What’s up with WhatSUP?


Credit: Karlee Nipper

Seniors Karlee Nipper and Audrey Cooper close out the summer with the last Tuesday night sunset paddle at Hula Bay. They’re sad because it’s over, but smiling because it happened.

WhatSUP? SUP, an acronym for stand-up paddle boarding, is a water sport similar to surfing, but varies in that the participant stands upright and motors through the water with a paddle. A superlative way to combine fitness and fun, SUP’s popularity is increasing so much so that independent companies, such as Tampa Bay’s very own WhatSUP South Tampa, have begun emerging and offering lessons and excursions for paddle boarders of all skill levels. Located on Davis Islands, WhatSUP provides passionate paddle boarders with a wide variety of options to achieve their ideal experience year-round, ranging anywhere from a basic beginners lesson to advanced yoga classes to leisurely eco-tours.


Beginning in the summer season and extending to early fall, WhatSUP partnered with Surf Outfitter to bring a new option to the table. On designated Tuesday afternoons, the local businesses co-hosted sunset paddles at Hula Bay with free drinks and appetizers for a mere $25 rental fee. A win-win situation, loyal customers were rewarded with a relaxing evening while both companies gained ample exposure and promotion opportunity. Although freshman Gloria Bufano often paddle boards independently, she had no previous knowledge of WhatSUP until her friends came back with positive reviews of this particular offer. Bufano claims, “I’ve been paddle boarding multiple times, but I don’t get to go out very often so I’d definitely like to give WhatSUP a try!”


Now that Fall is in full swing, Tuesday paddles at Hula Bay will be discontinued until further notice. Fortunately, WhatSUP will remain open for business throughout the remainder of the year and will continue to offer a variety of special events and excursions that are bound to make for a memorable journey. Stay posted on all things paddle via WhatSUP’s Facebook, Instagram or Twitter as the independent store continues to opportunize and grow in the upcoming year.