We’re excited to announce that Asbury Park Inn partnered with a local fitness and paddle boarding expert this summer, Jessica Desmond. In an effort to fully understand what our guests experience when they add the ‘Pedal & Paddle’ package to their stay with us, our manager Emily tried it out… here is her report!
What first seemed to be a dark and gloomy morning, turned out to be a beautiful sunny day just in time for my paddle boarding lesson! Jessica and I met on a corner of Deal Lake and she had our boards all ready to go. I could tell that this was not her first rodeo! She came fully prepared with sunscreen, towels and post-paddle drinks and snacks. She thought of everything!
While I had some experience canoeing and kayaking at summer camp as a kid, there are boarding techniques that I was unfamiliar with (for example, the transition from kneeling to standing). Jessica is an amazing teacher; she walked me through the steps and made me feel completely at ease as we practiced on our boards in the grass before entering the water.
Once we got on the lake it became clear to me why this sport is so popular… it was pure serenity. The lake glistened from the sunlight and we heard nothing but the sounds of our paddles and nature (only canoes, kayaks and small fishing boats are permitted on Deal Lake). It was so peaceful and instantly put my mind at ease.
There were points when the wind picked up and it was hard to keep my balance. Jessica talked me through each challenge and in no time I felt like a pro! As we explored further, we came across some amazing discoveries that made the trip all the more worthwhile. At one point, a giant snapping turtle surfaced, gliding on top of the water! Then we saw two swans leading their baby ducklings across the lake! Jessica was even surprised as she had never seen anything quite like that before.
As we headed back to our starting point, it all seemed too good to be true. From the perfect sunny day, to the quiet lake, to the amazing wildlife sightings, I couldn’t have asked for a better paddle boarding experience. Nor could I have asked for a better paddle-boarding instructor! Jessica took time to get to know me and tailored the lesson to my strengths and interests. It was a delight getting to know her and learning more about this awesome sport. I cannot wait for our guests to have their own paddle board experience with Jessica and to come back with amazing stories of their own!