Scott is one of our timeline mainstays. He’s a Florida paddler who cranks out as much stoke as he does miles. He has his sights set on the Alabama 650 and the 11 Cities Tour. Scott routinely brings people to paddling, to the water, helps introduce them to nature, dolphins, manatees and all the things we know and love about paddling. Scott, you inspire us!
Where is your favorite place to paddle?
That’s a tough question, I live in the Keys and spend a lot of time paddling the local waters but I also enjoy traveling with my board and experiencing new places. Chattanooga, Canada and Alaska, Missouri, Northern Florida are a few places that I have visited and paddled. I’d have to say that my most favorite place right now is the Lower Keys. About 7 miles out into the gulf is the edge of the shallow waters and there is so much wildlife. Last time we went out, it was covered up with sharks, turtles, stingrays, dolphins and we even got a chance to spot the rare and endangered sawfish. The sand bars are just the most beautiful color of blue and you can paddle out from several free launch spots.
What is your favorite event and why?
I think my favorite event is the Everglades Challenge. It is a 300 mile race from Tampa Bay to Key Largo. One of the neat things is that it finishes up just a few miles from where I live. Also, it is an expedition type race so everyone has to take all of their supplies with them and camp out along the way. Wind and waves as well as tides come into play and there is the sheer exhaustion of paddling for 300 miles. In 12 or so years, only 4 paddleboarders have completed the race and of those 4, 2 of us have finished twice. I’m hoping to complete it a third time next March. The water tribe family is a close knit group and we all look out for each other on the course but bottom line it is up to me and each entrant to make it to the finish line. It takes not only physical but mental preparation and you have to have all of your gear sorted out as well as bringing the right amount of food. You can stop at a store but there are no crews allowed so resupply is on your own. There is nothing like paddling through the Everglades at night and last year was especially cool because it was a new moon so it was super dark. Your senses are all on high alert.
What is your favorite paddling moment and why?
My favorite paddling moment is whenever I turn on someone new to the sport and watch it click for them. The first time they see a manatee, shark or dolphin is always exciting. Also paddling at night when the moon is new and the stars are shining so much and the water is flat.
Do you have a bucket list event?
My current bucket list contains the Alabama 650 (entered for this September) and the 11 cities nonstop in Europe. I’d also love to do the R2AK.
What are you grateful for?
I’m grateful that I’m healthy and able to paddle every day. I’m grateful I have a supportive wife. I’m grateful to my employees who keep the shop running while I’m out racing and I don’t have to worry about how it’s going.
Advice or tips for paddlers?
Push past impossible. Push your boundaries, race hard, relax harder. Create a training schedule and stick to it. We all make time for the things that are important to us. Also don’t focus on training all the time but be willing to just go out and have fun on your board/boat. I find taking pictures helps me do that.
Do you have a favorite charity?
A Few Words from Scott
If you are ever in the Florida Keys and in particular the northern Keys, hit me up. My shop is open every day and we have both kayaks and paddle boards. Check out our extensive rental inventory includes Yolo and SIC boards. We even have a few race boards for rent and can help you figure out where to paddle based on the day’s forecast. Or you can join us for a morning training paddle almost every morning at 8am. Paddle yourself to a better place! https://PaddlePaddlePaddle.com