Belize adventure tours – Stand Up Paddleboarding
For those of you that have not done it but are interested and want to know more, think of stand up paddleboarding (SUP) as a cross between kayaking and surfing, minus the big waves, plus a paddle.
Many people are daunted by this sport and should not be because anyone can do it. If you are reasonably steady on a bike or can walk a thin line, you can paddle board. A little balance, a great teacher to correct your form and you will be gliding across the water in no time.
Mangrove Safari Tour
This tour is an excellent way for beginners to see how they like paddleboarding and the boards at the sailing school are specifically geared towards easy learning. For expert level paddleboarders the location is tranquil and serene, plus you can set your own pace and make it a more challenging work out. The tour leaves from Belize Sailing School at Caribbean Villas Hotel and takes place north inline with Grand Caribe Resort and Captain Morgans (we could see them in the distance) on the west lagoon.
As it turns out there were 3 of us on the tour that day, the others had tried it and I was a virgin. Being my first time, I was not apprehensive, I fully expected to be a tipsy tacogirl and was pleasantly surprised when that moment never came.
Kendall and the other girl taking the tour with us were upright and stable fast. With a few expert tips from our instructor Audrius, I graduated from kneeling to standing before long. He took us through mangrove channels and open lagoon areas, as we peacefully glided along Audrius coached us on our technique if he noticed we need it. Our surroundings were beautiful and being there in mid-afternoon, the lighting was perfect, the sun shining bright but not too hot.
After a special occasion work out, I like to enjoy a good snack and since there usually a small number of people on Belize Sailing school tours, I often pack a potluck cooler to share. Melvin drives the boat slow while we socialize and share food. That particular day’s menu was cheese, fancy crackers, bacon, mixed nuts, chocolate brownie, zucchini bread, mini plums and watermelon.
I would definitely do this again, as I commit to be in “fit” mode. I think it is fun to vary up workouts by different things occasionally. Plus it’s it’s always fun to get out on the water and enjoy nature.
For more details the mangrove safari tour and the coupon code to save money on paddleboarding contact me at tacogirlbelize[at]gmail.com
SUP is not difficult but it is definitely not a sport for the lazy. It takes work but the bonus is that it will help you rock a beach body. One of the keys to having an enjoyable experience is knowing what you are capable of. While I was fine to do the mangrove tour, I know going as far as Hol Chan or the reef, I would have to be feeling extra energetic, because of the extra wave action.
Correct Paddleboarding Technique and Benefits
Stand up paddleboarding is a full body workout that can give you trim and toned arms, strong shoulders and core, SUP also works the stabilizing muscles in your legs.
Balance is key and so is learning to hold the paddle correctly and have it at the right length for your height.
Proper SUP stance will help you maximize your work out. Straighten your arms, bend your knees, twist your core and engage your back are the things to remember. Use your whole body to paddle, straighten those arms, use your back, core and legs all together as a team.
Leading with your upper arm in a sweeping motion while the your body rotates and moves the paddle through. You will get most power having a long forward reach, and finishing the stroke not far past your feet.
Legs and Torso
Back straight, and knees slightly bent, similar to horse stance in tai chi but legs not as wide. Experiment and see how it feels squatting at different levels, notice the effect on your balance, which muscles you feel it in and how much power you generate in that position.
Slow right down and take time to isolate and feel it as you engage different muscle groups while you paddle and rotate. Practice different moves like forward and reverse to see how it works legs, core, back, head and arms. Speed it up for some cardio fitness.
Nothing is more of a buzz kill if you start feeling uncomfortable or overly tired on a physical tour. Paddling while sitting down will give you a break when you need one.
Short paddleboarding video
This is a short clip of the mangrove safari and more so the boat ride. It is hard to take video and paddleboard at the same time, unless of course you are Audrius our super talented teacher.