So hard to sum up Summer 2014 in three minutes, but we tried!
A very special thanks to our summer staff, and to the friends and clients that spent time with us this season. For those of you not put off by a little cold weather, remember we paddle throughout the Fall. For the rest — we’ll see you next summer!
As our Summer season winds down, one of the things we’ll miss the most are our evening Sunset, Stargazer and Full Moon Stand Up Paddle Tours. These were hugely popular with our Paddle Diva clients, and why wouldn’t they be? Stand up paddling during the day already has a calming quality; watching the sun set over the harbor is the perfect way to wind down. Indulging in a guided meditation and some gentle yoga stretches led by Jessica Bellofatto while listening to waves lapping on the shore is a restorative experience unlike any other!
The logistics of the night paddles are difficult, to be sure, but darkness and mosquitoes are no match for the Paddle Diva team. NOCQUA Adventure Gear’s White LED Light System fits all SUP’s, Kayaks and Canoes and was also extremely helpful in lighting up the overland path to the shoreline. (Everyone was on their own when it came to dealing with the mosquitoes.) Lighting like this enables night paddlers to glide over illuminated waters and obviously provides the necessary safety element that is always our first priority.
I am a strong proponent of water safety and regulation, and continue to incorporate it into my stand up paddleboard business. The Academy of Surf Instructors (ASI) is an international organization offering accreditation in stand up paddleboard training and instruction, and Paddle Diva is an accredited ASI Stand Up Paddle Instructor Training Centre. My husband, Scott Bradley, is ASI certified SUP trainer.
During the week of September 12 through the 15, we will offer ASI SUP instruction certification at our Shagwong Marina headquarters in East Hampton. Scott will be leading SUP instructor certification training through ASI. There is still time to enroll in these ASI accredited courses, which include: SUP Instructor Water Rescue, SUP Instructor Flat-Water and SUP Instructor Exposed-Water.
Since there is a marine component in SUP that requires extensive training, it’s not enough to just know how to stand up paddleboard. ASI accreditation and certification programs are setting and leading the industry standards for SUP instruction. These educational and training programs are geared toward developing high quality and consistent water safety standards.
When you have ASI accreditation, it builds credibility with your clients and is a reliable sign of professional accountability. This is the reason all Paddle Diva instructors and staff are certified by the ASI. The rigorous training programs give us the expertise, knowledge and confidence to give our clients a safe water experience.
For the September training, the various levels of instruction will cover stroke techniques and water safety, along with how to perform rescues and manage students in case of an emergency. We also take the training beyond the classroom, by providing both dry-land classroom and on-water instruction time. Read the rest of this entry »
Paddle Diva has received some serious recognition in the media this summer. Check out this season’s press clippings below, and come one out this Labor Day weekend to see what all the fuss is about!
- “Bethenny” Show Re-broadcast
- “Two Water People Inspire Each Other” from Edible East End (High Summer 2014)
- “Hamptons: Summer Fit & Fun” from Jet Set Extra
- “Stand Up Gal” from London Jewelers Accent Magazine (page 80)
- “Feel the Burn” from Hamptons Magazine
- “The Family that Surfs Together” from Shawn Elliot’s Luxury Magazine
Paddle Diva’s next SUP Yoga teacher certification training will be held on the weekend of September 13-14th. Gina Bradley and Jessica Bellofatto lead the 20-hour course, which covers stand up paddling techniques, beginner to advanced SUP Yoga sequences and water safety protocols.
The training also offers a hands-on approach to building, growing and promoting a SUP Yoga business. Participants learn the inner workings of setting up the business, purchasing SUP Yoga boards and marketing. After completing the training seminar, many of participants go on to start their own businesses.
This past May, Caitlin Marcoux ventured from Massachusetts to enroll in Paddle Diva’s SUP Yoga instructor training. Caitlin has been practicing and teaching yoga for nearly 15 years. She said she came to gain the skills and the knowledge to launch her own SUP Yoga business in Nantucket.
“I was looking to change directions and start something new,” Caitlin said. “The course was very relevant and helped me learn the practicalities of starting a SUP Yoga business.
The training was fantastic and I highly recommend it to anyone teaching SUP Yoga or starting a paddleboard business,” she said. “I appreciated how Gina and Jessica shared their experiences. They were very honest about what worked and what they adjusted and improved upon since launching their businesses.”
Caitlin said she learned about the ins and outs of stand up paddleboard equipment and the best areas to invest your money. She found it helpful to be able try different SUP boards and equipment on the water.
“During the weekend, Gina’s husband Scott also taught a phenomenal clinic on basic paddleboard strokes,” said Caitlin. “Now, I use this break down of techniques each day with my SUP Yoga clients.”
Caitlin launched her business this summer. She has combined Nantucket’s natural beauty with the uplifting experience of SUP Yoga. Each of her classes incorporates the tenants of a classical Hatha yoga practice. “It’s been going great and my classes have been full,” she said. “Next summer, I’m planning on adding more boards and hiring a staff member.”
“I like the autonomy of being your own boss. It’s challenging, but I’m having a good time. Everyday is different and I enjoy working with a range of clients — some like to paddle hard, while others prefer anchoring down with yoga on the board,” she said.
“I love teaching paddle yoga on the water,” Caitlin said. “Every time I go out to the harbor, I feel nurtured and bathed in positivity.”