I’ve previously written about standup paddle board rental locations in Clearwater Beach, but I wanted to share some more information with you. Here’s my first-hand experience of paddle boarding in the Clearwater Beach area.
Paddle Board Rental
My wife and I rented paddle boards from Clearwater Beach Paddleboard & Rental Co. We waited to book our paddle board rental until we were in Clearwater Beach and made sure we rented on a day with good weather. We wanted to make sure that it wouldn’t rain, but we also wanted to make sure it wouldn’t be too windy or have choppy water. We called Clearwater Beach Paddleboard & Rental Co to make a reservation the day before our rental. If you’re visiting Clearwater Beach during a busy time of year, you may want to call further in advance. Their number: (727) 444-0441
Clearwater Beach Paddleboard & Rental Co is located at 439 Poinsettia Ave, Clearwater Beach, FL 33767. Their storefront is not on the water, but don’t worry you do not need to carry the paddle board around. The rental company will take care of it for you. We showed up at the shop the morning of our rental, checked in, signed some paperwork, and were ready to go in minutes! We chose to paddle board in the Intracoastal of Clearwater Beach and they had us set up to leave from their dock just down the street from them. They walked us down to the dock, helped us get set up with lifevests, paddles, and boards. They took the time to show us how to properly set the paddle length to match our height and give us some tips on using the paddle boards before we headed out.
Where We Went
I’ve been wanting to paddle board the Intracoastal of Clearwater Beach for a while so I had a plan on where to go before I was on the paddle board. I knew there were some fun islands to visit between Island Estates and Clearwater (mainland Clearwater, not Clearwater Beach). These islands can be seen when looking north when driving across the causeway bridge.
There are a few small islands in this area. I used either Google Maps or Apple Maps to get a visual of what the islands. I looked to see what they were like and which would be easiest to get to on a paddle board. Using the satellite images, I found an island that had small sand beaches and wasn’t too far. My wife and I decided on that island and started mapping out how we would get there.
Paddle Boarding to the Island
We left from the dock attached with Frenchy’s Seafood Company. From the docks, you can see all the boats at the Island Yacht Club directly across the water. We started off heading towards the north side of the Island Yacht Club. Paddling all the way around Island Estates would take a long time, so we planned a shortcut.
This was the part of the trip I wasn’t sure would work, but thankfully it did. We counted three inlets north of Island Yacht Club and paddled into the third inlet. At this inlet, there’s a small bridge that we were able to paddle under. It’s a very small bridge, and it happened to be high tide during our adventure. This made the road really low to the water. We dropped down onto our stomachs and paddled with our arms like a surfboard to get under the bridge. It was tight! Thankfully it was also short. We were on the other side within a minute to two minutes.
From there, we paddled out past the homes on the other side of Island Estates. When we reached the edges of the Intracoastal waterway. The island we were looking for could easily be seen in the center of the Intracoastal waterway, just a little south of us.
Our paddle board adventure to and from the island can be seen below. The red line is the route we took to get from the paddle board rental dock to the island and back. It is about 1.25 miles from the dock to the island, two and a half miles there and back.
What We Brought
What did we bring with us? Not much! We each had our board, paddle, and life vest provided by the Clearwater Beach paddle board rental company. Nicki and I put sunscreen on right before heading out. We each wore a baseball cap, SPF shirts, and sunglasses. Nicki tossed her phone into a watertight bag to keep it safe. I tossed my GoPro that floats into my pocket. That’s all we headed out with.
Now that I’ve done it once. Next time, I’ll bring a water bottle and extra sunscreen with me. If I plan on staying on the island for a while, I’d add a small snack as well.
Was It Difficult?
Many people have never been paddle boarding and have asked if it was difficult. Paddle boarding is easier than I thought it would be. Paddle boarding to the island wasn’t my first time though. I’m from Missouri and have been paddle boarding on lakes for a couple of years. I had at least a little bit of experience with balancing on the board and knowing how it feels.
When starting out, it’s best to stay on your knees. It’s safer to keep lower to the board and easier to balance. I would always recommend staying on your knees when in shallow water or leaving a dock. Wait to stand up until you are away from docks and in deeper water. This was if you fall, you won’t hit a hard surface and the water will be deep enough to not hit the bottom.
The distance wasn’t too challenging, but it did take a while. It’s very common to have some wind on large water areas and paddling into the wind is more difficult. When we were paddling to the island, we were paddling into the wind. It took us twice as long to get to the island than it did to get back. The trip there was tiring at times with going into the wind. The way back was really enjoyable and smooth.
The day we went paddle boarding, the water was fairly smooth and there weren’t many boats out to leave wakes. This made it easier to stay on the board with relatively smooth water. When a boat would go past us, we’d quickly turn our board and head toward the boat’s wake. When on a paddle board, it’s best to paddle with the front of your board directly into the boat’s wake.