Ocean Fitness Social Paddles are one of the greatest ways to learn to Stand Up Paddleboard and enjoy a spectacular evening on the water.
These on-the-water get-togethers take place every Wednesday during the warmer months at 6:15 p.m. at the Isle of Palms Marina, and are a fantastic way to meet other water lovers from around the area, learn to Paddleboard (SUP) if you don't already, enjoy a leisurely paddle on the Intercoastal Waterway, and have some drinks as you take in the sunset.
I attended my first Wednesday night Social Paddle in 2013 with a group of girlfriends. I had been dying to try SUP, but had no idea where to start. For $20 I was given a rental board, a paddle, a PFD (personal flotation device—a requirement by law) and a lesson on how to Stand Up Paddleboard.
Already used to balancing in yoga, I found standing up on the water on a paddleboard to be surprisingly easy. The boards are wider, touring boards, and very stable—perfect for beginners. But even those without a yoga background seemed to do just fine. Seriously folks—it is not hard to start. After being corrected a couple of times by local waterman (and two-time Oahu2Molokai finisher, and now my friend!) Bill Smith for bending my knees like I was doing a Bikram yoga asana, I chuckled at myself, found my rhythm, and never looked back. Two years later, I own a raceboard and you can find me on the water every day, somewhere around Charleston.
Twin brothers and avid watermen Brian and Stuart Schuck own Ocean Fitness, which is run out of the Isle of Palms Marina, next to the boat ramp. From surfing to kiteboarding, windsurfing and paddleboarding, the Schuck brothers can no more sit still and stay off the water than I can. You can find the brothers out on Folly Beach and Isle of Palms tearing it up every day of the week. And they love to pass on their love of the water to others. You can always book private kiteboarding, surfing, and paddleboarding lessons with Stu or Brian as well.
At the Wednesday night Social Paddle, local PR agent Misty Lister, a long-time paddleboarder, helps with instruction during the land lesson and guidance on the water. She also teaches several SUP Yoga and fitness classes throughout the week. And Bill Smith, an avid paddler, will help you as you learn the ropes as you navigate the water for the first time.
After working up a sweat, everyone puts their boards away and heads just next door to Morgan Creek Grill for happy hour-priced drinks and appetizers. You can end your day with corn hole, music, sunsets, cold drinks, and friends. It is Charleston life at its finest.
To reserve your spot at the next Wednesday night Social Paddle, call Ocean Fitness at 843-559-6073 or visit them at beoceanfit.com. The address is 50 41st Avenue, Isle of Palms, SC 29451. You can even bring your own board and join the paddle for free!