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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 Caribbean News Paddle Boarding SUP

Which inflatable paddle board is best to complement your kite gear

Stand up paddle boarding is a great way to keep active and fit if the wind is not playing ball. Inflatable paddle boards are especially practical as they deflate and roll up to the size of about 2 kites. This make travelling with a board easy and means you can get on the water if even the wind doesn’t blow.

For general and all round use, and for paddlers of average size we recommend the following 3 boards:

Red Paddle Co 10’6″ Ride

If you could only ever have one paddle board, the Red Paddle Co 10’6” Ride is the one to get – it’s the world’s most popular inflatable SUP and continues to win numerous consumer and industry awards.

Fanatic 10’4″ Fly Air

The 2019 Fanatic Fly Air 10’4″ is a versatile all round/general use board with quality features and attention to detail at an excellent price. The Fly Air range from Fanatic SUP are the ultimate boards that everyone can enjoy.

Starboard 10′ iGO Zen

The 2019 Starboard Inflatable 10′ x 33″ iGO Zen, an evolution of the 10′ x 35″ Whopper, is an extremely versatile board for cruising, yoga, fitness and surfing small waves.

For general and all round use, and for larger paddlers we recommend the following 3 boards:

Red Paddle Co 10’8″ Ride

The Ride family is Red Paddle Co’s most versatile range, but they know that larger riders often look for a board offering more stability, which is where the Red Paddle Co 10’8″ Ride comes in.

Fanatic 10’8″ Fly Air Premium

The 2019 Fanatic Fly Air Premium 10’8″ is a super stable all round board with great features and attention to detail.

Starboard 10’8″ iGO Deluxe DC

The 2019 Starboard Inflatable 10’8″ x 33″ iGO Deluxe is a popular entry-level size, perfect for beginners and paddlers that want one board that does it all. The 10’8″ iGO is ideal for riders up to 120kg.

So there you have, a selection of faulty toys to complement your kiting passion. See you on the water, wind or no wind!

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Caribbean News Paddle Boarding SUP Surfing

Which way do you hold a SUP paddle?

Do you know? I didn’t the first time I tried!  But if you are thinking about stand up paddle boarding this summer for the first time, if you only know one thing, know this: The right way for a SUP paddle to be used!

Everyone does it, I’ve done it, it’s a rite of passage to SUPing heaven. What is it? Well, it’s paddling with the paddle the wrong way around!

On first look it feels right and when you start on your knees it feels right, but once you’re making progress and standing it feels oh so wrong and to the trained eye, looks oh so funny! Read the guide by Green Water Sports about how to hold a SUP paddle correctly and be prepared.