Paddling over stunningly blue water, sharing a moment with a group of playful manta rays, riding a secluded wave on the Atlantic coast before rounding off the day with a beer as the sun dips below the horizon – what could be better than a standup paddle board trip to the Spice Isle, Grenada?
Nearly ten years after our introduction to the island as seasonaires, my wife and I recently managed to return – with a view to investigating the island’s water sports potential. Grenada is just full of untapped potential when it comes to this kind of activity.
Travelling with kit
Our first challenge was that flights to Grenada from the UK are limited. Due to commitments dictating our time slot we ended up having to fly with the one airline I knew wasn’t going to be kind to us wanting to take water sports equipment – in this instance, a standup paddle board (SUP).
I did have one trick up my sleeve though that was sure to get round British Airways’ baggage restrictions – take an Inflatable SUP Board version!
In the last few years, inflatable standup paddle boards (iSUPs) have gained popularity because they are easy to store and transport. It proved the perfect weapon of choice for our return visit to Grenada, with the board folding down and fitting neatly into a backpack.
Grand Anse – SUP’tastic!
We chose the Flamboyant Hotel as our base on the island, which is located at the very southern end of beautiful Grand Anse Beach. Every morning we would part the curtains and gaze down upon the beautiful bay for that first glimpse of a new dawn.
After a hearty breakfast, our day usually started with a paddle to blow away the previous night’s rum punch induced cobwebs. Grand Anse is roughly three miles long; in the heat and humidity, paddling along this stretch of coast certainly allowed us to burn off the calories.
Many of the locals had not seen SUP before, so some would holler from the beach to inquire what we were doing – how could we seemingly walk on water? Local kids would try and swim after us, and the guys working in the beachside dive shops would gaze on with keen interest. After our first session, it was then time to relax and rehydrate.
Shore break action
The southern corner of Grand Anse beach seems to attract wind driven swell on a regular basis.
During our stay, some form of small shore break wave spilled onto the beach most days. Although wave heads would scoff at such small ripples, our Inflatable SUP Board would allow us to surf these tiny waves – short rides yes, but fun none the less.
Around Quarantine Point and continuing south lies the stunning Morne Rouge Bay (or BBC as the locals call it). This beautiful stretch of pristine white sand and azure coloured water is where our Inflatable SUP Board sessions would take us during many afternoons.
Paddling out to Quarantine Point we were greeted by an abundance of marine wildlife. During one special session a group of manta rays turned up to investigate what our strange craft was.
The icing on the cake was finishing with a ‘sun downer’ at the beach bar right at the water’s edge.
Grenada and SUP
For more serious surf paddlers, the Atlantic side of Grenada offers a plethora of options. The slightly more well-known spots, including Prickly Point in the Lance aux Epines area, are perfect for SUP surfing.
Hire a car and head north along this side of the island and it’s obvious to see that with the right conditions there are some amazing set ups still waiting to be ridden and discovered.
Visit Grenada with your downwind coast runner and you could paddle along the entire north to south coast with the trade winds huffing you forwards and providing some fantastic glides – the options for SUP on the island are seemingly endless.
Grenada is perfect for fulfilling your SUP dreams on a beautiful and friendly Caribbean island. Head for the surf, cruise at a leisurely pace or hit the downwind runs – and cap it off with some spectacular food and drink. What could be better?
Tez Plavenieks is an experienced freelance writer who specialises in action sports and travel. He currently edits, writes and produces content for a variety of different outlets both online and in print.