Humanity’s plans to domesticate sharks for coastal transportation are currently on hold, due to unforeseen snags in the development of seaweed saddles. Take to the waves in a tried-and-true way with today’s Groupon: for $49, you get a two-hour kayak and stand-up paddleboard adventure course from Stride Stand Up Paddleboards (a $99 value). Lessons take place at Claytor Lake and Smith Mountain Lake depending on availability and factors, such as water temperature and water levels.
Trained by national paddling champion Luke Hopkins, Stride Stand Up Paddleboard's professional instructors impart the secrets of their waterborne craft in two-hour lessons held on calm waters. After outfitting students with a Stride Airlite HD paddle board, which can also turn into a kayak, and a trusty paddle, instructors cover basic safety precautions and show how to board the vessels in kayak position and using stand-up, seated, and kneeling paddling positions. Afterward, plastic flotillas make their way out to aquatic pastures, where students can practice mounting boards in deeper waters and learn on-water balance all while participating in a guided tour of part of the lake. Supportive instructors treat all students as if they walk on water, imparting privileged tips to develop graceful strokes and effective directional paddling.
To ensure safety and individual instruction, lessons held at the watery havens of Claytor Lake or Smith Mountain Lake are limited to small and intimate groups. Paddleboard equipment and floatation devices are provided. Students must be able to swim and should wear footwear that will cling to their feet, lest their shoes slip off and sink down to the lake's sunken Regis Philbin statue.