Stand-Up Guy

Just about every day of the week, you’ll find Josh Smart on one Fort Lauderdale body of water or another. Sometimes he speeds along the calm Middle River or, for a bigger challenge, he’ll go up against the waves in Port Everglades. Smart recently finished a challenge on social media where he competed against other paddle enthusiasts to log 500 miles in 100 days.

The Wilton Manors resident isn’t just passionate about the watersport most view as a leisure activity—he’s a professional. Smart is part of a worldwide paddleboard team, sponsored competitively by NSP-Surftech, which includes teammates from Australia and France who are ranked in the top five in the world.

That people are taking stand-up paddleboarding, or SUP, so seriously should come as no surprise. Last year, The Outdoor Foundation released a report that estimated that 2.8 million Americans, almost 1 percent of the population, were active SUP participants—a 30.5 percent increase over a three-year period.

For Smart, a fitness director at Lauderdale Yacht Club, the passion started with an invite from a club member. “He was a fit guy; he told me that since he started SUP he hadn’t been going to the gym that much,” Smart says. The club member was into competitive paddleboard racing. “I got hooked the first time I [did the] racing style. This isn’t the slow stroke kind of paddling.”

Smart offers some additional insights into the sport that has changed his life.

WHY HE DOES IT: Smart, originally from Salt Lake City, found that paddleboarding encompassed everything he needed to keep in top shape. “It’s the best all-around body exercise that you can get. It’s a great back and leg workout,” he says. Smart does 7-mile paddles at least four times a week; he logs shorter, 3-mile workouts on two other days.

WHERE HE DOES IT: The water into which Smart drops his paddleboard depends on the kind of workout he wants that day. For smooth, fast cardio training, he’ll careen down the Middle River, just 10 feet from his house. For race training, it’s the Intracoastal Waterway or Port Everglades. “Port Everglades is like a washing machine. The water has been bouncing off the sea walls, and it’s coming from all different directions.”

TIPS FOR BEGINNERS: Start in calm water. “New paddleboarders aren’t ready for the ocean water that’s moving underneath,” he says. Also, do balance training off the board, in a gym. “It will correlate in the water.”

You May Also Like

Live and Up Close: Ryan Hopkins

“I hope that when people see me perform they realize how much my heart is in it. I’ll put on the same show whether I’m playing to five people or 300.”

Healthcare Investor Hosts Fundraising Event for Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis

The evening will feature a Frank Sinatra impersonator, networking and a chance to raffle prizes from Amaira Med Spa & Surgical.

Quality Ingredients Made Legendary

Angelo Elia creates a restaurant empire.

Editor’s Letter: Staking Out the Middle Ground

The political partisanship in Florida is pretty stark these days. However, the career of John P. “Jack” Seiler is a reminder that wasn’t always the case. Seiler, who is featured on this month’s cover, served a key role as a fiscally conservative Democrat during his time in the Florida statehouse. Some people thought he was

Kevin Gale

Other Posts

Hit the Road? Not This Jack

Seiler has had a long and distinguished public service career serving South Florida.

Justin Weinstein Is on a Mission To Change the Attorney-Client Dynamic

A new brand movement – “The Law of We” – aims to foster proactive relationships between attorneys and their clients.

Editor’s Letter: Saluting a Good Friend

We will honor Kevin Kaminski’s legacy in all that we do.

Living Through Giving: Victoria Martoccia

South Florida philanthropists share insights into their charitable work and the life lessons that have influenced their endeavors.