Learning to Surf at the Surf House in San Pancho

Way back in May when I decided I was off to Mexico I knew I wanted to go to San Pancho. I’d seen photos around and it looked hot, colourful and full of character. I looked around for things to do in San Pancho and somehow in my deep search I found the Surf House San Pancho, where I could learn to surf and stay in a villa with breakfast included.

surfing san pancho

This discovery coincided with the feelings of freedom-from-everything running through my veins. Before I assessed whether I would actually be any good at surfing or even enjoy it, it was booked and the deposit was paid.

Then it was October

Fast forward a few months and the day had come to prove my skills. My new hosts, surf teachers and friends-to-be Bianca and Luis came to pick me up from my hostel just a few minutes away.

Apparently I was to be the only client that week. It was low season and they’d been busy all summer. On the flip side this meant I had private tuition for the week, and the villa was mine, but on the flop side it meant the after surf party week I envisioned would not go ahead, or so I thought.

Bianca surf house

Surf House San Pancho

Appropriately located on Tahiti Road, the Surf House San Pancho is amazing. A four-storey villa a few minutes from the beach, yet in the jungle. I stayed in the sunset room above the trees. Every morning the red and orange tones seeped through the window blinds and woke me up gently to come to the balcony to see more. In the evenings I could’ve watched it go down from my room, although the roof terrace provided a more communal setting.

View from my San pancho surf house room

There was a huge kitchen area downstairs where Bianca served up the most incredible breakfasts. Home baked banana bread, fruit salads, French toast and maple syrup bacon and chilaquas to name a few.

On the third floor you’ll find the TV and chill out area, where Bianca and Luis showed me surf movies to help with my technique in the morning, and in the evening we binge watched Naked and Afraid.

Outside the surf house

The house can fit six guests at a time and is suitable for anyone who wants to give surfing a try or who is a nearly there pro wanting to refine.

There are dogs and cats but they never bothered me, in fact I had a few cuddles with the white cat. The house is just a ten-minute walk from San Pancho’s main strip and a 10-minute taxi from nearby Sayulita.

The week went a little like this

  • 7:30am Sunrise wake up call
  • Laptop time
  • 10am stuff myself with breakfast
  • 11am San Pancho to beach, walk or just hang out
  • 3pm surfing lesson at Stinkies Beach
  • 8pm dinner
  • 10pm collapse asleep


I was a little nervous I wasn’t going to be fit enough to survive the week. Surfing is hard!

Every day we drove to Stinkies – an amazing beach we ended up having to ourselves with a beautiful calm surf for beginners. Another guy who was in San Pancho working on a turtle nestling project, Tim, also came with us on three of the days so it was nice to be part of a group.

Luis did most of the tuition and was really encouraging my efforts. It was chilled though, I was out in the surf with my friends. The relaxed atmosphere helped me progress and I really enjoyed Bianca’s enthusiasm for every wave I got. One of my favourite moments of the week was us buddy surfing a wave, and because I’m a righty and she’s goofy we were both whooping at each other as we did.

Surf House Verdict

I absolutely loved it. I’ve missed the house, surfing and Bianca and Luis since I’ve left. Driving through the Nayarit countryside with Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Xavier Rudd or some random reggae blasting out, surf boards strapped to the roof of the old Cherokee and our excited talk for the surf ahead was an incredible and unforgettable feeling. On the way back from the surf we mellowed as each of us thought about what we’d done.

San Pancho surfing

From not being able to surf at all, I was bound to improve. I just never thought it would be so much from the first session. I was paddling for the waves, standing up and staying out there for three hours. Granted I had a little issue in turning the surfboard left when it was meant to go right but at least I was up there. Also took me a while to work out that ‘bend your knees’ means your knees, not your back.

Surfing in San Pancho Mexico

I’d feel confident now in taking a board out for myself. I just need to practise and not let this hard effort go to waste. I’ve already looked up surf lessons in Oaxaca, my next stop.

If you think it sounds interesting check out the Surf House San Pancho website, and then tell them I sent you and that you need one of Bianca’s pizza nights in your life.

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tagged in surfing


  1. by Jayne on October 18, 2014  6:59 am Reply

    This looks awesome Vic! Having tried surfing lessons in Oz and only stood upright for half a second I'm well impressed. The villa sounds lovely too.

  2. by Karen on October 23, 2014  2:14 pm Reply

    Sounds like you had a great time Vicky. That’s so amazing you can surf now!

  3. by Emily on October 26, 2014  4:11 pm Reply

    You've done SO many cool things in Mexico, I'm well jealous!

    • by Vicky on October 26, 2014  11:15 pm Reply

      I know, it's been a brilliant few weeks and it's not over yet!

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