Taking it to the Water: SUP Fitness in Austin

By Sarah Leahy, CPT, PN1-NC – July 1, 2023

Austin is hot, and the summers are long. But as an urban oasis that consistently ranks as one of the fittest cities in the United States, Austin trainers have lots of creative ways to keep you in shape even as the temperatures rise. SUP (stand up paddleboarding) fitness classes are a great way to make the most of the hotter months of the year, and get that workout in while having a whole lot of fun. Two local lakeside rental companies, EpicSUP and Rowing Dock, both on Lady Bird Lake, offer some public and private options for fitness on the water.

For an engaging group fitness experience on the water, Coach Maxle Watson leads a Saturday morning SUP Fitness class that incorporates strength training, conditioning, and paddle boarding sequences for a full-body workout to start your weekend with good energy and some sweat. The Epic Mornings on the Dock classes are the brainchild of Coach Maxle and EpicSUP owner Dale, who connected at a local charity paddle boarding event called Dam That Cancer. A lifelong active athlete with a passion for paddle boarding and the desire to share the feel-good benefits of water fitness with others, Coach Maxle put together programming for the weekly group classes to share his love of fitness and the physical and mental benefits it provides with the community. When asked how SUP Fitness classes are different from the traditional group fitness setting, Maxle says, “I don’t necessarily believe one fitness class is better than the next, you just have to find the one that you personally enjoy and a class that empowers you to be your best outside of those workouts. I do fully believe this class does exactly that!”

Coach Maxle’s Epic Mornings on the Dock classes are offered Saturdays at 8:30am from April through September. The classes offer a variety of challenging workouts for every fitness level, starting with a warm up on the dock, and followed by a combination of strength and conditioning both lakeside and on the paddle boards. Coach Maxle designs the workouts “to energize, challenge, and feel as rewarding as possible.”

While Rowing Dock also offers some one-off group fitness classes, like Pilates Fusion and Yoga classes with paddle boards and lakeside, their group experiences are what sets them apart, with unique team building games and activities on paddle boards, kayaks, and canoes. Director of Operations, Lindsay Rohler, touts the benefit of getting out on the water for some fun with co-workers, family, and friends, “Playing games and doing physical challenges or workouts on the water provides those fun, fresh, and funky elements to keep us out of that “workouts must be painful or hard in order to be effective” mindset. Have fun, move your body, and you’ll see results physically and mentally!”

Rowing Dock

Rowing Dock

Rowing Dock

Rowing Dock offers a little something for everyone, regardless of your level. You can book a lower intensity (low risk of getting submerged) outing on the water, or a more advanced skill-level game, including some challenging obstacle courses and races. They also partner with local trainers and other companies for private and community events, so any water activity you can dream up, they can help make it a reality. And if you’re just looking for a relaxing day on the water, Rowing Dock leads guided kayak tours for small groups to explore around the lake or take in the infamous Congress Avenue bat bridge. Rowing Dock’s offering are available year round, so even when the temperatures start to cool you can still enjoy an adventure or game on the lake.


Rowing Dock

When the heat makes you wonder how you’re going to get that workout in, head to Lady Bird Lake for some fun out on the water – there are endless options to enjoy yourself with your friends, or an opportunity to join a class and make some new ones.

To sign up for Coach Maxle’s Epic Mornings on the Dock: https://epicsup.com/events

Rowing Dock Fitness Classes and Events: https://www.rowingdock.com/happenings/
Rowing Dock Group Experiences: https://www.rowingdock.com/group-experiences/
Rowing Dock Guided Tours: https://www.rowingdock.com/guided-tours/


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