Buddy Deal: 10% off all services
Perfect Paddles Recommendation: Paddle through the mangroves for a true Floridian experience
Closest City: Tampa
Signature Service: Tours
Best Time to Visit: The winter months to avoid excessive heat- October to March. Pro-Tip: visit at the end of the season to avoid large crowds! Instead of December, a visit in September/October or March is the best time to go to avoid the tourists.
Distance from Airport: 14-minute drive from Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport
FUN for ALL AGES!
Sarasota Paddleboard Company is a company that specializes in Stand up Paddleboarding and sit on top kayaks We provide rentals lessons and excursions 7 days a week. Based on lido key we are authorized for SUP and kayak rentals in the LIDO MANGROVE TUNNELS and offer a second private location on Longboat Key.
Hi Bob, tell us a little bit about Sarasota Paddleboards:
Sarasota Paddleboard Company is a family owned business that I run with my 28-year-old son and a
dedicated guide who is been in full-time employment with us to 5 years. We’ve been in business for 13
years. Originally, we didn’t start as a rental or tour company. We started just by selling boards in the
beginning. Since it was so new, people just wanted to purchase them. But eventually we had a ton of
customers who wanted to rent them out as well.
We then set up our spots on Lido Key and Longboat Key. The best thing about our particular spots is our
ability to take paddlers through the mangrove trails that were ditches cut in the 1950’s to connect the
saltwater with the freshwater. I think it was supposed to stop the spread of the mosquitoes in the area.
But we have a permit to paddle through the Lido Mangrove Trails in the nature preserve in Sarasota
County. Everyone really enjoys that aspect.
And we also do the same thing with kayakers if there is someone in the group not sure about SUP.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your experience with paddleboarding:
I’ve always been involved in watersports throughout my life. In the 1970’s and 80’s I owned a waterski
school which did well. But around 2007 I saw a picture of someone a SUP and became very interested in
the activity. At the time there were no options for paddling in Florida. At least not in my area on the East
A buddy of mine and I brought in a container of the earliest models of SUP. The ones with no handles
that were 12’ long and came in choices of red or blue coloring. They sold fairly quickly. Even to those
people who had no idea what SUP was. And eventually more people started to contact us, not for
purchasing, but to rent a board for a few hours on the water and from there the business just grew.
Location Overview - Tell us about your water environment:
We have 2 locations- one in Lido Key and the other on Long Boat Key. Our private spot is at Long Boat
Key. These are the islands off the coast of Sarasota. We are fortunate to have both the beautiful waters
of the Gulf of Mexico, and then across the street, about 2 blocks in width is the Sarasota bay and other
spots to paddle.
But where we do most of our tours and rentals involves paddling the mangroves. It’s all a canopied and
almost enclosed paddling space. They’re just a really cool spot to paddle and see wildlife. It’s not
guaranteed but it’s always possible to spot manatees and dolphins. Of course manatees are what
everyone wants to see. But you can also spot a ton of birdlife. Things like herins, egrets and others.
Because of this, our eco-tours are definitely one of our most popular attractions.
Services Offered at Sarasota Paddleboards:
We can do everything and anything. Overall, we do rentals, lessons, and eco-tours. But say you’re in the
market to rent a 14’ carbon race board and paddle we can do that as well.
Can you tell us some interesting notes about the area?
Our number one attraction is of course our beaches. That is what people come to Sarasota for. The
beautiful water and perfect weather. Outside of that though, Sarasota is a neat little city. There is the
Ringling Brothers Museum, there is a large arts community in town with exhibits and of course we are
only a couple of hours away from Disney as well as an hour south of Tampa.
Is Sarasota Paddleboards seasonal or does it operate year-round?
We operate year-round.
Tell us about your favorite local food and why you love it:
We have some of the best seafood in the area. Personally, I tell visitors to check out Owens Fish Camp in
town. They have an outdoor pit where they are preparing food like oysters and clams. And there is also
St. Armand’s Circle which is a bit of a high-end shopping district filled with multiple restaurants. Crab
and Fin being my favorite.
Where would you recommend travelers stay nearby?
There are a lot of little places to stay on Long Boat Key but I always mention Lido Beach Resort.
Are there any additional activities nearby that you recommend?
Treeumph is worth checking out if you’re adventurous. It’s a walkway/obstacle course set up in the
There are also charter fishing or sailing trips in the Long Boat Key marina where you can sign up for a
charter trip. That’s always a lot of fun as well.
Our signature service would have to be our eco-tours through the mangroves. But we are an
experienced paddling company with the ability to get anyone in the correct environment to enjoy their
time on the water with the equipment they are looking for.
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