“Think of many things; do one.”
It is hard to believe that it has been nearly one year since Andrea Diaz sent Safari Prez Tim Marsh an email inquiring about possible job opportunities at Safari Surf School in Nosara. Born and raised in San Jose, her teenage years were devoted to the pressure-packed world of competitive swimming. But taking a volunteering position as a ranger at the National Turtle Preserve in Playa Grande at age 17 pointed her life’s compass to the ocean. It didn’t take long for surfing to catch her eye, and she knew this was her destiny.
Andrea has lived and worked in the surf industry in Tamarindo for the last 15 years. Everyone knows her there. She has three beautiful kids, “water rats” she calls them, and everyone in town watches out for one another. Her resume in the local surf community there is extensive and impressive. She was quickly recognized for her style, talent, and exuberance, earning her numerous photos in surf magazines and a coveted 7-year stint on the Roxy Team. She has held management and coaching positions in several of the top surf schools there and has been instrumental in surfing’s popularity and growth on the Nicoya Peninsula. Andrea founded ‘Surf4youth’, a non-profit outreach empowering youth through surfing and educational experiences, and also founded and served as head coach for ‘Educartes’, the first public school in Costa Rica to incorporate surfing into to their curriculum. The list of her achievements goes on and on; a very busy girl indeed!
So why, with all the surf industry work available in Tamarindo, would she consider moving her family to Nosara to “start over”?
“I had a vision”, Andrea explains, “to create a special all-inclusive ‘Women’s Retreat’; a comprehensive immersion into my holistic approach to surf training and ocean lifestyle”.
Her new program Safari Surf Women’s Retreat launched in December to rave reviews from participants. The guests experience daily yoga, surf training drills in the pool and ocean, classroom study of oceanography, water safety, and surfing essentials. After a couple of days in the water, students watch a ‘video analysis’ of their surfing performances while Coach Andrea deconstructs their surfing techniques and fundamentals.
But it is not all “Boot Camp”. The girls have a ball hanging out together, visiting local restaurants, taking in local cultural sites and events such as rodeos, fiestas, organic markets, and turtle nesting. A favorite activity is the ATV exploration tour where the gals drive ‘quads’ to remote beaches, rainforests, waterfalls, and mountains. Side trips such as zip lining, kayaking river mangrove tunnels, horseback riding, and fishing can also be arranged. Andrea’s “right-hand girl” Daniele contributes amazing support and heart to the program. “This is an experience where special new friends are made, for life” beams Dani. The Safari Surf Women’s Retreat is open to women of all abilities. Find out more on Facebook and SafariSurfSchool.com.