ONE STOP STAND UP PADDLING & WATER SPORTS CENTER ON MEDANO BEACH, CABO SAN LUCASTake a two-mile long strip of sand, give it protection from most of the ocean's unpredictability, build a series of resort hotels, restaurants and bars and you have Medano Beach… the most popular stretch of coastline in Cabo San Lucas. This is where people come to play. Whether that play is something as simple as taking a swim in the usually calm waters or hopping aboard a waverunner for a run out to Land's End, this is where you'll find the bulk of Cabo's water based activities. Question is, where do you go to arrange all that fun? Easy, the Bahia Hotel & Beach Club, home to CABO SUP (Stand Up Paddle Boarding) and their Medano Beach water sports activities center.
Started by the husband and wife team of Lee and Meredith Vosburgh, CABO SUP is the first to bring Stand Up Paddle Boarding to Los Cabos. They're also the only SUP facility in Los Cabos that has Academy of SUP Instruction certified trainers, something that sets them apart from any competitors in the area – and a fact that makes them the premier SUP center on Cabo's famous Medano Beach. The Vosburgh's commitment to making the sport a permanent fixture in the water sports scene here in Cabo San Lucas is readily apparent and passionately pursued.
WHY STAND UP PADDLE BOARDING IS MAKING WAVES IN CABO AND AROUND THE WORLD
HISTORY OF THE SPORT
The origins of stand up paddling can be traced way back to the Polynesians but really became a recognized sport in the 1960's in the Hawaiian islands. Fast forward to present time and you'll be hard pressed to find a single surf break in Hawaii that doesn't have a bevy of boarders upright and paddling alongside traditional surfers. In fact, heavyweight big wave superstar, Laird Hamilton, is one of the sport's biggest fans. "I started paddling as a form of training initially, and now we’re riding giant waves, going down rivers and waterfalls, and racing. It’s as exciting as you want to make it, depending on what your personal needs and desires are," said Hamilton in a recent interview with Alexander Davies, a writer who pens articles for Discovery and others. "In the summertime, when the surf’s flat, you’re strengthening all the muscles you need for surfing. It’s not an activity for watching. You may say, what’s so great about that? But when you do it, you experience the sensation." And that's what you'll hear from just about anyone who tries it. It may not look like much, but get up on a board and you'll likely become a fan, too.
BENEFITS OF SUP
Hand's down you'll be told by SUPers that it's simply a great total body workout that engages your core muscles in a way that few other activities can. They'll also tell you that there's something intangible yet undeniable about it – SUP seems to connect you to nature while producing an almost zen-like calm. They'll tell you that within minutes of paddling away from shore all of life's stressors and annoyances slip away with each stroke. The best part, you need not be a surfer or a natural born athlete to do it. In all reality, a short lesson from a qualified instructor will have you up and paddling to your heart's content in little time.
I can bang away at my keyboard trying to relay what many tell me is their favorite thing to do but I think it's best you hear it from them. Here's a little video trailer from a feature film about SUP that I think does a great job of shedding light on the subject.
You bet. I've seen it. First-timers that ranged in age from 20-somethings to folks that you'd think might be better off in a rocking chair on the porch of a retirement home – they're all doing it. I watched while they took quick lessons. Then I watched while they took to the water like ducks, albeit ducks with long boards under their unwebbed feet. Not only did they make it upright, they paddled away with what seemed to be a real sense of confidence and big, goofy smiles on their faces. How so? Proper instruction by proper instructors.
ENTER LEE VOSBURGH AND EARLY MORNING MEDANO BEACH
Some of you reading this article will have already been to Medano Beach in Cabo. I'm willing to bet that those of you who did probably stumbled onto this stretch of sand sometime around noon, most likely after a long night at the clubs. Maybe you came for a bit of sunshine, maybe you came to remedy a hangover with a little hair of the dog or maybe you just came to do some people watching. That's how most folks experience Medano for the first time. I'm going to make a real strong suggestion here.... come early. Before the crowds, before the army of waverunners, batallions of banana boats, and plethora of parasailers and beach vendors come calling.
That's when I first met Lee Vosburgh… sometime between 7 and 8 in the morning. It was mid-December and the air was cool. Absent was the hustle and bustle that is Medano during the peak of the day. I was busy snapping photos, shooting a little video... just gathering more material for this website when I saw a bunch of boards stacked on end and young men in CABO SUP shirts getting things ready for another day in paradise. Soon, a couple was engaged in conversation with one of those young men. After a few minutes they were taking a lesson, and just as quickly, they were paddling their way towards a closer look at a cruise ship anchored offshore.
Lee was quick to offer up a "good morning" that started a conversation about just how peaceful Medano Beach is during this time of day – something Lee says is the norm. He also shared with me the fact that morning is the best time to paddle since the waters are still calm and uncrowded. That led to an opportunity for me to shoot a quick video on the basics of stand up paddle boarding. By the time we were done filming more folks showed up interested in what CABO SUP had to offer. Lee and his team were soon busy teaching newbies or renting boards and paddles to already experienced paddlers. If you still think you're not a candidate, watch the video below and you'll get an idea of why you should be and why a morning spent with CABO SUP on Medano Beach is a morning well spent.
While SUP is Lee's passion, he hasn't forgotten that there's more to do on Medano Beach. Lee's vision is slowly growing the Bahia Hotel & Beach Club into the home of a one-stop shop for all things wet, wild and fun in Cabo. Want to grab a waverunner and ride out to Land's End for a incredible view of famous Los Arcos? No problem, Lee has them available. Prefer self propelled touring? Rent one of their kayaks. Have a inkling to take to the sky? Parasailing is spoken here, too. Bottomline? If it takes place in, on or above the water, Lee and the folks at CABO SUP will make it happen.
PRICES FOR THE MOST POPULAR ACTIVITIES:(USD)
Water Taxis to Lover's Beach
$12 per person, roundtrip – $25 with snorkeling gear.
$35 for 1/2 hour, $50 per hour
Whale Watching Tour
$50 per person, minimum 4 people for 2 hours
Singles for $20, Doubles for $30
Afterwards, I'd suggest a trip up the hill from Medano for lunch or dinner at Bar Esquina – a new and very popular restaurant at the Bahia Hotel & Beach Club. It's a short walk but definitely worth it, and while your there, take a look at the hotel itself. You just might find it to be the perfect place to stay during your next trip to Cabo. The Vosburghs have put together some real attractive vacation packages, some that include daily water sports. What could be better?
CABO SUP WATER SPORTS ACTIVITY CENTER