VoyageMIA….Meet Natasha Baker Williams of SUP PUP Paddleboard Ft. Lauderdale

Today we’d like to introduce you to Natasha Baker Williams.

Natasha, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I started paddling boarding four years ago. A few months after buying my first paddle board, I grabbed my dog, Mr. Beaches, and took him out for a paddle. He loved it, and we have been paddling together ever since. Mr. Beaches quickly became a fur-celebrity throughout the canals. People would take pictures and wave us over, so they could say hi and pet Mr. Beaches.

In February while booking an Airbnb for my birthday, my boyfriend Sam, discovered Airbnb Experiences. As we scrolled through the Experiences in Miami, we noticed there were paddleboard tours listed. Sam encouraged me to apply to become an Airbnb experienced host. He was convinced people would love to go paddle boarding with me and Mr. Beaches. He even came up with the name, SUP PUP! Despite my reluctance, I applied to become a host and to, my surprise and delight, SUP PUP Paddleboard tours was approved! A few months after a very successful spring season, I rolled out my own website and added paddle board rentals to my list of services.

I was a surprisingly busy awesome summer season, which led me to leave the teaching profession, and pursue my business on a full-time basis. It was one of the best decisions I have made in my life!  SUP PUP has recently partnered with Tiny Warrior Wellness to develop and offer beginner paddleboard yoga classes held every Saturday at 9 am.

Has it been a smooth road?
Overall, I’ve had a very positive experience, with very few bumps along the way.  I attribute this to my willingness to ask for outside help. I enlisted the help of a business coach, SCORE Mentor Barry Dickler through the SBA’s SCORE program; received tons of advice from Sam, who is an entrepreneur himself; and solicited feedback from guests and friends who have taken a SUP PUP tour.

We are proud to say that in only 8 months of business, SUP PUP is ranked number 5 by Yelp and Trip Advisor on their lists of the top 10 paddleboarding companies in Ft. Lauderdale.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
SUP PUP Paddleboard Ft. Lauderdale, conducts paddle board experinces through the beautiful Las Olas canals and waterways. Each tour is led by SUP PUP tour dog, Mr. Beaches and is tailored to the skills and ability of the group or individual.  We have 4 tours a day beginning with our 6:30 am sunrise tour and ending with our 5:00 sunset tour.  In addition we also offer hourly paddleboard rentals, and paddleboard yoga and paddleboard lessons.

Every tour comes with complimentary cocktails and an online photo album, comprised of the pictures and videos taken of our guests during the tour. As a show of gratitude, we provide complimentary waterproof phone cases, waterproof speakers, and eyeglass straps. You name, we have it for our guests, free of charge.  If time permits, we surprise guests with appetizers and snacks!

We are proud to be a community-focused small business, that welcomes every guest from near or far, as if they were old friends. We are currently working to scale the business and offer group discounts for private and corporate events.  Once a month we will be offering a free paddle board basics class, in an effort to encourage more people to get fit and enjoy one of Ft. Lauderdale’s hidden treasures.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Absolutely! Fort Lauderdale is a great place to paddle board. It’s not called the Venice of America for no reason. The city has over 300 miles of meandering waterways, with picturesque views of masions, super yachts and hidden mangroves.  The canals are the best place to learn how to paddle board because of the calm, flat waters and respectful recreation boaters. You don’t have to paddle far to see the best that Ft. Lauderdale has to offer. Paddleboarding in Ft. Lauderdale can truly be a life-changing experience for many people.