Some of you already know of Randy Brandt from our previous blogs and social media posts. We had to have another interview with him with all the amazing adventures he's taken with the NIXY inflatable stand up paddle boards. This time, Randy gives us a little of his insights and a lot of great places to visit. This will sure inspire us to visit more of what beautiful parks and lakes we have right here in the United States.
NIXY: When did you start paddle boarding? What was the motivation that got you involved with this sport?
Randy: I started paddle boarding 3 years ago with no experience. It is kind of a weird story on how I got started.
My son and I were hiking Mount Tallac above Lake Tahoe. While on the trail we met an older gentleman, who shared his story. He was in his 70’s and he and his wife made a goal in their 20’s to visit all the US national parks. Unfortunately, his wife passed away after completing 50 parks together. He completed the remaining 10-15 parks in her honor. What a beautiful story, right?
I left that day inspired and decided to start visiting more national parks. One of the first parks I visited was Sequoia National Park in California. I hiked to Pear Lake which is a small glacier lake. I pitched my tent with a view of the lake, and I started to imagine how cool it would be to be out on the water exploring the lake. I returned home and determined a paddle board would be the best option for my needs. I wanted something that would physically challenge me but also pack down small.
I am happy to report that I have 30 plus national parks knocked out and counting.
NIXY: Why did you buy a NIXY inflatable SUP? What do you like most about the board?
Randy: I started by researching brands and styles of paddle boards. I contacted someone who ran a paddle board forum and suggested I look into the NIXY. He said they had great reviews and are very light and compact. I went ahead an ordered their most popular iSUP. I especially liked the new Newport because I can pack it inside my backpack along with food and supplies for several days of backpacking.
NIXY: What activities do you enjoy practicing with your board? Any adventure you are particularly proud of?
Randy: Exploring remote Alpine Lakes is my favorite. Some of the most memorable trips have been paddling under the Golden Gate Bridge, cruising around Horseshoe Bend and of course, visiting the many glacier lakes in Banff.
NIXY: What are some of the challenges you have encountered while paddle boarding? What have you learned that you may be able to share with the NIXY community?
Randy: I remember one incident in particular that was pretty unique. My buddy and I took my two NIXY inflatable SUP to Horseshoe Bend. We hired Steve, from Kelly’s Outfitters to give us a backhaul in his boat upriver to the dam. He dropped us off and we started to get all of our gear rigged for the 15-mile paddle down river. I realized that I had dropped a set of the stabilizer fins somewhere. I started to freak out knowing this would really impact the stability of the board. I started to think about options and quickly realized that the fins were probably interchangeable being that we were both using NIXY boards. Sure enough it worked. We split the fins between both boards, and we managed to continue with the adventure.
NIXY: What do you like most about paddle boarding?
Randy: What I like the most is paddle boarding is it gives me a reason to be outside and explore. Especially the inflatable boards because their small sizes enable me to bring them off the grid to visit remote lakes.
NIXY: What advice would you give to someone who is starting out? Any tips for learning? What factors should they consider when selecting a board?
Randy: The advice I would give most would be to not get discouraged. Expect to fall a bunch of times when you first get started. I have tailored my gym workouts to include more core and stabilizing exercises. This has improved my performance out on the water dramatically.
As for picking a board, I would suggest matching your board to the goals you have in mind. It you want comfort and stability to tour around I would go wider for stability. It your goal is to go faster with less stability you can go with something narrower and long.
From all of us at NIXY, THANK YOU!
We love featuring our amazing customers and learning from their adventures. Please feel free to share your story with us by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy Paddling!