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Martha Diaz is a mother of two, the owner of El Corte hair salon, and also an athlete. In December, she competed in Manzanillo at the Mexican SUP Championship, recognized by the Mexican Surfing Federation (FMS). Martha did extremely well, placing 2nd in Surf, 3rd in Long Distance, and 4th in Sprint Race. Martha tells El Sayulero more about herself, her love of this sport, and competitions in her future.
How long have you lived in Sayulita and what brought you here?
I’ve lived in Sayulita for about 13 years. My husband and I moved here from Guadalajara after getting married. We moved here because we wanted a change from city life to a healthier lifestyle near the ocean.
Have you always been an athlete?
No, I first started paddleboarding about six years ago and then I started paddle surfing shortly after that.
How did you get into paddleboarding and competing?
My husband, Jose Luis, who works at Surf Mexico/Pacific Paddle, had the opportunity to organize with Punta Sayulita Development & Foundation, the Punta Sayulita Classic events, which are long board and stand up paddle surf competitions. I watched the competition and decided that I wanted to start paddleboarding.
How do you find time for paddleboarding between your family and being a business woman?
I drop the kids off at school, grab my board, and head to the ocean. I spend about an hour and a half on the water, then shower off quickly at the beach, and then head to El Corte.
What do you like about paddleboarding in Sayulita?
It is a great sport. Good for your whole body, plus you get to travel by board and see the coast from a different perspective. Waves are also pretty fun here in Sayulita and my local buddies help me a lot when I’m out there.
What do you like about competing?
I like the environment, the people, and the adrenaline rush. It is also rewarding because if you work hard, you might end up ranking high.
How often do you compete?
Generally about every two months or anytime I have a chance!
How do you train for competitions?
I take my board out almost every day, trying to paddle for 1 hour minimum. I also practice my entry into the ocean (in and out), which is very important when competing. I learn different ways to do strokes and practice the waves. It’s very important when practicing on the ocean. If there are waves, I do not think twice. I grab my SUP Surf board and catch them. Food is very important, as well, when I am training, so I have a good diet and I also get a lot of rest.
When is your next competition?
I will be competing this Sunday in a race organized by Stand Up Paddle. The World Championships are also coming up in May. All of the people who ranked in the top in Manzanillo from Sayulita formed a national team, and I’m part of that team. There is only one woman who can compete in each of the categories, Surf, Long Distance, and Sprint Race, in the World Championships. It will be decided in March who will be representing Sayulita in this competition.
Any final words or thoughts?
I’d like more woman to take up paddleboarding. It’s fun, relaxing, and it’s good for you. Life is better when you SUP!