Stand-Up for a Cause
Mario St. Cyr was the first guy to open a stand-up paddleboard business in Fort Lauderdale when he ran Paddles and Boards, parking his trailer right there on Sunrise Boulevard at George English Park, where it was easy to push off into the calm Intracoastal Waterway and commune with manatees and super yachts. Paddlers loved that Mario was ultra friendly, didn’t charge an arm and a leg and an internal organ, and didn’t overcomplicate the sport so he could up sell you overpriced lessons.
(Newsflash: It’s really not complicated to stand up, balance, and paddle.) But after many competitors got into the game and undercut him by not having insurance, St. Cyr decided to get out of the seven-day-a-week rentals and reignite his real estate business. Which left him time and spirit to start a paddle boarding charity!
Now St. Cyr, who once taught skiing to underprivileged kids, rents boards by appointment ($40 to $45 for all-day rental with free introductory lesson or $100 for a two-hour private lesson), and is focused on group events — like offering paddle boarding to kids who would otherwise never get the chance to try it and hosting fundraisers like Stand-Up for the Pets (paddle with your dog onboard and raise funds for spay and neuter programs). Even with these new initiatives, St. Cyr manages to offer semi regular paddle boarding lessons to Fort Lauderdale residents at the low, low cost of absolutely free! Next dates are June 22 and July 13 — get on that!