Explore with our Ocean Kayak Tours!

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Photos & words by John Streit.

The rolling swell, flowing tides and sea breezes beckon the adventurous to strike out on the ocean with paddle in hand! Our Ocean Kayak Tours are your gateway to exploring the expansive Atlantic Ocean where it meets the sandbars off the coast of Sandbridge. This marine environment is home to ample wildlife both below and above the surface with pods of dolphins patrolling, schools of fish congregating and birds swooping in for their share of the sea’s bounty! On this July afternoon, our Ocean Kayak Tours witnessed all of the above in perfect conditions for a morning on the water. Click here to book your adventure online or give us a call at (757) 721-6210.

 

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Midsummer SUP Tours

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Words & photos by John Streit.

While kayaking is by far the most popular activity on our Back Bay waterway, there’s no better vantage point for witnessing the wonderful nature behind our shop than on your own two feet — on a standup paddleboard. Our SUP tours are also a great value, as we provide a lesson of paddleboarding fundamentals before you hit the water for an eco tour of maritime forest, expansive marsh and the open waters of Back Bay. Under the watchful eye of our experienced instructors, paddling through the slick-calm water of our waterway allows you to quickly learn and effective stroke as you become more and more comfortable with the board underfoot. Before you know it, you’re gliding across the water with the closest feeling to walking on water possible. Wildlife and wildflowers sightings make for lasting memories with friends and family — being on the water tends to do that! For more information and to sign up for your own SUP adventure, click here or call (757) 721-6210. We also offer private, one-on-one instructional tours!

Thanks to the Robinson family of Ohio, Sandbridge guests for the week, for spending their morning with us on the water!

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Group Lunch Box Kayak Tour with FRG

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Photos & words by John Streit.

There’s just something special about leaving the city hustle behind for a couple hours by paddling off the boat dock at our 577 Sandbridge Road location. The ever-present sounds of the town are replaced by the serene songs of redwing blackbirds and wind blowing through the reeds as you paddle further into Sandbridge Marsh. It’s hard to believe you’re still well within Virginia Beach’s city limit as you see osprey soaring overhead and minks inquisitively swimming around your kayak. Yet, it’s all right here, just minutes from the parking lot of Surf & Adventure Co!

These were the scenes that unfolded on a group Lunch Box Kayak Tour with the Family Readiness Group on a recent, sun-drenched, summer afternoon. There’s arguably no better setting for a team building or family bonding event than becoming immersed in the nature that we’re so blessed to have back up to our property. Paddling our double kayaks requires a bit of teamwork, so the activity lends itself well to building a sense of mutual reliance with the your paddling partner. The breath-taking transition of maritime forest to marsh to the open waters of Back Bay offers the paddler a true cross-section of our region’s back water ecology.

A Lunch Box Kayak Tour is just one of the many way you can take advantage of this awesome natural treasure. We offer many other kayak tour options, as well as rentals off of our boat dock starting at $25 for departures between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m., with a final return time of 5 p.m. for the day.

Enjoy these glimpses of the FRG Lunch Box Kayak Tour. For more information on group tour discounts and to book your next group outing, call us at (757) 721-6210 or shoot us an email at surfandadventure@gmail.com.

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Chica Surf Camp: Week 1

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Video & words by John Streit. Photos by Tommy Koehler.

There’s always a special energy that surrounds our Chica Surf Camp, and its first week of the summer season proved to be no exception! It’s no secret that the surf can have a “macho” vibe from time to time; but this unique, girls-only camp looks to level the playing field by empowering these girls to claim their place in the lineup. Our tried-and-true instruction methods are put into action by our staff of female surf instructors, creating an atmosphere of positivity and encouragement perfect for learning the ropes of wave riding. It’s taught by surfer girls for surfer girls!

Our opening week of this fun-filled, two-day camp saw plenty of great waves ridden and even more smiles and laughs as longtime Chica Surf Camp instructors Camie Romano and Candace Burns led seven stoked campers at Little Island Park. To sign up for this week’s or any other of the summer’s remaining Chica Camps, click here!

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Sandbridge Paddle Fest & Expedition: 9/26/15

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We’re beyond stoked to announce our most ambitious project to date: our adoption of the Sandbridge Paddle Fest and the addition of the Surf & Adventure Expedition and festival site at Little Island Park on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015!

The inaugural Sandbridge Paddle Fest was held in 2013 with a very strong community and competitor response. Since then, adventure races have exploded with popularity, and there’s no better natural setup to host such an event than the south end of Sandbridge Beach. Little Island Park offers ample parking and exposition space, broad, sandy beaches, paddling opportunities at and the perfect launch point into gorgeous scenery for cycling through Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge and False Cape State Park.

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The spirit of the Sandbridge Paddle Fest & Expedition arises from our passion for the outdoors and a commitment to promoting healthy, active lifestyles, as well as supporting the conservation efforts of the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge and False Cape State Park. False Cape State Park is one of the last remaining undeveloped areas along the Atlantic coast. As the former home of Native Americans, the historic Wash Woods community and a Coast Guard lifesaving station, False Cape honors the hardy souls who made a living from the sea.  In order to truly experience the nature and history of this unique and primitive setting, participants in the Surf and Adventure Expedition will stop at designated checkpoints throughout the parks before returning to Little Island Park.

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The funds raised by the Sandbridge Paddle Fest & Expedition will support the Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization that exists to support Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation by raising funds, accepting gifts and providing other resources to enhance existing programs, services, facilities and technology.

This event will feature the following activities:

  • Sandbridge Paddle Fest: 2-mile Stand Up Paddleboard course and 2-mile beach run with obstacles\
  • Surf and Adventure Expedition: 2-mile Stand Up Paddleboard course, 2-mile beach run, and Expedition bike ride through Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge and False Cape State Park. This event will be limited to 80 participants in order to control the number of people accessing the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge and False Cape State Park.
  • Kid’s Expedition: Short beach run with obstacles fun for kids under 12 years of age.
  • Expo area

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All events will be centered around Little Island Park, which will also offer food, beverages, community vendors, local businesses, demonstrations to include kayaking, surfing, and stand up paddleboarding, yoga sessions, and more.

We’re proud to be the presenting sponsor of this sure-to-become signature event for the Sandbridge community for years to come! Click this or the other links in this article = to sign up for the Sandbridge Paddle Fest & Expedition at http://surfandadventurerace.com.

False Cape Bike Tours

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Words & photos by John Streit.

Aside from being one of Virginia’s most diverse and beautiful natural areas, False Cape State Park is also the commonwealth’s most remote. Unlike nearby First Landing State Park — which offers awesome recreational opportunities in its own right — there is no parking lot access to False Cape. While that certainly limits the amount of activity the park experiences, it is also the source of the park’s allure — it’s an uncrowded, undeveloped, pristine and remote adventureland!

Thanks to our False Cape Bike Tours, Surf & Adventure/Ocean Rentals has opened the door to experience the rolling dunes, marsh flats, maritime forests, beaches and tributaries of Back Bay and False Cape! Outside of hiking, biking is the only and most efficient way to access False Cape State Park with tightly-packed gravel trails extending from Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge’s visitor center to the North Carolina/Virginia state line. Our tours offer two ways to experience False Cape: via the interior trails on beach cruisers or on the sand with our fat-tire bikes! These photos show the landscape of the interior trails from an early summer tour. Click the link to learn more about these unique, awe-inspiring tours and to book yours today!

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Surf Camps 2015: Week 2

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Video, photo & words by John Streit.

The good vibes keep on rolling in like the gentle summer swells of Sandbridge’s Little Island Park for Surf & Adventure Surf Camps! This week’s video covers some of the activities we do for both fun and function on the sand. You see, summer often brings stiff southwest winds; and while that is good for clean conditions in the surf, it also means the water temperatures take a dive due to natural phenomenon called upwelling. Even while staying busy and catching waves, the cold water can give campers the chills; so we have a few games for the groms to play in the sand to both warm them up and keep their muscles moving, all while creating fun and excitment. Snakes in the Sand and Sand Angel Contests are always a favorite, as well as pumping up our inflatable SUPSquatch for catching the ultimate party wave!

Enjoy this week’s video! Next week’s camp kicks off at 9 a.m. on Monday, July 6. Call us at (757) 721-6210 or click the link in the menu above to sign up today!

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False Cape Retreat Recap: June 20

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Photos by Robbie Hickman. Words by John Streit.

Further proof that False Cape is a small-wave oasis can be found no further than the below gallery from the lens of Virginia Beach photographer Robbie Hickman, who joined the crew of our June 20 False Cape Retreat. While the surf back in Sandbridge was hardly rideable on this hot and humid day, the unique geography and bathymetry of False Cape bumped the size of the waves up to a rideable knee-to-thigh-high: perfect for high-volume foam boards, longboards and SUPs.

For those who have taken part in this most unique of our adventure offerings, the surf is really just the icing on a cake comprised of the pristine natural surroundings of Back Bay and False Cape State Park. It’s hard to believe that you’re still technically within the city limits of Virginia Beach; as the undeveloped, remote beaches of False Cape create an East Coast paradise only six miles away from the south end of Sandbridge Beach. There are not very many stretches of coastline along the Atlantic Seaboard that remain untouched, and this adventure offers up that rare glimpse of what the coast may have looked like before European colonization. As soon as you feel like you’ve been whisked away to some far-flung destination, the ranger’s truck arrives with tasty lunches from one of the city’s best eateries — Back Bay Gourmet.

All in all, S&A crewman Kenny Mills and the retreat crew enjoyed another classic beach day for the books! We return to False Cape next week on Saturday July 11: Click here to reserve your spot on Sandbridge’s ultimate adventure!

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Smiles for Miles on Back Bay!

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Photos & words by John Streit.

While we approach every family’s Surf & Adventure experience with the utmost passion and enthusiasm, it’s always a treat when influential members of our community choose to hit the water with us. That was the case last week, when Dr. Bill and Kathy Magee — founders of the global, Virginia Beach-based medical nonprofit Operation Smile — brought their big, happy family down to Sandbridge for our famous Back Bay Eco Tour! Comprised of the elder Magees, several of their children and many more grandkids — 21 in all — the crew was stoked to take on our three-mile track down our waterway and into the open waters of North Bay. Youthful energy and adventurous spirits ran high as we made the paddle through the maritime forest into the open marsh and open water. Some of the resident critters decided to put on a show for the Magees, as we spotted turtles, snakes, muskrats, red wing blackbirds, purple martins, vultures, osprey and even a pair of bald eagles soaring over the marsh in the bluebird skies.

The Magees founded Operation Smile in 1982 after visiting the Philippines and witnessing the remarkably high concentration of cleft lips and palettes in the local population — most of which in poverty-stricken, rural areas. Since then, Operation Smile has steadily grown into one of the world’s most celebrated and recognized nonprofit organizations for their tireless work in improving the lives of their patients — free of charge — around the globe. The Magees have been the recipients of numerous awards and honors including the first $1 million Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize in 1996, the Servants of Peace Award in 1997, the Golden Plate Award and Kellogg’s Hannah Neil World of Children Award in 1999, and in 2001 the Common Wealth Award of Distinguished Service and the Antonio Feltrinelli Prize for Exceptional Endeavors of Outstanding Moral and Humanitarian Value by the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei. In 2007, USAID presented the Magees with the President’s Call to Service Award from President George W. Bush. In addition, Kathy Magee was highlighted in November 2009 in US News & World Report’s issue “America’s Best Leaders.”

We would like to offer huge thanks to the Magees for their incredible contribution to humanity — not to mention bringing the family down for a good time on the water!

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Beat the Heat: Blue Pete’s Dinner Tour

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Photos & words by John Streit.

We invite you to join us on the waters of Back Bay for a late afternoon paddle from Surf & Adventure’s boat dock into Pungo’s Muddy Creek to one of the area’s best restaurants: Blue Pete’s! As we’ve been dealing with a scorching heat wave, staying as cool as possible has become an important part of daily life — and kayaking is no exeception.

In my opinion, the best paddling tours S&A hosts are its Blue Pete’s Dinner Tours. The hottest part of the day has already past by the time we hit the water; and it’s likely a cooler sea breeze will be blowing across Back Bay to provide a gentle push into Muddy Creek from Back Bay. Wildlife become more active as the cooler temperatures and afternoon shadows set in for the evening. The course also puts a wider cross-section of the watershed on display; with the S&A waterway showing the transition from maritime forest to expansive marsh to the open waters of North Bay, as Muddy Creek boasts cypress groves and remnants of our regions duck hunting heritage along its banks.

The tour is unique, as it requires the participants to park a Blue Pete’s 30 minutes before scheduled departure. The S&A staff then shuttles the group back to our location for a one-way paddle to the restaurant. It is recommended to bring a change of clothes to change into after the paddle at the restaurant. From there, the guides take care of transporting the craft back to the shop while you enjoy Blue Pete’s fresh fare in one of the prettiest natural settings in the area.

Give us a call at (757) 721-6210 or click here to book your Blue Pete’s Dinner Tour online! We can do the trip on SUPs as well!

Enjoy these photos of the Kerr and Savick groups’ (from Michigan and Ohio, respectively) recent tour!

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Paddling with the Society of American Travel Writers

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Words & photos by John Streit.

There’s good reason for the Virginia Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau’s continual showcasing of our signature Back Bay Eco Kayak Tours: It’s one of the most beautiful and affordable gateways into becoming submersed in our region’s natural majesty!

This time around, two crews of travel writers and public relations professionals from the Society of American Travel Writers, who recently convened in Virginia Beach. By the grace of Mother Nature, the writers were treated to a pair of ideal midday tours through our Back Bay canal/tributary system that backs up to our property’s boat dock and runs though Sandbridge Marsh to the open waters of the northern portion of Back Bay. The wildlife came out to greet our guests, as we had fly-overs from our nesting bald eagles, osprey and even a rare encounter with a mink as we paddled through the waterway.

Enjoy these glimpses into the magical word of Surf & Adventure/Ocean Rentals’ Back Bay. To book your own adventure, call us at (757) 721-6210 or click here!

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False Cape Bike & Surf Trip Scenes

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Words, photos and video produced by John Streit. Filmed by Les Frankel & Streit.

False Cape State Park is the kind of place where the usual travel or nature buzz words like “breathtaking” are used to describe it, but inevitably fall short of actually summarizing its majesty. No matter how many times I have made the trek from Sandbridge to Virginia’s southernmost state park, I always return with a renewed sense of awe and appreciation for this incredible stretch of natural beaches, high dunes, maritime forest and marsh flats. All of those ecosystems were on display under sunny skies and warm temperatures for our 2015 False Cape Bike & Surf Trip, which took 15 stoked participants from Little Island Park to False Cape’s Barbour Hill and back with a four-plus-hour surf session in between for good measure.

This trip also serves as a preview for our False Cape Retreats, which return for three special runnings this summer starting on Saturday, June 20 followed by Saturdays July 11 and August 22. We are also offering False Cape Bike Tours which offers participants the option of biking the interior trails or on the sand with our fleet of fat-tire sand bikes!

Until then, enjoy the video and photos capturing the action from another classic Bike & Surf Trip!

 

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