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How to Make Your Jamaica Vacation More Enjoyable  - Try Stand Up Paddleboarding

Stand up paddle boarding or surfing (SUP) is an emerging global sport with a Hawaiian heritage. It is an ancient form of surfing though it is only recently that it has re-emerged as a popular form of water sport. It can be practised anywhere in the world where there is easy access to safe waters. This increasingly popular sporting activity involves paddling and/or surfing and is as close as you can get to walking on water.

trevor trying standup paddle boarding

One reason for the rise in popularity of stand up paddleboarding is that, unlike surfing, paddleboarding is very easy to learn. Within one hour you can become very comfortable in the water and on your board. Standing on the board gives people a higher viewpoint, resulting in higher visibility of what is going around, such as incoming swells.

Paddleboarding is a combination of kayaking and surfing. However, there is a difference between surfing and SUP in that you don’t need a wave, which is the case of the latter. While you don't need a wave, advanced paddlers love to surf down waves, just like surfers do. In SUP, you can paddle on the open ocean, in harbours, on lakes, rivers or any large body of water. Most rivers in Jamaica are navigable which means you can enjoy both rafting and SUP. One of the advantages of SUP on the river is the ease with which you can paddle up and down calm pools.

The paddle board is sturdy, so balance isn’t an issue. You kneel on the board to start with, then stand up and use both hands to grip the oar, paddling on either your right or left, depending on which way the wind is blowing. And as you paddle, you get a whole new perspective of the shoreline.


Paddleboard enthusiasts visiting Jamaica may be stumped by the similarity between rafting on the rivers, like the Martha Brae, and SUP. Both activities feature a person standing on a flat, floating craft with a long pole in hand. Of course the raft captain drives the pole to the bottom of the river and pushes off to propel the raft, while the paddle has a flat end which is used to push back the water, thereby allowing the paddle board to glide forward.

Inflatable paddle boards are readily available and you can easily carry them along on your 
Jamaica vacation. An inflatable stand-up paddle board or SUP can be inflated using electric high-pressure air pumps that can inflate paddle boards to full working 10 psi pressure in about 2 minutes for an excellent performance on the water. SUP can only make your visit to Jamaica more enjoyable.

paddle boarding

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