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Photo by Tez Plavenieks
Photo by Tez Plavenieks

Stand Up Paddle Boarding in Grenada

The stand up paddle boarding potential of Grenada is astounding. An untouched ‘sweepers’ paradise, the Spice Isle is completely under the radar as far as SUP (and most other watersports) go.

After working on the island in 2004, my wife and I made a return visit, inflatable boards in tow, during 2012. Having barely scratched the surface, though, I was determined to return and check out more of Grenada’s stand up potential.

Here’s what you can expect from some of the more obvious SUP locations in Grenada – you’ll have to visit yourself and discover the rest.

Grand Anse
An obvious starting point is the buzzing tourist hub of Grand Anse. This picture-postcard stretch of palm fringed white sand offers a surprisingly diverse set of conditions depending on time of year and weather. December to April are the breezy months with trade winds blowing pretty much night and day. Closest to St. Georges is where you’ll find the flattest water for general recreational paddling.

Aim your board south towards Quarantine Point and there’s a decent downwind run to be had – although runners and rollers are few and far between due to the slightly offshore wind. You’ll then find a sucky/punchy fast wave, with a solid north swell, in front of the Flamboyant Hotel. Dive Grenada operates here – Phil and Hels have plenty of island info.

Prickly Point (Lance aux Epines)
Prickly Point is the most popular surf spot on the island, mainly frequented by American students. It’s tricky to find the sketchy pathway, running between some high-end properties, down to the break but it’s worth persevering.

A classic left point break with Atlantic surf wrapping onto shallow reef the beauty of Prickly is that however strong the wind, refracting waves are always offshore. This is great news for paddlers as there’s nearly always swell when it’s blowing – even if it isn’t massive.

Watch out for coral heads poking up as the water is super shallow and huge sea urchins inhabit the nooks and crannies, so you’ll need booties. A beautifully secluded spot though.

Cherry Hill
Situated right next to the cruise ship terminal is the island’s best wave – Cherry Hill. Powerful north swells, or waves sent across the Caribbean Sea, will light up this fast and hollow right point. Hazards include discarded debris littering the ocean floor, so be aware as you don’t want to fall on a twisted bit of metal.

Cherry Hill offers fast drops and sweet cover ups. It’s bizarre to see the place working due to its south facing nature. A very fickle wave; but score it on a classic day and you’ll be stoked off your noggin.

Downwind fun
If you’ve got the experience, Grenada is a downwind paddler’s nirvana – the trades keep you huffing along and rolling Atlantic swell provides sweet glides. Sort your logistics, put in anywhere along the east side (if you can get access) and you’ll be rewarded with awesome paddling.

Be aware if it all goes pear shaped; there’s little in the way of assistance.

Touring SUP
As relentless as the winds are there’s plenty of opportunity to find shelter for SUP touring. A great little spot is Woburn Bay and the circumnavigation of Hog Island.

You can put in at Whisper Cove, where Conservation Kayak is based – Jamie and Amber Barrett will be able to point you in the right direction. From here hug the coast, staying out of the breeze, all the way to Calivigny Island. Hang a right downwind and run to the next point. Round the headland and hug the peninsula towards True Blue beach, riding a few Prickly Point waves as you go.

You’ll need your wits about you and once again have your logistics sorted for a pick up at the end. It’s also best to paddle these routes with others for safety.

The above barely scratches the surface for stand up paddling in Grenada. The logistics of getting your kit to the island can cause a few headaches but the abundant virgin locations should ensure it’s on all SUPers bucket lists.

 

Tez Plavenieks is an experienced freelance writer specializing in action sports and travel. He edits, writes and produces content for a variety of different outlets both online and in print.

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