Watching friends and those I admire for years now try this new(ish) way of enjoying the outdoors got me super curious. Okay. And maybe a little jealous.
When see others gliding along the water on stand-up paddleboards, the best word that I can think of is cool. The sport just seemed like such a neat way to explore a natural area, have downtime, and get a little exercise all at the same time.
Even with plenty of opportunities to try it out in our travels and at home in Seattle (we have a lot of water here), I put it off. Shortly before our visit to Puerto Rico though, I got serious and talked with my cousin, a frequent and enthusiastic paddleboarder. I picked her brain about all the worries I had:
-Was it hard? No, not really.
-Do you get worn out? No, not unless you’re really out for a long time or you put forth a crazy effort.
-Is it expensive to rent? At around $20 for an hour (depending on location), it’s reasonable.
-Have you fallen in the water? I can’t even remember her answer, but what ever it was eased my mind.
The ideal paddleboarding day arrived during our San Juan visit: No commitments or plans other than a rehearsal dinner later in the day, plus a warm, sunny day calling us to the water. Slaed (my husband), being the awesome planner that he is, had done the research and found a spot that was recommended by both our resort and our trusty guidebook.
We decided on the 1 hour rental and made our way about a 1/2 mile away from the resort to the lagoon. The experience was carefree and easy from the start. No long drawn out waivers to sign. No complicated lesson or crazy rules to follow. Just a few quick pointers and guidelines, and before we knew it, we were hitting the water with our boards and paddles. The laid back style actually gave me confidence. This is supposed to be fun and nothing to get worried or worked up about.
In my mind, I still planned to just paddle along on my knees. That way, I wouldn’t risk falling into the water, but after what seemed like less than a minute, I looked over to see Slaed up on his feet. I’d knew I would be missing out, so I took a deep breath and went for it.
It took a couple of minutes to get my bearings and balance adjusted, but really, it’s more intuitive than I thought. Paddling around a nice, calm lagoon as opposed to the ocean (or lake with frequent boat traffic & possible waves) was a good way to “get our feet wet” with the sport. We set goals of paddling to certain spots and took in the scenery around us.
While the lagoon (a natural reserve) was a perfect intro to paddleboarding, the landscape wasn’t exactly spectacular with major roads surrounding the area and highrises in the distance. We looked past that though and honed in on the water itself, foliage and the fun people that were a part of the whole experience.
An hour rental passed by quickly, and soon we were handing over the boards and paddles in exchange for our belongings. Yes, I will be trying paddleboarding again! I think the shores of Lake Washington back home at home in Seattle are calling my name, and I may even look into it for a few of our upcoming travels. Hawaii might just be the perfect spot.
Have you tried Stand-up Paddleboarding? Where? Tell us about your first experience!
Info to Know:
- If you find yourself in San Juan, Puerto Rico, check out Velauno Condado Water Sports Rental
- See their website for details on location, hours, and cost.
- They rent paddleboards, kayaks, and windsurf boards, AND set up an amazing blow-up obstacle course right along the water.