In November, some of our best surf lessons happen at night.
You may already know that our November Las Olas safaris are during the annual sea turtle hatching season in mainland Mexico. But did you also know that we can participate in helping the local sea turtle population thrive?
In 1992, when Grupo Ecológico de la Costa Verde built their first marine nursery, a large scale protection of Olive Ridley and Leatherback turtle eggs began. 20 years later, the population increased from 200 to over 1000 nests. Weather and turtles permitting, we’ll meet Grupo at the beach after sunset to help release newborn sea turtles into the the surf for their first swim. We’ll witness the start of their amazing journey and their triumphant comeback along the shores of Mexico.
While this event is very important to baby turtles, what does it have to do with surf lessons?
When people think of surfing, they think of standing up and gliding across a wave. But we know there’s much more to it than that. Every surfer knows the key word is ‘paddle’. Paddle, paddle, and paddle some more.
But a lot of paddling can be frustrating at first. That’s where the sea turtles put things in perspective. Knowing these babies will swim thousands of miles in the open ocean makes our paddling seem… not so bad. When I’m stuck inside the surfbreak, I think of baby turtles paddling like the dickens just to survive. I even apply this logic to managing my inbox, doing laundry, and vacuuming, though I doubt I’ll ever see any sea turtles doing that.
Las Olas is known for our complete surf instruction program. Whether we’re guiding a new surfer to her first wave or dropping in with a five-time alumna, we inspire guests to surf beyond what they think possible. We see the program as a whole life experience where inspiration is part of learning and turtles are part of the inspiration.
So, little guys- paddle, paddle!
Bev Sanders is founder and president of Las Olas Surf Safaris for Women. She started surfing at 44 continuing her lifelong pursuit of introducing women to sports.
Photo: Evynn LeValley