Green Fin Paddle Company

In Spotlight by Perfect Paddles

Meet Ryan Marcell of Green Fin Paddle in Destin, Florida

Hi Ryan, could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I started in a corporate setting with a vacation rentals business and found that the company I was working for didn't focus on customer service so we created our own beach gear rental company right on the beach and we added activities like a sunrise paddle excursion back in 2014 and people loved it. We fell in love with SUP during the process and because we had such great feedback from our sunrise tour - we offer lot's and lot's of pics for each tour guest and people love it! - so we focused on SUP tours and now offer tours in a dozen locations each with a sunrise, sunset, and night time tours
Tell us a little more about your experience with paddleboarding
I'm a coach for SUP special Olympics on our local team and work with autistic, and down syndrome participants. Personally, I love SUP camping multi-day excursions from half day, full day and multi-day adventures in local rivers, springs, and aquifer systems
Location Overview - Tell us about your water environment
We are lucky because we have open water on the gulf side and inland water, like lakes and river fed dune lakes, on the other side. It's hard to describe the water but it's called the emerald coast for a reason. The white as snow quartz sand and emerald green waters is what really makes our location special - you have to see it. Plus you don't need a wetsuit - lower 60's in the coldest part of winter and 80 degree water in the summer!
Do you have any signature services or paddle activities?
We have several - the Miramar beach day time tour is out features one of several man-made reef systems that we go check out at sunrise for the most divers wildlife (great for snorkeling!); Our sunset Dune lake tours are river feed lakes that back right up to trees and grass and go right into the bright white sand dunes - the lake experience and beach/gulf all in one, add the sunset, and you have a fantastic tour! Our Fireworks paddle tour is seasonal with Spring break and it picks back up May 21st through August every Tuesday. Can't beat paddling under the fireworks display at Baytown warf!

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What is your season?
We have year-round paddling in our area but something to be aware of is the gulf flag conditions. It's a system of colored flags that inform the beach goers of the conditions on the water water. green for great; yellow for moderate; red dangerous water conditions (high winds, rip currents); double red flag the water is closed to the public except paddlers and surfers - but go at your own risk and be careful!; purple flag = 's marina pests like jelly fish or something like that
Are there any local attractions paddlers may also be interested in?
Bottle nose Dolphins (flipper!) they'll swim right up to you, Manatees in the gulf, sea turtles (friends of the turtle watch!)- on our sunrise paddle tour we work with Turtle Watch to spot nesting sea turtles and report back to the turtle watch to help them with protection efforts. We don't tend to get alligators in the gulf - uncommon, you may see one in the back part of the dune lakes or if you go way up the rivers - steer clear if you see one. They don't want to be messed with you and you don't need to mess with them; lake dunes are amazing; lot's American bald eagles, ospreys and hawks, bald cypress trees with root systems growing right down into the water - we paddle in a wilderness paradise!
Are there any other cool or interesting activities in the area?
Destin is nicknamed the world's luckiest fishing village - private fishing charter for big game fish. Go check out the Navigator for private fishing charters
Do you have any recommendations for local food and drinks?
I like The Bay Restaurant - right on the bay and we paddle up on the beach and go for a drink, food, and bonfire on the beach Wednesday nights - great spot!
Local places to stay?
Walton county has three campsights at camp creek lake - camp on the dunes! (get a reservation in Summer!), Compass resorts has about 400 vacation rentals in the area of all sizes and budgets
Buddy Deal
$15 dollar off per person on every tour!
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