Whether you’ve visited Northwest Florida once or dozens of times, you’ve likely encountered locals’ favorite activities: standup paddle boarding (SUP). And the BoatHouse Paddle Club at the WaterColor BoatHouse offers guests the opportunity to experience SUP first-hand, as they explore Western Lake, one of South Walton’s rare coastal dune lakes. Aside from being a distinctly fun activity, its low-impact nature makes SUP suitable for all ages – and offers the chance to explore WaterColor’s natural beauty from a unique vantage point.
We sat down with Tom Losee, Owner & Founder of RUN/SUP – BoatHouse Paddle Club to learn more about what makes SUP one of WaterColor’s favorite activities.
SJH: How would you describe SUP to someone who has never experienced it before?
TL: I would say it’s just like the name implies: stand-up paddling. If you have ever experienced any other type of paddle sport, you will immediately appreciate the perspective you get when stand-up paddling….you can see a lot more from that vantage point, especially when paddling the clear waters of the Gulf. You have the opportunity to witness an abundance of marine life that you might have missed if you were just sitting down. It’s easy to learn and enjoy from your very first time. Just make sure you try it first in calm water – just like we have on Western Lake at the WaterColor Boathouse.
SJH: What makes SUP so fun?
TL: It is easy to learn and there are so many ways to enjoy it – from casual paddling to racing, from flat water to riding as big of a wave as you are comfortable riding. Even better, it’s a sport that can be enjoyed with friends and family.
SJH: Why do you think SUP has become such an iconic South Walton activity?
TL: Definitely because of the variety and scenery that our local waters provide. Our area is ideal for SUP’ing. Our coastal dune lakes offer consistent flat-water, which is ideal for learning. We also have many locations from which you can easily launch your board – not just coastal dune lakes but also, with the right conditions, the gulf and the bay as well.
SJH: Do you have any favorite SUP memories?
TL: There are many, as I have been fortunate to paddle in many locations all over the world. I can still remember the first time I ever stand-up paddled, and it was from the dock at the WaterColor Boathouse – nearly 15 years ago!
The BoatHouse Paddle Club at WaterColor BoatHouse offers rentals, lessons, tours and merchandise seven days a week, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (seasonal hours may vary). Click here for more information and pricing, or call (850) 419-6188. Happy paddling!
Details included in this story were accurate at time of publication but are subject to change based on seasonal schedules, amenity and/or operational updates. For the most current information, please visit the respective property’s website.