If you've ever thought that all you need is a little shack by the water where you can paddle out onto one of the most diverse aquatic ecosystems on the East Coast, you need to visit Jupiter Pointe. Cynthia Trone, manager of Jupiter Pointe Paddling, says you'll feel like you have arrived in paradise. Trone can be found in her groovy waterfront office, which is adorned with painted hibiscus flowers and filled with works by local artists. The shop is staffed by family, including her 20 year old son Jackson, as well as daughters Kayla, 19, and Hadley Rose, 14. --Tom Fucigna Jr.
SUP mag: How did you first get into standup paddling?
Trone: I was fortunate to meet John Denney in the spring of 2007 when he arrived from Maui to bring standup paddling to Florida. We introduced SUP to our summer campers, and the families were thrilled! Having the opportunity to learn about the sport from one of the true innovators and originals (and friend of Laird!), was a gift that I will be forever grateful for.
SUP mag: What features of your location make it appealing?
Trone: Our launch area is a sandy, protected cove with clear salt water, just a mile from the Jupiter Lighthouse, and across the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway from the Nature Conservancy's Blowing Rocks Preserve. The location is ideal. Commonly sighted wildlife includes manatee, sea turtles, and even occasional dolphins.
SUP mag: What SUP-related activities do your customers like?
Trone: Everything. We offer yoga and fitness classes, race training, "doggie paddles," twilight paddles, full moon paddles with a drum circle, and ecotours. Fishing on SUPs is perfect here, and simply cruising out to the local sandbar with a six-pack is popular.
SUP mag: What brands of boards do you carry?
Trone: We rent Rogue, Bote, Boga, Siren, Yolo, and Imagine boards in various lengths. The 10’6″ Rogues have been most popular. We also store dozens of customers' SUPs on site. Our newest addition is the Mahi Water Taxi and SUP Shuttle, which can deliver you to an upwind drop-off, the sandbar, or waterfront bars and restaurants.
SUP mag: Have you sponsored or organized any events?
Trone: We have held many community events, including demo days, benefits for Expedition Florida 500, Surfrider, Warm Hearts Pet Rescue and the Melanoma Foundation, and an Earth Day SUP Race. I like to involve local artists, and often have a drum circle with the events to keep the beat! We had 400 kids come through our Summer Splash Camp this year. I am also Project Lead for Expedition Florida 500, and I'm happy to be able to help with conservation efforts here, to preserve the exquisite marine ecosystem that we all depend on.
SUP mag: Do you have any standout standup paddling customers or locals?
Trone: Kristy Murphy (2005 Women's Longboard World Champion) and Cat Slatinsky (a Hawaiian waterwoman and surf photographer) worked here with me in the fall, but now they are off running their Surf and SUP retreats in Mexico, Costa Rica, Hawaii and the Bahamas.
SUP mag: Where do you think the SUP market is headed?
Trone: There's no stopping it. It has been astounding to be a part of the explosion of paddleboarding in Jupiter. The appeal is that everyone can do it. I love that families can enjoy it together, and there are so many options of boards to grow with. I also think windsurf SUPs will get more popular, as they provide people more recreational options. The sport has no limits.
For more info about Jupiter Pointe Paddling, visit: PaddleInParadise.com