by Maddy Zollo Rusbosin | December 11, 2017

Over Board with Live Watersports

Seas the day and hit the surf with custom paddleboards made in Clearwater.


The L2Fish board; Photography courtesy of Live Watersports

It took a motor home, a trailer full of inventory and a family journey from Key West to Canada for John Cleckner, 38, to really get the word out about Live Watersports in 2013. The Cleckners went from shop to shop along the East Coast introducing their fiberglass paddleboards to the world. Luckily, their road trip paid off—their boards are now everywhere from Japan
to Dubai.

Cleckner, a native Floridian, always loved being on the water. When he noticed a hole in the market for paddleboards that could also be used for fishing, he got an idea: build customizable models. After receiving encouragement from his wife, Joana, who helped develop the brand and logo, Cleckner gathered a tight-knit manufacturing team. “If you call me and you want a pink board, or some crazy design, we can do it in two weeks,” explains Cleckner. Each model is covered in tracks, so anything from kayak accessories to a trolling motor can be attached to it. “We built a platform that you can build from and from which you can do multiple activities,” he says. “Every model has an owner who is super passionate about it. We’ve talked to or emailed everyone who has a board, which is crazy. People want to be a part of what we’re doing.”

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