SUP Lessons & Tours

Paddle Board Lessons & Paddle Board Tours

Join us in the fun and adventure of this exciting water sport!   Whether you are a complete beginner or an experienced paddler looking for new scenery or to advance your paddling techniques. We offer stand up paddle boarding lessons, group and family paddles, sunset paddles, moonlight paddles, sunrise paddles, SUP race training, and SUP Yoga & fitness.  We are located in Bluffton, SC, very close to Hilton Head Island and Savannah, GA. Water Sports & Outdoor Recreation at it's Best!  Fun & Fitness out on the River!

Please Note: If members of your group are nervous about  standing on a paddle board - Great News - they do not have to ever stand up at all - they can Sit, kneel, lay down or get in whatever position makes them comfortable!   You can sit on the paddle board just like you would in a kayak or canoe.

Paddle Boarding vs Kayaks & Kayaking:  Paddle boarding offers significantly  more Freedom & options than Kayaks or kayaking. On a SUP, you can Sit, Kneel, Lay down or stand of course.  So many more position & movement options than being basically stuck in one position while sitting down inside a kayak.

Stand Up Paddle Board Lessons, Tours, & Outings

 

Learn the basics of stand up paddle boarding, then apply your new skills out on the water with the help & support of your instructor & guide. A short, but thorough, lesson & safety session on land is followed by an guided tour on the boards out on the beautiful Lowcountry waterways.  2 hrs total time. Your session costs include all equipment needed (board, paddle and PFD), full lesson & instructions, professional guide, then an exciting fun-filled adventure out on the river!

 

Remember: Tipping your guide / instructor Greatly reduces your chances of shark or alligator attacks!  (Just kidding!)

***How to Sign Up***

Scheduling Your Paddling Adventure:

 

Our schedule is affected significantly by local Tides and Weather.  Simply send us an Email or Text message and let us know:

1.) How many people are in your party

2.) Your preferred day(s) & time(s) that you'd like to go out.

3.) Let us know  if your group is interested in any of our specialty tours or outings, such as  Sunset Paddles, Moonlight Paddles, Sunrise Paddles, Private Lessons, or SUP Yoga / Fitness.

Payments:

- Venmo (preferred method) @rachel-cantore, or scan QR code below
- Cash is acceptable but you must choose "hold with credit card" and email me at fusionfitgym@gmail.com to confirm and let me know you will be paying this way

*If there are any conflicts, problems, or we need to reschedule we will email or call you immediately.

The Best Times to Paddle:

When: We offer tours virtually all day, everyday, but there are definitely better times and not as good times.  In general, the earlier in the day, or very late afternoon/early evenings are typically much nicer paddling conditions than mid-day.   During our season, we often schedule tours at 8 am, 10 am, & 12 noon, plus a Sunset Tour which will be anywhere from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm start time, depending on time of year.   During the hottest, most humid, and busiest times of year we try to Avoid tours during the mid-afternoons, as not only will get uncomfortably hot & humid, but it will also get very Crowded out on the river with boats and other watercraft, especially on the weekends and holidays.  It's best to avoid those times if possible.    You Must contact us and schedule your session ahead of time, to make sure that we have space & equipment for your and your group.

 

Winds: Stand Up Paddle Boarding is very condition sport, meaning in very calm waters & winds, it's very easy and relaxing... almost meditative and therapeutic.  But, strong winds, lots of waves, and strong currents, can all make SUP potentially much more challenging.  If winds are too strong at the scheduled time of your tour, we may have reschedule for a day with milder winds.  Windy conditions ( and strong currents), can also affect small kids much more than adults, and may make it impossible for smaller kids to paddle on their own.  They may have to go tandem with a parent, or we may have to reschedule.

 

On a positive note about winds, if you and or your group is willing to paddle up into a strong wind, then we can turn around mid-way and do a " down-winder " back home.  The wind pushes you back and makes for a very fun, exciting, and easy return trip!

 

Kids & Age Restrictions: In general, roughly 12 to 13 years old is the cut-off age for kids to be able to paddle a board by themselves on one of our normal mixed group tours. But, it is very individualistic!  And condition dependent also!   We've had a few 11 year olds that have done great, and we've also had 14 year olds that just couldn't do it on their own.   Windy days will make it considerably more challenging for small kids.

 

If you have small kids who really want to try paddling themselves, we highly recommend scheduling a Private Family outing, as opposed to joining in with one of our regularly scheduled mixed group tours.  That way, your family can go along at it's own pace and shorter distances than our normal tours go.   We can spend as much time helping the smaller kids learn to paddle themselves, and/or just playing around on the boards or sandbars after they get tired!

 

 

We schedule all of our outings for 2 hours, which includes 15 to 20 mins of instructions on land, the guided tour on the water, and then usually getting back to the destination around 15 minutes before the 2 hours are up.  So typically we are actually out on the water for approximately 1.5 hours plus or minus depending on the group and the environmental conditions.

Additional Questions?  Please contact fusionfitgym@gmail.com

Where We Paddle:

 

Where:  We typically run most of our lessons & tours from the public park & landing at the end of Wharf Street, in old town Bluffton.  This is a beautiful location, with amenities, parking and miles of great paddling routes!  The address is 75 Wharf Street, Bluffton, SC and it's right beside the Bluffton Oyster Company.

 

We also paddle fairly frequently from Trask Landing on Colleton River, Colleton River Plantation, Berkeley Hall, Rose Hill Plantation, Moss Creek Plantation, Buckingham Landing or Pinkney Island Landing at the foot of the bridges to Hilton Head Island, or the 2 public boat landings on Broad Creek in Hilton Head Island: Marshland Road Landing and Cross Island Boat Landing. And from the Port Royal Sound Foundation and Maritime Center on the Chechessee River. You must contact us beforehand to set up a special outing from one of these locations.

 

We occasionally do group paddle outings from various other locations all around the Lowcountry area, including Hilton Head Island, Beaufort, Bluffton and Savannah areas.  We paddle the New River in Hardeeville, the Savannah River, the Combahee River, and the amazing Ebenezer Creek near Rincon, GA ( this place is Awesome!). We can arrange to do a special paddle session for your group at any of these or other locations, just send us a message.

 

What to Bring:  You should bring Sunblock; Footwear that is ok to get wet or muddy; athletic clothing or preferably bathing suits; Towels for afterwards (just in case you get wet); and possibly bug spray (just in case, though not usually needed).  You might want to bring along some water or other hydration to suck down right before and immediately after the outing, but sometimes it's not that easy to keep and use a water bottle on the board while we're out on the river.

 

Tides:   We have a very large tidal differential here in the Lowcountry of about 7 feet every 6 hours.   This makes for a very significant difference in the landscape of the river and marshes between dead high tide and dead low tide.   It also makes for a very strong tidal current which changes every 6 hours.   For the majority of our tours, we go against that current for the first half of the trip and then ride that current back on the second half of the trip.

 

High Tides and Low Tides both have their advantages for paddling out on the river.  At high tide, there is much more volume of water, so you have more places where you can paddle, such as through the marsh, up in the small estuary creeks, and underneath the the majestic limbs of the  local live oak trees  with the beautiful Spanish moss hanging down off of them!  This is a beautiful and scenic experience.

 

Low tides have a much more limited locations where you can paddle, BUT then you can easily access the beautiful sand bars that found all along the river channel.   Your tour can make stops along the way and frolic along the soft sandy "beaches", or make one long mid-way stop and spend time swimming, looking for wildlife, and maybe attempting some yoga, strength or gymnastic poses on the paddleboards!

FAQ

Tides:

The Lowcountry tides in the May River shift throughout the day with two low tide times and two high tide times typically each day on average every 6-7 hours with a change in depth between 6-8 feet between low tide and high tide.  The tide change make for significant differences in the landscape of the river and marshes.  This tide pattern means changing tide currents that change every 6 hours, therefore our route and destination on the water for Paddle Fused Fitness.  Most classes, we will paddle out against the tides to begin, then with the tides on our return.  When the tides are low and coming in, we will paddle from the Bluffton Oyster Factory Dock straight out toward the mini-sandbar across the May River for Paddle Fused Fitness.  When tides are high and on their way out we will paddle out right from the Bluffton Oyster Factory Dock down the May River to where we will hold Paddle Fused Fitness.  At high tide there is more water volume and more areas to paddle, while low tides mean less volume but access to the sandbar.  Winds could change these plans (see below), but this is the general guideline.  

A note about Oyster Beds: Oyster beds are abundant in various areas in the May River.  At low tide the water levels are often low enough that you can see oyster beds below you if you paddle over them.  However we will NOT be paddling over any oyster beds and will be avoiding areas where they are found.  You do NOT want to fall atop an oyster bed as they are sharp edges may create lacerations and injury.  We will be directing you accordingly,

Winds:

Stand up paddleboarding can become easier or more challenging depending on the winds and tides you paddle in.  In calm waters with little wind, it is relatively easy and calming to paddle and reach our destination on the water where we will do the class.  But stronger winds mean more paddling and work.  We cannot predict the winds or weather when scheduling your paddle session.  Unless there are significantly poor wind and weather conditions we will plan our Paddle Fused Fitness class as scheduled.  

Age Restrictions:

Generally, age 12/13 is the age cut-off for youth to standup paddle by themselves, but this varies per individual.  If we were simply paddling for a tour, it would be fine having an underage child share a board with an adult, however given the nature of Paddle Fused Fitness, you each will need your own board.  

If you have a child or teenager interested in doing Paddle Fused Fitness too please contact us to determine whether this is possible.  You may also schedule a private group class with just your family or friends.

From start to finish, what should I expect out of a Paddle Fused Fitness class?

The entire Paddle Fused Fitness class lasts on average 1.5 hours.  This includes land tutorial that lasts 10-20 minutes and getting everyone set up with their boards and paddles.  We will then help each participant onto the board and paddle out to our destination on the May River.  Tides, winds, and individual ability will determine how long it takes everyone to reach this point.  Once we paddle out, we will spend most of the rest of the time doing various exercises, movements, and circuits of exercises on the boards.  Exercises will be paired with paddling depending on how we drift and what we are doing.  We will finish up the workout with some fun challenges on the board before paddling back to the dock.

Times:

There are better times we recommend to paddle.  Early mornings and later in the evenings, especially on weekends and holidays, are ideal due to boat traffic as well as the sun and heat.  Classes later in morning or afternoon during the summer months will be the hottest, most humid and sunny.  Start times will vary based on these factors, as well as the time of sunrise/sunset and tides.

Alternative or Additional Times:

Do the scheduled dates for Paddle Fused Fitness not work for you?  Would another day during the week work for you?  If so, contact us to schedule a class at a time that works for your group.

If you would like to schedule a different time for your Paddle Fused Fitness class, please contact us ahead of time.  We ask for a minimum 72 hours (or 3 days) notice in advance of when you would like to schedule a class so we can ensure the schedule and equipment is available.

Private (1-1) and Semi-private (2-1) Paddle Fused Fitness classes are available at an adjusted rate as group classes.

Refunds and Cancellations:

Rarely do we have to cancel due to weather conditions, but in the event of poor weather and the need to cancel, we will provide you with an alternative date for your Paddle Fused Fitness class at no additional charge.

In the case that you will need to cancel pior to your scheduled session we ask that you provide us with a minimum 48 hour notice.  With limited Paddle Fused Fitness times weekly and limited number of people per class, we aim to fill each our classes to capacity.  When there is a last minute cancellation, we are unable to fill your spot.  If you do choose to cancel, there may be a fee or partial refund given depending on how far in advance the cancellation was made.  We appreciate your understanding.

There are NO refunds given same day cancellations.

What to bring:

Please bring a WATER BOTTLE.  If you have not yet made your Venmo payment prior to class and are paying cash or check please bring this with you to pay at the beginning of class.  Wear comfortable clothing that you are ok with getting wet/swimming in (though not required to jump in, there's always a chance you may fall in the water given the nature of Paddle Fused Fitness).  Flip flops or water shoes are recommended when we are on land prior to getting on the water, but not required or recommended while actually on the boards.

Also bring/wear sunblock and bug spray (sometimes knats are around prior to heading out while on land)

How hard is it to stand up?

We have a mix of beginners and experienced paddlers that join us for Paddle Fused Fitness.  Most all beginner paddlers, are able to stand up and perform the various exercises for all or most of the class.  

Do I have to stand up?

You do NOT have to stand up if you do not feel comfortable and we do not require you to do so.  You may also paddle sitting, kneeling or in any other position you are comfortable.  We do recommend you at least try to do so sometime during your session unless you have a limitation.

Do I need prior fitness or SUP experience to do a Paddle Fused Fitness class?

NO.  You are not required to have fitness or SUP experience prior to class.  You will learn how to paddleboard and perform the exercises during a class.

What if I have limitations such as standing, kneeling?

We have had participants of all fitness levels and abilities partake in Paddle Fused Fitness.  If you are unsure of whether you can make it through a class please contact us prior to signing up.  There are some situations that may necessitate you schedule a private session or private group class.

Paddleboarding versus Kayak or Canoe:

Standup paddleboarding provides a lot more freedom than does kayaking or canoeing.  You can sit, stand or knee on a paddleboard, whereas you are limited to sitting only in a kayak or canoe.

What kind of exercises will we be doing?

Paddle Fused Fitness and standup paddleboarding targets your entire body with an emphasis on your core (abs), glutes, back, and legs.  You will get a total body workout, be training your balance and stability, and be doing both strength and cardio in one session.  Exercises vary from standing (squats, good mornings, RDLs/deadlifts, chops), to plank position (holds, mountain climbers, balances, rows, pushups and plank variations), lying (ab and core work like sit ups, bridges, and twists), prone or face down (pushups, supermans), and kneeling (hinges, modified squats).  All exercises are able to be modified or progressed based on individual ability.  We practice Rest-based Training principles, meaning 'work until you can't, and rest until you can' so you may take breaks at any time if necessary.

Should we tip?

If you enjoyed your Paddle Fused Fitness class, we would greatly appreciate if you do tip.  Majority of our clients tip.  We're confident that you will LOVE your Paddle Fused Fitness experience!

Will I see any Wildlife?

Dolphins, fish and birds are most commonly seen during any given Paddle Fused Fitness.  Occasionally we may see a turtle.  Alligators and sharks are uncommon and rarely seen in the areas where we will be paddling due to location, salt, and other dolphins and wildlife. 

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