I’ve always loved being in and on the water and find paddleboarding to be one of the most relaxing activities I’ve ever enjoyed. SUP, or Stand Up Paddle Boarding, is also a great all-over fitness activity and can be modified to suit your level of comfort and ability.
My first experience with SUP was right here on St. Croix when I was gifted a board for my birthday several years ago. I took to it right away, having a background in both water sports and dance (which has helped with my core strength and balance) – I popped right up on the board and headed out to sea!
The feeling of standing on a paddleboard is similar to surfing on a surfboard, only in that you have a wider and longer board to balance on when and if you choose to ride a wave. Many people start out kneeling or sitting on the board, and paddling like a canoe, learning how to steer in forward and reverse, and to make turns. Once comfy kneeling (which works your upper body and core as you paddle) you can try carefully standing up with bent knees for balance and paddling from an upright position. This is best done in calm waters.
I could spend an entire day paddleboarding in the Caribbean Sea and take every opportunity I get to jump on and have an adventure. There’s nothing like sitting or standing on the board in crystal clear water and taking in the sounds and sights and smells of nature all around. Often I’ll see sea birds diving bombing for fish close to my board, or a sea turtle swimming by to say hello.
Yesterday, I awoke to the calmest waters I have seen in almost a year right outside my door! I couldn’t resist taking the opportunity to play hooky and go out for a paddle. It was such a treat to see my own neighborhood from the water and gave me such a feeling of gratitude and peace for the experience.
If you have the chance to try paddleboarding in your neck of the woods or when traveling, I encourage you to go for it! Even if you end up sitting down or taking a spill into the water around you, I just know you’ll be happy for the experience.
Paddle On Peeps! I’m going grab my board and go catch some waves!