Red sky at night is a sailor’s delight, but red sky at morning means the ship's been steered inside a volcano. Discover further aquaformation with today’s Groupon from Barefoot Paddler. Choose between two options:
- For $25, you get a one-hour group introductory lesson to standup paddleboarding ($50 value).
- For $40, you get a one-hour private introductory lesson to standup paddleboarding for two people ($80 value).
At Barefoot Paddler, newfangled sailors can learn to glide upright in introductory standup-paddleboarding lessons held on the beach and open water. After students get acquainted with the provided paddleboards and paddles, a helpful instructor will conduct an overview of how to hold paddles, proper foot placement, and which relative to call in the event of a double-rainbow sighting. Students and teachers will then wade through the shallow, welcoming waters of St. Pete Beach to practice wielding their paddles—honing techniques first on their knees, then standing upright. Once new nautical explorers have become comfortable paddling while standing on their boards, they'll learn how to turn, then relish free time to practice coasting atop the ocean while lecturing jet-ski riders about string theory.
A flipper juts out of the water and clasps the paddleboard belonging to one of Denise Palmer's students. Another flipper emerges and hugs the opposite site. At the front of the board, a manatee's head appears, nibbling on the mysterious vessel. After learning the paddleboard isn't food, the manatee remains curious, so it hangs on for the ride.
These moments of connecting with nature make Palmer feel "like nothing else matters." Growing up on the water, she learned to sail from her mom while manning a boat built by her grandfather and adjusting sails sewn by her grandmother. Her passion for the water carried her through to a master's degree in oceanography, and after a layoff at a corporate job, led her back to the sea to launch Barefoot Paddler. Today, she leads lessons and eco-tours in the waterways around St. Pete Beach and downtown St. Petersburg, bringing people up close to wildlife such as dolphins, horseshoe crabs, and sea turtles. For more experienced riders, Palmer also offers paddleboard rentals.