A Fun Adventure Paddleboarding on the Rio Grande River

On a bright and sunny afternoon during our stay at our favorite Texas resort, Lajitas Golf Resort, we had a few hours to kill before we starting devouring one of the Resort's delicious steaks. So we headed over to the Lajitas Boardwalk to talk to the activities director about something fun to see or do. She immediately suggested "why don't you try paddleboarding down the Rio Grande River?" I immediately though of the old show Deliverance, Mexican cartels using us for target practice, some illegals hijacking our paddleboard, and me accidentally body surfing through the rapids and sheer cliff walls of Saint Elena Canyon. I was about ready to say "I hear the bird watching if fantastic around here" when my wife enthusiastically said "that sounds great, let's do it."

Andy taking the SupSo with wobbly knees and sweaty palms we walked down the Lajitas Boardwalk to meet with Adam, the manager of the zipline tours and stand up paddleboard rides. Adam ask if we were ready for "a fun and scenic hour and a half paddle down the Rio Grande River?" I was ready to say "no" but again my wife beat me to the punch with a "you betcha!" So Adam had us sign waivers holding Lajitas harmless (why is that necessary?" and gave us a quick briefing on the trip.

Andy loading the SUP"We'll pile into the Gator with the boards on top, drive up the road a little ways, put the boards in water, and I'll pick you up a mile and a half downstream. My mind was racing with questions:

  • aren't you going to come with us - 'no"
  • how do we know where to get out - "you'll see me standing on the bank waving"
  • this puny life jacket doesn't look like it will save me - "don't worry, the water is only a couple feet deep"
  • can I take my camera - "not unless it's waterproof" which was as good as saying I'm going to fall in
  • what happens if I fall in and my SUP goes floating down river - "no worry, a strap secures the SUP to your ankle, which means if you fall in the SUP will be right next you, the water will most likely be shallow, and you'll be able to easily step back onto the board"

All of that was pretty reassuring so my knees stopped shaking! And off we went toward the put-in spot. Adam unloaded the boards, set one in the water, jumped on it, and showed us what to do. Piece of cake! My palms stopped sweating.

Getting to the Rio Grande RiverA SUP lessonEasy to Sup

I tied the safety strap to my ankle, grabed the paddle, stepped on the board and fell flat on my butt in the water. I got up tried again and successfully stood up for 3 minutes and two stokes before I fell in again and watched my wife gracefully paddle downstream without me. Well that got my competitive juices going, so I planted myself firmly on the board, and started paddling rapidly, and flew by her and even used my paddle to splash her! Which knocked my off balance and I fell in again! Actually, I enjoyed falling in, the water was cool and refreshing!

Paddleboarding the Rio Grande River Paddleboarding the Rio Grande Rive Paddleboarding the Rio Grande Rive

Wow, what a fun couple hours. The water gently flowing, there were a couple deep spots to swim, the scenery was magnificent withnative river brush, majestic rugged mountains in Big Bend, and some blooming native plants - notice the mountains in the background of the pictures. We saw a couple wild mustangs (turns out they are not wild but come across the river to graze on the grass while the Mexican owners on the other side of the river try to coax them back), lots of birds, and a couple little fish.

Sure enough, and all too soon (I had mastered the SUP), we saw Adam waving at us from the shoreline.

Read our 10 Reasons Why You Should Visit Lajitas Resort and If you do visit Lajitas Golf Resort, make sure you try paddleboarding. And Adam can also take you on a fun and exciting zipline tour - don't miss that. Have fun!

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