Stand-up paddleboarding — also known as SUP — is one of the fastest-growing watersport activities around the world. What started out as an ancient Hawaiian form of surfing has emerged into an easy and fun way to explore the water — and it has quickly caught on in Bermuda. This relaxing sport has travellers paddling through the water whilst standing on a long board. It’s an easy activity almost anyone can do, and its health benefits will have you wanting more.
Stand-up paddleboarding requires core stability and leg strength to remain upright on the board, and therefore, it does wonders for improving balance. The balance that is required means that leg and abdominal muscles will be hard at work attempting to stabilise your center of gravity, whilst the arms, back and shoulders are used to propel the paddleboard in the water. In addition, because almost every muscle in the body is used at some point, paddleboarding provides a full-body workout.
Stand-up paddleboarding is similar to running, aerobics or even cross-training; therefore, it is amazing for your cardiovascular health. Whilst SUP is relatively low-impact, paddlers can up the ante and get a good cardio workout by racing friends and family to make it a bit more challenging. Getting your heart rate up improves your cardiovascular health, which means the likeliness of heart disease and strokes is decreased.
Paddling through water can be quite relaxing and calming. With nothing but the horizon to focus on, the watersport can help rid your mind of negative thoughts and relieve tension. Many studies show that reducing stress can have a powerful positive impact on your overall health.
There is no better playground for a day of stand-up paddleboarding than the calm, turquoise waters of Bermuda. Luckily, there are a number of operators throughout the island that can help get you outfitted and on the water. Ideal for both beginners or experienced paddlers, Just Add Water in St. George’s offers a variety of boards depending on your level of experience. Experts size you for your board and paddle, then give you a lesson before you leave the dock on an adventure. Their friendly guides share their intimate knowledge of Bermuda’s waters as you enjoy the historically rich and gorgeous landscapes in the East End.
Stop by Fantasea Diving & Watersports at the Dockyard Watersports Centre to book an Eco-paddleboard Adventure. Guests get to cruise along to their protected beach site on a narrated, high-speed boat transfer, where an instructor will teach you everything you need to know about paddleboarding. Following the lesson, the instructor takes guests on a fun tour of the hidden sanctuaries of the mangroves.
With locations in Dockyard, St. George’s and Hamilton, the guides at K.S. WaterSports (Adventure Tours & Rentals) also fit you for the correct size paddleboard and provide a detailed lesson on proper paddleboarding techniques. Bonus: They supply a waterproof map outlining places and points of interest. For an additional fee, the outfitters will also provide extras like snorkel gear, a cooler bag with ice, sandwiches, beverages and more.
Photo courtesy of Fantasea Bermuda Ltd.