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Review: Stand up and paddle with SUP Boat Ibiza

Learn and enjoy

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When you are being taken on an adventure, you will want to know that you are about to embark on a fun journey. SUP Boat Ibiza offers just that with its excellent Stand Up Paddle (SUP) trips out to sea. If you are unsure about being able to ride a paddle standing on your feet, fear not because the guys that run the company, Pau and Ruben are here to show you how. You learn a cool little sport, from friendly and seasoned instructors and all with the magnificent backdrop that is San Antonio Bay as the start point.


Zero to hero

We met in San Antonio's marina, where their boats are moored. Our boat, Mare Nostrum, is an Ibicenco fishing boat that's over 100 years old and can take up to 10 people. We left the port and cruised along into the bay, stopping at Punta Galera, which is where you get your first chance to try out the boards. When you get there, there is a thorough walk through of exactly how to work a SUP. 80% of the company's customers arrive with zero experience and end the day feeling like champions – and that's down to the excellent way you get your instruction.

A couple of useful tips are to look straight ahead and keep the knees flexible – this is for balance and will stop you falling over too much. Of course, plenty of the group did fall down and if you do (and you will) it's about getting yourself back on the board and on your feet again. You are attached by a cord to the board so don't worry about losing it, plus the instructors are deeply experienced and keep a close eye on you to help you hone your skills along the way.


Gorgeous scenery

One by one we took to the water, starting on the knees to get a feel of the board before getting onto our feet. You will get help along the way to help you perfect your technique and get the most out of your lesson so don't worry if you don't get it right first off. From the first stop we paddled around to Cala Salada beach, taking in the dramatic scenery of cliff faces, rising mountains and the crystal clear waters that Ibiza is famous for. It is one great way to see the island.

We had around an hour's instruction, which is about right unless you have legs of steel. Most of the people on the trip hadn't done it before and as soon as they managed to stay upright, you could see the delight on their faces as they paddled along, almost professionals. Many say it's like walking on water. One thing's for sure, when you increase your proficiency, you'll feel like a god at sea.

The company has been running for four years and now has two boats that can take up to 17 people in total. There are several excursions, including this one, which is a three-hour boat trip; then there's the sunset SUP cruise and one that goes by 4x4. You can go on special journeys tailored to you and visit lesser known beaches and coves too. SUP Boats Ibiza has a licence to land on any beach on the island, so on those trips, you can decide where to go.


Underwater vistas

As we arrived at the final part of the destination, it was time to get the snorkels out and see the marine life below. There was a cool underwater tunnel to swim through and some simply incredible vistas down below. After all the hard work of mastering the SUP, this was a great end to a great trip.

Photos are taken all the length of the journey with underwater cameras and all are posted to their Facebook page to download, so you also get a cool keepsake of your day out. I was pretty proud of my underwater swim shot and I'm toying with the idea of having it framed.

With everything loaded onto the boat, including us, we set off back to port cooling down with fresh fruit and a drink sharing our experiences. It was a really special trip, with great people who know what they are doing and who make it fun to learn.

If you thought you would never be able to master the SUP, think again. This trip from SUP Boat Ibiza will help you discover a new world and enjoy doing it. It's time to get on board.

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WORDS | Julian Heathcote PHOTOGRAPHY | SUP Boat Ibiza

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