Ned Johanson SUP Tips Orlando

Ned Sharing SUP Tips – #SUPUncleNed

Aloha! I am Ned Johnson owner and operator of Paddleboard Orlando ! After paddling Central Florida’s waterways for more than 2 decades, I figured sharing some SUP Tips on my favorite spots to paddle is the right thing to do. Especially if it helps someone’s day go a little smoother or helps someone to be a little safer or a little more prepared !
In Central Florida, with such a varied waterscape landscape, each body of water presents it own unique challenges. For the beginner, the many lakes and  chains of lakes and inland rivers offer the newbie more wind and environment protected locations than some costal paddling areas. Typically with lake or river paddling you will have some type of shore or tree line that breaks the wind down more so than say the beach, where if the wind is blowing , there is no hiding from it!
My top 3 spots are all completly different but are within a 15 mile radius of each other. Thats one of the reasons, a plethora of paddling choices, Florida will become a paddleboard travel destination in the future, you read it here first kids!

  1. Wekiva Island – my favorite palce to paddle , there really is nothing quite like this location. Federally designated a wild and scenic protected river, there is no development in its immediate watershed. A first magnitude gin clear spring run, the Wekiva River offers glimpse into Florida , as one recent guest paddler put it, Jurassic Park past, but instead of dinosaur, there are turtles and birds and fish everywhere ! The wekiva river basin is home to most all of Floridas natural wildlife, with a healthy eco system to support it , its absolutely amazingly rare that a pristine river jungle can exiist only 45 mins from the plastic and make believe world of the attractions. Boards, kayaks and canoes available on site or contact a qualified outfitter for a guided trip up or down the Wekiva.
    1. Highlight 1 – Bring a mask , at the spring head, in the designated swimming area, the adventurous free diver can safely explore the 20 ft crack where the wekiva pours out from the aquiver. Bonus- fossilized sharks teeth can be found on the bottom near the spring boil.
    2. Highlight 2 – Wat and drink on site after your paddle, its yummy and delish, but it also helps support this small mom and pop anomaly. tootin otter bar and with oout a paddle cafe are on site and have the goods on site when it comes to suds and grubs!
    3. Things to consider: during the weekend, arrive early, the Island reaches capacity quickly on nice spring/summer weekends and the gates can be shut before noon.
  2. Dinky Dock Park – the epi center for paddling sports in Orlando. Free access to human or wind powered craft, Dinky Dock park  has free parking, clean and well kept restrooms, showers and a large sandy beach that is ideal for safely launching paddleboards or kayaks. With old logging canals connecting a chain of 5 lakes, its fun and easy to explore 1 lake or all of them! Beautiful old and new Million dollar mansions take up nearly every available lakefront spot, offering glimpses into amazing architect and landscaping.
    1. Highlight – Lushly canopied , fern and Venetian canal are how i wish all lakes were connected in Florida.
    2. Things to consider: Winter Park boat tour – operates 7 days 10am-4pm on the hour every hour with up to 7 tour boats. their times for passing thru the canals are listed, be mindful and read the signs,  don’t be paddling in one way, when the tour boats are coming thru the other way.
  3. Paddleboard Orlando – located on the cleanest clearest critter free lake in orange county, Lake Kilarney is a spring fed private 400 acre lake. With limited boat traffic and calming clear clean water, PBO SUP Shack is the perfect place for a quick reprieve from the outside world. with a quick set up time, being loacted on the water , you can walk in the door and be on the water in minutes!  Open 7 days a week, with boards of all sizes and certified instructors running the store, you can get some board and water time anytime its convenient for you ! All rentals include a basic land lesson, and as a land locked lake, Kilarney is not connected to chain of lakes.
    1. Highlight – Eat and drink after the paddle! Shake Shack , Hillstones, Kona grill are all within immediate walking distance of the SUP Shack. Besides, whats better than sharing a meal or drink and your good times after your paddle ? 😉
That’s it for now, next time I’ll break down these locations individually, if you have any questions please feel free to contact me,  at  or call the sup shack at (407) 960 7815, follow us on social for cool pics of our daily paddles and adventures!
Thanks for visiting and reading, see ya on board !
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