Surfing for Life

Posted by & filed under The Inside Peak.

INSIDE PEAK-May 15, 2015

In 2001 a remarkable entertaining and inspirational video documentary called Surfing for Life was released,  detailing the fascinating lives of nine heroic role models who are “following their bliss” through actively surfing into their seventh, eighth and ninth decades. “SURFING FOR LIFE not only challenges ageism, it also weaves a tapestry of unforgettable stories that embody many universal aspects of the human experience. The surfers’ tales reveal, among many lessons, courage in the face of adversity, the power of the human spirit and a celebration of values and relationships that contribute to rich, meaningful, well-spent lives.” From the videos press release: “Older surfers provide a great metaphor for how our society is struggling to redefine what it means to grow older. Similar to the Civil rights and Women’s movements, this age wave is tantamount to a movement and involves new behaviors – with new attitudes trying to catch-up. Could it be that “staying young” doesn’t need to be the goal after all, and that “staying well” – physically, spiritually, emotionally and mentally – becomes the goal? It’s possible if the term “OLD” can shed some of its unnecessary connotations and stereotypes. The new attitude that is emerging – and supported by lots of medical and psycho-social research – is a view of our later years not dominated by sickness and decline. Rather, the later years can be very vital, satisfying and meaningful periods of our lives.”

Nosara has been described as a “wellness town”, with yoga, healthy food, and surfing leading the way to increased vitality and longevity. We welcome surf enthusiasts of all ages at Safari  Surf. When is the best age to start surfing? Whenever you take that first step and paddle out. In this edition of Inside Peak we talk with a few of Nosara’s resident older surfers whom serve to dispel the myth that surfing is just for kids!

 

OLD GUYS RULE!

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The growth in the surfing senior citizen population started with the shift back to longer surfboards following the pivotal “shortboard revolution” of 1967-1970. Older surfers found themselves wanting equipment with better flotation and glide. A new boom in “retro” longboards took hold and mid-range “fun shapes” became popular for their user friendly qualities. Many who had stopped surfing got back on board. Fathers and mothers were surfing with their sons and daughters. Surfing was just too good to leave behind. Here in Nosara we have a healthy population of older surfers. The frequently mellow waves of Playa Guiones invites all to get involved. One look at that gorgeous blue sparkling water is all it takes – how could you not go in?!

 

Coconut Harry

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Harry Heinke is a well known icon in Playa Guiones. He is often referred to as “The Mayor”.

With his fit, tanned frame and long blond hair and perpetual big smile, he is easy to spot.

This guy is almost 65 years old?

“I first tried surfing in 1967 on a 9’6″ Gordon & Smith longboard – Virginia Beach, VA – no leashes back then, so a LOT of swimming. “Surfaried” to Cocoa Beach, FL the next year with 2 high school buddies in a VW bug and 3 longboards – slept in a state park until the park rangers ran us off. Went to college in western part of VA (Va. Tech) and worked summers to put myself through school and then got a ‘real’ job, so did not take up surfing again until mid-80’s. Started going to Hawaii – made 7 trips – heard about Costa Rica via Surfing magazine and came to CR in 1992 – found Nosara in 1994 after somebody in Tamarindo told me about it – a ‘secret spot’ he said, “don’t tell anybody”!  Although I don’t rip it up like the 20-somethings we have here at Guiones, I feel good and still have fun at my age – will be on Medicare in 3 more months…

Vaya con Dios” …..

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“THE MAYOR” AT THE OFFICE

LuLu Wiegers

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At 67 years young Lulu radiates boundless positivity, aloha, and stoke. “ I love love love surfing” she beams, “its my life, what I want to do forever! I started when I was 14 years old in Manhatten Beach, California. I took a 20 year detour with marriage and some bad choices, but

Thank God I got back into it and never looked back. Everything I do; eating, exercise, yoga, swimming, biking, etc. – I do to keep in shape for surfing. I live in Guiones 10 months out of the year and love the warm water, wave consistency, and positive vibes in the water. Back when I started there weren’t so many girls surfing and I felt like one of the guys. Now there are so many good woman surfers here, it’s so great. I plan to continue surfing forever! Age is just a number! Get out there with us!”

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“VIDRIO AZUL” – BLUE GLASS…..

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LULU IS EASY TO SPOT IN HER DARK GLARE-REDUCING ‘SEA SPECS’

 

John McGovern

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Pictured above, John is a dedicated “North End” surfer (along with me!).“I began surfing at age 16 on Long Island at a beach called Gilgo Beach.  So I have been surfing about 50 years in the summers.  Now summer is all year long since retirement 12 years ago.  I still work as a lifeguard supervisor in the summers at Tobay Beach on the south shore of Long Island so when there is surf I am on it. I am beginning my 48th year working on the beach in the summer so other than not surfing in the winters I have always surfed May thru September.    As far as surfing into old age, I have never lost my desire to get in the water whenever I can.  I think being active keeps you young to a certain extent and surfing is my favorite all time sports activity.  Hope I can continue for many years to come”

‘JOHNNY-MAC’ GIVING THE NORTH END A WORKING OVER

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Peter Lewis

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DSCN8952 (2)THE WAY WE WERE …………………………….   AND NOW AT 63

“I started surfing in Ocean City, New Jersey back in the early 60’s. We would surf year-round in inferior wetsuits where we taped the seams with masking tape to try to stop the freezing water from getting in. When the ‘Summer of Love’ rolled into town in 1967 everything changed. Surfing back then was more aligned with the counter-culture than the high school football team, pep rallies, and cheerleaders. By the end of that summer I had grown a sun bleached peach-fuzz mustache and sideburns, a burgeoning hipster! We were the original gang of Baby-Boomer surfers in Ocean City. There are only two of us left from that original group who never quit surfing, me and Monk. Everything I did in my life reflected my need for ‘water time’ – where I went to college, career choices, relationships, marriage – all focused on being near an ocean.  In 2008 I moved to Nosara with my wife, ‘looking for the seventies’, I like to say. It didn’t take long for me to find my way to Safari Surf, and I have worked there for the last 6 years. Guests seem to get a kick out of this old fossil still stoked and in the water every day. Safari is one of the best things to happen for me here. My wife Emily retired from 35 years of critical care nursing and now makes carrot cake! In two weeks my daughter Amber and granddaughter Jaida are moving here, bringing the family back together again. Pura Vida.

BODY-SURFING WITH DAD AT PLAYA PELADA

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MY THREE SURFER GIRLS!

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THE ORIGINAL SURFING FOR LIFE CREW (AGES 59-89)

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For more on the Surfing for Life documentary: http://www.surfingforlife.com

old guys rule

The Bermuda-Costa Rica Connection

Posted by & filed under The Inside Peak.

INSIDE PEAK April 10, 2015

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Playa Guiones

What comes to mind when one thinks about Bermuda? For sure the Bermuda Triangle pops up, but anything else? I venture that most of us (like myself) knows very little about this fascinating island.

Bermuda is the most northerly group of coral islands in the world, lying just beyond the Gulf Stream some 650 miles off the coast of the Carolinas. Although very small and isolated in its part of the ocean, it offers a wide variety of places to see, people to meet, and things to do. With an economy based on tourism and international business, Bermudians enjoy a high standard of living with almost no unemployment, no national debt, and no income tax. Sounds like paradise to me! Google Bermuda and your senses are bombarded by a panorama of dreamy blue seascapes – every shade of blue imaginable! One of the great joys of living in Nosara and working at Safari Surf is that it opens a portal to the big wide world we live in. The Bermuda-Nosara connection was spawned five years ago by long time Bermudians the Hammond family. “We were looking for a vacation where the boys could learn to surf, at least stand up” Sharon Hammond reflects. “Richard did a lot of research on the internet and found Safari Surf and signed us up”. “Everything about that first trip just resonated, says Richard, we all loved it; the waves, the food, the spirited people, and we kept returning for more”. As is likely to happen, it’s hard to keep a good secret, and as the Hammonds relayed their surf stories to close friends, the connection grew. “I reckon we are now up to around thirty-five fellow Bermudians that love the place and return every year”. And you have never met more affable, gentle, lovely slice humanity anywhere. It dawned on me that this is how Nosara continues to grow, with these kinds of good hearted, fun-loving families tuning into the Pura Vida. It’s magical, really!

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Meet the Hammonds – Richard, Rudi, Louie, Sharon

 We always love when Team Bermuda is in da house! Talk about energy, they are all buzzing with stoke and can’t wait to get wet. I reflect on my past trips here when we lived in Florida. I was absolutely rabid to catch as many waves as possible, and bottle it all up to get me through the flat spells. The beauty of this place is that there are always waves breaking out there, it is a constant, a defining gift that Nosara proudly offers. Bermuda is ringed by a coral barrier reef which results in beautiful calm swimming beaches, but also prevents consistent rideable surfing waves from forming. Nosara’s ever-reliable consistency can take care of our surf-starved friends in no time!

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Bermudas Barrier Reefs “consume” Incoming Wave Energy

Here a kite surfer rides the wind!

Rudi and Louie

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Serious Q & A with my new bros

Over the years I have watched Rudi (12) and Louie (11) not just become better surfers, but also turn into solid people. Surfing does that, it immerses you in something larger and very powerful, what I like to call Big Blue. They are easy going and fun-loving. They love the food here and are always hungry! “Fish, plantains, and Britt chocolates” the lads enthusiastically exclaim. They already have monikers or nicknames, perhaps to keep in pace with instructors Chumi, Gato, Hellboy, and Pio!

‘Tsumani Rudi Gabas’ on a Screamer!

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‘Big Wave Louie’ Sets up a nice Bottom Turn

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Richard and Sharon

It is interesting how many doctors come to Safari Surf. Richard and Sharon are M.D.s in Bermuda.

I asked them what fuels the economy there: “tourism has been overtaking by the reinsurance industry” explains Richard. What is that I asked? “Reinsurance is insurance issued for Insurance Companies, and Bermuda is a leading hub for this”. When asked about Bermudas beaches, Sharon says “oh we have many lovely beaches here, perfect for snorkeling and swimming, but few waves”.

 Richard Backdoors a Nice Section

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Sharon Pulling in at the Boca

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Beautiful Seascapes but No Waves!

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The Bermuda Triangle

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The real Bermuda Triangle in my book is the connection to Nosara spawned by the Hammonds’ sharing with their friends via the Coconut Telegraph. Richard says “we would come back after these fabulous surfing vacations and spread the word to our best friends. They would look at the photos of the whole family surfing together and one by one more families joined the next trip.” “Let’s see” says Sharon, “We have the Pecketts, Outerbridges, Skinners, Betts, Kendalls, and Wojo’s, that’s nearly 40 people!”.  Many thanks to all of our Bermuda families for coming – our house is yours!

Sharon and Rudi spending Quality Time

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Our House is Your House

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 Team Bermuda – April 2015

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Nosara News- New Stuff!- Inside Peak

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Nosara News

INSIDE PEAK- March 17, 2015

 Nosara News- New Stuff!

New Stuff in Nosara!

Every season here in Nosara ushers in a wave of new businesses and this year is no exception. So from us to you, here is Nosara News- New Stuff!

From restaurants, to retail, to recreation, Nosara is continuing to grow in support of our already well established active/surf/wellness reputation. Despite this inevitable growth Nosara still retains its charm and “mom/pop” feeling. This I attribute to the enormous impact of our beachfront protection, which has steered big time developers and chain hotels further north.  Here is a sampling of some of Nosara’s new offerings this season.

Food and Beverage

Every new season brings a new wave of eateries to town. Some “make it’, but others disappear once the rainy season arrives. This season has seen quite a few new eateries. We haven’t tried them all, but did seek some reviews from visitors.

Nosara News- New Stuff!Al Chile

Located in the former Casa Tucan restaurant (Safari’s old digs), Al Chile opened at the end of July with a menu of tacos and burritos. All ingredients are fresh and prepared to order, including the corn tortillas used for tacos and the wheat tortillas used for burritos. Jeffrey loves the place!

tibidaboTibidabo

Mediterranean restaurant with a chef from Barcelona offers authentic tapas, montaditos, paellas, sangria and desserts. Very positive reviews on Facebook page – looks worth a try!  Tim is stoked about this one!

 fusion 2Fusion

Located within the 506 Townhome community, Fusion is upscale, serving  cuisine from celebrated Chef Jairo “specializing in the fusion of culinary tastes”. The Wednesday “Sushi Night” gets great reviews.

solo bueno Solo Bueno

Converted from an old surf hostel, Solo Bueno is a restaurant/water park featuring inside and outside dining,  an 8 jet jacuzzi for adults and a small step in pool for children. There are 4 pools in total, on 4 different levels, overlooking 3 patios, 8 waterfalls, and a multitude of exotic gardens. The menu varies from salads, burgers, and wraps on the pool deck to gourmet dinner entrées and custom cocktails.

go juiceGo Juice Smoothie and Juice Bar

All natural fresh fruit and vegetable smoothies, fresh pressed juice, iced coffee, fresh ceviche, poke, and nutritious snacks. Super healthy juice concoctions such as ‘beetnick’ (for detox), hydro blast (for hydration),‘ginger kale’ (for blood circulation’, and ‘Eye Opener’ (for immune system), had me totally perplexed! My daughter loves this place.

El ChivoEl Chivo

Located in Playa Pelada on the site of the former Panchos, El Chivo is a beautiful new restaurant with made from scratch Mexican cuisine and specialty margaritas. The burritos are amazing. Thumbs up!

 

luna brunchLa Luna Breakfast/Brunch

Super popular and trendy beachfront restaurant La Luna in Playa Pelada now serves daily breakfast. The very interesting and eclectic international menu features such specialties as the mediterranean feast, breakfast pizza, shakshuka, balkan, full English breakfast, and muesli. Their brand new espresso machine rocks!

pipa (2)Pipa Fria

Undoubtedly the hottest ticket in town these days is ‘Pipa Fria’, or chilled coconut water served in the shell.  Vendors have popped up on every corner this season, and there is nothing better than grabbing a cold pipa right after surfing – plus it’s just plain hip, everyone’s doing it!

Retail

love nosara (2)Love Nosara

Open air women’s clothing boutique created by Susanna and Manolo. Offering distinctive and original clothing, jewelry, and leather goods sourced from small independent artisan clothing manufacturers. May not be open on rainy days as they are completely exposed to the elements!

Tamale (2)Hot Tamale

New recycled and vintage fashion located on main street Guiones.

Recreation

tennisTennis Club Colibri

Beautiful red clay tennis courts on main street Guiones

climbClimb Nosara

A unique freestanding climbing wall offering 36 roped routes and other bouldering options. Designer/climber Steve Way proclaims “Climbing helps to build confidence, with great lessons in teamwork, trust and leadership skills.  It also helps to develop core strength, balance & co-ordination, and develops muscular strength, muscular endurance, body composition and flexibility!”

skate parkEskina Skate Park

Skate Park – Skate Pool – Hostel – Skate Shop – Skate School – Bar – Restaurant – Event Center. Eskina Skate Park.  Open daily to the public and available for private bookings, birthdays, etc. On-site full service Yums  Restaurant overlooks the skating action. Stay tuned to their Facebook page for the latest events and promotions including live music, fashion shows, and professional exhibitions.

ad boardCheap Advertising – Nosara Style!

Safari Photos

As some of you may know, Jeffrey added to his plate this year by agreeing to take on the photography aspect of Safari.  Initially, he was met with some challenges: lenses breaking, computer not uploading, basic learning curves… but, he has overcome and is taking some superb photos of our guests!  We have also hired local photographer, Bryan Espinoza, to come in on his off hours to take some additional photos for us and give Jeffrey some pointers. Between the 2 of them, we are adding some fantastic shots to our growing gallery.

Newest Photos from Jeffrey

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Newest Photos from Bryan

Wow! friend Nosara News- New Stuff!

Inside Peak- Join Our Family

Posted by & filed under The Inside Peak.

JOIN OUR FAMILY

Safari Surf recently had the privilege of welcoming Stan and Olga into our family. They stayed with us for a month, and the idea was that they would trade out breakfast and room at the Safari House in exchange for a couple of promo videos, to be posted on the Safari Surf website, Facebook page, and other social media sites. Stan and Olga are from Germany, where it is very, very cold right now so, they were happy to take a break from the cold in Nosara.  Their “assignment” was to soak up the “Safari Vibe” and translate this to video. Having founded the adventure travel blog website http://www.epiclist.com, they were no strangers to “extreme adrenaline sports”, and were familiar with surfing, but in their time here, they fully embraced the essence of surfing and pura vida, which is captured brilliantly in their video creations. At the end of their 1st published video they encourage us to “join the family”, which is exactly what we are. I feel like we are in the 1970’s again! Check it out here: https://vimeo.com/119782826.

Stay tuned to Safari Surf for more from Stan and Olga. And  muchas gracias for the stoke lift you two!

Stan Olga

Stan and Olga at work

 

Family Vacations at Safari Surf

Traveling to Costa Rica with your family is an enriching experience for everyone. You will be immersed in a culture and adventure that takes place outside of your iPhone! When I fly Northbound from San Jose to Orlando, Florida to visit my daughter, the planes are full of excited Costa Rican families heading to Disney World; but the Southbound flights are full of Americanos headed to paradise for surfing, kayaking, horseback riding, fishing, zip lining, and  yoga. Surfing brings people together and creates a memorable bonding experience for families.  Meal times are generally long, leisurely affairs around a happy table where people actually talk to one another. It is definitely quality time!

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Strong Family Unit

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Bill Curley and family love surfing so much that they bought a vacation home here

 

One Big Happy Family

Whether you come as a single solo-traveler or bring your husband/wife and kiddos along, everyone becomes part of the family. You surf together, zipline, kayak, ride horses……you get to know everyone in town.

Safari welcomes a huge amount of return clients, we call them our alumni.

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Family Horseback Tour

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Families that Zipline together, stay together!

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Sam & Jeff Chandler – football bonding

Around the Table

Safari Surf guests share breakfast and dinners together every day. The conversation is lively and spirited and the television is turned off!

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Sam’s Birthday Celebration!

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Three Generations of Lewis Girls!

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The Wagner Family dining under the stars

JOIN THE SAFARI FAMILY TODAY!

Sure it sounds like the old cliché, but down here ‘Lo Que Hay’ (it is what it is!).

Come on down to Safari Surf for Spring break, its way better than Ft. Lauderdale!

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Student group from Guilford College in North Carolina

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All-Girls Surf Clinic for Local Nosara Families

 

Inside Peak- The Germany- Costa Connection

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Safari Surf’s German Connection

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I have always been fascinated by the depth of Marlon Illig. For example, he speaks fluent German. For a lad raised in rural Nosara, this strikes me as interesting and unusual. Marlon is one of the New Breed of Safari instructors that joined us this season. Safari hosts a fair amount of Europeans this time of year and many happen to be German. Imagine coming to Costa Rica from Germany to a surf school and finding that your instructor speaks German! Marlon is educated, informed, and quite worldly. I was intrigued the other day when I overheard him talking movies and critiquing actors and directors with some guests. Oh yeah, he also speaks fluent English! I sat down with Marlon to get the skinny.

PL: Everyone knows you as Jeffrey’s brother, but he doesn’t speak German?
Marlon: Well it’s a long story, but I was adopted!

PL: So explain the Germany connection.
Marlon: I was born in Germany and am a German citizen as well as Costa Rican. At 2 yrs old mom moved us to Nosara. She had been there before and longed to return. So Nosara is where I grew up.

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All Men are Brothers!

PL: When did you start surfing?
Marlon: I started 4 years ago. Since I starting teaching with Safari this season I had a kind of “rebirth” and fell in love with surfing all over again. I can’t get enough now!

PL: You are a great with people and seem to have found the perfect fit with surf instruction. What do you like about it?
Marlon: The best part is watching the transformation that people go through here. When they arrive they are all white and pasty and stressed from their busy lives. After a few days they are totally transformed, physically, mentally, and spiritually. They develop a new self confidence and inner stoke. It is such a priceless thing to observe and be part of!


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Carrie Learns Proper Waxing Technique


 

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Kids at Play

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marlon boardPL: You recently turned 18. What are your future plans?
Marlon: I am going back to Germany in two months, after high season. My dream is to become a pilot and I am looking to enroll in flight school there. I plan to return next high season (Dec-April) to work at Safari, save money, and continue my schooling in Germany.

PL: Wow what a great goal. Viel Glück an euch mein Bruder! (Best of luck to you my brother).

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                             “The New Breed” (Kevin, Marlon, fan, Jordani)

Plus Erich!

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For more on Marlon check out Safari’s new instructor video here:
https://vimeo.com/119782826

Inside Peak- Higher Learning Through Surfing

Posted by & filed under The Inside Peak.

Higher Learning through Surfing at Safari Surf School

SurfU

“Study Abroad” – the phrase conjures up images of earnest students absorbed in esoteric topics enhanced by their unique surrounds – English Lit studies at Oxford, Italian culture and language studies in Rome, Ancient Greek civilization studies in Athens – but surfing in Costa Rica?? In January Safari Surf hosted a group of students from Guilford College in North Carolina lured by the enticing title: Surfing Centuries: An interdisciplinary introduction to riding waves, past and present. In the intro syllabus Professor Maia Dery, an avid surfer, describes the course as follows: “You all “surf” almost every day. Surfing became the runaway metaphor to describe the freedom and possibilities of the internet. How did that metaphor come into being? How did surfing, a fully embodied indigenous pastime, become such a powerful cultural trope?”

I was hooked!  “College courses have come a long way since my graduation from Cal Western University San Diego in 1973” I mused. Maia is a stoked and dedicated surfer of many years. Was this just a clever way to go on a surf trip? One glimpse at the 16 page syllabus would dispel that shallow notion. This was a bonafide heavy-duty full credit academic assignment fraught with multiple texts books and several evaluation criteria. The group spent 18 days with us and became like family. With the opening of Olas Verdes Sustainable Surfing resort this summer, we look forward to more study abroad groups, as we collectively expand our horizons together through surfing.

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Required Reading

For emphasis on my “how times have changed” reflection, I draw your attention to the textbooks for this course. Five texts and several articles were required to pass this course. But wait a second, take a look at some of these titles: Surfer Girls in the New World Order, Waves of Resistance, Empire in Waves: A Political History of Surfing. These are deeply academic compendiums with complex concepts and big words!

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Student Blogs

Professor Dery was kind enough to share some of the student’s blogs with me which reveal the “seriousness” of how they viewed their assignment. There was no surfspeak “killer tasty tubes dude”, but rather acutely insightful and sensitive reflections on their Nosara experiences. Here are a few examples:

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CHARLOTTE

“Today our rowdy group of twelve returns to volunteer at La Escuelita de Verano, a summer school that offers a space of creative, artistic and physical engagement for children in elementary and middle school. The playful joy of the children is contagious, and rejuvenating in every essence of the word. These encounters complicate and deepen my process of distilling my time here; this presents for me questions of how personal relationships motivate us in our actions and aspirations. Our experience on earth is comprised of overlapping, unpredictable relationships with ourselves and the people and places that surround us. Relationship entails emotional awakeness; a mindfulness of your own needs and those that surround you. A willingness to give, receive, compromise, reciprocate. The quality of relationship determines the extent to which we defy the logic of self-preservation–it determines a turning point in which giving to others can be self-gratifying as well. I would propose from all of the love I have encountered the last couple of days, impassioned people offer parts of themselves for a greater need because they are emotionally guided towards something bigger. And the result is a form of gratification that expands and nourishes in all directions.” 

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NATE

Sandland

“What if you were a piece of sand? The beach is your world. Ocean waves the only force, besides feet, controlling your life. A sand hierarchy exists in your world; those below you are not seen. Those above you get all the credit for the great beach you all have created. Without waves, your place in the social sand hierarchy is fixed. You cannot make your way to the top of the beach, or be brought deeper.”


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ROSE

“Moving into this experience I am finding myself most interested in the media canon of surf culture and the way it effects cultural inertia. The Endless Summer has undoubtedly had a profound impact on surfer culture, but how far reaching is it? How have the escapist fantasy ideals laid out in The Endless Summer impacted the activistic ambivalence that all of our readings have condemned. Does this have anything to do with how it’s the ‘outsider groups’ -the surfer girls and surfers of color- that are creating surfing spaces that are being held up as sustainable and culturally aware models of surf culture? My personal lexicon of surf media and culture is too small to even start ball-parking answers to questions like this, but they’re the sort of questions that I have been taught by my theater studies to ask about media: what does this piece of popular media say about the culture it comes from? What is this piece of media doing to the culture it comes from? I have said several times over the course of these last few days that all media is political, and it could even be argued that everything is political (or that everything is media), leading me to ask these questions of just about every text we’ve been introduced to.”

 

PROFESSOR MAIA DERY

“My goal in offering this study abroad experience was to inspire and facilitate an atmosphere we call informed engagement. Surfing has been a personal passion for me over the last 8 years. My vision is to construct creative ways to incorporate surfing into academic studies to invigorate students’ curiosity. Our experiences in Nosara were profound and life-changing. I most certainly will try to return next year!

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Does your professor surf this good? Maia Dery – doin’ her homework!

FAMILY

Having a group of energetic and motivated college students with us for nearly three weeks was nourishing for all of us. For one thing, college students eat a lot! Safari’s amazing kitchen duo Maritiza and Alycia created and served magnificent meals, incorporating local flavors of Tico ‘tipico’ cuisine. The kids helped with food prep and dishes. Their field trips to the local summer school fostered authentic culture interactions. We thank you all for coming and wish you the very best – Hasta Pronto!

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Alma Mater

Cal West

Back in the day, my college graduation in 1973.

English major, what else!

 

INSIDE PEAK- HAPPY NEW YEAR

Posted by & filed under The Inside Peak.

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.

Laura and John Guitar share a wave at sunset

New Crew

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.

Kevin

Marlon

Jordani

Erich

 

 

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….

The McCaulley Family

The Guitar Family

The Curley Family

     

                Kids, Kids, Kids!

SAFARI BEACH BUGGY

                                                                          

Elias Shredding

 

Leo’s Treasure

Lilly Tandem

 

 

 

 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:

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Jeff- Nice Bottom Turn

 

Tess and Kerry (Daughter and Mother)

Football Toss- Son, Sam and Papa Jeff

Kerry’ Sister Pam and Son, Sam

Tess Chandler

Cousin Liam

Sam and Mom Clowning

 

 WELCOME TO 2015

Mitch Stoked!

 

The New Olas Verdes Resort- Opening This Year!

 

*Many thanks to Jeffrey and Alonso for their great photography* 

Inside Peak – Feliz Navidad from Nosara

Posted by & filed under The Inside Peak.

Happy Holidays from Safari Surf School!

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Safari Surf Senior Instructor Extraordinaire Helberth Ruiz

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Beautiful empty tube photo by Graham Swindell

The Holiday Season is upon us in Nosara with perfect sunny days and all-day offshore winds. It is amazing how dependable these conditions are in our dry season. Safari Surf School looks forward to welcoming our new guests and immersing them in Aloha and Pura Vida! We meet lovely folks from around the world here all seeking the same spirit and joy we find through surfing. Here are a few of their Christmas stories….

Christmas in Nosara Costa Rica

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Maritza and Alycia of Safari Surf
“Our ‘Tradiciones de Navidad’ are centered around a large family gathering on Christmas Eve. Parents and grandparents, brothers & sisters, aunts, uncles, and cousins all gather at papa’s house. At 8pm we all go to La Iglesia (church) for Mass, and then return to papa’s for bocas (appetizers) and drinks. At midnight on Christmas Eve we have a big dinner of chicken and pork tamales, and a bebida dulce (sweet drink) called chicheme – made from pulpo de maiz morado (purple corn pulp – yummie!). Afterwards we gather around the Christmas tree and open gifts. On Christmas Day we look forward to working at Safari Surf!!!”

Christmas in Holland and the United Kingdom

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Safari Alumni Ellen
“I am originally from Holland but have been living in England for many years!
In Holland the big holiday is celebrated on December 5th when Sinterklass (St. Nicholas) visits. The children leave their clogs by the fireplace hoping that Sinterklaas will fill them with presents.
In the UK they go all out with heaps of decorations, parties, and lots of presents delivered by Father Christmas. It has become quite commercial, very similar to the United States actually. On Christmas Day the entire population eats turkey and Christmas (or plum) Pudding.”

Christmas in Finland

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Tina
“Well everyone knows that Finland is the home of Santa Claus right?!! This means that he will stop there first to deliver his presents! On Christmas Eve families celebrate with a big early supper of pork, potatoes, and rice pudding. Then Santa comes around 7pm to deliver presents and sing with the children. Gifts are opened around the tree and everyone plays with them late into the night. Of course I will celebrate in Nosara with my novio Luis and his lovely family!”

Christmas in the United States

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Jaida (my granddaughter!)
“On Christmas Eve we go to church and everyone holds candles and sings Silent Night. Then we go home and go to bed early so Santa can come and leave presents. On Christmas morning we open our stockings and lots of presents and play play play! Then in February I get to come to Nosara to celebrate my 4th birthday with my pa-pa, ma-ma, and my mommie!”

A Rustico Christmas in Nosara Village!

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FELIZ NAVIDAD & PROSPERO ANO NUEVO
FROM ALL OF US AT SAFARI SURF!
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“COME ON DOWN AND CATCH A WAVE WITH US!”
santa-surf

Inside Peak – Nosara Restaurant Guide

Posted by & filed under The Inside Peak.

SAFARI SURF SCHOOLS’ RESTAURANT GUIDE

surf food
With all of the great restaurant choices in Nosara, Safari Surf School management has decided to make Sundays an “Open Meal Day”, providing guests with an opportunity to eat at establishments of their choosing. To assist we have created a restaurant guide comprised of eateries we recommend. Nosara has an impressive assortment of restaurant offerings. With each new season we see at least 3-4 new places open; some survive, some don’t. Most restaurants here these days accept Visa and MasterCard as well as U.S. currency. Be prepared for a mandatory 13% sales tax and 10% service charge to be added to your check. I usually leave another 10% for the server if service is good. There are a few “mainstays” you can always count on: For Romantic go to Dolce Vita, for ocean front dining La Luna. IL Basilico makes awesome pizza, and for burgers the newly opened Burgers and Beers is the ticket. Rancho Tico is the place to go for excellent local ‘tipico’ cuisine and Harmony is popular for excellent sushi. It is rare to get a bad meal in Nosara as everything is generally prepared from scratch. Table service has improved vastly from the old days, but remember that ‘cooked to order’ still takes longer, so sit back, relax, and enjoy the Pura Vida. Make sure to call in advance to verify hours, etc. And don’t hesitate to talk to fellow travelers and ask for their restaurant recommendations. Provecho!


Harbor Reef

Harbor Reef

*Recommended for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

On-site at Harbor Reef Surf Resort is a pool-side restaurant known for local fare from farm and sea, a fully stocked bar with swim-up access , live music and a roof-top smoothie bar. The Reef Restaurant menu is updated daily to reflect the freshest, finest ingredients available; also featuring desserts by Ems Yums.

Location: Main Street Guiones/walk from town
Price Range: $5-$20
Phone: 2682-1000
Web: http://www.harborreef.com


Rosie’s Soda Tica

Rosie’s Soda Tica

*Recommended for Breakfast and Lunch

Rosie’s Soda Tica serves authentic traditional fare at very reasonable prices. New location next to tennis courts on Main Street Guiones.

Location: Main Street Guiones/walk from town
Price Range: $5-$10
Phone: 2682-0728


Harmony Hotel Bar and Restaurant

Harmony Hotel Bar and Restaurant

*Recommended for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

The Harmony’s restaurant showcases the bounty of the Nosara area. We use fresh, local ingredients whenever possible and work with producers who share our sustainable values. We also source produce from our very own nearby farm. We serve breakfast, lunch and dinner (including an amazing sushi menu). Full bar and wine list.

Location: Main Street Guiones/walk from town
Price Range: $5-$30
Phone: 2682-4114
Web: http://www.harmonynosara.com


Bagelmens

Bagelmens

*Recommended for Breakfast and Lunch

Bagelmens features breakfast specialties, wraps, salads, soups, desserts and a variety of bagels baked fresh daily. Indoor and outdoor patio dining. Bagelmens opens daily at 7am for that early coffee wake-up.

Location: Main Street Guiones/walk from town

Price Range: $5-$15
Phone: 2682-5448
web: http://www.bagelmenscr.com


Robin's Ice Cream

Robin’s Ice Cream

*Recommended for Breakfast and Lunch

Known for amazing home-made ice cream and sorbets, Robins also features breakfast selections, sandwiches, salads, wraps, crepes, coffee drinks, smoothies, and milkshakes

Location: Main Street Guiones/walk from town
Price Range: $5-$15
Phone: 2682-1607
Web: http://www.robinsicecream.com


Café de Paris Bakery

Café de Paris Bakery

*Recommended for Breakfast and Lunch

Excellent freshly baked goodies; homemade sandwiches, croissants, deserts, baguettes, celebration cakes, pies and more. Good take-out option for tour excursions, fishing trips, etc.

Location: Main Street Guiones/walk from town
Price Range: $5-$10
Phone: 2682-0087
Web: http://www.cafedeparis.net


Marlin Bills

Marlin Bills

*Recommended for Dinner

American styles steakhouse menu featuring steak, chicken, fresh fish, burgers, pastas, and salads. Full bar menu.

Location: Main Street Guiones/walk from town
Price Range: $7-$25
Phone: 2682-0458
Web: https://www.facebook.com/Marlin Bills


IL Basilico

IL Basilico

*Recommended for Dinner

Il Basilico is a locally owned talian restaurant. The ambiance is rustic, with incredible food at affordable prices. Il Basilico offers everything from pizzas, to specialty salads, pasta, seafood, and much more. Several nights a week live music can be enjoyed. Come join us for a wonderful evening!

Location: South Guiones/taxi from town
Price Range: $6-$15
Phone: 2682-1472
Web: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Restaurante-IL-Basilico


Kaya Sol

Kaya Sol

*Recommended for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Extensive menu, all meals. Fresh seafood, free-range steaks, pasta, burgers, salads by popular Chef Jorge. Full bar and wine list.

Location: North Guiones /taxi from town
Price Range: $5-$20
Phone: 2682-1459
Web: http://www.kayasolsurfhotel.com


Gilded Iguana

Gilded Iguana

*Recommended for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

A Nosara landmark since 1986. In November (2014) former owners of popular seafood restaurant Pacifico Azul assumed management of the Gilded Iguana hotel and restaurant.
The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a wide variety of fresh selections with an emphasis on seafood. Full bar. Live music Tuesday and Friday nights.

Location: North Guiones/taxi from town
Price Range: $5-$20
Phone: 2682-0259
Web: http://thegildediguana.com


Burgers and Beers

Burgers and Beers

*Recommended Lunch and Dinner

Monster burgers and hand cut fries. Excellent handcrafted beers.
One visit will you keep coming back for more!

Location: North Guiones/taxi from town
Price Range: $10-$15
Phone: 2682-5558
Web: http://www.facebook.com/burgersandbeerscr/info


La Luna

La Luna

*Recommended for Lunch and Dinner

Ocean front restaurant, great for sunsets and special occasions.
The eclectic menu has Asian and Mediterranean flourishes; excellent wood-fired pizza. Deserts by Ems Yums.
Full bar and wine list. Call ahead for reservations.

Location: Playa Pelada/taxi from town
Price Range: $7-$25
Phone: 2682-0122
Web: https://www.facebook.com/pages/LA-LUNA


La Dolce Vita

La Dolce Vita

*Recommended for Dinner

Upscale Italian cuisine in romantic setting. Proprietor/Host Roberto DeSilvio proudly oversees every detail and table nightly. Good wine list.
Location: South Guiones/walk from town

Price Range: $5-$40
Phone: 2682-0107


Rancho Tico

Rancho Tico

*Recommended for Dinner

Located in Nosara Centro, Rancho Tico is great for tipico food:
Casados, Lomito jalapeno, and fresh seafood. Full bar.

Location: Nosara Centro/taxi from town
Price Range: $6-$20
Phone: 2682-0006
Web: https://www.facebook.com/RanchoTicoNosara

nosara-restaurant-guide

Inside Peak – New Season Starts for 2015!

Posted by & filed under The Inside Peak.

Safari’s New Season Off and Running!

New-Safari
Safari Surf Schools 2014-2015 season opened with a bang as an early season cold front ushered in fresh offshore winds, sunny skies, and super fun surf. It is always a challenge emerging from the rain soaked months of “Septober” where flooded roads, stormy skies, and choppy surf keeps visitors away and locals holed up in their homes. Although the El Nino weather phenomenon did result in a “less intense” rainy season, from my perspective it stayed pretty darned wet and soggy around these parts. Most sources predict an early end to this year’s rainy season which has been evident in two successive northern hemisphere cold fronts already in the books. Around town merchants are painting, cleaning, and readying their businesses for the busy high season ahead. Safari welcomed a good number of new and “alumni” guests this week, so I thought a little recap of our 1st week would be fun.

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Hot and Glassy & nobody out – get down here!

jefes

Safari Manager Jeffrey with ‘El Jefe’ Tim Marsh

We’ve been stoked to have Safari President Tim Marsh here this week to help us kick off the new season. I sat down with Tim to get his thoughts on the upcoming season and the “New Safari Surf”.
PL: Welcome back Tim, fresh from Indonesia, where did you go?
Tim: I was in the Mentawai Islands boating from break to break.
PL: Well here we are, a brand new season. What’s new for Safari this year?
Tim: We are very excited about this new season. We have trimmed down to our “core staff” and are focused on making our surf lesson teaching system the best in the business. We interview all guests as to their experience and
ability levels and structure their equipment and instruction according to a new multi-level rating system. This way we can focus appropriate attention on each student. No longer will a complete beginner be paired with an experienced rider. We are also investing in our instructors training and personal development towards attaining their Level 2 International Surfing Association coaching and instruction certification. In December we will take delivery of 35 new surfboards made specifically for Safari Surf School. We have just opened a new branch of Safari Surf in Nicaragua and look forward to growing that program, and of course we have the ongoing development of Olas Verdes Sustainable Surfing Resort right next store. Our new website will launch soon so stay tuned to http://www.safarisurfschool.com for all the latest safari Surf news!

verdes

Olas Verdes

The Week in Pictures

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Surfer Town comes to Life

arrival
love-nosara

Safari Guests

Kate-and-Charlie
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Kate & Charlie                                                                                                                                                            Helberth, Mary, & Catherine

Catherine-dallas

Catherine from Dallas
Mary-UK
Mary from UK
jessica-nyc
Jessica from NYC
Alejandra-Canada
Alejandra from Canada
Skye-NYC
Skye from NYC
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Tim Marsh in Indonesia

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PURA VIDA – see you soon!

I would like to dedicate this blog to my dad, William Lewis, who left this earth last Monday. Dad loved the ocean and instilled in me a love for the water and waves that lives on today.

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