We have been competing for days – guys vs girls. The guys were whipping us at 30 seconds and the girls dominated the slopes with sandboarding. And then we went paddle skiing. We booked an excursion with Ernest and Andrew at Chicuanga resort and met them on the beach in the afternoon. Mistake number one. High tide. Andrew’s daughter had just come out of the surf with a paddle ski making it look like a walk in the park. I mean, how hard can it be?
The guys grabbed some boards and headed for the water to get out of the sun and to show the girls how it’s done. Our review team had been on location at East Africa Safaris for a review of the resort and to have some much needed fun after a busy year but the competition fever was running high. They hit the surf, dragging boards and paddles and immediately tried to get up and go. It wasn’t working. It made great entertainment for the rest of us on the beach as they floundered in the water – getting up, paddling desperately and overturning. It didn’t help that they had already spent 3 hours in the surf earlier that day and now had to battle the tide and their balance on a tricky board with a mind of it’s own.
Of course the guys were having a competition of their own aside from beating the girls. As soon as they got within shoving distance of each other they would have a dual to see who could push the other off the board first – as if staying on top wasn’t hard enough as it was.
Andrew laughed in his beard behind his hand as he watched. The girls came closer for some secret advice and soon they headed for the water as the guys came out. First they went a little deeper, behind the surf and jumped up as the swell passed and lowered the water level for a few seconds. It took a few dips but soon, one after the other they were paddling with both feet up in the holes as the board glided over the water. Victory! At least for now…
A word of caution to those interested in doing this activity: we had some strong swimmers in our group who compete in triathlons and other competitions and we did not wear lifejackets all the time. It is highly recommended that you wear a life jacket at all times. The speed of the current and the distance from shore can be very deceiving when you are focused on staying on top of the board and don’t keep an eye on where you are exactly. Andrew and Ernest will have a boat ready to launch should you get in trouble, but for your own safety we recommend that you use the life jackets they provide.
You will also be required to sign an indemnity form stating that you understand the risk of the activity.
The best time to paddle ski is during low tide when the reef is exposed and forms a lagoon with very little waves. Children are welcome to paddle ski during low tide provided that they have their parents with them and that they wear a life jacket. High tide is NOT suitable for children and we suggest that participants be 16 years or older.
The organizers of this activity are capable, qualified individuals who can deal with most emergencies but you have to be responsible when doing any activity involving the ocean.
The boards are designed to carry a certain amount of weight, should you be heavier than the board can carry you will be going nowhere slowly. Ask for a board that will carry your weight easily You are guaranteed to have a great time especially if you have a group of adventurous people who are open to trying new things.
This is a fun activity that will cost you R100 ($7) per hour. The exercise and muscle stiffness the next day is complementary. Plus you will get the coolest pictures of you doing more than just reading a book on the beach.
To book this activity, please phone Ernest at +258 8444 52548 They also do fishing charters, whale watching, sandboarding and diving excursions.
You can contact us on the following places:
phone: (+27)17 634 5799
Lots of love
Lizzie & Manda