Paddle-Happy

Stand Up Paddleboards Spell Family Fun

“Most kids growing up in Chattanooga have crossed the Tennessee River via the Walnut Street pedestrian bridge; far fewer have been on the river beneath it,” remarks Mark Baldwin, owner of area paddle sports outfitter L2 Boards. Using stand up paddleboards (SUP), he loves guiding adults and children on their own up-close discoveries of the river’s cliffs, caves, fish, turtles and birds.

Waterways are enchanting at any age, and SUP recreation naturally tends to inspire creative quests. Its physical and developmental benefits are a bonus. “The stand up paddleboard is the bicycle of the water. Because paddleboarding can be done at any age and fitness level, the whole family can enjoy it together,” says Kristin Thomas, a mother of three in Laguna Beach, California, SUP race champion and executive director of the Stand Up Paddle Industry Association.

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