Five ways to have fun on a paddle board in Puerto RicoTuesday, November 15, 2016 Surfing and Kitesurfing by Pamy Rojas
A “dead sea” with calm waters for SUP yoga or a rippled ocean for SUP surfing, at Puerto Nuevo beach in Vega Baja there are many options for a stand-up paddle board fans of all ages. Surrounded by high rocks that form a sort of a bay, this place is the most popular spot among locals..
The beach, at the end of Route 686, is one of the most beautiful and pristine seashores of Puerto Rico. The small coastal town of Vega Baja, in the north of Puerto Rico, is a hidden treasure that only locals know of. The temperatures on the island range from 24°C to 29°C (75-85°F), all year round, which makes it perfect to go to the seaside anytime.
1. Cruising on a paddle board in Puerto Rico
When I started paddle boarding a few years ago, I was with my nieces who were twelve years old at that time. SUP cruising to one of the big rocks that surrounds the Vega Baja beach was an activity that they enjoyed. It was a very pleasant excursion because, since we were all learning how to paddle, we would just kneel for a while on the board or hop off to go for a swim. Once we got to the huge rock, we would climb and jump from there. Cruising is an awesome way to introduce someone to this sport and especially if there is a family of various ages involved.
2. SUP Touring
The big rocks that surround one part of the beach make the place perfect for SUP touring because it’s like a lagoon most of the year. Early in the morning, minutes before sunrise, I’d paddle from my house to the beach. The journey takes a few hours; the long distance allows me to workout. Also, I can see the sunrise and watch the marine world from above. The water is so clear that I’ve been lucky enough to catch a glimpse of sea turtles passing by my side. At that moment I stopped paddling for a minute to watch the turtle elegantly moving across the water. SUP touring is a perfect way to connect with nature: the sound of the oar as it splashes softly in the ocean; the sea breeze as it caresses my body; the sunny sky as it darkens my skin; and the pure essence of the salt water.
3. SUP Yoga
It’s a challenge. I’ve practised yoga on the mat for a long time, but doing it on a paddle board demands a lot more balance, core strength, and concentration. I’ve tried SUP yoga in the “dead sea” where water is very calm; it’s like paddling in a lagoon. That area on the beach is also shallow, and the water is warm. The Warrior and the Headstand pose are the ones that I found difficult, but they add intensity to my practice. The Boat Pose, the Downdog, and Malasana are easier to do. One of the postures that I enjoy a lot is Savasana. Lying on the board, relaxing in the Sun, flowing with the water movement, and feeling the breeze is quite an experience.
4. SUP Surfing
There’s an area between two of the big rocks where my brother went SUP surfing. Since he used to surf, he started SUP surfing very easy and naturally. From my board at a fair distance, I watched him getting on the waves quickly and surfing smoothly through them. He told me that since he had the paddle to move it was easier to catch the waves. Also, the higher vantage point of the SUP board gives a better vision of the approaching waves. That’s what my brother tells me; I haven’t tried SUP Surfing yet.
5. SUP Fishing
When I was growing up, I used to see fishermen go out to the sea, past the big rocks, in their wooden boats to fish very early in the morning. Now when I go SUP touring there’s another very different panorama: young men standing on their boards very close to the rocks, looking down the clear ocean with their fishing rods. Like SUP surfing, fishing from a paddleboard also gives a position from where they can spot the fish underwater.
After doing so much exercise, the Puerto Rican fritters can be a good option to add some calories to the body. In almost every corner: bacalaítos (cod), meat alcapurrias and the great marlin bites, are sold. For the thirst, have some coconut water.