Biologists estimate that water makes up 65% of the human body, 71% of the planet's surface, and 0% of the R&B group Earth, Wind & Fire. Conquer the planet’s most prevalent liquid with today’s Groupon to Barefoot Paddler. Barefoot Paddler's instructors meet up with students for lessons at a designated location in St. Pete Beach or St. Petersburg. Choose between the following options:
- For $25, you get a one-hour standup-paddleboard lesson for one person (a $50 value).
- For $40, you get a one-hour standup-paddleboard lesson for two people (an $80 value).
Barefoot Paddler’s experienced instructors teach small groups of seafaring explorers how to balance and propel themselves from atop a standup paddleboard over the course of introductory lessons for students ages 8 to 80. Sessions begin with an on-land overview of stroke techniques, proper foot placement, and safety before students hit the high seas to enjoy the open water and track down seagulls that left their wallets on the shore. The nautical coterie wades out into the shallow water together to practice paddling from the knees and the standing position when ready. Once fledgling paddlers feel comfortable rowing in the upright stance, they are taught various types of turns and are subsequently turned loose in the ocean to freely glide about and help tugboats drag stranded barges back to dry land. Students receive a complimentary board and paddle rental to practice with.
Origin Stories: Her Life Aquatic
During a one-year stay in Egypt, scuba hobbyist Denise Palmer depth-charged into the Red Sea more than 100 times to admire its bright, coral bulbs and tropical parrot fish. Denise later monitored the currents surrounding the Gulf of Mexico's oil platforms as an oceanographer for a geo-tech firm. Since launching Barefoot Paddler in 2009 with the help of her daughter, Claire, Denise has reveled in closer encounters with sea turtles, dolphins, and the occasional hungry manatee nibbling at her paddleboard. She spends her evenings cooking French-Asian cuisine, home-brewing Belgian beers with her friends, and reminiscing about her days backpacking through Moroccan mountainsides.
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.
5250 Gulf Blvd.
St Pete Beach, Florida 33706Get Directions