Stand Up Paddle Boarding
Stand Up Paddle Boarding (or SUP) is the new and fastest growing water sport on the planet. You stand on a large surfboard and use a paddle to move across the water. You’ve probably seen photos of celebrities posing on their SUP boards. One reason for its popularity is because it is so easy to learn and you don’t need to be a surfer or super athlete to try it. If you can kneel down on all fours and then stand up unaided – you can SUP!
With good instruction you can be standing up on your board and feeling comfortable within 15 minutes. Standing on your paddle board and gliding over the water gives you a fantastic view of the coastline and the marine life below.
SUP in its modern form is a relatively new activity but its roots derive from the techniques used by ancient Hawaiians, over 300 years ago, with their primitive boards and paddles. In the 60s Beach Boy Surfers in Hawaii stood on their longboards and paddled out with outrigger paddles to take photos of surfing tourists. SUP has been resurrected in recent years with special boards and paddles specifically designed for the sport.
Unfortunately Punta Cana doesn’t have great conditions for learning SUP – it’s mostly way too windy (which makes it really hard to paddle) and in many areas the water is too rough plus there’s a lot of dangerous, fast boat traffic around.
But don’t despair! The perfect place to learn SUP is in Bayahibe – a small fishing village on the south coast, a 40 to 50 minute drive from most Punta Cana resorts. Bayahibe has perfect conditions all year round for SUP with flat, calm water, sheltered bays and very little wind. It’s on the Caribbean sea and the water is crystal clear in most places.
After your SUP session you’ll have time to explore the village, take lunch at one of the inexpensive restaurants around the bay (as it’s a fishing village fresh seafood is a speciality) or just chill with an ice cold beer and enjoy the views. Bayahibe makes for a great day out as you get to visit a typical fishing village and see Dominican life, something that’s not readily available in Punta Cana.
Bayahibe SUP was the first company to offer stand up paddle boarding on the east and south coasts. They moved from Punta Cana and have been operating in Bayahibe since 2011. They currently offer 2 hour guided Paddle Board Surfaris for either beginners or experts at $US50 per person. The price includes full instruction (if necessary), equipment, guides, refreshments and photos. They can also arrange transportation to and from Punta Cana at an additional charge. All clients must be able to swim.
After a short instruction on land and safety briefing you go out onto the water with the instructors to practice the basics. Once you are comfortable steering and standing up on your board they take you on a guided tour of the tropical coastline. You’ll visit a hidden cove and secluded beach where you’ll stop for refreshments (bottled water & fruit). Then you’ll paddle back to base. Photos are taken throughout your Paddle Board Surfari and sent to you free of charge by email or with your prior consent, via facebook.
Stand Up Paddle Boarding with Bayahibe SUP is highly recommended. It’s a unique and super fun way to enjoy time on the water as well as see typical village life outside of your Punta Cana resort. Give SUP a try, you might end up with a new hobby!
Bayahibe SUP (Click here to read their reviews on Trip Advisor)
Reservations are required (no deposit necessary)
tel: 809 609 4045
location: Bayahibe Marina (next to Cafecito Cubana)
Open Tues to Sun 8.30am to 4.30pm
Mondays and outside those hours by pre-arrangement.