Stand Up Paddle Boarding Lessons In Puerto Vallarta Mexico



My wife and I have been traveling the world since we retired in 2000.  Recently, we decided to take up paddle boarding on one of our recent trips to Puerto Vallarta Mexico, or a least in that area. 

stand up paddle boarding in mexico
Some of my fellow stand up paddle boarders taking lessons in Banderas Bay, Bucerias

For the last 5 years, we have been spending our time during the Canadian winter season in the Puerto Vallarta Mexico area, which is very beautiful, and the water is just perfect for swimming, but other water sports are offered as well, such as paddle boarding.

We usually travel north of the PV airport about 20 minutes and stay in the Mexico town of Bucerias, pop 15000.  Bucerias and Puerto Vallarta are both on Banderas Bay.

We have also gone a little further north on coastal highway 20, and have experienced life in the Mexican village of San Francisco or better known as San Pancho.  This community is not protected by a bay but is along the open Pacific ocean, so the water seems much rougher there.

The population there is around 3000, and so if we want a quieter community, we stay in San Pancho, otherwise Bucerias is perfect for us.  

Stand Up Paddle Boarding Lessons – Anyone Can Do It!

mexico stand up paddle boarding
Stand up paddle boarding with the Sierra Madre mountains in the background

We are very active seniors and life long learners, and we love to experience new things, especially when it involves water.  

Stand-up paddle boarding in Bucerias was new to us this year, even though we’ve thought about trying this sport many times.  We both swim well and love all water sports, so we decided that it was time to stand up on a surf board.  

There is a main street in Bucerias that runs parallel to the beach and it is called, “Lazaro Cardenas”. 

paddle boarding mexico with dog
The dog only rides with the instructors

There are many restaurants shops, and condos on this very long and beautiful calle.  The Pacific Paddle Surf Shop is located on this street at #86.  Sometimes businesses in Mexico are there one minute and gone the next.  So if you can’t find this place where they rent paddle boards, try down on the beach in the heart of the town.

Anyway, the paddle board rental shop could be right on a corner and very close to Karen’s Place, which is a popular beachside restaurant in Bucerias.   If you can’t find the surf shop on Cardenas Street, just as anyone where Karen’s Place is.  It could be moved to the beach area.  There was talk that they were going to move closer to the water.

pacific paddle mexico sup dealer

Everyone knows Karen’s restaurant on the beach just one block from the surf shop.  You might want to eat at Karen’s after your paddle boarding lesson.

man on paddleboard
Just another stand-up paddle board student cruising around in the water

86 Lazaro Cardenas
Bucerias Nayarit Mexico
Open from 9 – 6 Mon – Saturday
Cell: 322 123 3034
Office: 329 298 1057

Paddle boarding originated in Hawaii as a spin off from “real” surfing.  Most people can’t surf the waves too well, so stand up paddle boarding was invented.  It is kind of the opposite to surfing waves because you want the water to be as calm as possible. 

The staff at Pacific Paddle Surf Shop are pros and help you decide what board is best for you, and they do a great lesson on just how to be successful on the board before you hit the ocean.  The lesson takes place on the sand, and the staff is there to help you know matter what your level is.  They even have a rescue dog who can show you how to do it.

paddle board instructor with dog
These instructors are out there with you to help if needed. The dog also lends a reassuring presence in case of danger

This sport combines the skills of surfing, kayaking, and canoeing.  Once up on your feet, you get to look up, all around, and even down into the water.  This is a full body workout and for sure you will be using all of your “core” muscle to maintain your balance.

We were told that this “stand up surfing with a paddle” can be done when there are waves, but we were beginners so a calm ocean was all we could handle at this point. 

The board for flat water paddle boarding is bigger than regular surf boards. 

ISLE 10'8 Soft Top Stand Up Paddle Board Package (5" Thick) - Includes Adjustable Paddle, Center Carry Handle , Center Fin and Built in Non Slip Deck Grip
ISLE 10’8 Soft Top Stand Up Paddle Board

Our boards were longer, wider, and had more volume.  I ended up buying one during my stay – an ISLE.  The ones we practiced on were more stable on the water than I thought they would be, and the ISLE I ended up getting was definitely a good choice for me. 

If you are taking lessons, the instructors will help you select a board according to your weight, and experience with surfing.  The paddle should be taller than the person by about 15 cm. and they did provide personal flotation devices.

All was great and we had a blast!  We plan on doing it again next year.



About the author: Robert is a former teacher and travel buff, and has spent the last 30 years travelling to different parts of the world including all over North America, South America, Africa, and Europe.  He loves trying new cultural cuisine, zip-lining through the Amazon jungle, and his cat, Twyla-Mae.