columbus paddle boarding

The SUP Columbus Girls do it Standing Up!

SUP Columbus was born out of a love for fitness, a passion for yoga, and a thirst for adventure.

That thirst and passion led Beth Kaper and her friend Erin on a quest to find SUP Yoga somewhere in Ohio.  Since the Columbus market offered little in the way of paddle board lessons or rental opportunities, that quest quickly led them to the shores of Lake Erie and to Jim Lawhead of Lake Erie Paddler.  As the pioneer of the SUP Experience on Lake Erie and in Ohio in general, Jim has built world class programming from his home base in Lorain, Ohio.

When the wind picked up rather suddenly, what started as a serene SUP Yoga session turned into a wild excursion along the Black River out to Lake Erie and a landing on the beach at Jackalope Cove.  This thrilling experience only created an addiction for the sport of Paddle Boarding for Beth and Erin.

Just a few weeks later they organized a group of their friends to spend a weekend in Cincinnati at the Ohio River Paddlefest where Jim Lawhead was a feature presenter.  They all participated in Jim’s SUP Yoga class on Lake Como at Coney Island.  In addition, Jim hosted Beth and her friends for a private SUP Yoga Excursion the following day at East Fork Lake State Park.  The weather and setting were spectacular for a brilliant day of SUP Yoga enjoying the calm tranquil setting of the idyllic coves.

columbus paddle boarding

Jim Lawhead with SUP Columbus partner Beth Kaper and the SUP yogis’ Mallory, Kat, Liz, Erin, and Ashley at East Fork Lake State Park after SUP Yoga Excursion.

To satisfy her desire for the SUP Experience, Beth’s next trip to Lorain resulted in the purchase of her own Surftech Universal Paddle Board.  With the freedom of owning her own board, Beth sought out the best places to paddle board in Central Ohio.

Thanks to Erin, Beth discovered the area at the north end of Alum Creek State Park at the Howard Road Boat Launch.   An ideal spot for Paddle boarding in a three mile no wake zone, the North end of Alum Creek is populated by a few kayakers, fisherman, heron, and osprey.  Stoked by her discovery, Beth organized some friends for a paddle board session with Jim to evaluate the location for future classes.  A vision was beginning to take shape…

Motivated by a desire to bring world class paddle board programming to Central Ohio just like Jim has done in Northern Ohio, Beth traveled to Tennessee to get certified as a PaddleFit SUP Instructor and Coach.  PaddleFit is the leading provider of SUP training and fitness classes.  Lake Erie Paddler recognized the value of Paddle Fit early on and has sponsored six (6) instructors through the program in addition to signing on as one of the Founding affiliate members.

It was a natural alliance for Jim and Beth to join forces to bring SUP Paddle Board programming to Central Ohio.  Armed with her certification and the infrastructure that Jim has built with Lake Erie Paddler, Beth reached out to the ODNR and the City of Columbus to provide SUP programming at Alum Creek State Park, Hoover Reservoir Park and O’Shaughnessy Reservoir.  Upon passing a rigorous process of review, SUP Columbus has gained formal authorization to use these locations for SUP programming this summer.

We are excited for the opportunity to share our passion for paddle boarding with the Central Ohio community and look forward to seeing you on the water!  You can reserve your space in class by registering online at calling SUP Columbus at (614) 655-3504. Aloha!