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Paddleboards Don’t Belong In Trees

Yes, that’s a paddleboard in a tree. No, paddleboards don’t belong in trees.paddleboards don't belong in trees 1

paddleboards don't belong in trees 2All’s well that ends well… a (possibly too honest) look behind the scenes of a small business and the sometimes nerve wracking adventure of entrepreneurship.

paddleboards don't belong in trees 3Last night, a series of very strong storms with crazy torrential rains and high winds ripped their way across the marshes between Brunswick and the islands. I happened to be pulling my paddleboard trailer across the Sidney Lanier Bridge in the middle of it all. Why? No particular reason other than needing to get home from Jekyll Island after sharing dinner with my mother at The Wharf.

As I was crossing the bridge in the middle of very heavy rain and strong winds, a strap broke and a paddleboard was torn from the trailer. It flew into the night, right over the side of the bridge and into the dark abyss below.

paddleboards don't belong in trees 4My mom, who was following in her car behind me, described what she saw as “a really big frisbee flying off the trailer and into the night.” Thankfully no one was hurt. I was just missing a board, and I was really wet from having got out of my truck to investigate.

I was pretty sure the board was lost forever, a sacrifice stolen by the gods of the marsh for the living I make plying their waters.

paddleboards don't belong in trees 5Well, this morning I decided to go search for my board. And I found it, too! It was in a tree near the edge of the marsh some 60+ feet below the bridge and – this is the truly incredible part – undamaged! Not a scratch, despite being blown over the side of a bridge and landing in (on?) a tree!

paddleboards don't belong in trees 6paddleboards don't belong in trees 7First pic shows the board as I initially saw it from the bridge this morning. Each picture after that shows the board from a closer view, and the last two show it was undamaged (I’m still shocked at that part). Crazy, huh?

(The preceding text is re-posted from the @kfpaddle Instagram account; read on to find out what we learned.)


OK, we admit it, the story is bazaar and funny/weird. And people are as likely to laugh at us as they are to laugh at the story.

We’re OK with all that. The Tale Of The Flying Paddleboard holds some important reminders and lessons for us. Here’s what we gleaned from our misadventure:

First, not every “disaster” is as bad as it seems. When my paddleboard was ripped from the trailer and blown over the side of the bridge by gale force winds, I was pretty certain that I had just seen the last of that board. Furthermore, my mind more or less went straight to the “oh no!” stage and the “ouch! that’s gonna hurt the budget” stage. Fortunately, we were very lucky this time around. No one was hurt, the paddleboard was not damaged, and the budget is no worse than it was before we tried playing the SUP version of Mary Poppins.

Second, things could always be worse. In this case, the board could have blown backward off the trailer, straight into my mom’s windshield. It didn’t, but it could have. So, what I thought was a bad situation wasn’t nearly as bad as it could have been. It’s good to remember that, even when you’re pretty sure you just witnessed the birth of a fiasco, there’s always a worse scenario. Helps put thing in perspective.

Third, paddleboards are odd things. We’ve had boards get dinged and scratched and nearly destroyed by small falls/drops/bumps, so the fact that a board can survive falling more than 60 feet, pushed by gale force winds, and not have a single new scratch on it is …. well, it’s simply amazing and very weird.

Fourth, plan for the unexpected. Paddleboards don’t belong in trees, and they’re also supposed to stay on the trailer when you strap them in place. So, no, we never saw this problem coming. But, thanks to a general preparedness ethic, we were able to deal with situation smoothly and effectively. Remember, when things go sideways (literally, in this case), you have choices. You can choose to react, you can choose to freeze, and you can choose to respond. We responded, rather than reacting, and we were able to 1) recover our board and 2) limit the damage to our budget/business.

So, to sum things up, we have this list:

  • Some of the weird things that happen in life are beyond credulity.
  • The lens of time often shows us that what looked disastrous in the moment really isn’t so bad. This perspective can help keep us calm.
  • On the flip side of the perspective coin is the idea that things could, in fact, be worse. Be grateful that they aren’t.
  • Whatever you think was destroyed in a particular situation might be just fine. Although we would have expected the paddleboard to be smashed in this example, it was actually OK.
  • It pays to be prepared.

Most entrepreneurs have equally bazaar stories if they’ve been in business for any length of time. Striking out on your own isn’t for the faint of heart, as seen herein, but it can be richly rewarding. So take these episodes for the learning opportunities that they are, make sure you’re paying attention to the lessons hiding beneath your frustration and angst, and then move forward!

Kingfisher Paddleventures sunset on Tybee Island

Take Your Dad Paddling on Father’s Day!

Dads Paddle Free on Father’s Day!

Use the code “DadsRock!” when you checkout online or mention this promotion when you call to book your activity.

Rental – Tandem Kayak (2 people)

So, if you’re looking for something interesting and fun to do with your dad this Father’s Day weekend, why not take him paddling?

It’s a great way to spend time with the most special man in your life. Create an experience that will live in your memories forever. Trust us, you won’t regret it.

Paddling with kids is fun, too! They love seeing the marshes from a “dolphin-eye view” and the activity is just what everyone needs to help workup an appetite for the Father’s Day grill-out that you’re about to do for yourself! 😉

Dads love it, and the memories last forever! We take pictures of you and your family so you can remember your special day.

I’ve spent a lot of time on the water, with all kinds of people in many different places. By far, the best paddling experiences I’ve ever had included my children. I highly recommend trying it! I’ll admit, it’s not always a smooth paddle – let alone a dry one! – but it’s always

 



These are my kids, in all their glorious goofiness. One is missing from this picture, but I love her and keep her in my heart. With them, every day is cherished, and I don’t “need” anything special for Father’s Day. That said, it’s still super cool when they stop to say, “I love you.”


Me and my father, 2013
Norm & Ken Leonard, 2013. Ken died in late August 2014.

This is me and my Dad, about a year before he died.

Make sure you tell your dad that you love him, regardless of how you choose to spend Father’s Day this year.

It’s Memorial Day Weekend – Thank A Veteran!

 

It’s Memorial Day Weekend, and that means it’s time to remember all those who served. Some gave all, all gave some.

Kingfisher Paddleventures is grateful for your service.

We understand that there are people in this world with bad intentions who wish to harm us or take what we have. Then there are the men and women who serve in our military. Thank you, Veterans, for your service, your sacrifice, and the safety you provide.

Happy Memorial Day! Thank you, Veterans
Happy Memorial Day! Thank you, Verterans

The somber, soulful side of Memorial Day is too often dismissed or forgotten, and it’s good to take a moment to slow down and say, “thank you!”

Fortunately, Veterans like to have fun, too! Goodness knows they’ve earned it.

So, we hope you’ll join us out on the water this weekend for a paddle in a kayak or on a paddleboard. It’s not too late to give us a call and plan your adventure. In fact, we have still have a couple of open spots in our schedule, and we’d love the chance to tell a veteran “thank you” in person.

The forecast for Memorial Day looks great!The weather forecast looks great, with plenty of sun and warm breezes! Check out this screenshot of the Weather Underground forecast for the Georgia Coast:

So, please, come on out and enjoy the water! We love to share this beautiful place with visitors and show you all the cool spots. We’re ready for you!

Looking forward to a really great summer! Hopefully you and your family are starting it off in style.

-kfpv