Stand-up paddleboarding is among the nation’s hottest water sports, and Tyler Marshall ’10 wants you to get on board.
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Topics: Friend in the Business
Most times, Tyler Marshall ’10 calls it “the Aloha attitude.” But sometimes, he’ll revert to the California vernacular, and wax poetic about “the surf lifestyle.”
By whatever name, it is the feeling of walking along the water with board shorts on, shoes off, sand oozing between toes and the wind whipping overhead. The casual way of life makes him feel relaxed and alive — and he wants everyone to experience it.
“The feeling of gliding across the water, there is nothing like it,” said Marshall, who grew up water skiing and on Lake Texoma before pioneering the sports of wake surfing and stand-up paddleboarding on North Texas lakes.
“There’s something almost spiritual about being on the water,” he said.
In 2007, Marshall started wakesurfinglessons.com and started teaching. Then while he was a graduate student at TCU, he founded DFW Surf, which draws upon the initials in Dallas-Fort Wort. Since then, he has re-branded the letters to reflect the casual motto “Down for whatever,” which epitomizes the Aloha attitude.
“I wanted to bring the feeling of surfing to North Texas. The closest ocean is six or seven hours away. So why not here?” he said.
While stand-up paddleboarding is relatively new, it’s affordable, easy to learn and a good whole-body workout.
“Anyone can do stand-up paddleboarding,” said Marshall, who has taught children as young as 6 to balance and float on a board. “You can do it after one class, and you can do it anywhere, even a pool.”
DFW Surf is all-inclusive. It offers board and paddle rentals, plus classes of varying lengths starting at $25. All the DFW Surf coaches are PaddleFit certified and train professionally. Marshall himself is 2014 WPA Region 12 paddle champ and a Yolo Board-sponsored athlete.
His company has four locations across the Metroplex, with a specialized retail store on Lewisville Lake. DFW Surf even hosts paddleboarding events at community pools and yoga programs through the Plano Parks and Rec department and Lifetime Fitness.
Marhsall is also growing a community through the DFW Surf Club that features unlimited paddling, weekly meet-ups, free yoga and wake surfing.
“During the off-season, we’re moving indoors,” he said. “Last winter, we got the chance to introduce paddleboard yoga at the TCU pool.”
Marshall reached out to TCU Yoga Club president Alexis Schrepple, a sophomore graphic design major, to get students involved.
DFW Surf offered two classes in the spring.
When he’s not teaching or riding, he is also the editor of Boarders Magazine, for which he does reporting while attending and competing in events around the country.
“It’s my life and passion,” he said.
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