Ready to hit the water? A Florida company is now doing for the beach what scooters did for downtown. PADL is a self-service rental company allowing St. Pete-area beachgoers to walk up and grab a paddleboard to rent and take straight into the water, in exactly the same way scooters are rented downtown.
The company, which got its start on Florida’s east coast, launched service in select areas along Pinellas County beaches last year and have expanded to more locations this summer. Currently, there are eight different rental stands ranging from Pass A Grille to Treasure Island, where boards, paddles and safety vests are ready for SUP’ers to snag just by checking them out on their app. No human interaction required.
The innovative new service is a boon for two different audiences, both of which are sizable among locals and tourists alike. First, PADL is an excellent way for first-time or novice paddleboarders to get on the water without having to invest in the purchase of their own board. In most local areas, rentals are $25 per hour. The PADL website even offers tutorial videos for first-timers to pick up hints and tricks.
Second – and the reason PADL was founded – is that it saves hassle for frequent paddleboarders. The owners of the company had grown tired of wasting time and energy on beach trips with their families by hoisting, pumping, and lugging 10-foot boards back and forth.
Open the app, then hit the water
One day, it clicked for them when they saw Lime scooters come into their town. Hey, what if we did the same thing for paddleboards? So PADL got its start down in Key Biscayne back in 2019, and the company has quickly become a favorite along Florida’s coasts and waterways.
PADL has plans to expand further in the Tampa Bay area, though they already have eight locations in the region, including six near St. Pete Beach. The stands are easy to spot, lined with paddleboards ready to be rented.
From south to north, find them at 900 Gulf Way in Pass a Grille (next to Paradise Grille), 4652 Gulf Boulevard on St. Pete Beach (near the public parking lot by Bon-Aire Resort), 6850 Beach Plaza on St. Pete Beach (Upham Beach Park area), 9300 Blind Pass Road near St. Pete Beach (located at Ron McKenney Park), 1040 Gulf Boulevard on Treasure Island (by the public parking a block south of Sloppy Joe’s), and 8000 Gulf Boulevard on Treasure Island (at the Beach Pavilion a little bit south of Caddy’s Treasure Island and Sunset Beach).
There are also two more Tampa Bay area locations, one on the beach in Palm Harbor at 797 Florida Avenue, and another on Tampa Bay in Safety Harbor next to the Philippe Park boat ramp at 2525 Philippe Parkway. Learn more and find location information at padl.co.
Looking for more ways to enjoy the outdoors? Check out I Love the Burg MORE, where members can get great deals on kayaking adventures at Weedon Island and Eco Boat Tours with Tampa Bay Watch.
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