We caught up with SUP instructor and expert Norm Hann before he leaves for Belize to find out how he is preparing for the next Coral Islands SUP trip on January 27th.
Norm shared some awesome fitness tips on preparing for a week-long paddleboarding adventure in the tropics, plus his favourite must bring items and his personal highlights of the Coral Islands SUP trip:
What are 2-3 exercises people can do at home before the Coral Islands SUP trip to prepare for a week of paddleboarding?
I would recommend doing 15-20 minutes on a rowing/skiing ergometer 2-3 times/week to build some overall paddling and upper body strength if your local gym has one. Cross-country skiing is also an excellent crossover sport that can really help paddling as well.
Any balancing exercises or bosu ball work, single leg balancing that can be incorporated into your strength workout or yoga routine.
Deep core work such as planks or bird dogs to strengthen the core and to provide support for the low back.
And general stretching or yoga routine would be beneficial as well.
Are there any little gear tips or something you can pass on to future guests to bring along on their next trip?
I would recommend three things:
1. A good pair of polarized sunglasses like a Maui Jim . They protect the eyes from the sun and allow you to see all of the marine creatures on the reefs and in the mangroves. Make sure you have a pair of Croakies so you don't lose them if you go swimming.
2. A Buff , which can help keep the sun off the back of the neck or face and can be worn a number of different ways.
3. A good sun hat like Shelta which not only keeps the sun off your face and back of your neck but these amazing hats have a built-in visor that does not flap in the wind while paddling or on boat rides.
Norm Hann sharing his paddling tips
What are your favourite parts of the trip?
I would say my favourite part of the trip would have to be paddling along the beautiful barrier reef between Tobacco Caye and South Water Caye. The paddleboard allows an incredible vantage point to see stingrays, nurse sharks, turtles and many other tropical reef species all in 5-6 feet of water.
Norm and a guest paddling between Tobacco Caye and South Water Caye
How much experience is necessary to do this trip in Belize? What would you say to someone who was nervous to come onto a week-long paddle boarding trip?
One of the beautiful things about these trips is that I am there to coach you for the week so in a very short time I can work with you to make you quite proficient before the week's end. We build the trip in a way that does not put you in over your head and we have a number of different paddling environments depending on your experience level. We also have boat support on the trip so you can paddle as much or as little as you want. As long as you’re excited about exploring Belize and wanting to experience this area via paddleboarding (which to me is the best way to experience this place) then you are ready for this trip!
Learn more about the Coral Islands SUP trip in this video:
Follow the Norm Hann and the Coral Islands SUP trip on Instagram
Follow Norm Hann on Instagram as he guides paddlers on the next Coral Islands SUP trip departing on January 27, 2018. Other trip departure dates for 2018 are: February 3, March 3 and April 7.
Find out more information about the ultimate Belize Paddleboarding Trip