You Only Live Once. YOLO!
Jeff Archer and Tom Losee founded YOLO boards, which are stand-up paddleboards (SUPs) designed with a lifestyle in mind.
Until about 3 months ago, I had only tried paddleboarding once for about 10 minutes during a demo. I enjoyed it, but until I moved to St Pete (a few blocks away from Tampa Bay and a few miles away from the Gulf), I did not have the opportunity to spend any time on a board. After moving, we noticed Reno Beach Surf Shop down the street, so we checked it out.
It turned out that two dynamic guys, Christian Cook and Chad White with NRG Salt, were running the paddleboard section of the shop. They were so animated about paddleboarding that it was impossible not to get excited about it. They sell YOLO boards and, after trying a few during one of their demos, I was intrigued by the sport and hooked on the brand. We have since rented boards a few times and I’ve spent a few evenings out on the water with Yoga Energy Studio, another amazing group!
My increasing desire to be on the water and to spend time with these amazing people led me to the conclusion that it would be in my best financial interest to get my own board (it gets expensive to keep renting!). I had to take into consideration board length (whether or not it would fit in my apartment) and board weight (whether or not I could lift it, maneuver it, and travel with it). YOLO sells a 9’6″ 23 lb board (Express) and NRG Salt allowed me to demo the board. The decrease in weight made the board less sturdy to stand on than the larger boards I’ve been trying, which takes some getting used to, but it’s much easier to maneuver in the water. The demo board was a little beat up and therefore cheaper than a new one, so I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to purchase the board a few days ago.
On Saturday, NRG Salt held a race training series, so they brought the board over during the 2-miler. The winds were intense, but it was interesting to feel the board’s response to the wind and waves. After the event, we cleaned off the board and we were ready to mount it on top of the SUV when we decided to see if it fit inside. It did! The 9’6″ YOLO fits in a Hyundai Santa Fe! This is particularly convenient for me, since my 5’0″ frame has a difficult time reaching the top of the SUV.
I’ve completed round 1 of cleaning up the board. Mild soap and water with a sponge seemed to clean off most of the wax build-up on the bottom of the board. I still have some work to do, but she’s getting there. I feel like I should name my new/old YOLO. Do people do that? Is that weird? I’m taking suggestions (or ridicule). 🙂