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Surf Camp Report

It’s been a couple weeks since I’ve returned from my surf camp in Mexico. Since then, I’ve been eyeing surfboards nearly everywhere I go, looking for the one that will allow me more practice time at my local surf break.

The water’s a little colder here than in the Riviera Nayarit, but there’s so such thing as too cold—just inappropriately dressed. More neoprene solves the problem until I can get to warmer water again.

The Las Olas surf safari experience spoiled me. With an easy schedule every day involving only meals, yoga and surfing, it allowed me ample time to not only focus on my water skills, but also get to know my fellow classmates and why each chose a surf camp vacation. It was clear early on that we all enjoyed good food—as we sampled the restaurants to find the best fish tacos, Mexican hot chocolate and other local favorites.

What made it a successful surf trip for me was the focused attention from our talented instructors. They spent hours in the water with us, and celebrated each success—even if it was as simple as riding a wave just a little longer than the last time. At best, we had a 1:1 instructor to student ratio. When we were all in the water, it was more like 1:2.

A little more than halfway through the week, we took a field trip to Punta de Mita to surf a longer wave and go whale watching. It was a lucky day. We spent time hanging out alongside a mother and her calf, as the calf continuously breached—giving us a huge show. Later, I got the best and longest ride of my week. A little time at the end to lunch on fresh shrimp ceviche and lounge in the sun was all I needed to call that my favorite day.

What’s next? I’m headed to the Santa Ynez Valley for some hiking, horseback riding and Santa Maria-style barbecue. Then, I’m off to Aspen, to see if I can remember how to ski. Later in March, I’ll be in Kauai for Hawaiian culture, outdoor adventure and perhaps a little ukulele shopping. In between, it’s all about the writing, kayaking, hiking—and maybe a little surfing, if I can find the right board.

For more on my Las Olas trip, take a look at my articles in the Athleta Chi blog and my Sportfolio column.