Paddling Fanatics: An Interview with Todd Bishop

 Todd Bishop

Todd Bishop

Todd Bishop is a United States Marine and former National Park Service Ranger who is also a Level 3 ACA-Certified Paddleboard Instructor Trainer. He has represented Dagger Kayaks and is now the founder and owner of Bishop Boards. Bishop is the quintessential paddling fanatic – he spends countless hours on the water with his students and his family, is truly passionate about safe paddling, and takes every opportunity to educate people about the sport. Though he is a native Floridian, he has paddled in many places around the country and world.  

How many years have you been paddling?
40

What type of paddle craft do you currently paddle?
SUPs, kayaks (long, short, SOT), canoes, surfboards, and anything else I can find (floating logs, yoga fitness mats…..)

What was your first paddling experience?
Canoeing with my father, many miles on day and overnight trips all over Florida.

What is your favorite place to paddle?
Anywhere time allows. I enjoy almost everywhere, but Florida’s hidden freshwater springs hold a special place in my heart.

What piece of gear do you always take paddling?
My PFD/life vest, except when I am in the surf.

Who taught you to paddle?
My father initially, although mostly through experiences and challenges. After that, self-exploration, experimentation and analysis helped me hone my skills.

What is your most memorable paddling experience?
Wow, too many to list. Most any day in the water with my wife and kids, sharing this with them is so special to me. The Boundary Waters and Altamaha River, GA are close seconds.

Why do you love to paddle?
It is in my soul. I am an adventurer and thrive in a changing environment. The water is challenging, fickle, dynamic, and resilient all at the same time.

Walter Cheatham is an experienced paddler and ACA-Certified Paddling Instructor. Ocean Tribe Paddlers is a club founded by Sanibel Sea School to help the SWFL paddling community better explore, enjoy, and understand the ocean. Visit oceantribepaddlers.org or follow us on Facebook to learn more.