I am really not sure how we have not done stand-up paddle boarding before! Seriously, one of our favorite destinations is Austin which has a very active community and even a paddleboard manufacturer too. We have seen it regularly and always pointed and said, “We should do that.” And yet we never did, until we went to Vieques. I might be addicted now, but I do need a different bathing suit next time that is a little more suitable to the sport.
This was a first class experience and I hope that all future paddleboard time is this much fun. In some ways, this is a credit to the tour guides from Vieques Paddleboarding that we can not put in our pocket and take with us, and in some ways it was Vieques too. Again we can not duplicate that. But I can tell you that YOU should GO if you are headed to Vieques. It is the number one activity on Trip Advisor so I am not in the minority with this opinion. Part of the fun was learning how to balance and turn, but we did not think it was too difficult. Really. Granted we do regular yoga and running (OK, Dave runs and I walk) so we do have some fitness under our food loving bellies, but to us it seemed more about getting over the mental aspect than the physical aspect. We were on the tour with another couple and one of them had trouble with fear of falling and ended up sitting like a kayak for most of the time. No problem, do what makes you comfortable. But we stood the entire time and loved every minute of it.
In addition to boarding the coast along Green Beach, we also spent some time snorkeling. This was unexpected as I had not realized this was part of the tour. We had snorkeled only once before in Zihuatenejo, Mexico and it was not great. The water was not clear and we nearly swam into a school of jellyfish. This was different. I get it now. My faith has been restored in understanding snorkel love. It was just awesome. We beached our boards on an empty beach and they provided us with a refreshing dried fruit, nut and water snack before we used their equipment for a snorkel adventure. It was nice to not only have a guide but also an experienced lifeguard with us on the tour. We saw the most amazing colors in fish- they seemed to glow neon. And after a good swim and explore, we headed back to the beach for our board and paddled against the wind back to home base. I was concerned this would be tough based on the warnings of the guides, but for us it was fine. If someone is not fit then it might be a tougher return but the guides can help, or people can sit on the boards and paddle like a kayak for a break.
I thought we would be sore following, but we weren’t really. Still it felt really nice to be out and about and physical so early. I highly recommend this to any future Vieques visitors.
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