In December of 2015, our partner hotel Olas Verdes opened its doors to the public. Touted as the world’s first L.E.E.D. Platinum rated surf hotel in the world, the project has received wide acclaim for its innovative design and management approach. I spoke recently with General Manager Luis Pardo, who has been at the helm of this noteworthy operation since its inception.
What does ‘Sustainable’ mean?
It’s the ability to run an operation than minimizes the ecological impact, while creating a positive effect to the community and its economy.
“We kept 85% of the original trees, planted over 15 times the amount cut, and added near 3,000 native plants. We strive to furnish everything needed for the operation from local sources; supplies, food products, and employees. That’s not always possible, but it is the goal. We are very active with community organizations and invest a good deal of resources in training and development of our staff. We are proud of what we have achieved, but are conscious that it is a continual learning process and requires periodic reviews of our practices.”
Walking the Walk
“I lived in the United States for 10 years and worked as a manager for a popular casual dining chain restaurant. It was there I had a huge “epiphany” regarding the throw-away crisis our world is facing – plastic drinking straws! I saw that these straws came in huge boxes, and they were each individually wrapped in paper. They are used one time and then discarded. When I thought it through I pondered the foot print to manufacture, market, and ship them, an incredible expenditure of energy and resources, all ultimately destined for the landfill. This realization had a profound impact on me and inspired me to study and implement sustainable practices in my daily life.”
“Costa Rica endorses an ecological/environmental ethic in its developmental and operational policies. We protect our forests, wildlife, and natural resources. This instills pride and participation in our population. It’s cool to be green! The Costa Rica Tourism Boards states: The development of sustainable tourism must be seen as the balanced interaction between the use of our natural and cultural resources, the improvement of the quality of life among the local communities, and the economic success of the industry, which also contributes to national development.”
Olas Verdes – Model of Sustainability
“We are so fortunate to have owners who are dedicated to very high standards of ecology and environmentalism. From day one they insisted on building a state of the art sustainable hotel. It takes longer and costs more to do it right from the beginning, but it pays off! ”
“It all comes down to a commitment on a personal level. My employees purchase and use the same biodegradable products the hotel uses for their homes. There is a sense of pride and personal responsibility in being a part of this special operation. They understand why we do not provide drinking straws, iron the bed sheets, or have hair driers in the bathrooms. They want to leave the world a better place for their children.”
More details on how Olas Verdes is committing to sustainability.
As Erick and I sat down to chat, I was trying to explain to Erick the definition of “surf bum”. He had never heard the expression before. After a lengthy attempt, (“you know, a lazy, derelict ne’er-do-well beach bum”) Erick eyed me quizzically and replied dead serious: “I do not understand this”.
Erick comes from country-life roots. Born in San Jose, he grew up in Nosara. Skateboarding, surfing, and fishing grabbed his attention early on. So where did he get this ‘ambition’ for more?
“I have always been interested in science”, he shares. “Maybe it comes from been absorbed in the nature that surrounds us here. To me I see science, and I want to study it deeply”.
Not long ago I read in some trendy, uber-cool travel blog: Nosara Costa Rica – the perfect getaway to get your inner surf-bum on! And sure, at 1st glance a lot of Nosara’s surf elite seem ideal candidates for the ‘surf bum’ profile.I remember back in the day when long hair and surfing automatically enrolled you in this dubious category. But if you look further, you’ll be surprised at the many things they accomplish! Time has revealed that we surf-rats also went on to earn college degrees, have careers, and raise successful families.
All of Safari Surfs’ instructors have a serious introspective demeanor…and Erick is no exception. He set his sights on personal progress early on in his life. In 2011, he enrolled in Universidad de Costa Rica…
“I wanted to major in something involving nature and the outdoors. I have always loved science; chemistry and physics are my favorites. When I discovered the field of geology I knew it was what I wanted to study”.
Erick graduated in 2016 and now holds a bachelors degree in Geology.
So…what does he have in store next?
“My goal is to work on my Masters Degree somewhere out of Costa Rica, maybe in the states or Europe. Eventually I would like to have a career in the environmental sciences”
Thoughts on Nosara (scientifically speaking, of course!)
“Nosara is growing rapidly and we need more regulations and controls on building and zoning requirements. Water rights and conservation needs to be carefully managed and protected. The Government needs to step-up its development of infrastructure here in sustainable ways; we need the main road paved. Let’s take care our paradise home”.
Here at Safari Surf, we are SO fortunate to have wonderful individuals like Erick…we are so very proud of him.
“Lead the life you love, love the life you lead” he says; THAT is Pura Vida!”…thanks Erick!
What’s the most memorable Christmas present you ever received; a train set, a sled, a new surfboard??
Well, Safari Surf School senior instructor Pio Ruiz’s gift to his parents will really blow your mind!
I first caught wind of what Pio was up to six months ago.
His very sweet parents have lived in their little rustico casita down by the river all their lives. Little Pio was born and raised there as were his brothers and sisters. The reason I know about this is that we live quite close by. In dry season we can cross the river into town and would pass by Pio’s folks house every day and smile and wave to them. They would almost always be sitting on the porch, his mom clutching an old oversized Bible. They always appeared peaceful and content, and always waved back. “These are the simple joys of living here” I thought, “the real “Pura Vida”.
So what was Pio doing scouting about on some nearby undeveloped land? I asked him one day and he replied: “my parents own all this property and I am going to build them a new house”.
Well of course this piqued my interest, and I soon learned all about this remarkable man’s lifetime dream.
Pio: “Ever since I was a young boy I knew I wanted to do something really special for my parents. They raised me in a loving environment and always took great care of me. They encouraged me to follow my dreams. So I became a surfer at a young age and it became my passion and livelihood”.
Pio has always been a very focused individual. When I first met him he had a bitchin’ 4×4 Toyota truck and took great care of it. I later learned that he owned his own home. When I interviewed him for a Safari ‘Instructor Profile’ three years ago he told me “I don’t like it when I hear people say ‘Tico Time’, which I guess means it’s ok to be late – It’s NOT ok to be late”! As I got to know him better I developed a great admiration for his gentility, sincerity, and big heart. And oh yeah, the boy can surf…
The New House: So it turns out that Pio is very disciplined with his earnings and has been saving for years towards this dream. “My goal was to move them into the house by Christmas of this year and I made it”!!
The term ‘Pura Vida’ has been around in Costa Rica dialect for many decades. In English it translates to ‘pure life.’ In local Tico culture it has become the expression of eternal optimism embodied by the people who live this peaceful, simple, uncluttered life with a deep appreciation for nature, family, and friends.
Kind of reminds you of the real “Christmas Spirit”!!
So good on ya brother Pio! This is a Christmas Story for the ages!!
Here at Safari Surf, Christmas time is always a special time of year. We are in the middle of our busy season, which not only means there’s a lot going, we also get to see some of our favorite guests come back to enjoy some holiday “Pura Vida”!
So what do Safari Surfers want for Christmas this year?
We asked 12 of Safari Surf’s Christmas Elves what was on their list this year…
“ Spending time with my family”
“ Surf trip to Witches Rock with friends spending all day in the green room”
“ I really, REALLY want a NEW 5’8″ Firewire Surfboard!”
“ My very own house built with beach driftwood”
“ All day private coaching session at perfect Velzland in Hawaii”
“Perfect secret spot barrels with friends on Christmas day”
“Happy family, lots of work…and money, of course!”
“Good health and prosperity in my restaurant…OH! And new shoes!
“Two NEW JS Industries surfboards…and to surf with you again abuelito!”
“I wish for peace an health, and big success for our restaurant…and a new watch :)”
“A new wine-colored Toyota Tacoma and a surf trip to Australia!”
“I wish for a new soccer ball, shoes, and tambores (drums)”
As a business owner, I understand the importance of recognizing employees who “keep the lights on” with daily operations. Having a happy, healthy, reliable and productive team of operators, instructors, managers, staff, strategic partners and other stakeholders – year in and year out – are key to the success of our business. It would be impossible for Safari Surf School to maintain its success record without a team that feels valued, motivated and appreciated for their work. And while we live a charmed life surrounded by surf, we still take time to get together as a company and have a little fun. So, how do businesses recognize employees for their hard work and achievements? For a few, that answer is travel.
Many companies offer annual top producer recognition platforms, which may vary from extravagant holiday parties to exotic travel experiences. By way of “Circle of Excellence” programs, team-building experiences are oftentimes tied to destination travel, allowing businesses to reward excellent employee performance while strengthening relationships between leadership and contributors. If this sounds like your approach, my question to you is this: Have you ever considered Costa Rica as a destination of choice? From proximity to the United States and lower total costs of travel, to rich experiential travel choices, happy people and a blissful atmosphere, there are a number of factors that make this Central American landmass a great option.
That sounds great, you say, but why would I consider spending this time with a surf school? The answer is easy: Because we offer an irreplaceable experience built around a sense of achievement, centered in paradise, surrounded by beauty, customized to your liking, complemented with experiential options, and soaked in a charmed Pacific coast culture. Do you question the attractiveness of this as an option? Then I challenge you to mention it to a few employees and just watch their eyes light up.
Sure – on paper we’re a surf camp. Our daily office space is filled with beautiful sunsets, tropical landscapes teeming with abundant wildlife and surfboard-toting beachcombers. Yet while surf instruction and beach life are at the core of our operations, Safari Surf School offers so much more than instruction on surf. We are more than a patient, well-trained staff who delivers hands-on instruction, eco-friendly, top-notch equipment and the knowledge to help you catch your first wave. We’re actually providers of customized, experiential travel who can coordinate the memory of a lifetime for the health and well-being of your company’s most important assets – your people. And we do it in the midst of the ultimate in surf culture and latin culture, with ecotourism and sustainability principles front and center.
Wake up to the sounds of Howler Monkeys stretching their vocal cords off in the distance… time for a fresh cup of coffee or whatever moves you. Off to the Safari facility for a pre-surf snack of fresh fruits and banana bread and then meet up with your surf instructor.
So why should you head south with your team for some rest, relaxation and camaraderie? For starters, take a look at cost and proximity. Compare the cost of travel to Costa Rica with other popular, sunny destinations. We’ve witnessed incredible average price drops into the Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport of Liberia, Costa Rica over the last year. All major carriers (Delta, United, American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, jetBlue, Alaska Airlines and Sun Country Airlines) now make daily runs into this airport and the average direct flight into Liberia is 5 ½ hours from LA and 3 ½ hours from Houston. Upon arrival, your drive is less than two hours to our beach hamlet, or if you arrive into SJO (San Jose), we’re a short direct 50 minute flight away into Nosara where we pick you up.
Second, this country is quite simply filled with happy people down here. Who couldn’t enjoy themselves within a paradise of smiles and kindness? If this sounds like a bold statement, simply walk over to a post I made a few months ago and read all about The Search for Happiness. Discover how Nic Marks, founder of The Centre for Well-Being in London, created an equation to calculate what he calls the Happy Planet Index (HPI) and proving out Costa Rica as the happiest place on the planet.
When it comes to a relaxing atmosphere and charming facilities, we offer you access to Olas Verdes Hotel, where we serve as anchor tenants. This newly-launched hotel is the world’s first LEED-certified surf hotel and will soon be Central America’s first LEED-Platinum hotel. Olas Verdes occupies several hundred meters of ideal Pacific coastline of the ever-popular Playa Guiones and features seven independent structures, offering 40 accommodations, comprised of 14 standard guest rooms, 10 suites, and four private-entrance cottages. Amazing, right? This is an ultimate corporate playground. Just imagine business meetings where you know that you can play, meditate, relax and still foster a teamwork atmosphere, in an authentic environment.
We have the ability to configure team building opportunities, immersive travel and educational for corporate travel groups, rewarding your company with irreplaceable experiences within the densest region of biodiversity in the world. A short-list of experiential guest activities run the gamut, from deep-sea fishing, volcanic-fed hot springs and rainforest expeditions, to cultural immersion, local fútbol, yoga and massage.
My wish is that if you are evaluating options for business group travel, take into considering a most-unique and rewarding option of travel to Costa Rica, coupled with the great reward of catching your first wave (or dusting off those long-lost skills with some refreshing instruction along the beautiful Nosara beach of Playa Guiones. In a future installment, I am going to elaborate on the Costa Rican culture and atmosphere by elaborating ‘pura vida’ – a term which has been present in the Costa Rican dialect for over fifty years.
We have lots to report in this edition of inside Peak!
November brought an unusual amount of heavy rain early in the month, but that didn’t seem to deter the crush of surf and yoga enthusiasts that descended upon our town. Emerging from the languorous state most of us year-rounders fall into during September, an early crush of fun-seekers sort of took us by surprise. Suddenly, this place was hopping! Tour operators, restaurants, and local businesses reported record traffic – all signs of a busy season ahead. Olas Verdes Hotel (pictured above) opened its doors in soft-opening mode and along with it, on-site partners Safari Surf School and Restaurante El Manglar came into a new chapter of life. There were lots of meetings, training sessions, and quite simply a lot of work-work-work going on throughout the month as we all came together to launch this beautiful, new enterprise.
Safari Surfs first guest of the new 2015-16 season was Steve Beck from Southern California. Steve stayed at a nearby hostel for his first few days while he waited for the finishing touches to his room at Olas Verdes Hotel. What fun it was to watch his transition from rustico to luxury. We are all muy orgulloso (very proud) of this magnificent, new and sustainable Costa Rican operation!
Late in 2015 we also had the pleasure of hosting another lovely guest – LA transplant and well-known travel blogger Alyssa Ramos. The work of this travel writer has graced the pages of outlets Matador Network, Geo Chic, The Mirror UK and The Huffington Post, just to name a few. She authors the blog MyLifesAMovie – a site that achieves over 100,000 unique visitors each month – and her social media reach, alone, is impressive, with over 27,000 followers (and growing) on Instagram alone. Alyssa’s unique approach to her craft focuses on travel destinations for the solo traveler. Alyssa took to surfing quickly, and gracefully, publishing two fantastic blogs about her experiences here in Nosara at Safari Surf School. Be sure to check her work out here. We are grateful!
10 Ways You’ll Feel Pura Vida In Nosara, Costa Rica
10 Tips For Learning How to Surf Like a Tica
G-Love in da House!
Undoubtedly a November milestone was the benefit concert at Olas Verdes for Nosara Community Watch. Safari presidente Tim Marsh hatched the idea of hosting a fun new season kickoff concert, and was able to score the very talented G-Love to headline the show. Also performing were local favorites The Pelada Dogs, as well as Tim and Marsi’s daughter Camille, an aspiring singer and songwriter whose performances and talent you can enjoy from this YouTube Channel.
Sponsored by Safari Surf School, Olas Verdes, and Surfing Nosara, the event was a huge success, and a stellar example of what is possible when everyone comes together for the good of the community. A high point was the duet sung by G-Love and Camille in front of 300+ cheering fans!
Thank You Carl!
CARL PIX HERE
I would like to take this moment to recognize our friend Carl Kish. Dubbed ‘The Sultan of Sustainability’, Carl’s contribution to Olas Verdes has been enormous. He essentially came on board fresh from college where he had graduated with a degree in Sustainable Tourism. He was charged with guiding the building of the project to LEEDS Green Construction Standards, and in a Latin country no less. Carl took it all on with a refreshing energy and conviction. You will be hearing more about the myriad accomplishments Olas Verdes has achieved in sustainability in the near future. You can follow more of Carl’s sustainability initiatives through his website and certification entity, Stoke Certified.
AND NOW FOR SOME PHOTO FUN!!!
Pete “The Fit Guy” and Timmy Marsh share a sweet wave
Emma Guitar on a long green left (Ola Verde)
Leah on a long green right!
The Ya Ya Surf-Sisterhood!
Behind the Scenes: Luis Pardo & Team and The amazing Bomberos!
Spreadin’ the Love!
So you’ve mastered the basics: you can paddle and catch waves with ease, stand up and drop in and bottom turn. Now what? The next step is learning to create and maintain speed! Speed is one of the most important elements in surfing. Without it, you won’t be able to perform even the most basic moves and turns. It’s the same with skiing, snowboarding, or pretty much any board type of sport; speed is the key to maneuverability.
With that said, here are some helpful tips to surf faster:
Checking and Understanding the Waves
First things first! Before you hop in the water, you have to check the waves. Watching the waves and understanding the type of wave / break it is will certainly help you understand how to ride the actual wave. I almost always sit and watch waves for about 10 minutes, especially at new breaks I’ve never surfed before. By watching the waves and how they are breaking you can see where the “sections” that are faster come along while the wave is breaking, where it may close out, where it may soften or slow down, etc. Of course there is no substitute for actually riding the wave. At least seeing how it is breaking before you jump on them will help – especially with watching a few waves other surfers catch and seeing how they ride the wave to completion.
Bottom Turn – Stay High!
Your initial bottom turn is the key to your entire wave. By timing it right, staying low with a low center of gravity, with legs bent and coiled like a spring, you should release that “coil” spring in your legs to project yourself down the line. This will automatically thrust yourself down the line and high up on the face of the wave. That initial burst of speed is the catalyst for the rest of your wave. As they say in surfing, “Your bottom turn is EVERYTHING.” Once you have propelled yourself forward from that initial bottom turn and you find yourself on the upper third of the wave…this is where you will always reach the apex of speed on a wave.
Stay Close to the Pocket (“S” Turns)
Staying close to the energy source (the pocket) is a key factor in maintaining speed, for as the closer you are to the curl or epicenter of the waves power source the faster you will go. The wave will dictate what your next move is but in this little piece I’m going to explain how to keep your speed or if need be, even go faster. (I’ll cover slowing down / cutbacks at another time).
The classic “S” turn, or as we surfers say a lot “pumping down the line,” are terms for generating and keeping our board speed high. The “S” turn is really quite simple and I equate it to a coiled spring that contracts and expands. If you’ve ever watched a surf movie, or perhaps above average surfers at the beach, you notice this when the surfers are “pumping” or expanding and contracting like a coil to gain speed on a wave. While going high on the wave then low, then high, then low – ”pumping” their legs from a bent (contracted) to extended (expand) position in rapid succession – they are creating the speed needed to go faster down the line of the wave.
Keep Your Board Clean (and Fins)
Make sure to clean the bottom of your board. This will help you move faster on the water. Believe it or not but I see people all the time with wax marks on the bottom of their boards from boards laying on each other, or whatever other reason. Your fins also have a lot to do with speed, as does the design of your surfboard (yet another article topic coming soon).
Relax and Watch
I cannot emphasize to you how important it is to watch other surfers in the line up. This is a great way to see other people’s styles and also how they “read” the wave while surfing it. Of course this is also a great way to self-teach, too. Just relax and let the waves come to you. Like anything else, practice, practice, practice each maneuver until you have the confidence to know that you can execute whenever you need them. Aloha!
One of the greatest moments of a surf trip is the second you first step onto the beach, feeling the anticipation of the adventure to come. The last thing you want in that moment is to realize in that you’ve forgotten something crucial. With so many items essential to your surfing trip, we’ve put together a list of 5 surfing necessities that you should always pack before you head out to catch some waves.
When you’re out in the sun all day it’s important to bring a high quality, waterproof sunscreen to protect your skin. Try to get a container that is small enough to keep in a pocket of your board shorts. When you’re a hundred yards out and need to reapply, you’re much more likely to do it if it’s in your pocket than if you have to make your way back to the beach. Don’t come home a lobster.
The last thing you want when you’re out surfing is for your leash to break, especially if you don’t have a backup. Bring at least one or two extra leashes of varying thicknesses in case yours breaks. It’s ideal to have a thinner leash in small surfs to prevent unnecessary drag, and thicker ones as the wave size increases, but beggars can’t be choosers. If your leash breaks, whichever one you have in your bag will do.
Board Repair Kit
Having a board repair kit in your bag can be extremely helpful for fixing dings as they happen. Before getting a kit, it’s important to check what type of foam your board is made of. Boards that are made of polyurethane can be fixed with polyester or, if you have it, epoxy resin. If your board is made of EPS Blanks, make sure to use epoxy resin instead of polyester, because polyester can damage your board. A good repair putty that can work on either type of board is FCS Instant Repair Putty.
Many people don’t think to bring a day bag with them on a trip, because they’re often already bringing a larger travel bag with them. It’s easy to ding up your board when moving from car to car or getting on a boat, and bringing a day bag would provide the extra protection your board needs while you’re out and about.
It’s important not to forget to bring your preferred brand of surf wax, because they may not have it where you are going. Additionally, you need to make sure that you bring the wax that best suits the climate you’re surfing in, so you can be sure it won’t melt.
Before you hit the road with just your board and your wetsuit, make sure to think through everything you might need. This quick list of things we often forget ourselves will set you up for success on your next surf trip. Don’t be caught unprepared!
The sustainability movement has truly come a long way in the last ten years. The stereotype of the environmentally conscious as a tree hugging hippie has long since passed with the rise of organic and pesticide free products in our everyday supermarkets. That being said, we still have an incredibly long way to go when working to make our earth a cleaner, better place and there are things we can all do to improve. One of the best guides we’ve found to living a sustainable life is Sara Gilbert’s The Imperfect Environmentalist: A Practical Guide to Clearing Your Body, Detoxing Your Home, and Saving the Earth (Without Losing Your Mind).
The author, who many know as Darlene Conner from the ABC sitcom Roseanne and more recently Leslie Winkle on the Big Bang Theory, is a lifelong environmental activist that has put together a fantastic reference manual on living green. The book is broken up into 10 parts such as clean eating, clean household products, and clean transportation and is great to have lying around when you need to find the most sustainable way of cleaning your couch or getting to work. Broken down by the level of financial ability from Donald Trump to sleeping on someone’s couch and living off ramen noodles making it easy for anyone to see what they can do right now to reduce their ecological footprint.
Living a sustainable lifestyle is all about choices and frankly, it can be just as easy if not easier in some cases to do what’s right by the environment. Some of the great tips Sara provides are to substitute chemical household cleaners with a cheap half white vinegar half warm water mixture in a spray bottle and to check the label for Low or Zero-VOC on gallons of paint before remodeling your living room. It’s these little decisions that when added up can help us do right by the earth. So tomorrow when you’re doing laundry or make the decision to run that last load on cold or reminding yourself to turn all the lights off before you go to work. There are so many ways that we can be green without going crazy.
The author of the book is Sara Gilbert, also known as Darlene Conner from the ABC sitcom Roseanne and more recently the role of Leslie Winkle on the Big Bang Theory.
Environmental sustainability is important to us and you don’t need to be an activist to do it.
The book is broken up into 10 parts such as clean eating, clean household products, and clean transportation.
The book is all about “doing what we can, when we can.” And is meant to be used as a reference manual for when we need to know what to do.
She breaks it down by the level of financial ability from Donald Trump to Sleeping on someone’s couch and living off ramen noodles.
Because of the paint we use, the EPA ranks indoor air quality among the top five health risks. Scan your paint label for “Low-” or better yet, “Zero-VOC”— that’s volatile organic compound to you … but it’s not the good kind of organic. VOCs include cancer-causing toxic contaminants.
You can substitute store-bought cleaners with a spray bottle of half white vinegar and half warm water to save money and ozone toxins.
It’s all about showing us that it is just as easy to be green as it is to not be and that we can make a difference by doing the little things.
The majority of the energy used when doing laundry comes from heating up the water, use cold water when you can over hot water.
The greenest thing you can possibly do is to use what you have instead of buying something new.
Look for clothing that is made with organic cotton as up to 25% of the world’s herbicides are used in cotton production.
There comes a time in every surfer’s life when the itch to surf different waves comes to a “peak”. These different waves can be down the road a bit, up or down the coast, or for those lucky enough to be able to afford it…jump on a plane and go search for that perfect wave.
I was lucky enough to grow up in Hawaii…Oahu’s South Shore, where there are so many different types of waves to choose from depending on swell direction and wind direction…that is the bonus of living on an island, the wind is always offshore somewhere!
I got the travel bug early in my life and set out to find new waves and explore new cultures. I have located some of the dreamiest surf spots to check out for your next vacation, regardless of skill level.
Uluwatu and Kuta, Bali
Bali is a premier spot for surfers who are looking for a full tourist experience. Uluwatu is an insane reef break for those with advanced intermediate to advanced surf skill set. It’s set off a major cliff, with waves running down the reef as perfect as one can draw them on paper or dream them in their head…setting surfers up with impeccable waves. For beginner surfers, the beach of Kuta is ideal with its 5km long shore free from coral reefs or rocks.
Do know that both locations can get pretty busy!
Surfrider Beach, Malibu
For a sweet surf spot within the Pacific U.S., Surfrider Beach (Malibu) is the perfect place to catch some great long point break waves. Malibu Point creates perfect swells, and the heart of Los Angeles is just an hour away. That being said be prepared to share waves as there are a lot of surfers in the water there looking for that perfect long wave just like you.
Nosara, Costa Rica
Costa Rica is a country loved by all who visit. In addition to being home to killer surfing spots, the country is full of beautiful landscapes and Ticos who live a simple lifestyle. The climate is ideal (80 – 85 degrees Fahrenheit year round), The water is in the low 80 degrees as well. Nosara is perfect for surfers of all skill levels. Convinced? Visit us at the Safari Surf School, and we’ll help you jump on a board!
Tourmaline Beach & San Onofre, San Diego
Both beaches are California favorites, as they are ideal for surfers across the skill spectrum. If you have kids, you might want to head to Tourmaline Beach, which is full of tide pools hosting many small sea creatures. San Onofre, also known as Old Man’s Beach, is part of the top five most visited state parks in California.
Surfer’s Point, Barbados
Barbados is a Caribbean island with many shores catering to surfers, but Surfer’s Point is the perfect set-up for both beginner and intermediate surfers. Barbados is dedicated to tourism, so finding accommodations and a good meal after your ride will never be a challenge.
As a country that hosts surfers who have traveled far to experience the waves at beaches like Crocodiles and Killer Point, Morocco is a hotspot for tourism. Despite the high concentration of visitors, the country’s culture remains intact. Taghazout caters to beginners and experienced surfers alike.
Noosa – Point Break, Queensland, Sydney
This list wouldn’t be complete without a nod to one of the many surf spots Australia has to offer. In Noosa, you will find one of the best longboard breaks in the world. The area is perfect for advanced surfers who know how to catch a ride, as well as beginners who just want to master gliding on a board.
We hope this list inspires you to reach your full surf potential and enables you to visit the surf destination of your dreams. Want more info on the world’s top surf locations? Check the links below.
THE INSIDE PEEK – SEPTEMBER 2015
ESPIRITU-DE-CORPS: UNITY, COMMON INTERESTS AND RESPONSIBILITY IN SURFING
Folks on Playa Guiones last week were witness to quite a show, as Safari Surf School’s team of instructors underwent an arduous, week-long Lifeguard Training and Surf Rescue course.
Espiritu de Corps comes from French origins. It translates to “a sense of unity and common interests and responsibilities as developed among a group of persons closely associated in a task, cause, enterprise, etc.”
In a largely unregulated “industry” worldwide, surf schools seemingly can open on a whim with few boards and a surfer-dude instructor; little thought is given to format, technique, safety, and professionalism. As the Founder and leader at Safari Surf, I am dedicated to the cultivation of a team of top-level, highly trained and qualified surf instructors, authenticated by my ongoing support of specialized training programs and events advancing this cause. It is my assurance that our team is certified to the highest degree of preparedness and professionalism in all areas of instruction and water safety. As recently as last week, I found great joy and pride watching our Safari Surf squad of instructors running drills on the beach.
Lifeguard Training and Surf Rescue certification are a prerequisite course for inclusion in the International Surfing Association’s (ISA) professional development programs. Recognized by the International Olympic Committee as the world governing authority for the sport of surfing, the ISA Surf Coaching & Instructing Educational Program is the international standard for accreditation of Coaches and Instructors in the surf school industry.
Last week, such an intensive lifeguard training/surf rescue course was lead by Marvin Perez and his associate Kali Urena of Jaco Beach, on-site in Playa Guiones. “When we came to Nosara we didn’t know what to expect” stated Marvin. “We were so stoked to be received by such a dedicated group of guys, whom are now fully certified and ready to rock. Pura Vida!”
At Safari Surf School we take care of our team – they are our family, and we pay top dollar as well as cover their medical insurance, health insurance, retirement, social security, and vacation pay. We believe that this is not only fair, but the right thing to do.
Pura Vida, indeed!
Warm-up: Daily conditioning began with stretching and calisthenics, to kick off our ISA certification.
Daily Warm-Up: Morning exercise includes some laps around Olas Verdes’ new pool.
Coach Marvin Perez delivers his presentation through his motivational instruction technique.
Watching our lifeguard’s during sprints delivers a “Baywatch” effect, Safari-style!
Walk this way: Lifeguards practice technique and build endurance with rescue efforts.
Mealtime: Safari Surf School’s Chef Maritza’s delivers a wonderful and well-deserved meal to our lifeguards.
Turtle Arribada: Safari Surf School President Tim Marsh standing amidst an epic turtle arribada in Ostional.
Big Achievement: We are again renewed as ISA (International Surfing Association) Certified as well as Surf Rescue / Lifeguard Certified lifeguards.
Saludos amigos! A spirited send-off for Marvin and Kali. Thank you!
HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM SAFARI SURF!!
All of us at Safari Surf look forward to this New Year, full of waves, smiles, and personal growth. The opening of Olas Verdes Sustainable Surf Resort will certainly be a highlight. Scheduled to open its doors in June or July of this year, the resort plans to have a “soft opening”, with a Gala Grand Opening slated for November 2015. Olas Verdes will fill a needed niche in Nosara providing upscale accommodations with a soulful surf atmosphere! Stay tuned to the Safari website (www.safarisurfschool.com) for updates.
Thanks and Pura Vida to all the great folks who spent the holidays with us. When I travel north to Orlando, Florida the planes are full of Costa Rican families taking their dream vacation to Disney World. Most of the Southbound passengers, however, are coming to Costa Rica to explore its natural attractions: surfing, fishing, kayaking, yoga, hiking, ziplining and passionate, fun-loving people. We had a mob of good folks descend upon us over Christmas; families, kids, solo trekkers, nature buffs, young professionals, and aging soul surfers. To see the joy and exhilaration surfing brings to all guests is priceless. Surfing your ‘own wave’ brings a sense of accomplishment in an atmosphere of camaraderie and instructional support. It doesn’t take long for this group of strangers becomes a tight-knit family, a dynamic that always fascinates me.
Safari Surf School is stoked to have recruited four new instructors who proved themselves “up to the calling” over the holidays. It was not unusual for an instructor to teach up to five lessons per day, emerging from the water with wrinkle-skin, crow’s-feet, and salt-reddened eyes! Thanks and Welcome Aboard to our new team members.
Families Families Families!
The best part of Christmas vacations are the families who come and experience Costa Rica together. When is the last time you sat around the dinner table with everyone in your family enjoying the art of conversation and just catching up? If you are feeling distanced from your family due to your crazy-busy life – take a surfing vacation at Safari Surf – we will fix it! Many thanks to the Curley, McCaulley, MaGrann, Panagos, Patch, Robison, Guitar, Chandler, Wasserman, Goldstein, and Wagner families – you guys made our Christmas memorable! And Keep Surfing wherever life takes you this year….
Kids, Kids, Kids!
Families That Play Together……..
I’ve gotta say that being amongst all these families somehow made me feel “connected” to something larger than myself. In Hawaii it is called OHANA, or extended family. Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten. The concept emphasizes that families are bound together and members must cooperate and remember one another. In the larger picture, we are all one big family. Sharing waves with family is an indescribable joy. The Chandler family of Sandy Hook, New Jersey gets the “Leave it to Beaver/Father Knows Best Nuclear Family Award”! They would play dominoes every morning at breakfast, surf together twice a day, and enjoy many a great meal around the dinner table. Last time The Chandlers were here I was lamenting that I didn’t have many pictures of them surfing. I remember telling them “but this will change”. Here’s proof:
WELCOME TO 2015
*Many thanks to Jeffrey and Alonso for their great photography*
We are excited to announce that Safari Surf School is featured in the latest issue (No. 56) of the International Lifestyle Magazine! This is a digital magazine that is really behind the pura vida vibes that Safari Surf offers its guests! You can see the full digital magazine right here — our feature starts on page 16. Or you can view the pages right here:
Our May Early Bird Special ends April 1st!
Book any package for May from now until April 1st and save 10% off any standard package!
Our new surf instructor from Nosara, Kevin Monteil (pictured below), knows how good the conditions are in May! Or as Tyler says, “Early bird gets the waves in May… and a mango!”
Last week was Billabong’s Surf With a Pro with none other than the legendary surfer and musician, Donavon Frankenreiter! We had an awesome time sharing the pura vida vibes of Nosara and Playa Guiones with Donavon, Billabong crew and the lucky SWAP winners! Donavon and Grundy’s topped the week off with an epic show at the Tropicana in front of a jam packed crowd! Scroll down to see some snapshots of the stoke-filled week:
We have been rallying the troops over here in Playa Guiones to get ready for the new season and a new Safari Surf School! As most of you all know, our last season at the Hotel Casa Tucan ended in August and we have moved on to a more sustainable future with our new LEED surf resort – Olas Verdes, which will begin construction in the next couple weeks! While Olas Verdes is being built, Safari Surf School and Women’s Surf Adventures will be based out of our large house that sits on the developed part of the Olas Verdes property. It’s a beautiful home that has everything we need… we just wanted to make it our own so it really exemplifies the pura vida vibe we’ve come to know and love! See the beginning stages of prepping the new Safari Surf HQ last week: