Surfing in Punta de Mita, Mexico
When I became aware of the Nourish Retreats escape to Sayulita this year, I was most excited for one thing: the surfing!
After surfing in Bali, I knew that I had fallen in love — and I had to keep up my newfound interest somehow!
While Sayulita is a big surfing town, it wasn’t ideal for a lesson that day — so we headed to Punta de Mita, about 20 minutes away.
Before the trip, all I knew about Punta de Mita was that they had a Four Seasons, and one of the best Four Seasons for villa rentals (this information I retained from my former job as a concierge for the ridiculously rich).
It turns out that Punta de Mita is nicknamed “Mexico’s Malibu” and is home to a sizable expat community. An older, well-to-do expat community, filled with condos and fancy shops. And the stretch of beach is simply lovely.
Our surfing lesson was led by local operator WildMex. After a brief lesson on the beach, we headed out into the water.
There was just one problem. You may remember my fear of fish — well, my fear of birds is even worse! I am terrified of most birds. And Punta de Mita was full of pelicans — giant pelicans that would divebomb into the water to catch fish.
I screamed more or less constantly. And jumped off my surfboard whenever it looked like I might surf into them, which is too bad, because it cut off a lot of runs that would have been great.
My one goal was to get pictures of myself looking feminine while surfing. After looking like a dude in Bali, clad in long mismatched board shorts, rash guard and a helmet (!), I just wanted to look like a girl. In a bikini.
And in Punta de Mita, I did just that. (Though you really do need board shorts and a rash guard if you don’t want to get scraped up!)
The girls in our group did so well — especially Terri and Kim, the ladies who run Nourish Retreats! (Terri is a fellow Southeast Asia backpacker, and she spent time honing her craft in Bali as well!)
Most of the girls in the group were complete newbies, but that didn’t stop them from doing great. A few opted for paddle-boarding instead (basically, standing on a surfboard with a paddle, which looks like lots of fun and which I’d love to try sometime).
What was nice is that Terri and Kim planned our daily workouts around the surfing lesson. While surfing is a full-body workout (trust me, you’ll be sore for days!), it’s particularly tiring on your arms and shoulders. Kim’s restorative yoga sessions helped our shoulders recover; Terri made our next boot camp a lower-body workout to give our arms a rest.
While our Wildmex instructors were very nice and helpful, I wasn’t that impressed with the lesson itself. All I had to which I could compare it was my surfing lesson in Bali, which was exemplary.
When I surfed in Bali, every time I came in from a run, my instructors would critique everything I had done wrong, from posture to timing, and would tell me how to improve for next time until I was surfing like a champ. In Punta de Mita, my instructors didn’t even know I stood up unless I told them!
It was a bit like an assembly line — they gave us a quick lesson on the beach, and they pushed us out when waves came — but that was where it ended. There were no evaluations or suggestions.
Thankfully, I had what I learned in Bali on which to fall back. While a lot of people might prefer WildMex’s hands-off approach, it wasn’t my personal cup of tea. But I had a lot of fun!
It was a great day of surfing with my new girlfriends — and the ultimate activity for a fitness getaway!