Stand Up Paddle Boarding in the BVI for Newbies
Stand up paddle boarding has become one of the fastest growing water sports in the world. It has been referred to as “walking on water” and a sport that all ages can take part in. SUP as it is commonly referred to, is also on the rise due to its incredible core work out, and workout for shoulders, arms, back, etc. There are many reasons people love to paddle board, and the BVI will quickly become your favorite place to paddle!
There are several types of paddle boards on the market today. You have race boards, surf, cruising, fun shapes, fishing, inflatables, and the list goes on. Many of you visiting the BVI and interested in renting a paddle boards, may have never tried it before, or maybe tried it once or twice in the past. Most companies like Island Surf and Sail offer cruising boards that are stable for the local conditions here in the BVI. We also carry different size boards to cater to different size paddlers. Most boards for recreational paddlers vary from about 10’6” to 12’. As the size increases, the weight of the board increase, and the stability also increases for bigger paddlers. There is a carry handle on all board, which allows you to carry the board like a suitcase beside your body. This makes it much easier to carry the board to and from the water. All boards should also come with a fin, leash, and a paddle. We are not required to wear a life jacket here in the BVI, but if you are not a comfortable swimmer, please also ask about life jacket rentals.
If you have never stood on a paddle board before, you should start on your knees to get the feel of the board. Once comfortable, place both feet either side of the handle at about shoulder width apart, with your knees bent. Once you have your balance, you can draw the paddle forward and pull back. It is the same concept as a kayak or canoe. If you want to go left… paddle on the right, if you wan to go right… paddle on the left. You should always start paddling into the wind. It is very easy to paddle down wind, but when you want to go back, you will need to fight to get back, and it can become very tiring!
There are many beautiful places in the BVI to paddle board. Smuggler’s Cove, Brewer’s Bay, Cane Garden bay, Anegada, North Sound, are all great places to name just a few. You must always be careful of boat traffic! If you see a boat that you are not sure if they see you, wave your paddle above your head and scream until they notice you. You should always stay hydrated while paddling in the heat and sun. Make sure you have the proper sunblock for the conditions. The amazing part of paddle boarding is that your view is high above the water level, which enables you to have a great view of the reefs, and critters under the surface.
If you have never surfed before, it is not recommended that you SUP in the waves without proper lessons and practice. Many of the surfing spots in the BVI are on shallow reefs, and if not properly educated on the area, you can really hurt yourself. Inquire at your local shop about lessons.
Rentals are the best way to get on a board while here in the BVI. You can rent a top-notch board from Island Surf and Sail http://www.bviwatertoys.com/paddleboards-sups/ that will be well maintained, and have everything you need for your paddling experience to be fun and safe! Make sure your board comes with a paddle, fin, and a leash. Island Surf and Sail will also deliver and pickup for free to all charter companies and villas in Tortola. We strap the boards to the lifelines on charter boats so they are secure and safe. We also offer roof racks for rental vehicles if you are staying in a villa.
You can check out www.bviwatertoys.com to see the paddle boards we have to offer, and all the other fun items we rent to enhance your vacation in the British Virgin Islands.