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Stand-up paddle boarding offers different view of Lake Marble Falls

DANIEL CLIFTON • PICAYUNE EDITOR

MARBLE FALLS — Surf’s up on Lake Marble Falls, so grab your board and get ready to have some fun.

OK, it’s not exactly a breaking surf, and the board requires a paddle, but if you’re looking for a change of pace, give stand-up paddle boarding a try.

For a taste of the sport, Go Paddle Down, located at 120 S. Main St. (in a can’t-miss building with a crazy mural on the side), offers boards and gear for rent 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday-Sunday. Erika Burnham decided to bring stand-up paddle boarding to Lake Marble Falls about four years ago.

“This is a perfect place for it,” she said from inside her office. Lake Marble Falls winds through a nice cut of land, offering some protection from the wind.

But when the winds are a bit high, Burnham said the day isn’t lost. “With the canal off the lake here, you can spend your time exploring it.”

Stand-up paddle boarding is a way to bring surfing to the rest of the world that doesn’t have surf. And the learning curve is fairly smooth.

“It’s not like surfing, where it can take a long time to learn or even get up on the board,” said Burnham, who surfs the traditional way as well as paddle boards. “You can usually start out on your knees, but you’ll be up on your feet in no time.”

Once you’re up on your feet, you can enjoy an hour or a day exploring the lake. With stand-up paddle boarding, you can work through areas other watercraft might have to avoid. While it’s a great way to just cruise around, anglers are discovering the paddle boards allow them better access into tight places as well as making it easier to spot fish from a standing position.

Plus, you can use paddle boarding for a great workout — the intensity is totally up to you.

“You can adjust the workout to whatever level you want,” Burnham said. “You can go out and take it easy or really go hard.”

While this is Go Paddle Down’s fourth year, Burnham’s new partner, Ashley Steinmetz, brings a great deal of sales and marketing experience to the business. And it’s not just their business they are trying to help but other area businesses as well.

“We want to work hard to get more tourism to Marble Falls to increase business for all the small business owners,” Burnham said.

Go Paddle Down also is planning on sponsoring moonlight paddles and a charity dog paddle. That’s right. You can even enjoy a day paddle boarding with your dog.

If you have a small child not yet ready to paddle alone, he or she can ride along with you.

“It’s something you can do as a group and as a family,” Burnham said. As well as renting paddle boards out to individuals, people can call ahead and reserve for a group of six.

To rent boards, call ahead at (830) 220-3027 or just show up.

“All they have to do is sign a waiver, and then we walk them down to the lake and they’re off,” Burnham said.

Check out Go Paddle Down’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/gopaddledown for more information.

daniel@thepicayune.com