Before the awesome challenge that is the Ironmana Waterman World Tour Final, which kicks off next month in French Polynesia, we thought we’d bring you some footage recorded earlier by Paddle TV, displaying the majestic ocean scenery of the region, but against a more leisurely backdrop on this particular occasion.
With mountain views, tropical vegetation and a variety of paddling opportunities, it’s no surprise that many travellers dream of visiting Tahiti. For Bodyglove Team Paddler Anne Pagano, that dream has come true, as she arrives in Tahiti with her inflatable paddleboard in hand.
“So, most of my stand up paddling has been in the continental US or up in British Columbia,” says Pagano. “I have not made it overseas yet, so this is my first international stand up paddling trip and it’s been pretty amazing”. She is quick to point out that one of the things she likes most about travelling with an inflatable board is just how well it packs and travels. “On this trip I brought my Bodyglove Performer,” Pagano tells us, before proceeding to vaunt the fact that “it fits in my duffle bag, it’s 11ft long, it rolls up nice and tight and I can keep it in the same bag along with my clothes and my break-down paddle, and then I get here, I unroll the Performer, pump it up and hit the water”. As easy as that!
Pagano mentions that her favourite thing about travelling with stand up paddle is that she gets to see places that she otherwise venture into as a regular tourist. This escapism and the joy of solitude and nature is one the major appeals for her, she states. “Both locations we’ve stayed in during this trip are protected lagoons,” Pagano points out, explaining how that brings particularly calm and shallow conditions on which to paddle, which presents certain advantages in Tahiti. “Because it’s so crystal clear and shallow, you get to see so many different types of fish,” she states. “You don’t get pushed around by big waves, so it’s been pretty awesome.”
Travel partner, Facing Waves host Nikki Gregg seems in awe of the natural beauty and sheer perfection of the location and surrounding area, as well as the superior conditions for leisurely paddling. “There’s the reef protecting the lagoon,” she tells us, “and outside that zone is the ocean, so you don’t even have to leave the security of the lagoon when you visit here. It’s nice and safe and calm on the inside, and you can avoid the rough waters of the ocean on the outside.” She is quick to remind us of the amazing resorts on offer in this part of Tahiti too. Bungalows that give directly onto the perfect-looking waters make for “complete happiness”, according to Gregg.
Pagano recalls the ease with which she could leave her board on the balcony of the bungalow, before getting up in the morning to simply get right back into the water on the motu and admire all the aquatic life below. Optimum relaxation reached, Pagano and Gregg got creative and tried out something they invented themselves, which they have coined “lounge chair paddling”. Think it will catch on? Why don’t you take a look and see for yourself!