Stand Up Weekend
By Scott Fais, Reporter
Feb 06, 2014
NEW SMYRNA BEACH -- With the sun calling it a week and the moon on standby, folks gather to a small strip of shore in Volusia County to begin the weekend.
"As a rule of thumb, we're staying away from the sides,” New Smyrna Beach Paddleboarding instructor John Krauspe warns.
Here, the work week wraps up with a paddle in hand.
"When you paddle, you're going to put the whole blade in the water,” Krauspe says while standing in bare feet.
Just behind him, diamonds bounce on the back waters of New Smyrna Beach.
As a beginner, everyone tends to go with a real wide stance,” shares with the small crowd assembled around him as several paddleboards bounce in the wake along the river's edge.
Following a long week at the office, folks trade in their dress shoes for something a little more comfortable.
"Just a quick little paddle is all you want to do,” John recommends.
With a cooler packed, and balancing on a waiting paddleboard, the peaceful waters of Volusia County await.
"Who wants to go first you guys?” John asks.
John and Samantha Krauspe created New Smyrna Standup, a popular paddleboarding tour operator in New Smyrna Beach.
"We've paddled from six-year-olds to actually, our oldest paddler to date is 81 and she did excellently as well,” Samantha mentions as the shadows grow long.
New Smyrna Stand-Up's evening paddleboard tour is designed to melt stress away.
"I think the whole point of this is NOT to have expectations and just relax and enjoy the scenery, and have a good time,” says Friday Night paddler Kyle Hagemaier.
Paddlers like Hagemaier from Winter Springs and his friend Krystle stand-up and row for 20 minutes before reaching a secluded island. Here, time slows down and only thing racing are the crabs scooting across the sand.
"Whether it's high tide or low tide we find a nice spot and we set up a nice wine and cheese picnic, and everybody hangs out and enjoys the sunset,” Samantha says.
Far away from the sounds and responsibilities of everyday life, a small buffet appears. Fresh fruit, crackers and a little dessert are all enjoyed as the sun begins to sink into the western sky.
"You can really switch it off in the backwaters and get a sense of peace,” Samantha believes.
After the sunset, paddlers again climb aboard their boards and head for the starting point.
"It was a great adventure to start the weekend, go explore these canals, that really, wouldn't know they were here otherwise, and go out on a sand bar and enjoy a sunset and some sangria,” Kyle Hagemaier concludes.
On the way back, riders should be ready for the occasional splashdown. Here, falling in and cooling off on a warm summer night is standard.
Samantha says you leave and get to see the sunset, and by the time you come back to the dock, you get to see the moon rise.