Lunches with Leah ~ Dustin Owen
Got no time for spreadin’ roots,
The time has come to be gone.
And though our health we drank a thousand times,
It’s time to ramble on
— Led Zeppelin

I got to sit down with my friend, Dustin Owen for lunch and a beer at The Surf Hut. It’s both of our favorite hangout in MIramar Beach. Super chill, great atmosphere and an even better view!

Sometimes you meet a person and you’re just like, damn, I like that dude.

That’s how I felt about Dustin Owen when he walked into Evolve fitness a couple years back. I was the head coach at the time and he came in to ask about membership for him and his family to get into shape. I instantly clicked with them. They are a caring, down to earth couple with two amazing kids. Stephanie is a doctor at Destin ER and Dustin owns and operates Bearded Beach Hippie, a paddle board and bike rental company. They have two kids, Riley, 14, and probably my favorite kid on the whole planet. Mainly because she does all the burpees I ask her to without too much complaint… and Ryder, 9, quiet and always smiling. He sits back and watches his family put in the work from his souped up wheelchair, made special so he can get around on the beach because around here; beach is life. Ryder has Muscular Dystrophy, diagnosed at age 4 so it’s a little harder for him to get around. He’s pretty excited for his trip to Orlando so he can go to camp and get about 4 girlfriends while he’s there.

Dustin is all heart. A former Army infantry soldier and firefighter he gives to a couple of veteran organizations and especially to MDA. The Muscular Dystrophy Association. In fact he’s dreaming up a huge fundraiser right now. If you know any big bands that would like to play in Destin for a great cause?? If so, let me know!

From Oklahoma to Hawaii to West Virginia to Miramar Beach. Dustin lives by the motto “why not?” If you can be in your true happy place, why wouldn’t you try to make it happen? The beaches of the emerald coast is just that. HIs happy place. Living in Hawaii he learned about beach life and surfing. Being a little, um, uncoordinated he didn’t make a great surfer but here in the gulf he found paddle boards and a little more stability on the water. He loves going out into the calm gulf waters, paddling around. It’s like meditation for him. Ultimately Dustin wanted to share this with other people and our tourists. To give them the wonderful experience that he gets to enjoy all the time.

With exceptionally reasonable rates Dustin will drop off, wherever you are, paddle boards, bikes, electric bikes(which are super cool if you’ve never ridden one). Even trailers for the boards to hook to the bikes!

HIs website is:


Artist, dreamer, lover of life. Former gym owner redefining me.