Learning to surf in Mexico

Head to Mexico’s Riviera Nayarit on a women’s surf safari with Las Olas. Photo: Jill K. Robinson

HALF MOON BAY, Calif., February 17, 2012—Surfers always seem to have the best laid-back lifestyle. They hang out at the beach and enjoy an ocean playground—riding waves as much as their schedule allows. 

Have you ever considered joining them? You can, on a weeklong surf safari on Mexico’s Riviera Nayarit. Better yet, you can leave most of the planning to someone else.

Now in its 15th year, Las Olas is one of the world’s premier surf camps for women. With a sweet spot near a surf break north of Puerto Vallarta, it’s an ideal opportunity to learn to surf as well as relax and soak in the chill vibe.

My graduating surf class. (Photo: Jill K. Robinson)

My graduating surf class. (Photo: Jill K. Robinson)

Las Olas provides gorgeous seaside accommodations, daily yoga class, daily surf lessons (including a private lesson), loads of free surf time, a private sports massage, ground transportation and boat trips to secret surf spots. In addition, the Las Olas surf instructors include world champions and sponsored professional surfers, so you’re getting quality attention.

How do I know all this? I just returned from a Las Olas surf safari. Although I’m a decent kayak and stand-up paddleboard surfer, I had never tried traditional surfing until this trip. Every day for a week, I rolled out of bed in my seaside villa, attended morning yoga class, hit the beach for surf instruction and practice, and had some incredible food in a little beach town. My fellow classmates, eight women from the United States and Canada, were welcome companions along for the ride.

One of my favorite things about this experience was not only the quality, focused instruction, but also the camaraderie of a group of women of varying ages. We all had spent vacations with partners and families, but did not always have a chance to focus on ourselves and get quality time to play. The feeling seems appropriately expressed in the Las Olas motto” “We make girls out of women.”

Carrying your own board gives you a special stoke. (Photo: Las Olas)

Carrying your own board gives you a special stoke. (Photo: Las Olas)

Sure, it’s possible to learn to surf by paying someone on the beach to teach you a lesson for an hour or two. But my experience with surf camp allowed me to get constant feedback for days: what I was doing right as well as what I was doing wrong, and how I was improving. For me, the hours of attention are a key factor in making sure I’m successful when I buy a board and hit my home waters on my own.

The gorgeous villa, countless fish tacos, great yoga classes and muscle-melting massage helped, too. Alone, that week of quality surfing and playtime ensures that I’ll be a surfer for life. 

Jill K. Robinson is an award-winning journalist and adventure seeker. Follow her adventures on dangerjillrobinson.com and Twitter @dangerjr. Jill and her husband are avid kayakers and own Half Moon Bay Kayak Company.


This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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Jill K. Robinson

An award-winning journalist and adventure seeker, Jill K. Robinson has been a columnist with The Washington Times, Communities section since 2011.

Her work has appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, American Way, Every Day With Rachael Ray, Robb Report, Westways, Journey, Let's Go with Ryanair, World Hum, Gadling, Lonely Planet and more. She lives in a small California beach town near the big wave surf spot, Mavericks, and divides her time between writing about travel, running a kayak business and trying to wring awe-inspiring adventure out of every day.

Always eager to take a leap into the unknown and experience new things, Jill shares adventure sport and travel highlights—even when the adventure isn’t adrenaline pumping or bone crushing. Adventure is sometimes only a state of mind.

Find Jill on dangerjillrobinson.com and Twitter @dangerjr 

Contact Jill K. Robinson

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