Boundary Waters Paddlesports: A Fun New Way to Get Fit!

From first-time paddlers to competitive dragon boaters, Boundary Waters Paddlesports is showing Manatee County residents a whole new way to enjoy the water!

If you’re looking for a fun and easy way to get fit, paddlesports might be the perfect hobby for you! We recently caught up with Annely Thorstad, certified coach and owner of Boundary Waters Paddlesports to learn more about how they’re helping Bradenton locals and visitors learn to enjoy the water in a whole new way.

A Fun Sport for Everyone

While it may seem intimidating at first, we were surprised to learn that paddle sports don’t require any experience or athletic ability! In fact, it’s an ideal sport for people of all ages, including families with young children and seniors.

The coaches at Boundary Waters work with everyone from brand new paddlers to competitors and those returning to the sport. While they encourage participation in all types of paddle sports, they’re primarily focused on dragon boating and outrigger canoeing. They currently have both 20-person and 10-person dragon boats and a 43-foot Force 5 Outrigger Canoe.

If you’re interested in trying your hand at paddling, you’re welcome to join them for free. You don’t need to have your own equipment and you don’t need to know anything about it. Just show up with a good attitude and they’ll teach you the rest!

Competitive OC & Dragon Boat Teams

While many people simply enjoy the fun of paddling, others prefer the competitive side of the sport. Boundary Waters doesn’t disappoint here either! Many of their paddlers participate in competitions ranging from the Club Crew World Championships at Nathan Benderson Park to competitions as far away as Hawaii and New Zealand. Some of their students are even trying out for Team USA!

The Boundary Water Storm OC and Dragon Boat crew is currently accepting new members. No prior experience is necessary, but you must not be afraid of hard work! Their rigorous schedule includes fitness training and practices several times each week.

Elite Fitness and Training

To support their student’s fitness goals, Boundary Waters also offers fitness programs that include strength, conditioning, mobility, and paddling. They also have precision nutrition programs. For a low monthly rate, you can enjoy a 6-week on-land strength and conditioning program or a water and dryland program that includes endurance drills, weight training, a nutrition program, and race prep.

Manatee County, A Hidden Gem for Paddlesports

While several local areas are known as paddle and rowing destinations, Thorstad says Manatee County is truly underrated when it comes to what the area has to offer for paddlesport enthusiasts. Boundary Waters operates out of Fort Hammer Park in Parrish, which has less boat traffic than many other areas. There are also many no-wake zones, making it safer and more pleasant for both beginners and experienced paddlers.

To learn more about Boundary Waters and all the great services they offer, head over to their website or check them out on Facebook. Think you want to try it out? Your first time is free! Give them a call at (218) 324-3180 for more details. When you reach out (and we hope you will!) be sure to tell them you heard about it on Discover Bradenton!

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