When Vickie McNair decided to escape the cold of the UK in 1996, she backpacked her way to warmer climates, which led her to Xpu-ha Beach in the Riviera Maya.
“It was heaven to me! I found a little place to stay and I started working as a dive instructor for the little shack of a dive shop less than 50 meters away. A year or two later that shack of a Dive shop became Aquanauts Dive Center when the dream of starting my own dive shop became a reality. We expanded Aquanauts and opened up in Puerto Aventuras,” confides McNair.
That’s when she met a Canadian couple while certifying them to dive and they became good friends. Back in Canada the couple had a SUP business called 4theoutdoors, selling Tahoe SUP and KM Hawaii Paddle boards and accessories.
McNair shares she and her partner sold Aquanauts years ago in pursuit of new adventures SUPs became one of them. “I am expanding the 4theoutdoors here in Mexico. We have two warehouses, one here close to Puerto Aventuras and they other in Todos Santos, Baja California Sur. We have the largest selection of Paddleboards and accessories in inventory here in Mexico.”
DayTripper Magazine spent a morning Q&A paddling session with the vivacious Vickie McNair to discover more about the ever-growing sport of Stand-up Paddleboading:
SO WHY PUERTO AVENTURAS, VS ANYWHERE ELSE?
VM: Puerto Aventuras has a unique quality about it. Home to many Mexicans as well as a huge expat community, but most of all it is in the heart of the Rivera Maya. For Paddle boarding it can be blowing a gale but the Marina has channels that are unaffected by the wind and waves so as a paddler you can go out any day and time. When the conditions are good you can enjoy paddling in the Caribbean where sea turtles and eagle rays swim under you board as you paddle. Endless magical encounters to be had.
HOW CAN PADDLE BOARDING STRETCH SOMEONE’S COMFORT ZONE WHO HASN’T DONE IT BEFORE?
VM: It really is much easier than it looks. It takes a little balance. Just standing on up on the boards means that you are working your legs, glutes, abdomen and core in merely finding your balance so without even realizing it, its an excellent form of super fun exercise for all the family. In our warm conditions, falling in the water is refreshing and most of the time you actually want to get wet to cool yourself down. You can take snorkel equipment with you to snorkel on the reef. You can take young kids on your board with you.
WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CHOOSE TO TRY PADDLEBOARDING?
VM: Paddle boarding is the fastest growing sport in the world! Many people are discovering the fitness benefits of StandUp Paddle Boarding from SUP YOGA to SUP SURF, RACING and much more. It’s fantastic form of all round body fitness. You build up strength and endurance while having fun on the water with the whole family.
Taking it to the next level there are many benefits of Stand-Up Paddleboarding (SUP) for Triathletes and how it compliments perfectly their existing training schedule. There are many national and international competitions worldwide in all aspects of Stand-Up Paddleboarding.
Traveling with the Tahoe SUP iSup Inflatable as seen by Tahoe SUP Ambassador Kwin Morris. “we paddled each day to amazing sunrises and sunsets, Sea turtles, Stingrays and ancient Mayan ruins”. You can take your Alpine Explorer anywhere in the world!! It fits into a back pack with wheels (included when you buy the board). It is so easy to travel with it.
WHAT ARE THREE TIPS FOR BEGINNERS?
1) Don’t be afraid to try it! It is much easier than it looks.
2) Choose a board for your personal weight capacity
3) Practice make perfect, in no time at all you can become comfortable on the board.
For more info on Stand-up Paddle boards: