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I can’t think of a better way to cool off on a hot, sunny day in Sayulita than to spend time in the ocean. That being said, I found myself on the Punta Mita beach (15 minutes from Sayulita) on Saturday, my feet in the soft, yellow sand, looking out at the ocean as Veronica Nava Honc began the land instruction portion of the Stand Up Paddle (SUP) lesson for the SUP and Snorkel tour with Surf Mexico.
Veronica (owner and instructor of Surf Mexico) is an extremely talented stand up paddle boarder who started paddle boarding 7 years ago. In fact, she’s so good she used to be on the SUP Team Mexico, competing in the 2012 World Championships. Five years ago she started giving paddle boarding lessons, and I could immediately tell she knows exactly what she’s doing, and as a beginner paddle boarder, I knew I was in expert hands.
As a gentle breeze blew my hair and the sun warmed my skin, Veronica taught two friends and me how to position ourselves on the high quality Starboard SUP boards, from laying down and paddling with our arms to kneeling to standing up and paddling with our paddles. She taught us how to correctly paddle, how to adjust our paddle strokes to correct for the wind, how to carry our boards and safely get in the water, and how to balance our weight on the boards.
As we paddled in the water, I looked down, noticing how clear the water was, which allowed me to see all the way to the ocean bottom where there were rocks and coral. I was a little slow going as I paddled, but Veronica patiently stuck by my side, giving me pointers, including bending my knees more for better balance going over the waves, and paddling with my core, rather than my arms.
After paddling nearly a mile off shore, we stopped to snorkel, which was absolutely magnificent. We saw a black and white striped eel, a large sea urchin, schools of fish with vibrant yellow and black stripes, larger grey fish with bluish-grey fins, interesting shaped black fish with white polka dots, and a variety of other fish. Diving down into the water, the warm water turning cooler, I was mesmerized by the sea life.
Paddling back to shore, I found myself smiling, grateful for the wonderful experience, and thinking there’s no better way to spend a weekend morning.
If you’d like to experience this tour for yourself or another of their other wonderful tours, contact Surf Mexico. They offer paddle board lessons and tours in Punta Mita, Bucerias, and Puerto Vallarta, as well as offers high performance SUP rentals and delivery to Sayulita. Surf Mexico is Mexico’s largest retailer of SUP and Surf equipment.