Tell Your Tale with Randy Brandt

Many of you are already familiar with Randy Brandt from our previous blogs and social media posts. Recently, we caught up with him again to discuss the thrilling adventures he's experienced with the NIXY inflatable stand up paddle boards. In this latest paddle board story, Randy shares insightful tips and highlights some incredible destinations. As a result, this narrative is sure to inspire further exploration of the beautiful parks and lakes across the United States.

Randy's Paddle Board Story: Journey Through National Parks 

NIXY: When did you start paddle boarding? What initially motivated you to get 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. Then, 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.

Finally, I am happy to report that I have 30 plus national parks knocked out and counting.

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The Appeal of NIXY Inflatable SUPs

NIXY: Why did you choose a NIXY inflatable SUP? What stands out 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 NIXY. He said they had great reviews and are very light and compact. I went ahead and 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.

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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.

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Overcoming Challenges and Discovering Joys with NIXY Paddle Boards

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 SUPs to Horseshoe Bend. We hired Steve, from Kelly’s Outfitters to give us a backhaul in his boat upriver to the dam. After he dropped us off, and we started to get all of our gear rigged for the 15-mile paddle downriver. However, 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 since 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.

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NIXY: After hearing about your challenges while paddle boarding, we're curious: What do you love most about paddle boarding?

Randy: Paddle boarding 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.

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Tips for Novices: Building Skills and Choosing the Right Board

NIXY: Based on your paddle board experience, do you have any advice for newcomers? 

Randy: The advice I would give the most would be to not get discouraged. Also, 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. If you want comfort and stability to tour around, I would go wider for stability. If your goal is to go faster with less stability, you can go with something narrower and long.

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From all of us at NIXY, THANK YOU!

As we continue to feature inspiring paddle board stories, we invite you to share your own experiences with us. Contact us anytime at chat@nixysports.com for advice or to share your paddle boarding journey. Thank you for being part of our community—happy paddling!

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