On the water with The Island News crew

Photo above: Tim Lovette of Higher Ground demonstrates the paddle technique while a storm brews up river.

By Kim Newton

Claiming to be allergic to salt water and not being excited about any type of exercise, I must admit that I wasn’t too thrilled about being challenged by Nikki Hardison, our general manager, to a paddle boarding adventure with my colleagues. I don’t enjoy sweating or sore muscles, but Tim Lovette of Higher Ground assured me that if I would just give him a chance, he would prove to me that paddle boarding would be my new favorite activity.

Kim and Nikki paddling along the Lady’s Island Marina.
Kim and Nikki paddling along the Lady’s Island Marina.

My biggest fear was falling off the board and being swept away by the river. I could picture myself flopping around like a flounder trying to get back on that board. Tim assured me that no one had ever fallen off during one of his paddle boarding excursions. That statement just convinced me that I would be the first…but I was wrong!

Not only was it easy to stay on the paddle board, it was exhilarating. The ease of pushing the board through the water reminded me of paddling a canoe, but it was more fun because you are standing up, so you get a magnificent view of the river and the amazing Lowcountry scenery.

Much like riding a bike, the faster you go, the more stable you become. Tim instructed us to look at the horizon, lean forward just a bit, and start paddling. Off we went! My sister, Elizabeth, quickly took the lead. Of course, she is 10 years younger and in pretty good shape, but Nikki and I were right on her heals, proving that anyone can do this!

We paddled along in front of The Fillin’ Station and then on past the Lady’s Island Marina. We enjoyed the summer breeze, the dolphins passing by and the egrets in the trees. What an amazing place we live in, and how different it is viewed from the river with no boat engine humming in the background. Only the sound of the soft lapping of the water hitting your board. We even went over a few waves when a boat went by. And none of us fell off!

You wouldn’t believe how quickly I turned into a really fast paddler when I heard thunder in the distance. Those summer storms can sneak up in a hurry! I zipped right past the crowd and back to the dock. But even after my burst of energy, I still wasn’t too sore the next day. I would recommend that you give this activity a try, even if you feel like you’re not necessarily the active type. When you have an instructor like Tim who brings the equipment for you and shows you the ropes, it’s a breeze. Give Tim a call and for only $40 you can enjoy a relaxing day on the river. And get a little exercise too! Yes, I might actually do it again!

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