Introducing… The Goat Boater, Lake Wylie Paddleboarding

Tell us a bit more about your SUP school.

In addition to our adult SUP programs, The Goat Boater, Lake Wylie Paddleboarding offers SUP Adventure Camps as well as a Youth SUP League.  We are hoping to grow our SUPKids program over the next year by partnering with local organizations and schools.

 SUP Adventure Camp is a 5 day camp open to youth ages 7-17.  Our camps are designed to teach proper SUP technique, water safety & environmental education.  Over the course of a week, campers are introduced to SUP technique, sprint and distance paddling, local waterway education & clean up initiatives, SUP fitness and paddle games.  

Our Youth SUP League meets once a week for 9 weeks and is open to youth ages 9-17.  Each week we work on SUP technique by incorporating a mix of advanced technique drills and distance paddling.  By the end of the 9 weeks paddlers have advanced in SUP technique and become more efficient paddlers.  League is best suited for youth interested in SUP as a sport and/or race coaching.

In addition to the above mentioned we coach young paddlers year round.  We have private lesson packages available for those looking to train for their first, second or fifteenth SUP race as well as for those looking to become a better paddler and spend some time on the water. We always advocate for SAFE SUP practices as well as for paddlers becoming stewards of the environment

What does a typical day for you guys look like?

We live and work on Lake Wylie.  Each morning we wake up to water and begin our day lakeside.  Our SUP season runs April through September with June and July being our busiest months.  Kids are out of school and everyone wants to be outside and on the water.  We’re running rentals and private lessons throughout any given week.  Wednesdays are league days with back to back youth and adult leagues.  On Saturday we run a wide array of classes as well as rentals. Sunday’s we are positioned at multiple waterfront parks within the city providing our SUP services.  We are a completely mobile company, therefore we drive a trailer each day to our designated launch location(s) on the lake. We set up, spend the day on the water, break down, then return home to our family.  At the end of my day I’m always greeted by my amazing hubby and soon to be 3 year old daughter who are ready to get on the lake and paddle some more!

What is the weather like over there at the moment?

 We’ve entered into June which means high humidity, warm temperatures and perfect water temperatures.  In our summer months, we often see a decent amount of afternoon showers that pop up out of nowhere due to the high humidity.  Current temperature outlook for tomorrow is a high of 87 degrees F and a low of 69.  Water temperature is around 80 degrees F.

What’s your favourite non-SUP related activity?

 I enjoy being outdoors.  If I had to pick something other than SUP I’d go with wakesurfing, hiking and climbing. I spent a lot of my 20’s & 30’s running marathons, dancing professionally for the NBA (National Basketball Association), competing in triathlons and half ironmans.  I checked all that off my bucket list and I’m pretty much a paddleboard junkie at this point.  

What do you love most about SUP’ing?

Easy! Being on the water and in nature. I feel the most connected to the Universe when I’m on the water and in nature. Also, I do enjoy the added health benefits that come along with paddling.  It’s a sport my husband and I both love and can do together.

Do you have many problems regarding ocean plastics where you paddle?

We paddle on a lake and therefore our problem is “Lake Plastics.”  Yet, no matter where we are in the world it all eventually ends up in the ocean. Plastic is a real issue not only on our lake but globally.  On our lake, we see too much of everything.  It makes me sad when I think about the total disregard for our environment some individuals exhibit.  We have to break the mold and consistently take a stand to keep our water clean or we may not be around much longer to enjoy it.

We know that you love the ocean and are super passionate about taking care of it, what types of activities do you get up to in order to keep your oceans clean and protected? Do you run any beach/waterway/sup clean ups?

There are quite a few environmental initiatives that we are involved in as a business and individually.  We have two great organizations, within our community, that have put together numerous lake sweeps as well as water testing sites on Lake Wylie.  The Catawba Sail & Power Squadron is one and the Catawba River Keepers is the other. We are members of both organizations. In addition to this The Goat Boater incorporates shore and waterway clean-ups into our SUP Leagues and social events.

How good is Charlotte when it comes to recycling?

WE CAN DO BETTER.  We are located just outside of Charlotte, North Carolina (USA) in a growing city named Tega Cay.  Tega Cay is located in South Carolina, which is 30 minutes outside of the city of Charlotte. Tega Cay is Polynesian for “Beautiful Peninsula” and is surrounded by Lake Wylie.  The City of Tega Cay has recently partnered with local organizations to improve our recycling efforts.  A few of these efforts include:

  • The bags to benches program.  This initiative allows residents to drop off plastic bags that will then be used to create benches within our city.  This effort is done in conjunction with the local Lions Club chapter.  I am a 10+ year member of the Lions.
  • The City of Tega Cay has also made huge strides with the community recycling program through education and recycling initiatives as well as by providing residents with alternative solutions for recyclables.  

I’d really like to see the day our community begins to understand the bigger problem and advocates for plastic alternatives.

Do you give back to your local community? If so, what do you do?

YES! YES! YES!  We partner with our city Parks & Recreation department to offer programs that support the continued funding for our parks and recreational programs.  On the 4th of July we celebrate Independence Day as well as our city birthday with various water events, including a paddleboard joust, in conjunction with the Carolina Show Ski Team.  

As members of the Catawba Sail & Power Squadron we are able to be a part of many programs on water safety, clean water, boating safety and more.  We also allocate funds each year to support local businesses, individuals within our SUP community and charitable organizations as they raise money for various causes.  A few that we have supported this year include The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Winthrop University Athletics, Tega Cay’s Catawba Park Forever Fund, The Catawba Riverkeepers and the Tega Cay Lion’s Club. A percentage of proceeds from our 2019 summer SUP league went to all the above mentioned organizations and funds.  This tribe of paddlers will make a difference in our community.

What is the weather like for you in winter?

Some would say our winter season is fantastic, yet I do not like cold weather. We don’t have much of a paddling culture on our lake during the Winter.  We all hibernate and wait eagerly for Spring.  It never really gets below 30 degrees F.  If we get snow everything shuts down and then it melts before end of day.

What are the typical marine animals that you come across in?

Turtles, Fish, Snakes, Muscrats, Otters, Beavers

Name the top 5 things you pack for every SUP?

I’m a minimalist when it comes to paddling.  Less is more.  You won’t find me with much.  I always carry a small dry bag with a phone for emergencies.  I also have some form of hydration (either a water bottle or my hydration pack).  The other items are a must… PFD & Whistle.  I guess that’s 4 things.  The 5th would be the hat on my head.  I love hats!

Where has been your favorite place to SUP?

Before I started the business I did a LOT of travelling.  I love Costa Rica. I’ve enjoyed paddling in many great places, but I’d really like to call Costa Rica my new SUP home one day.

DREAM destination?

I don’t really have one. I’ve travelled around the world and have experienced many different cultures. Every destination has paved the way for the next. I’m not one to revisit the same spot over and over.  ’d rather continue to explore the unknown and see where it leads me. As long as there is fresh air, water and sunshine, I’m sure it will be a dream destination.

Tell us your top 3 tips for anyone looking to start SUP

1- Take a class/lesson from a PaddleFit Pro certified coach.  You’ll be glad you did.  

2- Don’t take yourself too seriously. The SUP community, as a whole, is really small. We need you to fall in love with the sport and then go out there and energize and educate your community about SUP.  Make every effort to create and grow a tribe in your local community.  

3- You are where you are so be there… The SUP community is the most diverse community I know. We have paddlers of all ages & demographics, experience levels, goals, passions, abilities… it’s super awesome. If there was ever a sport for both the average person and the professional athlete this is it. Challenge yourself to be the best “YOU” can be!

What is a traditional food from Charlotte that you would recommend trying?

Honestly, I do not know of a traditional Charlotte food.  Charlotte is located in the Southern United States therefore, we overindulge on traditional southern food.  This includes pimento cheese, hushpuppies, bbq and sweet tea. If you are really adventurous, try out collard greens, fried okra and black-eyed peas. Try all of the above just to say you tasted traditional southern food. Personally, I prefer what comes out of our very own, small, organic garden over anything else.

Tell us more about your Paddle Fit sessions...

PaddleFit is our SUP certification organization and it’s AMAZING!  If you are not familiar with PaddleFit check it out. In my opinion, PaddleFit is the only coaching certification program that educates SUP coaches, teachers, businesses and organizations on everything SUP. Certified coaches must pass not only written evaluations, but also practical skill based assessments on the water. PaddleFit Pro Coaches have been trained to coach advanced paddle technique and efficiency as well as teach SUP fitness classes.  PaddleFit also provides a platform for certified SUP coaches and SUP businesses to network.  

The PaddleFit classes offered at The Goat Boater, Lake Wylie Paddleboarding include:

Introduction to Stand-Up Paddleboarding – This class is designed for the beginner.  It covers safety, waterway etiquette and SUP basics.

PaddleFit Technique – offered as a clinic and/or a series of private lessons designed for the paddler looking to learn advanced paddle technique

PaddleFit – offered as a private training program.  This is your workout class on the board.  Classes are tailored to the paddler’s goals and fitness level.  A typical PaddleFit session would consist of sprint paddles, land and water based fitness training (push-ups/sit-ups/squats/etc. both on and off the paddleboard).

Do you run any sup yoga sessions?

Yes, The Goat Boater partners with local yoga studios to offer SUP Yoga on Lake Wylie. Sessions are offered 2 to 3 times a month beginning in May and running through August.

Tell us a little more about your sunset paddle tours and your moonlight madness

Sunset paddle tours are offered as private excursions.  I’m convinced that South Carolina has some of the best sunsets in the world.  I’ve seen so many beautiful sunsets on my hometown lake through the years.  Excursions last about an hour and a half depending on paddler experience.  We paddle out to the main channel where paddlers can catch the best view of the sun going down.

Moonlight Madness paddles are offered once a month at the time of the full moon.  It’s an hour and a half, guided, night paddle with NOCQUA Adventure Gear’s LED lighting systems equipped to the boards.  This excursion is a lot of fun.  The lights allow you to see below the surface water and explore Lake Wylie’s native wildlife. Fish jump at the lights so at times it can be entertaining to see them jump on a board or two.  This excursion is great for meetup groups, date nights, family adventure outings and for those looking to experience something different.

When paddlers take part in a guided excursion with The Goat Boater they will be a part of something different.  We always try our best to provide a service level that adds additional value to someone’s SUP experience.  We want paddlers to say, “Wow, that was great” at the end of a paddle.