Paddleboarding on Lake Lanier
Ever since we moved to the Lake Lanier area, we've wanted to try stand-up paddle boarding. I grew up canoeing but it can be tricky and less than leisurely sometimes. I spent many a day helping my mom paddle a canoe on rivers in Florida and it is a lot of work. I know SUP can be a great workout but it at least looks relaxing and leisure filled.
So one day recently when the weather was perfectly sunny and the lake looked inviting, we finally bit the bullet. We rented paddle boards from a service that delivers to Charleston Park. In retrospect, Charleston Park was maybe not the most scenic location because there is construction on the nearby HWY 369 bridge, but once we got away from that, we found some peaceful alcoves on the lake.
The paddle board delivery was very easy and convenient. We simply called about an hour in advance and they met us right on schedule. Shout out to Fletcher's Paddle Shack for their great service. We only rented for 2 hours and they gave us a discount for paying in cash. We then called when we were done and they picked up the boards within just a few minutes. Very easy and simple and they do offer delivery to other locations for a fee. They also provided life vests. James is all in on buying our own paddle boards now, but we'll see...
So how was our actual excursion? James immediately fell in the water trying to get on his board and he had a harder time maintaining his balance than I did. I believe the board was probably the wrong size for him. I felt very stable and had no issues with balance, which was shocking since I typically trip over my own feet when walking. There was a slight wind but nothing too difficult. I had a harder time managing the wakes from passing boats, even though we were in a no wake zone. But overall, it really took no time at all to get the hang of it.
I'm not sure how far we went but the ViewRanger app can be used track water based routes, so I will use it next time. We paddled around the shore of the lake for about 1.5 hours, allowing plenty of time to get back to the park since we weren't sure how long it would take us. James also rested for a while by laying on his board, which looked quite relaxing, but someone had to keep an eye out and make sure we didn't drift to far (me). If we buy our own boards, I'd like to visit some mountain lakes such as Dockery Lake or Lake Winfield Scott. A lot to think about...
After paddle boarding once, I'm hardly an expert but I do recommend the following should you want to give it a shot yourself:
- Review a tutorial with basic skills and techniques (many articles and videos online)
- Choose a sunny, relatively warm day. Storms on the water can be very dangerous
- Ensure you have all important items in a dry bag
- Ensure you have a Personal Flotation Device (life vest) with you per Georgia law
- Wear sunscreen! We also both wore long sleeved fishing shirts and hats because I hate trying to reapply sunscreen in the middle of activities
- Expect to fall in/get wet. Have fun no matter what!
As a bonus, after our SUP excursion, we went to the tiki bar at nearby Port Royale Marina and had drinks and snacks. Perfect apres` paddle board activity.