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Cabarete Caribbean News Paddle Boarding SUP Wind

When the wind drops, stay active with stand up paddle boarding

In the early days, kitesurfing relied on winds above about 12 knots. Now though, the wind minimum is lower with the rise of foil boarding. However, the even lighter wind days can be a drag sometimes. In steps stand up paddling boarding.

After 10 years of sitting on the beach, waiting for the wind to pick up, I discovered paddle boarding. It turned into a great way to pass the time on those light wind mornings, or days.

Back when I started paddling (about 9 years ago), stand up paddle boards were large, clunky things that weren’t easy to handle, move or store, let alone travel with. Allow me to introduce the inflatable stand up paddle board. As kiters, we’re used to blown up sporting toys, so the inflatable SUP, or iSUP, isn’t too far of a stretch for us to understand and potentially enjoy.

Inflatable stand up paddle board industry leaders, Red Paddle Co, have been developing exclusively inflatable SUPs since 2008. With this experience, they’ve developed some amazing boards, several of which have appeared in my quiver at one point or another. Anyway, an inflatable SUP means we are extremely mobile, just like we are with our kites. Imagine an entire inflatable SUP, leash and paddle packed down to about the size of 2 packed kites. Or, in the case of the new 9’6″ Compact by Red Paddle Co, the whole lot is as big as one kite packed down!

Armed with this knowledge, the family purchased an inflatable SUP and we don’t travel without it. It’s great for me to get out on days when the wind is light, keep fit and active, and be ready for when the wind does turn on. Not only that, the family get to enjoy it and be on the water too. A recent trip to the river mouth allowed the kids to paddle around freely, no chop, no waves.

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Cabarete News Paddle Boarding SUP Surfing

Types of stand up paddle board leash

WHY WEAR A LEASH? THE LEASH IS THE MOST ESSENTIAL PIECE OF GEAR TO HAVE ON BEFORE WE GET ON THE WATER FOR A STAND UP PADDLE BOARDING (SUP) PADDLE, WHETHER IT’S IN THE OCEANS, OR ON FLAT WATER LAKES AND DAMS.
LEASHES SAVE LIVES! ALWAYS WEAR A LEASH!
1. STAY CONNECTED TO YOUR BOARD
A leash keeps your body connect to the board at all times in any unexpected in any unexpected conditions.

2. YOUR BOARD IS A FLOTATION RAFT
The board serves as a life raft in an emergency. The leash helps you to pull the board back to you and get back on easily.

3. AVOID INJURING OTHER SURFERS
Without a leash, you could easily lose control of your board in the surf – potentially harming others in the water like other surfers or bathers.
Note: There are many types of leashes especially designed for each SUP discipline. For example, a lightweight bungee leash for recreational SUP, heavy duty surf leash, coil race leash and river leash with a waist harness. Learn more about the different leash types here.

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Cabarete News Paddle Boarding SUP Video

How to stand up paddle board

Zane Schweitzer from Starboard has a lovely video teaching us the basics of stand up paddle boarding. He runs us through the equipment used and then on to some of the techniques to standing and paddling a board. Stand up paddling boarding is a great activity to stay active when the wind is light. In Cabarete, the mornings are usually much calmer and are great for paddling.

For more information about stand up paddling boarding, visit Green Water Sports, where they have several tutorials and video guides.