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510-Waterline Promotes the Benefits and Joy of Paddleboarding

By Pamela Sosnowski

For Jess Parker, few things in life compare to paddleboarding on the Richmond waterfront and soaking up the natural beauty of the area wildlife and the sun's rays. It's what inspired her and her friend and business partner, Mara Stonefield, to launch 510-Waterline and introduce that experience to others.

"Mara and I both love the immediacy of getting out on the Bay on a stand up paddleboard," Parker said. "We are constantly amazed by the stunning, urban-aquatic environment of the San Francisco Bay. We created 510-Waterline to make this experience accessible to more people by creating a comprehensive, safe environment."

The two women first met a decade ago at a local gym and realized they shared a passion for rock climbing. When Parker purchased a couple of used paddle boards in 2011 and invited Stonefield to join her, they both fell in love with the water sport and founded 510-Waterline in 2016, conducting classes out of the Marina Bay Yacht Harbor in Richmond. With paddleboarding gaining in popularity in recent years, the company recently added a second launch location at South Sailing Basin in Berkeley.

Classes range from SUP (stand-up paddleboarding) Intro, which teaches all of the basics from the very beginning, to Yoga Vinyasa classes that incorporate yoga poses on paddleboards to build balance, coordination, and strength. Class prices range from $30 to $60 with discount packages available to those that wish to take more than one. Parker and Stonefield currently teach all of the classes themselves and class size is limited so that each student gets individualized attention.

"We lead all our own classes, with a instructor student ratio of 1:4 at the most," Parker said. "That way every student receives personalized instruction they need to learn to stroke efficiently with good form so they can reap all the many benefits of stand up paddle boarding."

What makes paddleboarding such a compelling sport? Besides being a great way to take in natural scenery along a waterway, it can prove to be a challenging, full-body workout as your core works to keep you balanced while your upper body uses powerful strokes to carry you through the water.

"Stand up paddleboarding strengthens the core, improves balance, stabilizes muscles, and sharpens nerve endings," Parker said. "More than just a workout, a 510 fitness class is an opportunity to connect with the outdoors physically, mentally and spiritually."

No two paddleboarding excursions are ever the same, since weather and water currents are constantly changing (for safety, 510-Waterline usually only conducts classes on days with very light wind.)

510-Waterline also organizes several themed SUP events including full moon paddles, sunset paddles, the Halloween Bloody Paddle, Rosie the Riveter paddle (where participants dress up as the iconic WWII heroine), and more. The offerings are not just for adults; 510-Waterline also leads a SUP camp just for teens consisting of one-to-five day workshops and camps. These camps provide an encouraging environment and help participants develop confidence and body strength.

510-Waterfront's classes typically run on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and weekends. You can learn about their many SUP offerings and schedule a class at http://www.510waterline.com.

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About The Author

Pamela Sosnowski is a freelance writer, social media manager, contributor for REBEAT...

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