OCEAN CITY — Newly opened Bluewater Paddleboard is letting water enthusiasts in West Ocean City experience Herring Creek in a unique way — standing up.
“You have a bird’s eye view,” said Bluewater co-owner Wendy Nash.
Along with husband Todd, Wendy Nash has been operating Bluewater on Herring Creek, off eastbound Route 50 in the Ocean Plaza, since June 15. The company specializes in paddleboard tours and rentals and is planning on expanding what people can do in the water over the next couple of months.
“We want to keep it diverse so it doesn’t get boring,” said Todd Nash.
For the uninitiated, a paddleboard is similar in design and construction to a common surfboard. However, paddle boards are wider and built for stability, with the models Bluewater uses clocking in at 31 inches wide and 12 feet long. Even with all of that size, most paddle boards only weigh about 30 pounds.
The stability of the board coupled with the use of a paddle means paddle boarding is incredibly easy to pick up for beginners, according to Todd Nash.
“It’s a nice, entry level thing,” he said. “It’s something to do with the girlfriend if the girlfriend doesn’t surf.”
Wendy Nash agreed and revealed that before she got her first board (a gift from Todd) four years ago, she didn’t have surfing experience. But the paddle board was intuitive and addictive, she explained.
“When Todd got me the board, it was very liberating,” said Wendy Nash.
Todd Nash, who did jump into paddle boarding with prior surfing experience, noted that the sport isn’t just for beginners.
“We’re trying to create a movement,” he said of paddle boarding, which he likened more to kayaking than surfing, though much less restrictive and more comfortable.
Even for someone well-versed in watersports, Todd Nash promised that paddle boarding can still be a tough workout and a challenging activity.
The fitness aspect is something others are noticing as well, said Wendy Nash, with health trainers including paddle boarding in lessons or incorporating the boards and the water around established workout routines. There’s also the option for more intensive tours in the future, which she called “excursions,” that would likely include all day paddling on the creek.
Currently, though, the most common option that Wendy Nash said people are looking for, especially beginners, is a simple hour paddle.
“It’s a perfect little trip … an hour is perfect for a first-timer,” she said.
Besides providing a workout and a chance to get out on the water, boarding through Herring Creek allows paddlers to experience a significant dose of Eastern Shore natural life.
“There are eagles that we always see down there,” said Wendy Nash.
Beyond the basic tours, the couple confirmed they hope to build their business by working with others in the community. Todd Nash mentioned upcoming “Growl at the Moon,” full-moon paddle tours that will tie-in with offers from Burley Oak Brewery in Berlin on Aug. 2 and Aug. 31. The paddle will involve glow sticks at dusk as well as drinks after dark at Burley Oak.
He also remarked on a working with community organizations for water activities.
“We’re doing a kid’s scavenger hunt with the Boy Scouts,” said Todd Nash.
Wendy Nash spoke about the potential for more nature efforts, including birding tours and a desire to expand services by adding watercraft into the mix.
“I love the creek, but eventually I’d like to get a boat involved,” she said.
Todd Nash asserted that paddle boarding as a sport and water recreation is only set to grow, both in Maryland and nationwide.
“I feel that, eventually, it will become main stream,” he said.
While the activity continues to evolve, Todd Nash said that Bluewater hopes to work with and alongside other paddle board locations on the Eastern Shore and is certain that there will be more than enough business to go around.
Bluewater is open seven days a week for the remainder of the summer, though Todd and Wendy Nash suggest calling ahead of time before visiting to guarantee hours and board availability. She added that Bluewater is willing to deliver and pick up boards for those looking to rent longer term.
“We’ll meet you anywhere, anytime,” she said.
For more information on Bluewater Paddle Board, call 410-603-9502 or visit www.bluewaterpaddleboard.com