Paddleboarding at Wekiva Island

Saturday was a busy day. Before the race, hubs and I drove to Wekiva Island to belatedly celebrate Shelia’s birthday. (Remember, she ran the 10 miler with me that night?) Wekiva Island is about 45 minutes away from our house in the Apopka/Longwood area, also known as BFE.

Our original outing was planned a month ago but canceled because of Hurricane Issac and race day was the only day everyone was available. So, it was a long day, but a really fun one.

Shelia found a Living Social deal with Central Florida Paddleboarding, bought a bunch of deals, and got a group of us together. Hubs and I arrived early and took a walk around. Wekiva Island is a really pretty area that has volleyball nets, cabanas, kayaking, fishing, and swimming and they host group events like birthdays too.

This is a huge Tiki bar that was open for business when we got there at 8:45 am. This is quickly becoming my favorite place ever.

Everyone arrived shortly after, we found our guide, and he gave us a bunch of tips before we got on our boards. Sheila was kind enough to tell me that the guide emphasized to her that you should not be afraid of gators to go on the excursion. Only, she told me five minutes before we got in the water. That was fun. Don’t gators take the tall, meaty ones first?

Besides the gators, the water did not look like something I wanted to fall into. I’ve never been paddleboarding before and I have zero balance, so I was pretty sure that I was going to take a nose dive.

Once I got on the board, I fell backward trying to stand up and by some stroke of luck, landed on the board and not in the water. I was finally able to stand up and that was followed by two awkward minutes when I had no idea what to do.

It took me about 10 minutes to really feel balanced and comfortable. Ten, long, scary minutes. But then it felt like I had been doing it all along. I think it’s all about finding your center of gravity.

Unfortunately, there was only one close-up picture taken of me while I was out.

Man, I’ve really packed on the weight.

I think we were out for an hour and a half and it was so fun and easy once you get used to being on the board. We saw a bunch of turtles and two baby alligators (I was not interested in finding the mama). Our tour guide was really awesome and he even took a bunch of pictures of all of us while we were out there.

(Birthday girl Shelia is in the middle, hubs is on the left next to me.)

Once we got back to the wharf where we started, there were tons of people out sunbathing, drinking, and enjoying the weather. I have never seen so many people drinking during the daytime. I think this is an unexplored area that I need to research.

We all got lunch at the food truck there and hung out and chatted at the picnic tables for awhile. Before we left, Shelia tried to get us together for a group picture and at the last second, her husband, who was originally kneeling for the picture, stood up and pretended to throw us all in the lake.

I like how I’m the only one that really fell for that. Or maybe it was just his hand placement. Hey now! 😉

Overall, it was a really fun day that ended with a fun race.

Have you tried paddleboarding?

In a week, we’ll be celebrating another friend’s birthday by zip-lining. That should be interesting.


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21 responses to “Paddleboarding at Wekiva Island

  1. I have always wanted to try this! It looks so fun!

  2. Danielle Dillard

    SO fun! Love Wekiva (it’s only like 15 mins from me) and love paddleboarding… what a great combo! I’ll have to go out there for that sometime. Boy, you did have a long day Saturday, I forgot you said you went paddleboarding also!

  3. OMGolly what a busy Saturday you had! 😉 We only rushed up (7 hour drive) to SC and back the next day! Haha. 😉 What adventurous birthday outtings you are having! I never thought about paddleboarding…maybe…maybe…now. The zip-lining I want to do, but afraid of heights…maybe one day. I’ll look forward to your review! Sure is a busy birthday time! Btw – we got a new nephew on Monday! 🙂 PT’s youngest sis had her baby! Woo! Imagine we’ll see you two this weekend at night…normal drinking hours! LOL!

  4. Paddle boarding is so fun! I’ve only gone a couple times but loved it. We saw a family of dolphins w/ a super tiny baby last time I did it.

  5. Wekiva is good fun. Full Sail does some kind of employee day out there every year (or maybe it’s just K’s department, can’t remember.) I too became a big fan of that tiki bar.

  6. This looks like fun, but I refuse to do active things that involve swimwear. I only wear a swimsuit if I can be stationary. I will be fully clothed if I partake….

    Your friends have some fun parties….

    • Paula

      Luckily no swimsuits required. But it was hot, so I was happy to be in my bathing suit. I’d like to see you paddleboarding in an evening gown.

  7. Denise P.

    I paddleboarded (thanks to a Groupon deal as well) in a calm bay here in So Cal. It was awesome and no one from my group fell in. I can’t wait to do it again. I’ve seen some deals that do it out on the ocean – I guess you have to take a special lesson before trying that out – I wouldn’t be so confident about staying upright in those conditions.

    It looks beautiful there. I have never been to Florida, but I actually know of Apopka because my ex used to live there.

    • Paula

      I couldn’t imagine doing it in the ocean. That’s gotta be a crazy core workout. I’m sure I’d spend most of my time getting back on the board. 🙂

  8. That looks like so much fun. I would love to try it but I live in BFE and there’s nowhere to go near me. Womp womp. I swear I thought no one else knew what BFE meant. I have said it several times to people and they have all said, “Huh?” Lame.

    • Paula

      That’s why I linked to it! You just never know who knows what acronyms and that one doesn’t seem to get used too often around me. Oh, and guess you’ll just have to come to FL and paddleboard with me.

  9. Just hearing there might be gators in the water would have meant no paddle boarding for me! That freaks me out. Maybe it’s because we don’t have them in the frozen tundra called Canada. We just have bears, elk, cougars.

    I’ve tried paddle boarding once for a couple minutes! It’s fun and quite the workout. Zip lining is fun! I went in Whistler and the views were gorgeous!

  10. Deb

    Looks like fun. I’ve never been paddle boarding, but plan on it one day. I have been zip-lining in Jamaica, it was a blast! Hope you’re not afraid of heights. 🙂

  11. That looks so fun! I think I’d rather do zip lining though…have a blast!

  12. runderbykat

    I tried paddleboarding last fall when we went on vacation… and I did NOT like it. I fell in the water like 15 gazillion times and seriously just pouted the whole time because I wasn’t good at it. I would probably almost never paddleboard in a place full of crocs. Or alligators. I might try it again if there is zero waves, zero wind, zero deadly animals, and if someone is paying me in beers.

  13. Paddleboarding with gators? Woah. Also, it totally looks like Sheila’s husband is grabbing your boob!

  14. Amber K

    I never have before, it looks hard! Although I’ve read what a great workout it is.

  15. I’ll pass on the paddleboarding. (standing on the water? Insanity!) But zip lining – yes, please!*

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