Tag Archives: paddles by the sea

Vero Beach Paddle Board Rentals

Vero Beach Paddle Board Rentals

Stand Up Paddleboarding is a journey of realizations, which is exactly what you will experience should you pursue a regular practice of SUP. Like with any practice you are best served to approach it without judgment, with patience, and with grace.

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To start, rent your way through this stage of the journey; you’ll meet people along the way that like you, are discovering the beauty of our paradise. They love the time spent on the water, the efforts it takes to get their clients prepared, and keeping everyone safe. And they love sharing what they know all along the experience. You can build long-lasting relationships with many of these people and their businesses.

Renting equipment in Vero Beach is easy. It is best to think about what you want to experience and be a part of. The people are all in business and will have you sign waivers with agreements of responsibilities. You may be experienced with these forms but review them to be sure you understand where everyone stands.

Stand Up Paddling with Children

The waters sing to us a siren’s song, calling us if only for a chance sighting of its vastness. We sense our own smallness in its grandeur. And with a calling comes a sense of risk, of consequence knowing full well that we are not borne on its tides but on its shores. Start your SUP journey on the flat water of the Indian River.

Think of what you want to see. In the Indian River, location is going to determine the variety of wildlife, the flora and fauna, and the views. You might think it is all the same but the differences are real and in the subtleties lay much of the deeper adventures you will have. Each of the rental companies below will have strengths based on their knowledge, locations they serve, and the equipment they rent.

What'SUP Vero Beach

If you like this article you may also like the “What’SUP Vero” article.

For Indian River SUP experiences there are several outfitters and rental companies that will be able to help you. Go to their websites and dig in to understand the value that each will bring to the experience. Some will have all-inclusive rates, some ala carte, and some will have delivery fees. Review the websites below and ask questions when you call to reserve.

Think about logistics. What do you have for transporting the equipment? Will they deliver and retrieve equipment? Do you want a tour? What provisions will you need…besides water? Always take water with you. Think too about weather and tides, ask how you may be impacted and for the safest directions to take for the time you are paddling. Will you need bug spray? You will always need sunscreen and protective clothing. It is highly recommended that you wear water shoes in the Indian River or any inland body of water. My recommendation is to never paddle alone. Get a paddle buddy, get a crew, or ask to be included in a group. Take safety into account at all costs.

Oceanfront hotels typically have a contractor renting equipment and by this point, most are offering SUP rentals. Disney Vero Beach Resort is, in fact, a Disney experience. Vero Beach & Spa and the Holiday Inn both use Paddles By the Sea. Costa d’Este uses Boucher Brothers. At the Historic Driftwood Inn use Shark Bait Beach Rentals. Each has a variety of equipment so please check with the Concierge or Front Desk to find out what they offer and how they manage the equipment. Go to each of their websites to better understand where you’ll be paddling and what sites you might encounter. In some cases, you may want to rent from a company other than the one at your hotel. If you are in Central Vero Beach, they may be closer to the Breconshire Wreck for example or you may prefer the equipment they are renting.

Visit more than one rental company to get a handle on what their equipment is like. Boards and paddles used for rentals are often more durable and thus made from different materials. They will all be the wider boards for beginners but some of the distinctions make for a different user experience. Make your experience a good one by understanding what and how you will be using the equipment. Paddling for two or more hours in the ocean or the Indian River will tire you out on a calm day. If you encounter a higher wind or a stronger current, you’ll be tired faster. If at all possible carry bottled water or a full Nalgene bottle with you or hydration.

Another thing about ocean paddling, some of the rental vendors named here may not allow their boards in the ocean. They will tell you right away but do ask up front. Ocean paddling needs to be addressed with a very high respect and a sense of humility. There are similar elements with other bodies of water but the ocean is the least forgiving. The sun and wind are more intense for your skin and eyes. Your balance is going to be tested even in calm seas.

Simply stated be aware of your surroundings in all you do in and on the water. Have fun.

Just keep paddling.

A list of the links used in the article is below…

Costa d’Este Beach Resort & Spa



Paddles By The Sea






Adventure Kayaking

Orchid Island Bikes and Kayaks

Paddles By The Sea

Sea SUP Go

Shark Bait Beach Gear


What'SUP Vero Beach

What’SUP Vero

Stand Up Paddleboarding in Vero Beach

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Have you noticed all the long surfboards people are carrying about in Vero Beach? To the uninitiated, it might seem that Vero is a haven for Long Boarders or an old surfers haven. There are positively “Two Girls for Every Boy” in this town, actually more like four. Just ask any young woman you know. That’s a whole ‘nother story.

What we are witnessing is the infancy of a sport known as Stand Up Paddleboarding, SUP for short. What is happening is that people are letting go of their fears and giving it a go. And when fears are banished the free go far.

Vero Beach is blessed to be at the center of two incredible assets, the Fort Pierce Inlet and the Sebastian Inlet. If you’ve read “A Land Remembered” you will note that the Fort Pierce Inlet played a major role in Florida’s Citrus history as the New England market’s access to our crops. Sebastian Inlet has a much rowdier and perhaps tawdry history wrapped up in Local, State and then Federal politics making for a good many tales of epic proportion. Let’s explore that sometime.

What these inlets do is allow a continual resurgence of open ocean currents to enter and retreat from the Indian River providing the life for of the “lagoon”, an estuary of international impact. They also provide a magnet for the marine life in the river and a synergy of life along the coastline of the Atlantic. The unique reefs offshore of Indian River County combine with this flow of life from the Gulf Stream to produce an environment for a renewal of species up and down the food chain including our own.

This is the backdrop of the incoming tide of the SUP’ers here in Vero. Many locals have been involved for a long time. In fact, we are home to the manufacturer of a highly specialized line of paddleboards. Mark Castlow and company at Dragonfly Boatworks began making versions of paddleboards that incorporates proprietary designs from their successful flats boats and more. Because of their expertise in the flats, their paddleboard has caught on and been shipped worldwide with Dubai as one of the more interesting drops. And they have had a very satisfied client in Jimmy Buffet who loves to use his for Bone Fish excursions.

Breconshire Shipwreck SUP

So where is everyone paddling? The answers are as varied as the paddlers themselves. It will depend upon their interests, what they want to see and experience. For our oceanfront visitors and hotels guests at Disney, Vero Beach Hotel & Spa, Holiday Inn, Coste d’Este, and Waldo’s the Breconshire Wreck is the first stop. They will easily see the exhaust pipe, the hull’s outline and a bit of a reef on calm, clear days. From there, it is best to head south to the Rio Mar reefs for the best views of sea life and reef formations.

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What is hugely important for this and every paddle is safety. Some if not all of the outfitters will include a leash in the rental and this is key. When you are in the ocean or river you will be subject to wind and currents. You do not want to get separated from your board or your paddle. The second critical piece of equipment would be a personal flotation device or PFD. It seems ridiculous since you may be leashed to your board but it is key especially for the novice paddler. The U.S. Coast Guard requires you to have one on the board at least if you will be outside of the surf zone. Yes, there is an entire world of Surfing SUP capabilities, again for another story. Watch out for Murphy’s Law when it comes to water sports, have safety top of mind.

For the Indian River start with Round Island’s Riverside Park, a crowd favorite. There is a SUP/ Kayak drop off circle and a safe sandy beach to launch from. Again, have your safety equipment on your board and use a leash every time. It is actually more important in the river because you can easily become complacent about safety as you enter a state of calm along the way. You will think that you have found paradise; the quiet and easygoing vibe will be all the more heightened because you are literally floating away.

After a while try your skills at other launch sites in the area. The obvious ones are found in other parks in the city and County. MacWilliam Park Boat Ramp is a terrific place to launch with access to the City Marina and islands north of the launch site. The Vero Beach Rowing Club has installed a great floating dock that is also available for launching but watch yourself when standing up too close to the dock. You may also want to launch from Riverside Park and again watch yourself standing up only after you have pushed away from the shore or ramp. The south end includes Memorial Island and much more.

This is a snippet of the adventures you can have with a SUP adventure on the water here in Vero Beach. As with any water activity know your craft, skills and safety equipment. To that add local shore and water knowledge such as bottoms and tides. Always, always, and ALWAYS… Feet First if you need to enter any body of water. Some people will wear waterproof shoes or booties; there will be obstacles in the cushy sand below. Don’t get lulled into feeling too safe. My hope is that everyone who puts off from shore will return safely. And never paddle alone. Next time let’s see where to rent SUP equipment and what they offer for their guests.

Paddle on.

Paddles by the Sea

Paddles by the Sea

If you are looking for tours or rentals please visit Paddles by the Sea. They have two locations one beachside at the Holiday Inn and riverside at Riverside Cafe.

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Vero Beach Paddle Board RentalsVero Beach has even more options for renting paddle boards. Click photo to read more.

Returning to Vero Beach with Shells on my Toes

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Nine Fifteen Twenty Fifteen:  A Ryder truck a tad too big for my driving pleasure with my car hitched behind.  This big’ish rig and I headed West on Route 60, turned right on 95 and drove North until well past night.  Carrying myself and my things back to Virginia; back to the future; back to be a Mom to my youngest, back in the VA for her final two years of high school.  Bittersweet day.  Goodbye Vero.  Hello again to my second Virginia girl.  Those two years have been both the toughest and most rewarding two years of my life.

Both my sweet Virginia gals are embarking on exciting new school adventures.  My youngest moves to Richmond to attend Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Arts.  My first born is off to the Netherlands to attend a brand new University.  My day job of the last 21 years is over; Mom is fired.  Yay ME!

Naturally, I packed my car once again and aimed it due South on 95.  Next stop, Vero Beach! Hard to stay away from Paradise by the i95.

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One of those things in life.  When you cannot imagine being anywhere else, you just GO.

So, here are the TOP TEN reasons I came running back to Vero Beach:

1. Beach, beach, BEACH.  South Beach. Atlantis Beach. Humiston Beach. Conn Beach. Jaycee Park BeachVero Beach Hotel & Spa Beach.  Sharkbait’s Beach get-ups. Beach under the Rail at Waldo’s.  What the heck do I love so much about these beaches?  Well, SALT, salt spray, waves, water, fish, fisher-people, turtle nests, QiGong, sunrise, sunset, shells and the many gifts from the sea.  Then there’s dolphin, tarpon, mullet runs, sharks, spinner sharks, pelicans, terns.  Lifeguards, lifeguard towers, SUP boards, surf boards, skim boards, boogie boards, boardwalk boards.  By now, you should get the drift – I never get bored on or looking upon the BEACH.


2. ‘I Got the Music in Me’ and am sometimes a very happy Dancing Queen!

Music, Music, MUSIC. Vero has such an AHMAZING amount of wonderful music and musicians ALL YEAR LONG & in so many venues.  Concerts in the Loop. Howl at the Moon.  Vero Beach High School’s Marching Band & VBHS’s Orchestra & String students. Collins & Company; Bobby G/Bobby & The Blisters; Uproot Hootenanny.  Downtown Friday’s & Saturday Nights Under the Stars. Anyone playing, picking, (Bibble?!) strumming and/or drumming at the Driftwood.  Where’s Waldo’s???  New faces taking the risk to play in front of Lemon Tree & Cravings.  Saturday Farmer’s Market.  So, though I may not dance each and every time I am lucky enough to catch the live music, you never know (nor do I always) when the urge will strike.


3. Cravings for All the Delicious Food, Food, FOOD in Vero. Breakfast at Chelsea’s on Cardinal, at Kountry Kitchen, the Lemon Tree, CJ Cannon’s, Mulligan’s local’s special & oh that Green Goddess with protein at Cravings! My Cravings obsessions extend to their cookies, soups, ice cream, croissants and a most excellent WiFi connection. La Tabla for absolutely EVERYTHING on their menu and the photos and their staff and the most excellent WiFi free spot to eat or simply sip a coffee in Vero. Tres Hermanos tacos anytime, any day of the week; the Mole on certain Saturday’s is better than even Mole in Mexico. Citrus Grillhouse for lunch or dinner with a view. Dario for happy hour, bar food, late night, their staff, the family and all the great people you meet at their bar.


4. Surf & Dive shops.  Deep Six for ALL their stock of everything.  This place is MORE dangerous to my financial stability than Nordstrom’s used to be.  I love so much there:  bargain bikini baskets, hats, rash guards, SUP gal wear, knee socks, shoes, shoe sale rack, ukuleles, real sun-protection sun glasses, toys, toy VWs, reading glasses, lip protection, the staff……Then, over the Wabasso Bridge, just past the ELC, is the Wabasso Beach Shop where I can lose my whole paycheck on really cool SUP gal wear and Beach toys and surf boards and the 75% off room and their frequent buy some, get more free specials.


5. The 32963. (Once upon a time the 32960.) Riverside Cafe & the coi at night. Vero Tackle. Paddles by the Sea. Boats, Boats, BOATS. The Barber Bridge. The Christmas Parade. The Clydesdales. THE party of the year at Callie Corey’s house. Ocean Drive. Cardinal Drive. Flamevine Lane. Eagle Drive. Casey’s Place. Nino’s. Salt of Vero.


6. Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy Hours.  Riverside Cafe. Darios. Citrus Grill. Heaton’s Reef. Filthy’s. Vero Bowl Lanes & Lounge. Kelly’s.  If you want to get happy farther afield, drive (or use Uber or a designated driver) and don’t miss Little Jim’s & the Tiki Bar in Ft. Pierce.  In Sebastian, Salty’s, which happens to be next to my fave place to see and buy fish AND eat Lionfish tacos – Crab E Bills.  Talk about a phenomenal place to buy the freshest fish anywhere & learn about the Sebastian water-front throughout its history.  If you are sweet and nice and lucky, Crab E Bill himself may share a fish tale or two.

7. The 32960. Yes, some of us don’t really like to leave ‘the island’ BUT you are missing so very much if you don’t venture to the west. 14th Avenue for a start. 14th Avenue for a middle and 14th Avenue for an ending as well.  Vero has a GREAT old town, downtown that is getting better ALL THE TIME. Some of my faves: Seahorse Lane Boutique, Tea & Chi, Fish Shack, Southern Social, Tiger Lily Art Studios and Gallery. How about some Pickleball on the courts at Pocahontas Park?


8. Pineapples & Citrus & Cattle. Vero’s roots are agriculture.  The Spanish brought their citrus trees and their cattle and their small horses that are adept in our scrub lands and woods.  The rest, as they say, is history.  Pineapples in Vero?  Yes, indeed. There is quite a history behind pineapple groves here in Indian River County.  Today, the MOST delicious pineapple you may ever taste is grown here, off Route 1, in Wabasso. Nature Farms.


9. The Indian River Lagoon and the A1A.  The A1A needs no further explanation.  Jimmy Buffett sings about it often. Our Lagoon is the second largest estuary in the USofA (the Chesapeake gets top billing) and one of the most biodiverse environments in the world. Truth.  If you want to learn more, DO visit the Environmental Learning Center AND DO take their Eco Cruise, Captained by a well known Mariner, Scott Corey.  Every year there is a GREAT charitable tournament, Lines in the Lagoon, organized by Vero youth who have grown up playing on and around the Lagoon.  Ever heard of a Spoil Island or Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge, established in 1903?


10. SUP‘ing Year Round.  Yup, I am an addicted SUP gal and is Vero ever the PARADISE for this sport called Stand Up Paddleboarding.  Save your pennies though ’cause it takes more than a few clam shells to get your own SUP gear.  But DO visit Dragonfly Boat Works and SeaSupGo to check out all there is to offer and OF COURSE to buy all you need to SUP.

I have been SUP’ing on the Lagoon; in the ocean; circled the flagpole marking the wreck of the Breconshire.  Commissioned in Scotland in 1892, the ship sunk in 1894 in 12 feet of water, on a moonless night in Vero, when the ship’s mates thought they were 3 miles offshore. The Breconshire had been on a voyage out of New York Harbor enroute to Tampa to pick up an undisclosed cargo.  Now you know why the flagpole is out there, front and center, on one of Vero’s most visited beach.

I could really go on forever and a day about the Paradise we call Vero Beach but I shall end this love fest by saying:  it is the Pirates and the People that I meet in Vero, whether they are born here or come here, that keeps me hooked.

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