After spending time exploring the Vis Island coastline on kayaks, we decided to add a few paddleboards to the crew. A paddleboard is almost like a combination of surfing, in the way you position yourself, and kayaking. The paddleboard is a long flat board. You position yourself towards the middle of the paddleboard and pull yourself forward with a paddle to glide through the water. As the board is flat, you rely on your balance and a strong stable stance to be able to control the forward momentum. As a beginner it's always easier to start paddleboarding when the sea if very flat. In Croatian, a flat sea is called ‘Bonaca’ and when paddleboarding around Vis, the sea conditions will have a huge impact on whether you can balance, propel forward and also change direction.
A paddleboard can also be referred to as SUP, which is an acronym for stand up paddleboarding. There are different sizes and different widths of board, depending on whether you are using a river board, a wave surfing SUP, a racing board or an allround board. At WearActive, we use an allround board, these are super versatile, wide enough to help with stability and have an easier glide for going longer distances in the sea. When we go on an adventure with a group, we tend to take the paddleboards along with the kayaks. This helps with travelling a longer distance for families and beginners, as we can change roles from kayak to paddleboard. The paddleboard can be a bit more demanding on your core and requires greater leg strength as you make constant small adjustments to maintain balance. The paddleboard also tends to be a bit slower than the sit on top sea kayak, especially against the wind.
One of the reasons why the paddleboard has become so popular is the amazing feeling of gliding above the water, you are standing tall, almost like you can walk on water. Paddling on a sea as clear as the Adriatic is a wonderful experience. Looking down into the crystal clear water surrounding Vis Island is a mesmerising feeling, almost meditative.
The other reason why we love to take people on the paddleboards is that they are so much fun! If you love being in the water, then you can paddle, float, practice yoga postures and learn tricks. You are not attached to the board, the sea is warm and the sun is shining so you can fall in as much as you want while on a SUP. They are great for someone who wants to paddle for a work out, but the are so much fun for families to play in the sea. We love to see a family or active excited children all trying to balance on the paddleboard at the same time!
We have also found that dogs love paddleboarding! Well ours does, she truly believes that the paddleboard belongs to her and it has become our responsibility to ferry her around the beaches and coves of Vis. Zora, our dog stands proud on the board and it allows her to partake in her other favourite pastime ‘fishing’. As she floats above the clear waters, she can spot all the fish that she will never catch.
From our base at WearActive, we can set off from the bay of Rukavac and head towards the island of Ravnik. This is just a thirty minute paddle and the island has a cave called the Green Cave or Zelena Špilja in Croatian. The cave is a natural attraction situated in the south-west side of Ravnik island. During the day, sunlight passes through the small hole on the roof of the cave producing a green glow below the surface of the sea within the cave. You can enter the cave on the paddleboard. Due to the growing popularity of the cave and the concern for safety, you have to now pay an entrance fee to enter the cave. This has helped to prevent speed boats and large tour boats from also entering the cave and only swimmers, kayaks and paddleboards can go in.
Another popular paddle with our guests is from Rukavac harbour to Zaglav beach. The beach is a sand beach, for families it’s the perfect beach to play on the boards as most of the other bays on Vis Island are pebble beaches.
For a full day of paddleboarding, we like to load the boards on the Landrover and head to Komiza bay. Due to the cliffs and rock formations on the south west of Komiza there are lots of small caves to paddle into and beaches that are only accessible by water.
You can rent Paddleboards daily or per hour from Vis town or Milna bay for a day on the water. We don't rent our boards per day, as they are available for our guests staying for a weeks activity holiday with us at WearActive. Our guests can then join us for a guided paddleboard or use the paddleboards in the bay of Rukavac on the south side of Vis island. Our 'relaxingly active' holiday season is from the end of May to the end of September. We are a small company that offer a 7 day holiday that combines kayaking, biking, yoga and paddleboarding to a maximum of 8 guests.