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Plan your best group event in Richmond, VA
Stand Up Paddleboarding, also known as SUP, offers a new perspective of natural surroundings and an escape from daily stress.
Bryan and Camille learned how to paddle “the wrong way" the first time they did SUP when the sport was new and instruction was hard to come by. Today their company, Black Dog Paddle, named after their black lab, Emmy, who is often seen on their boards, has become a leader in paddleboarding education by ensuring that participants are taught techniques for a safe and enjoyable experience on the water.
Black Dog Paddle helped to create the nationally recognized Stand Up Paddleboard Curriculum with the ACA, the American Leader in SUP Instruction. Black Dog Paddle's stand-up paddle business has been recognized by the Washington Post and Shape magazine, while Bryan was chosen by Style Weekly as one of Richmond's, "Top 40 under 40," for his therapeutic volunteer work with both kids and wounded warriors through water sports.
Several corporate teams have had the opportunity to synergize outside of the office in a unique setting and activity. Competitive participants can compete for “best trick," such as a pivot turn or yoga move, while a number of team activities, such as “How High How Long" and the “Basic Balance Challenge," bring out the young at heart.
Black Dog Paddle is mobile and can provide trips from multiple access points along the James River in Richmond, on the Rappahannock in Fredericksburg, on Chris Green Lake in the Charlottesville area and in Powhatan Creek in Williamsburg.
Paddleboarding is appropriate for all fitness levels. The suggested minimum age for mixed group events is 12-years-old. There is no age maximum, as 83-year-old participants have enjoyed SUP with Black Dog Paddle. Participants should be able to stand for two hours ("if you can stand, you can paddle board"). There are also ways to enjoy the activity sitting down or kneeling.
Black Dog Paddle has options for over 35 different types of boards to make sure that each participant is successful. The boards provide different challenge levels giving people with different goals the ability to share the same class space.
Black Dog Paddle has a 5:1 minimum ratio of students to instructors to ensure safety, but the usual ratio is often even lower. Gear rental is included in all packages and classes and includes the board, paddle, leash and life jacket.
The Basic SUP public class is held on Saturdays and Sundays from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. for ages 12 and up. Spaces are booked through the website and are limited to 12 people. Other classes and events are available such as yoga classes practiced on the boards in the water and eco-tours focusing on the natural surroundings.
Private groups can book events at any time. Black Dog Paddle can accommodate private groups of up to 25 people.
Black Dog Paddle opens seasonally in mid-April. Type the promo code "PartyRVA " when booking public classes online through Black Dog Paddle's website to apply an exclusive per person discount.
Two-hour Eco Tours are $27 per person and are typically held on Saturday nights at 5:30 p.m. There is a 15-minute crash course before going on the water.
Three-hour Basic SUP classes are $76 per person.
For private groups, three-hour private events start at $76 for groups of four people or less. For every additional five people the price per person drops. Events are $69 for groups of five to eight people and cost less for larger groups.
"Watching beavers slip into the water at dusk, admiring soaring birds, and hearing the soft lapping of water on your paddleboard...ahhhh. What could be a more relaxing and romantic date than the Saturday night eco tour with Black Dog Paddle at Pocahontas State Park?" - Mona Jain, dating consultant, River City Romance
"We hosted an event for clients and it was a great success. Bryan was in constant communication with me and his instructors, Nick & Aaron. The clients loved it and I am headed out today with my kids." - Jennifer C., Yelp