Surf instruction is our bread and butter, but we have some other tricks up our sleeves.
We know one of your main reasons for visiting us is to learn how to surf, or improve your skills. Not only do we teach you how to surf; we also teach you ocean awareness, basic pre-surf stretching exercises and, most importantly, safety.
All of your equipment will be supplied unless you prefer to bring your own. There are two (1) hour + surf lessons each day, one at approximately 7:30am and the afternoon lesson will be at approximately 3pm. Please note that lesson times may vary depending on wind and tide conditions. Safari Surf School employs a maximum 3 students to 1 instructor ratio (with the exception of large yoga retreats and corporate groups).
Safari Surf School not only employs ISA (International Surfing Association) accredited surf instructors, we also employ state of the art tools and techniques to help expedite your learning curve. We use high definition Contour Cameras mounted to the tip of your surfboard to get a unique and very useful perspective of your surfing. This view allows us to critique your mechanics when popping up and paddling, and your overall placement on the board.
This unique view from the Contour camera coupled with video shot from the beach will allow our instructors to get a detailed view of what you are doing correctly, and what techniques still need some work. We have all the angles covered! This footage will be used as a teaching tool, but it also allows us to provide you with a great video of your time at Safari Surf School to share with friends and family! We will be uploading footage for you to take home and some will be posted on our Facebook page and YouTube channel.
We know one of your main reasons for visiting us is to learn how to surf or refresh/improve upon your current surf skill set. For some of you, this may be a “Bucket List” item that you have always wanted to try, for others, you may be passionate about learning the craft, and many of you may be in between. It does not matter to us which category you fall into as we instruct all our guests with the same techniques and passion!
Surfing is a “sport,” and in learning or progressing in any sport there are certain “levels” or “goals” that we must set to gage progress. By presenting each level to our guests as a “goal” in which they can achieve, we can clearly define what our direction for the week will be for each guest. Learning to surf is not brain surgery, all you really need is the right environment: Playa Guiones – a perfect beach-break for all levels of surfing, but especially beginning and intermediate; proper equipment – Safari has high-end polyurethane and epoxy boards from short-boards and fishes to long-boards and SUP’s; experienced instructors – we have the most highly trained instructors in Costa Rica with safety always being most prevalent; set a goal – we will put together a goal or level to achieve during your stay with us and a blueprint to continue your progress; and of course, a sense of humor!
Surf Skill Levels
We have broken down surfing “levels” into four easy to understand categories (there are more “levels” but for what we are teaching, these four are sufficient). We do ask guests to inform us of their current level in advance, but we also asses all of our guests during their first session to verify what level they are on and how we should proceed instructing them for the rest of their trip. Here are the levels:
Level 1: Beginner (Have never surfed or have taken 1 or 2 lessons)
What this level of teaching entails: equipment; safety; ocean awareness; pop up techniques, paddling technique; paddling through whitewater (turtle roll & other techniques); whitewater rides; shifting body weight (front to back & side to side)
Level 2: Beginner / Intermediate (Having mastered Level 1)
What this level of teaching entails: safety; surf etiquette; in depth ocean awareness (understanding how waves break, where to position yourself to catch open faced waves etc.); sitting up on your board; riding open faced waves; bottom turning (front side/back side); S-turns; basic “cutback” turn/weight shift
Level 3: Intermediate (Having mastered Level 2)
What this level of teaching entails: In depth wave selection and positioning in line up; reading the ocean and understanding what you see/Oceanography 101; spin turns to catch waves; in depth bottom turn skills – this first turn sets up your entire wave moving forward!); “trimming” & fading techniques, cut backs, and style techniques (style is EVERYTHING in surfing!); tube riding (how to find the tube, ride the tube, hand drag, basically everything you need to know to get into your first barrel)
Level 4: Intermediate / Advanced (Having mastered Level 3)
What this level of teaching entails: learning tricks such as floaters, aerials, laybacks; advanced tube riding (understanding positioning, stalling, grab rail, no hands, backdoor techniques); nose riding (for long boarders); and style…style is what separates each surfer!