My parents are on island this week visiting us for the holidays. They have visited us a few times now and are always excited to try something new each time they arrive. This time my mom had her heart set on Stand Up Paddle Boarding.
We rented boards on the West End from Freedom City Surf Shop. They have a prime location just a short walk up the beach from the Cruise Ship Pier in Frederiksted. And what a great little shop they have there! The owners, Pi and Bill, both come from athletic backgrounds (she was a professional dancer in NYC for 20 years and he was a professional ice hockey goalie). They wanted to mesh their passion for staying fit with their love of the water and island life. They began as Teres Veho (which means ‘smooth ride’), conducting Stand Up Paddle tours and classes. As their following grew they put down roots and opened Freedom City Surf Shop. They still run Teres Veho from the shop, but expanded to include surf, skim and skate board rentals and sales. The shop carries all the essentials for a day on the water, bikinis, sunglasses, board wax, cold drinks and more.
Pi gave us the full run down of how to use the boards, where to stand for the best balance and how to paddle to get maximum glide. She paddled out with our group offering tips to help us stand strong. We were all beginners, had never tried SUP before, but within 15 minutes all four of us were comfortable on our boards. We paddled along the shoreline and under the Frederiksted Pier to get a look at town from the water. Beautiful!
We only skimmed the surface of what Pi and Bill offer at Freedom City Surf. After you take one of their lessons and have learned the basics, try an SUP Safari, where they’ll take you along the coast and inside some of the reefs around the island, Enter a SUP race, attend a Full Moon Paddle, or try SUP Yoga! These are all on my To-Do list. (I did attempt one sun salutation on the board – lets just say I need a lot more practice.)
We only stayed out on the water for about an hour, but at mid-day that was plenty! SUP is quite a work out and by the time you’re done you’ll be good and salty, ready for a nice cold drink. Luckily, Pi makes a killer Hawaiian Shave Ice right in the shop! The perfect refreshment after paddling. The sweet, cold shave ice really hits the spot (especially with a splash of rum!)
A day well spent – paddle hard on the water, splash around, get salty then reward yourself with a shave ice and relax on the beach.