There’s something about traveling to a new city and diving in to all it has to offer. In Nashville, there are endless ways to explore the Music City. The sights, the sounds and the friendly smiles made it such a welcoming place during my last visit. One of the highlights of my trip to Nashville was seeing the city in a way most tourists probably miss out on. That is, I was lucky to appreciate Nashville from the water on a SUP tour.
SUP stands for stand-up paddle board, which is basically a really wide and large surfboard. It’s super easy to balance on!
As much as I could have spent the entire trip in Nashville exploring the city by foot, I was excited to try something that wasn’t just eating and drinking and listening to music. ? The weather was HOT, but I was pumped to be outside and enjoy the water. I signed Ryan and myself up for a paddle boarding tour in East Nashville just a few weeks before our trip. Big Willie’s Sports had positive online reviews and a good price, so it sounded like a great fit for me.
This was my first time trying SUP. I was, of course, nervous, but even with a few slip-ups, I felt safe and had a fun time.
Here’s how the tour works:
Sign up online. Choose the date and time of your preferred tour. Complete the safety release form. And show up for your tour.
The tour guides take care of unloading the boards and give a quick demo. Then off you go. It’s honestly that simple! Our instructors gave a quick, but thorough demonstration on how to get on the board, where best to stand on the board and paddling techniques. You’re also equipped with a life jacket, which can be removed and kept on the board if you feel comfortable without it. Even though I describe the process as simple, you should always pay close attention to your guides and what they tell you because they are the professionals.
The tour runs from East Nashville to Downtown Nashville or, if your tour guides give you the option, you can stay over in East Nashville and enjoy the nature scenery. Since it was only Ryan and myself, plus the guides, we decided to explore the more scenic route. Since I definitely plan to try this tour again, next time I’ll check out downtown.
A few tips for your tour:
Sit down when needed. If you need to rest, it’s easy to transition into the kneeling position from standing. It’s also a good idea to move into the kneeling position if a boat coming by makes larger waves. As a newbie it’s probably safer to sit down and ride the waves out than stand and risk falling off your board.
Wear sunscreen! And pack extra. Use a spray sunscreen that is easy to reapply while on the paddleboard. I sound like a mom, but keep track of how long your sunscreen actually promises protection and make sure you reapply. Choose a waterproof one for best protection.
Consider wearing a hat. It was super hot and sunny in Nashville during my trip and I wish I would have worn a hat for extra sun protection. ?
Pack cheap sunglasses. Just in case they fall into the water!
Always wear your leash. The leash is the cord that is attached to your board with a strap that goes around your ankle. You will always want to keep this on. The leash will keep you tethered to your board which is a flotation device. You’re much safer if you’re always with your board. Additionally, keeping your board tethered to you prevents it from floating off quickly and getting damaged or interfering with others in the water.
Have you tried stand-up paddleboarding? What’s the most interesting thing you’ve done to explore a new city? Share with me below!