One Customer Discovers the Fountain of Youth (Hint: It’s a Paddleboard)

Meet Jack. He’s a quiet, private fellow – no airs about him, just a youthful determination. Last year, rather than slow down after turning 69, he said, “to heck with it, I want to paddleboard.”


Jack on his stand-up paddle board

Jack paddles his SUP on Maine's Casco Bay.


So, with a family reunion on the Cape coming up, he decided to give it a try and came to us for guidance. With his wife and niece along for the ride, he signed up for an L.L.Bean Outdoor Discovery Schools private lesson.


Some people might think this sport is only for folks in their teens, twenties and thirties. Well, it’s not – and Jack is proof. Sure, he fell a few times at first – well, maybe “a few” is a bit of an understatement. But water is soft and refreshing, and Jack’s unflinching determination could not be stopped. Scott, one of our expert paddling instructors, dug deep into his bag of teaching tools and tricks, helping Jack get to his feet and paddle around the bay, the cheers of his wife and niece resounding over the water. Jack came back to L.L.Bean for a second private lesson, refining his skills further. And then, like many customers, he headed out to enjoy adventures of his own.


Paddling lessons

An L.L.Bean Outdoor Discovery Schools instructor teaches some basic paddling skills.


“Where are they now?”

Often, customers don’t realize the lasting effect they have on our instructors. Scott wondered if Jack surprised his kids and grandkids at the family reunion. He wondered if he was still excited about the sport – still full of that youthful passion driving him to experience life to the fullest. He continued to wonder about Jack until this year, when he looked across East End Beach in Portland, Maine, and saw Jack heading toward him with a big, boyish grin and his new birthday present – a BIC ACE-TEC 10’6″ paddleboard. After catching up on all Jack’s adventures, Scott inquired, “Where’d you get the board?”


BIC ACE-TEC Stand-Up Paddleboard

“Bean’s of course,” Jack replied. “That’s where I learned.” Scott stood back and watched Jack paddle out to sea, cheered on by an inspired crowd of beachgoers and one proud instructor.


Making a difference in someone’s life

70 years young and still paddling – an example we all can learn from. Here at L.L.Bean’s Outdoor Discovery Schools we live what we love every day, and so can you – whatever your age.


Paddling at sunset


Are you as young-at-heart as Jack? Tell us about it in the comments, or share your story  with us.

  1. Catherine W. | September 28, 2013 | 9:14 am

    This is a great article that touches the hearts of many of us who have discovered the joys of paddling later in life. Such an empowering feeling to learn new and fun things – tha”s what keeps us young! So nice to know that “Scott” the L.L. Bean instructor cared enough to follow up with Jack. Surely a testimony to a dedicated teacher.

  2. Kim | October 1, 2013 | 9:58 am

    That’s my dad! – always willing and open to trying new adventures!! …and we are soooo proud of him for that – and he truly is young at heart :-)

  3. Charley Lambert | October 11, 2013 | 5:32 pm

    Jack has been my friend since we were both at the U. of Maine Orono together. He is one, excuse the pun, one stand up guy!! He has always been that way. If you meet him you will immediately like him. We have sailed together in Maine and off the Cape together. He loves the water and probably always will. He has a special honesty about him. The happy glint in his eye is truly an expression of how he looks at life. If you have him for a friend you are very fortunate. Jack has a very big heart and the personality to go with it. I am proud to call him my friend. It is so true that he has above average determination to master what ever he attempts. If you go sailing with him you get to share his happiness with doing what he enjoys so much, being on the water. I am looking forward to sailing with him again this coming summer. He will probably talk me into paddle boarding too.
    Charley Lambert

  4. Lannie Bosveld | February 16, 2014 | 11:46 pm

    I want a tandem kayak> I want to kayak with my youngest granddaughter! I need to wait for 20% off! I plan to purchase from LL Bean!

    • Laurie | L.L.Bean | February 18, 2014 | 2:19 pm

      Hi Lannie – We wish you many wonderful days on the water this summer kayaking with your grand daughter. Keep an eye out for upcoming sales by signing up for our email newsletter Thanks ^LB

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