SSI SUP – St Simons Island Paddleboard and Kayak Ecotours & Lessons
is built around the idea that people protect what they love. So, we help people fall in love with the beautiful, special places near our home on Saint Simons Island. Let us show you the grandeur of a sunset over the salt marshes, explore tidal creeks with a pod of dolphins, or challenge your athleticism in the surf. Paddle for fun and spend the afternoon laughing with or friends, or hang out with Doc as he shares his passion for the ecology and biodiversity of the Georgia coast. See things you simply can’t see from the water’s edge and hear things that are normally drowned out by the sound of a motor if you go by boat. The Golden Isles are a wonderland, rich with gorgeous vistas and fascinating wildlife!
Owner and CEO Norm “Doc” Leonard holds a Ph.D. in Conservation Biology from UNO (2008) and a BS in Ecology from UGA (1998). After working in research labs for his two post-docs at UGA and teaching at the college level for over a decade, he finally followed his dream when he bought SSI SUP. For him, the job is about more than having fun on the water, but he admits that he loves meeting new people, being active, and spending most of his days outside. In fact, he says, “It really is a dream come true! I get to share my passion for the world with people who are genuinely interested. Many of them share my fascination with nature, and they quickly come to realize that I really love what I do.” The best part, Doc tell us, is that he “get[s] to be outside and have a blast with a lot of really interesting people without having to jam a bunch of information down their throats. Instead, they just start asking questions, and I get to tell them all this really cool stuff. Before we know it, we’re enjoying a great paddle through a beautiful place while we laugh, share jokes, and talk about this very special place. And, every once in a while, I also meet someone who wants to paddle fast or try to paddlesurf, and I get a decent workout. No matter how you slice it, it’s all win-win.”
Dr. Leonard also owns and operates CORE Adventure Group with his wife Skye McIntyre, a clinical mental health counselor who practices in Dahlonega, GA. CORE’s mission is to help people reconnect with themselves, other people, and the natural world anywhere they want to travel. Most excursions are in the mountains of North Georgia or in Georgia’s Golden Isles, the two places where Skye and Norm keep their homes. But, with that said, they love to travel all over the world, and they’ll readily take you to any destination for a paddling adventure, hike, or backcountry excursion.
SSI SUP is a subsidiary of Kingfisher Paddleventures LLC. All materials on this site copyright 2017.