The newest activity to hit La Paz is SUP. What is SUP? SUP stands for Stand Up Paddle. It is the latest, greatest way to paddle through the clear beautiful waters around Baja California Sur, México. Kayaking is great and will remain as a classic eco-activity to enjoy the beauty and peacefulness of the Gulf of California. However, SUP provides a new vantage point to paddling, and is a great eco-activity promoted by ProFaunaBaja.org.
Consider this scenario: You and your friend kayak to a rock reef at Isla Espiritu Santo. Your partner spots a resting juvenile sea turtle between the rocks. You position your water proof camera to get the shot. As your kayak drifts over the turtle, you look over the side of your kayak just a little too far and ohh noooo!, you tip over and fall in. The sea turtle wakes up and darts away, out of sight and you miss your shot. As you try to get back into your kayak, you feel like a 200lb sea lion clambering up the rocks at Isla Islotes.
Now imagine yourself, paddling and gliding effortlessly on a wide, stable SUP board, skimming the surface of the rocks. You spot the same sea turtle. You don your mask, paddle over to your partner so he can hold your board, slip easily into the water, submerse yourself and CLICK! The ultimate, perfect shot because you had a vantage point to see the sea turtle before you came too close to scare it away.
Benefits of SUP:
- Paddling while standing up provides a new vantage point to see marine life under the water.
- The wide shape of the board provides stability which makes it easy for anyone to SUP, no matter the age and fitness level.
- The long, flat design of the board makes getting on and off super simple and the ability to glide effortlessly over shallow reefs.
- Surfboard style fins provide speed and easy maneuvers over reefs and through winding mangroves.
- Standing allow you to use all your muscles so you don´t tire as easy, but still gives you a total body workout.
Harker Board Co., located inside Yogoloso along the malecón is the only SUP rental place in town and they offer much lower prices than Los Cabos. Brian Harker, an Alaska native and his wife Vanessa from Chihuahua want locals and tourists alike to experience SUPing at a very reasonable price: 100 pesos per hour. Join the second annual SUP race hosted by Harker Board Co., Oct 27th 2012 @ 9am. You can rent a board and head out into La Paz bay on your own or hire a guide (ask for Stephanie!). For the yoga readers, the larger, stable boards are great to practice a little yoga amongst the calm, mangrove forest off Mogote, Namaste.
Whether you have your own board or want to rent a board – get SUPing! SUP is great for all ages, abilities, body types, kids, and activity levels. ProFaunaBaja.org is looking for beginners and experts to form a SUP group where we meet other SUPers, new and old, learn about different boards and organize group outings to explore La Paz and surrounding areas on a SUP board. Join the first La Paz SUP group organized by ProFaunaBaja, starting this month! Membership is 50 pesos per month, we will meet once per month and have one outing per month. The first meeting will be held October 17 at 6pm at the Tailhunter. During this time, we will organize our first group outing. ProFaunaBaja also can arrange custom group outings to Balandra, El Tesoro, Isla Espiritu Santo, or Mogote Island Mangroves. To join La Paz SUP group or to reserve a group SUP outing, please contact the author and wildlife biologist/founder of ProFaunaBaja: Stephanie@ProFaunaBaja.org or 612.150.6667. Also, find us on Facebook: Pro Fauna Baja. ProFaunaBaja is a project dedicated to combining environmental education, wildlife research, and ecotourism to promote conservation of priority habitats in Baja California Sur, México.
What are you waiting for – Be a La Paz SUPer!