Whether above or below the warm Caribbean waters, there is a diversity of fun water sports in Turks and Caicos, including one increasingly popular activity called stand up paddleboarding.
So….. What’s SUP?
This highly popular water sports in Turks and Caicos involves standing on a surf-style board and propelling through the water with the use of a long paddle.
Did you know that stand up paddleboarding (SUP) is an all body workout?
When you are stand up paddleboarding, you are constantly using your core, abdominal and back muscles to maintain balance work as well as working your leg muscles hard to maintain your center of gravity and your arms, shoulders and back to propel yourself through the water. At one point or another, you’re utilizing almost all your muscles in the process.
If you are interested in learning how to SUP when you are on holiday in Provo, then check out this article about Stand Up Paddlboarding Essentials by Marina Andriola
The Pioneers of Stand Up Paddleboarding
Snorkeling excursions around Provo’s neighbouring cays, diving the wall, and catching the wind in a Hobie Cat are all fun water sports in Turks and Caicos, and SUP as we know it today was influenced by American, Laird Hamilton.
In fact this daredevil was the first to ride a massive 60+ foot wave in Maui, Hawaii.
What was the name of that wave?
Was it (a) Jaws (b) Spike (c) Colossus or (d) Vertex?
(a) Jaws – American fitness icon Laird Hamilton is a world renowned big wave surfer who has done all kinds of board sports including wind surfing, stand up paddleboarding, tow-in surfing and hydrofoil boarding. In 2003 he was the first to ride the wave “Jaws” (“Peahi” in Hawaiian).
There is evidence of ancient cultures using a variety of watercraft and some type of long stick to move through the water. People have propelled themselves by board and canoe in order to travel, fish and engage in war.
Modern stand up paddleboarding has strong roots in Hawaii. Surfers Duke Kahanamoku and Leroy and Bobby AhChoy stood on their boards to improve their view of other surfers and they would also use their paddle to direct the movement of their board. Well known Hawaiian John Zapotocky also surfed with a paddle and did so for over 60 years.
There have been many influencers in the sport of SUP. Laird Hamilton created his first home-made stand up paddle in 1999 and Dave Kalama, who along with Hamilton co-founded the development of big wave surfing. In 2004 Rick Thomas is credited with introducing stand up paddleboard to California after he saw it being done in Hawaii.
Fun Water Sports in Turks and Caicos Include SUP
Offering a tranquil setting with an abundance of wildlife, the mangrove wetlands of the Princess Alexandra Nature Reserve is an ideal place to do stand up paddleboarding. This marine national park off the north coast of Providenciales is a large area and includes some gorgeous sites like Grace Bay Beach, Bight Reef, Smith’s Reef and cays like Little Water Cay and Mangrove Cay.
The mangroves are home to a stunning array of marine life including Bonefish, turtles and even shark pups.
Another scenic spot southwest of Providenciales is Chalk Sound which offers shallow gorgeous blue water and interesting wildlife.
Interested? Here are some locations which rent SUP boards. https://www.visittci.com/providenciales/things-to-do/stand-up-paddle-boarding
Explore the numerous enjoyable water sports in Turks and Caicos. And remember, stand up paddleboarding will provide not only great physical exercise, but the opportunity to have an exciting personal encounter with nature.