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Viewing posts created during February of 2012

New Aruba Windsurfers, New Aruba Activity

SUP Yoga in Aruba

The winds here in Aruba have been pretty good the last 2 weeks, seeing many returning guests but also some first timers. A really fun group was 6 friends, first time in Aruba, who all had some windsurfing experience and were of various levels through working on planing jibe. It was fun to seeing  them get comfortable on our gear, sailing multiple sessions a day, seeing them gain confidence and improve their skills –but mostly coming back in at the end of each day with big smiles on their faces and lots of tales to have over beers. It was especially rewarding to get the following note of feedback:

“Basically, we all had the time of our lives down there at Vela. We all grew up together windsurfing at a place that is usually cold, and has a day like it was every day of our trip, once a summer maybe. I can't think of a better location than Vela Aruba for any beginning windsurfer to really take their sailing to the next level. I learned a lot at Vela, and am going to make it more of a point to windsurf as much as possible because of my experiences in Aruba. We hope to all come back next year.”

Hope to see you all again!

The Wisconsin crew


Yoga on the Vela RRD Wassup SUPs has been getting more and more popular. Rachal Brathen, who was born in Sweden, has been teaching yoga for 2 years and paddle board yoga for one. She has been settled on Aruba for two years now, and is the yoga director at Manchebo Beach Resort and Spa where she leads yoga retreats and hosts large yoga groups from all over the world. In her job she teaches 15 – 20 regular classes a week, mostly Vinyasa Flow, and 2 – 5 SUP yoga classes a week, more in high season.

SUP Yoga


Rachal describes the classes as:

“Right now we go out seven people at a time. I do a quick run-down with the group on the beach; giving some tips and techniques on how to paddle, how to turn, how to find balance standing up on the board. Then we paddle a little bit up the coast - it's a great warm up, and gives the students a feel for how the paddle board works on the water.

No previous experience is needed at all! I get complete beginners every week. Of course, it helps if you have done some yoga before; but the poses we do are very basic (to start), and it's more about the balance than going "perfectly" into every pose. Same goes with paddle boarding, if they have some previous experience that's great, but it is in no way necessary. I get all kinds of people in class; and everybody seems to absolutely love it! There is no way to predict who is going to be "good" or more "advanced" on the board; I've had very experienced yoga teachers on the board that had a hard time even standing up, and I've had complete novices to amazing; inversions, arm balances, you name it. It's more about your core sense of balance than anything else. The good part is: falling off is fun! You just get wet, which is pretty nice since we're in the Caribbean...

It's SO much fun! We always laugh a ton in class, I like how it takes some of the seriousness out of yoga, but how it's still so meditative.”

If you want to give SUP Yoga a try when you come to Aruba contact Rachel at Follow Rachel on Facebook at Rachel Brathen Yoga Lifestyle.

Tom's Windsurfing Update:

Personally I’ve been having a ton of fun sailing in Aruba this year, already having logged over 30 days on the water since Jan 1st. Not focused on any one thing, I’ve run the gamut including:

  • slalom sailing on race gear
  • old school freestyle on freestyle/wave boards
  • cruising on long boards
  • fun sailing testing our varied gear
  • wave sailing on SUPs
  • light wind sailing on  large, small, and SUP boards
  • still working on Vulcans on our Flares
  • bump and jump on the blue highway
  • SUP surfing
  • SUP paddling for morning exercise.

I have to admit I’m becoming a carbon board snob, loving the liveliness and performance of the new Vela gear. Maybe one of these days I’ll get back to improving my windsurfing skills, but for now it’s hard to beat just having fun!!!

-----     The Next blog – GPS speed sailing comes to Vela Aruba   -----





Posted: February 13, 2012 at 08:06 AM
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Aruba's Carbon Footprint

Great News for guests of Vela Aruba... they are expanding their Carbon footprint (in terms of windsurfing, NOT the enviroment).


For the first time, Vela Aruba has received special edition carbon boards designed for improved performance for our advanced windsurfers, and matched well to speed sailing, and bump and jump sailing on the Aruba Blue Highway. Carbon boards are lighter, stiffer, and livelier than their heavier constructed but more durable versions. Included in the new carbon range are:

  • Starboard iSonic: full blown racing editions used by top PWA pros. Vela has a range of 5 models from 90 liters to 127 liters. For 2012 the Isonics have been improved with more refined tail cut-outs, reduced nose thickness, slightly thinner tail, and the center of volume moved back slightly for better control at speed.
  • Starboard Kode: four new models of freestyle wave boards from 113 to 84 liters. The larger models focus around a maneuverable freeride while the smaller boards have more emphasis on maneuverable freestyle/wave performance.  For 2012 the 86, 94, and 103 are shorter with a sharper edge at the tail for improved control and acceleration. We also brought in 2012 models in the same range in wood construction.

Also, for the performance oriented sailor, the 2012 JP All Ride boards are a new addition for Vela Aruba this year.  In the pro edition Vela guests will get a higher level of performance, the 116 being an easy riding, smooth jibing speedster, migrating towards more freestyle/wave performance as we go through the 106 into the 96.

To supplement the existing 2011 Futura 141, 133, 122 models we have added 2012 Futura  111 and 101  models for the higher wind days and lighter sailors. For the big guys we brought in 2 Carve 171 boards for earlier planing performance.

Starboard GeminiReady to double up? We have a new 2012 Starboard Gemini Mark II tandem board. For our newbies we have 4 new Starboard Large boards.

We are keeping the rest of last year’s gear as it is in good shape.

Our easiest all around board is still the JP Excite Ride in sizes from 158 down to 100 liters. This is a great board for progressing, learning harness, foot straps, planing and jibing having a slightly more traditional shape.  Moving up in performance we have Starboards more advanced all arounder, the free race Starboard Futura, in sizes from 141 to 122 liters. These boards have a shorter, wider, thinner shape, plane earlier, go upwind a little better, and are faster.

Our JP Super Sports offer an easier to use slalom ride with good speed and jibing, with sizes from 136 to 100 liters. For best speed we are keeping our 2011 Starboard Isonics to supplement the new carbon 2012’s. The 127 is an amazing early planer matched with our 2012 8.7 H2s.

For higher winds/lighter sailors we have our freestyle wave Starboard Kodes in 113 to 84 and for the aspiring freestylers the Flare in 106, 98, and 86.

Don’t forget, for beginners we have a selection of Retros, Starts, and Excite Rides to make learning easy, quick, and fun.

As an alternative we still have 12 RRD SUPs for paddling, surfing, and windsurfing!

This year Vela Aruba has its best range of great boards, so unless you’re allergic to sunny days, warm water and good wind to come visit us and give our gear a try!

Posted: February 2, 2012 at 08:47 AM
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