The winds here in Aruba have been pretty good the last 2 weeks, seeing many returning guests but also some first timers. A really fun group was 6 friends, first time in Aruba, who all had some windsurfing experience and were of various levels through working on planing jibe. It was fun to seeing them get comfortable on our gear, sailing multiple sessions a day, seeing them gain confidence and improve their skills –but mostly coming back in at the end of each day with big smiles on their faces and lots of tales to have over beers. It was especially rewarding to get the following note of feedback:
“Basically, we all had the time of our lives down there at Vela. We all grew up together windsurfing at a place that is usually cold, and has a day like it was every day of our trip, once a summer maybe. I can't think of a better location than Vela Aruba for any beginning windsurfer to really take their sailing to the next level. I learned a lot at Vela, and am going to make it more of a point to windsurf as much as possible because of my experiences in Aruba. We hope to all come back next year.”
Hope to see you all again!
Yoga on the Vela RRD Wassup SUPs has been getting more and more popular. Rachal Brathen, who was born in Sweden, has been teaching yoga for 2 years and paddle board yoga for one. She has been settled on Aruba for two years now, and is the yoga director at Manchebo Beach Resort and Spa where she leads yoga retreats and hosts large yoga groups from all over the world. In her job she teaches 15 – 20 regular classes a week, mostly Vinyasa Flow, and 2 – 5 SUP yoga classes a week, more in high season.
Rachal describes the classes as:
“Right now we go out seven people at a time. I do a quick run-down with the group on the beach; giving some tips and techniques on how to paddle, how to turn, how to find balance standing up on the board. Then we paddle a little bit up the coast - it's a great warm up, and gives the students a feel for how the paddle board works on the water.
No previous experience is needed at all! I get complete beginners every week. Of course, it helps if you have done some yoga before; but the poses we do are very basic (to start), and it's more about the balance than going "perfectly" into every pose. Same goes with paddle boarding, if they have some previous experience that's great, but it is in no way necessary. I get all kinds of people in class; and everybody seems to absolutely love it! There is no way to predict who is going to be "good" or more "advanced" on the board; I've had very experienced yoga teachers on the board that had a hard time even standing up, and I've had complete novices to amazing; inversions, arm balances, you name it. It's more about your core sense of balance than anything else. The good part is: falling off is fun! You just get wet, which is pretty nice since we're in the Caribbean...
It's SO much fun! We always laugh a ton in class, I like how it takes some of the seriousness out of yoga, but how it's still so meditative.”
If you want to give SUP Yoga a try when you come to Aruba contact Rachel at email@example.com. Follow Rachel on Facebook at Rachel Brathen Yoga Lifestyle.
Tom's Windsurfing Update:
Personally I’ve been having a ton of fun sailing in Aruba this year, already having logged over 30 days on the water since Jan 1st. Not focused on any one thing, I’ve run the gamut including:
- slalom sailing on race gear
- old school freestyle on freestyle/wave boards
- cruising on long boards
- fun sailing testing our varied gear
- wave sailing on SUPs
- light wind sailing on large, small, and SUP boards
- still working on Vulcans on our Flares
- bump and jump on the blue highway
- SUP surfing
- SUP paddling for morning exercise.
I have to admit I’m becoming a carbon board snob, loving the liveliness and performance of the new Vela gear. Maybe one of these days I’ll get back to improving my windsurfing skills, but for now it’s hard to beat just having fun!!!
----- The Next blog – GPS speed sailing comes to Vela Aruba -----