If you’re looking for a great way to spend a sunny morning, think about trying paddleboarding. I tried it for the first time this past weekend with Paddle Barbados. A paddleboard is like a big surfboard and you make it move by using a single paddle to push the water away. It looks easy, but it isn’t.
I’d often seen paddleboarders whizzing by down at Browne’s Beach on a Sunday morning, so when our friends proposed the outing, I was game. Jason Cole did a great job of explaining how to:
- carry the board into the ocean using the built in handle
- put the paddle on the board with the paddle end towards the middle before climbing on and paddling out into deeper water
- kneel on the board and paddle – that bit was ok
- stand up – the hardest part for someone who’s slightly unbalanced (not mentally but physically) like me.
He also explained a number of moves for making the board do what you wanted, such as executing a 90 degree turn which I never managed to do successfully.
Then we set off from Pebbles Beach towards Browne’s Beach. I’d predicted that I’d be the first to fall off and I was. The only trouble is that I kept on falling off, practically every time I stood up. The trick, it seems, is to keep looking towards the horizon and paddle without looking down. Look down and you fall. It turned out I was looking down even when I thought I had my nose pointed towards our destination.
I made slow progress to Browne’s, occasionally managing to stand for a few strokes, but mostly kneeling. After a short rest, it was time to head back. This was harder, because we were paddling into the wind, not very easy for novices. I knelt, ran out of steam, got a tow (from Jason and my 9 year old daughter, who turned out to be a natural), then carried on again. I managed to salvage some dignity and stand up for last few yards back to Pebbles.
It may not sound like it, but I had a lot of fun, and I’d definitely try it again. However, the aftermath has taught me that paddleboarding for two hours (not bad for BD$50) is too much for a novice. Every muscle in my body ached the next day and truth to tell, I’m still recovering. But it was worth it – can’t wait to do it again!