shop sells some of the best boards, apparel, bags and shoes on the Gulf Coast.)
With every rental comes a brief, on-land tutorial, giving you tips to use when you hit the water. If you require or desire further instruction, they offer on-the-water, hands-on coaching to help you find your balance and perfect your paddle stroke. Lessons take place in the sound, rather than the gulf, where the water is calmer, and you can find your footing more easily.
Coastal Paddle Company also offers party packages, fitness classes and SUP excursions. To learn more, check out their experience page.
“We want to make sure they have a good time, as well as a safe time,” McCreary says.
Timpa chimes in: “People don’t realize how physically demanding this sport can be when the winds pick up, so we want to make sure they’re equipped with the right gear and knowledge.”
McCreary says a lot of SUP purveyors just throw you out on the water, but not Coastal Paddle Company. With service that is truly a step above, these guys will paddle out to help anyone who is struggling, even if they’ve rented from someone else.
“Our job is about showing someone a new experience, introducing them to stand up paddleboarding,” Timpa says. “We’re very passionate, and love seeing them paddle in with big smiles. We like making people happy.”
McCreary thinks many people are intimidated by the size of the board, unaware of how enjoyable the sport can be if you take the time to discover it.
“It’s always nice to share,” he says. “Especially when it’s something that can bring so much joy to your life.”
Find your joy – and your board – today by calling (850) 916-1600 or visiting the Coastal Paddle Company website or Facebook page. Stop in the retail shop at 314 Gulf Breeze Parkway in Gulf Breeze or the soundside adventure location at 5 Via De Luna Drive on Pensacola Beach.