Kayaking, Whitewater rafting, Stand up paddle surfing

Get out, get active

Share a little adventure on your honeymoon

By Laurette M. Veres

With wedding stress behind you, you might be tempted to sit on a beach and chill out.  While it’s fun to relax, consider getting active on your honeymoon.  From kayaking to whitewater rafting and stand up paddle surfing, adventure awaits beyond the beach chair.

Kayaking

Views of lakes, rivers, oceans and streams differ, depending on your vantage point.  See shorelines, fish, foliage and geological markings you would otherwise miss by exploring in a kayak.  Available for singles or tandem, this is a great activity to share with your sweetie.

One of my favorite Kayaking adventures was exploring the inner coast of the Sunshine state’s Gulf Islands: Anna Maria Island, Longboat Key, Brandenton and Lakewood Ranch.  Native Shawn Dutschayer showed my husband and I around his Florida stomping grounds: Palma Sola Bay.  As the owner of Anna Maria Island Eco Tours, he leads you to great views, local vegetation and the regions number one kayaking attraction- manatee!

On the opposite spectrum, we had a much more adventurous time kayaking the waters of Kailua Bay, O‘ahu. Twogood Kayaks leads guided kayaking tours that are not for the faint of heart. They involve dragging kayaks (read: it gets heavy) across thick sand, entering wavy water and paddling against the current. As you explore the waters of Kailua Bay, your guide explains how the islands were formed and how they continue to change; they are still shifting today.  Along the way, look for Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles effortlessly floating the current we fight.
White Water Rafting

When the water is rough and the rocks are huge, the best way to truly enjoy it is to ride the rapids.  Inflatable rafts that hold around eight adventurers are led by trained guides through various degrees of rough water, it’s thrilling and exciting.

I’ve rafted in Colorado, Honduras and Australia.  In Vail, Timberline Tours made my entire group comfortable.  The guides can make your river trip exceptionally challenging or relaxing with just a few directional strokes of a paddle, so let them know your comfort zone and start paddling.

Stand Up and Paddle Surf

Stand up paddle surfing (SUP), is an emerging global sport with Hawaiian heritage.  This ancient form of surfing began as a way for surfing instructors to manage large groups.  Today, celebrities like Jennifer Aniston and Courtney Cox participate and benefit from the great core workout.  SUPs are seen where there is access to safe waters, and anywhere surfers hang out.

I first learned about SUP at Surf Diva, San Diego’s premiere women’s surf school, a perfect setting to learn this invigorating and fun sport.  They offer expert instructors who guide guests through the basics.  “You are the boss of the board,” says Izzy Tihanyi co-diva of Surf Diva, as she directs me towards the ocean waves.

My husband and I were quite apprehensive despite reassurances we will pick this up like bike riding.  You walk the board out past the wave breaks, get on in a kneeling position and start paddling. As you gain momentum, put your hands on the board for balance, stand up and resume paddling.  As you do so, every muscle in your body gets a work out.  Parallels are being drawn to yoga’s tremendous core work out.  Look for yoga and paddle boarding retreats coming soon.(Lesson $75/hour).

We’ve also taken surf lessons in Hawaii.  Although you can do this as a couple, you’ll need an instructor to help you read the waves and help you figure out when to stand up.

These activities are fun and take your mind miles away from color schemes and seating charts.

Essentials:

www.floridasgulfislands.com

www.mysitontopkayak.com

Twogood Kayaks, (808) 262-5656 $119/person.

Timberline Tours, PO Box 131, Vail, CO, (800) 831-1414, www.timberlinetours.com

SurfDiva, 2160 Avenida de la Playa, La Jolla, CA 92037 (858) 454-8273; www.surfdiva.com