Paddleboarding has been the hottest water sport all summer. One of our great friends, local mom and co-owner of apple seeds Alison Berna, recently took her family paddling and gave us the scoop on why this is such a great pastime for all ages.
“Paddleboarding is really something you can do as a family, sort of like a family hike or bike ride or going on a kayak trip,” she says. “It’s outdoors, you don’t have to go fast, and young children can stay safe and wear a life preserver. It’s awesome.”
Need some proof? Just take a look at these photos, showing off the young Berna kids’ balance skills as well as of Alison’s own yogic prowess.
Berna continues to explain the four different types of paddleboarding: 1) racing, 2) wave riding, which is sort of like surfing, 3) regular stand-up paddling, just like standing in a kayak with an oar, and 4) the most increasingly popular paddleboard yoga — though, this may be a little harder for the little ones!
One of the aspects Berna says she loves best for her family, which loves to surf, is that paddleboarding is transferable.
“You can do it in any body of water any time of the year–because you don’t want to be surfing in the Atlantic in January,” she says. “With paddleboarding, you don’t have to wait all year for summer.”
A laidback way to explore the local waters? Yes, please! Because believe it or not, there are plenty of opportunities–and plenty of time before the kids go back to school–to try out paddleboarding right here in the city. Note: Equipment’s not included, but we tell you where to rent or buy, too.
Where to learn:
Manhattan Kayak Company, Pier 66
For paddleboarding newbies, this is a perfect spot to learn the basics within the calm waters next to the pier. If you’re already a seasoned pro, opt for a more advanced experience or a tour on the Hudson. $40 for a one-hour intro class, tour prices vary; www.manhattankayak.com
New York Kayak Company, Pier 40
Have your own board and ready to go? Great — the club will offer an annual membership to get you on your way. The membership, which at the basic level is $899, will get you access and storage on the premise, and the ability to use the equipment you may not already own. There are also discounts for gear purchased in the store. Not so ready quite yet? There are intro sessions available twice a week. The company usually does group instructions for students 14 years and older, though if your kid is younger, private sessions may be available. $100 for two-hour class; www.nykayak.com
Where to shop:
West Marine, 12 West 37th Street
Eastern Mountain Sports, 530 Broadway (SOHO) & 2152 Broadway (UWS)
REI, 303 Lafayette Street