Get Off The Beach & Get Your Hair Wet – Water Sports in St. Martin
Saint Martin has some of the world’s most incredible white sand beaches and turquoise waters, making it a haven for off-land thrill seekers (ie: you!). This island has a perfect blend of calm inland lagoons and open ocean, and some of the clearest waters in the Caribbean.
As tempting as it is to sunbathe all day at one of the many stunning St. Martin vacation rentals, it would be a shame if you didn’t fully experience the pristine ocean and get your hair a bit wet!
Here are some ways how:
1. Oh, Go Fly a Kite! – Kite Surfing
Orient Bay Beach is Saint Martin’s most popular beach and known for its clothing optional attitude (but that’s a whole other post). With great wave spots and reliable winds from December to April, Orient Bay is also a haven for water sports such as windsurfing, jet skiing, parasailing and wakeboarding.
Kite surfing is fantastic because it combines many elements of these activities into one extreme sport. Orient Bay is the best location to kite surf in Saint Martin, as beginners can practice inside the bay, while those more advanced can take on the swells of the Atlantic Ocean.
2. What’s SUP? – Stand-Up Paddling
Saint Martin’s serene bays offer ideal conditions for Stand Up Paddle, aka Beach Boy Surfing, aka SUP. Never heard of it? Think of it as surfing with a relaxation factor, great for catching small, easy waves.
With roots in ancient Hawaii, stand-up paddleboards are designed to let you explore coastlines and calm bodies of water, paddling as you would in a canoe. Your board will slide across the glassy water, letting you chill out while giving your legs and core a killer workout. The upright position lets you peer deep into the clear water, offering a great alternative to surfing.
3. Flip-out with flippers – Snorkeling and Scuba
Saint Martin’s waters have such clear visibility that it just might be crazy to come here and not snorkel. Take a daytrip to the island of Prickly Pear or Pinel Island, home to hundreds of protected species of fish and coral. Creole Rock is also great for spotting schools of fish, eagle rays, octopi, and even cute little sea turtles!
Scuba enthusiasts can depart from l’Anse Marcel, one of the most preserved parts of the island, or dive to a 19th century shipwreck in the Great Bay. The Simpson Bay Area also offers night time dives and scuba during Caribbean reef shark feedings (prerequisite: nerves of steel).
4. Like a fish out of water – Deep Sea Fishing
If you venture out from the coastline, Saint Martin’s deep waters are home to a variety of game fish including marlin, tuna, wahoo and mahi-mahi. Fortunately, they are as fun to eat as their names are to say. Not only does deep sea fishing give you the potential to bring home a fish bigger than most house pets — it is also a blast!
People love deep sea fishing because it is a challenge, but part of its thrill is just being out on the open water. Saint Martin is famous for “Marlin Boulevard,” on the east side of the island, which yields the best results in June and July.
5. Feel the Winds of Change – Island-to-Island Sailing
Saint Martin’s short-sail neighboring islands are the perfect excuse to take out a sailboat à la Knife in the Water (…minus the suspense, of course). Beautiful marinas and moderate seas make this a popular spot for sailing and yachting adventures. What better way to feel connected with the sea than by renting yourself a sloop and harnessing the wind?
If you don’t think yachting is a sport, just think of the sailing events at the London Olympics. Saint Martin hosts several annual sailing regattas, the most infamous being the Heineken Regatta, which is one of the largest sailboat races in the Caribbean.
Ok, so we missed out on sea kayaking, wakeboarding, waterskiing, jet skiing, parasailing, and a few more. Take our word for it, if you find yourself in Saint Martin, there will be no shortage of water activities for those adventurous enough to try them. Give them a shot! Just try not to wipe out… and resist the urge to kidnap the cute little sea turtles.
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