Stand Up Paddleboarding, otherwise known as “SUPing”, has become a popular activity anywhere offering a body of water, still or moving. The sport’s roots date back to the 1960s, when Hawaiian surfers used the technique to paddle further in search for bigger waves and simply, to look cooler. It’s only been a few years since paddleboarding has spread to the rest of the world. Since it’s 2011 arrival on Roatan, it’s grown in popularity among island residents and tourists alike. No experience is required, just about anyone can do it. It may take a little trial and error to get your balance right, but you’ll be totally comfortable and ready for a workout in just a few minutes. Silhouettes paddling into the sunset are becoming a common sight in Roatan. Some go for sport, ripping through the calm waters as they work their core, arms and back. Others go for leisure, often carrying a beer or a smoke for a sunset toast while floating on the Caribbean. I try to mix it up a bit, but it’s always hard to resist a cold one while being mesmerized by the orange, purple and pink radiating from Roatan sunsets.
If you do decide to go for sport. Try to paddle from West Bay Beach to Half Moon Bay and back. If you maintain a decent pace, it should take you 45 minutes one way, and 60 for the return. Experiment with different stances to mix up the muscles you’re targeting. If you paddle standing, you’ll work your core. Paddling on your knees will work your chest and back.
For a more leisurely experience, make a day of it; snorkel along the way and check into one of the bars on either beach for a beach chair, drinks and some grub. If you want to snorkel, just pull up to a buoy, tie up the board with your ankle strap, put on your gear and go for it. Keep your eyes peeled because you can also spot marine life while cruising along on the board. I’ve seen eagle rays, turtles, and many different types of fish. This activity is family friendly, kids can paddle on smaller boards or ride along with adults. Dogs also love hoping on for a lift.
Steve’s Paddle Shack at Sundowner’s Beach Bar in West End and Roatan SUP on West Bay Beach both offer hourly ($25), half day ($50), and weekly ($150) rentals.
- Apply generous amounts of sunblock
- Hydrate before and after
- Don’t litter in the ocean
- Don’t paddleboard during strong winds
More activities listed here: Things to do