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The Story of Paradise Found
The Summertime Paddle staff is beyond stoked to announce the opening of the Summertime Paddle Clubhouse at the Manasquan River Narrows.
“the Manasquan River Narrows is a paddler’s paradise… if not for the ebb and flow of the tide, one would forget that they are exploring the furthest reaches of the Atlantic as it winds up the Manasquan River Wildlife Area.”
After 4 great years at Belmar’s L Street Beach, the Summertime crew lost its paddle home on the Shark River. As difficult as it was to lose our established home, the saying is true; when one door closes, another door opens.
In 2017, when the search started for a new home, there were a few things about a paddle location that we hoped to improve. L Street Beach had great exposure, but being so close to the busy highway sometimes felt like more of a curse than a blessing. Paddleboarding was always about the adventure, a chance to get on the water even when the waves were flat and explore the world from a new perspective. Paddling always allowed for time away from the hustle and bustle of beach life, but trading Ocean Avenue for Highway 35 never felt like much of an upgrade.
Over the years, the Summertime Paddle crew has held court all over Monmouth & Ocean Counties with efforts to start locations in cool places like Manasquan’s Glimmer Glass, Neptune’s Memorial Park, on Twilight Lake in Bay Head, Stockton Lake near Sea Girt, and even in the ocean. (that was a first-year mistake!) All of these locations had their merit, but none felt like a home run.
During the winter of 2017, the paddle crew searched high and low for a new home. Maps, boat rides, long drives, and lengthy discussions all pointed in one direction, West. A zone with flat-water, tidal flow, wind-protection, (& not illegal!) was hiding deeper than most would care to look. That might be what made the discovery so exciting.
“The find” was one that would re-ignite the stoke for paddleboarding in even the saltiest of paddlers. Been there, done that, what’s new? Well, this spot was something that made us feel like it was 2008 all over again. Once the crew identified the best area to paddle, it took the kindness and guidance of an old paddle colleague to invite them to approach the waterway from a different angle.
Local holistic guru, Nurse Sue, had heard about our recent homelessness, she kindly reached out and suggested we come out to Lightning Jack’s Marina on the Manasquan River. She assured us it would be worth the trip.
Worth the trip it was! By sharing her universe at the end mouth of the narrows, Nurse Sue gave Summertime Paddle an opportunity to access the most pristine and beautiful part of Monmouth & Ocean County’s connection to the Intercoastal Waterway. The folks at the marina were kind, fair, and genuinely stoked for a new group to breathe some fresh air into their list of attractions. Vibes were high and work began building the clubhouse.
Fast forward to 2018- a bond has been formed between the good stewards of the Manasquan Narrows and the your Summertime ambassadors. We are more excited than ever to introduce you to our new home, where counties converge, rivers bend, and spirits fly.
Join us in building a Paddle Community at the Summertime Paddle Clubhouse, located inside Lightning Jack’s Marina 505 Ridge Road Brick, NJ. We promise it will be worth the trip!
Shaun founded SUMMERTIMESURF in 2006 and loves to surf and travel.