Paddleboarding… it’s not as hard as it looks, it’s more fun than you might think and it’s an activity that seems to attract a groovy group of people who just love to head out onto the water and have a chilled out time. Perfect for date night!!
For several years, Paddleboard Orlando has offered classes, beginner paddles and day trips but in December they opened Central Florida’s first lakeside bricks and mortar paddle shop.
Located on the shores of Lake Killarney, Paddleboard Orlando is a few doors down from Shake Shack in Winter Park, which means it’s now perfectly situated for combo dates that include an hour on the board followed by beers and burgers on the dock.
Hourly rentals are now available seven days a week at the shop. Give a call before you arrive to be sure, but usually more than 30 boards are on hand to rent at $25/hour, including 10 minutes of instruction. For the same price, you can rent a tandem board, which allows couples to head out onto the lake together.
“Bring your dog, your cooler, your kids , whatever, and float out for a water picnic,” says co-owner Ned Johnson. “Lake Killarney is a private access, spring-fed lake, which means the boat and jet ski traffic is minimal. And the water quality is amazing.”
They also have new and consignment boards for sale at the shop. “You can really make a day of it at our new facility,” says Ned. “You get take-out from Shake Shack or Yogen Fruz, head out for a paddle, and then just hang out and watch the other paddleboarders. It’s a very relaxing and welcoming place.”
My Lovely Date Night Paddle and Party – February 14
Looking for a new twist on Valentine’s Day? “Our couples-specific event on February 14 always sells out,” says Ned. “We go from Fort Maitland to Dog Island, departing around 7pm.”
Everyone wears shoulder lights and lots of instructors tag along to ensure all the newbies are having fun. Once on the island, there’s live music to enjoy while participants sip the boozy beverages they bring along in their own cooler.
“We hang out on the island for a while and then paddle back. It’s always a great time and only about a mile and a half round-trip, so it’s definitely beginner friendly.”
Cost is $39 per person, including board rental and instruction. Pre-registration is required. More info here.
Full Moon Palm Island Party and Paddle
The Valentine’s Day event kicks of a monthly series of moonlit paddles, which take place on one Friday or Saturday each month through September. Once again, it’s about a 1.5 mile round-trip and includes a stop at the island for drinks and music. Cost is $39 per person, including board rental and instruction. Pre-registration is required. More info here.
Ned and his team have run this popular class for eons, and it usually sells out from April to October. Groups depart most Saturdays at 9am and 11am from Dinky Dock Park (by Rollins College) for a 90-minute paddle that's ideal for beginners. Cost is $35 per person (including the board and paddle) and reservations through Meet-Up are required.
Paddleboard Orlando also has a concession at Wekiva Island where you can rent a paddleboard for $35 for two hours. While you’re there, Ned says you should definitely grab a bite at the Without a Paddle Café. “I’ve never had a bad meal there,” he says. Wekiva Island also has a bar, live bands, cabana rentals, firepit, and canoe and kayak rentals.
More Events and Offerings
In addition to rentals and full moon paddles, Paddleboard Orlando also offers:
- Crystal River Manatee Safari
- Saturday Race Series
- Sunset Yoga on the Dock
All class and day trip info can be found at meetup.com/paddleboardorlando, which is also where you pre-register.
Stay tuned for details about movie nights, paddleboard yoga, and more race series events!
Congratulations, Ned and your team! Looking forward to some stellar paddleboard date nights!!
(Photos provided by Paddleboard Orlando)