Inside Peak – Meet The Marsh Family (The Kids!)

Posted by & filed under The Inside Peak.


We are stoked to have the Tim Marsh Family here for their annual summer vacation!


Tim, Marsi, and Tyler Marsh own and operate Safari Surf. Tim and Marsi live in Southern California and operate the corporate offices, and Tyler lives in Nosara and oversees the surf school operation. I have grown very close to them and especially love the kids. This week I will introduce the kiddos to you and next week’s blog will feature interviews with Tim and Marsi. The Marshes are a very tight-knit unit. They always seem to be together and one easily gets the sense that they adore each other. They love people, animals, and the ocean. I marveled at the five of them in the pool together tossing a football and having so much fun. Camille, at 15 doesn’t strike me as being the stereotypical moody angst-ridden teenager. She is quiet, sensitive, and intelligent, and she sings in a voice as smooth as honey. Zane and Liana are 10 year old twins. They are smart, clever, and fun loving grommets and they are an ambitious lot, always scheming up some new creative endeavor. The Marshes have traveled together as a family since the kids were toddlers and they all have that beautiful bushy-bushy blonde hair for life!


The Twins

Zane and Liana Marsh were born within one minute of each other, Zane 1st, and then Liana. There has been a lot written about twins; they are unique and special.I have had the pleasure of knowing these two for four years or so and it is so great to see them every summer. I love to hang out with them individually or together, we always have a blast. I know without a doubt that these kids are going somewhere. They may figure largely into future incarnations of Safari Surf, or maybe not. But they will always be an integral part of Safari’s soul and spirit. I thought it would be fun to ask them some questions and see what’s on their agendas.



PL:                   Hey Welcome back Zane-Brain, howz it going?

Zane:              Solo Bueno, that means really good right?


PL:                   Yes and it shows because you always have a huge smile on your face.

Zane:              (Smiling) Yeah I like it here.


PL:                  Cool beans. You get to come every year and see your cousins, go surfing, dig for clams, play at the waterfall, and visit the monkeys. How long have you been coming down to Nosara?

Zane:             I think for like 7 years, since we were babies.


PL:                  When did you 1st go surfing?

Zane:             I was three and my dad took me out on a soft board.


PL:                  You got pretty good! Do you like big waves?

Zane:             Yeah I do, but not too big. The biggest I surfed was three feet over my head.

PL:                  Dude, I’ve seen some pictures of you on some mackers!


Zane – Starting Early                                                                            Tough questions for Zane-o
PL:                  What’s your favorite subject in school?

Zane:             Math

PL:                  What do you want to be when you grow up?

Zane:             I want to be a soccer star/surfer/artist combination.


PL:                  Wow now that’s original! I can see why you like it here!

Zane:             Here everyone loves soccer.


PL:                  Favorite food?

Zane:             In the US its ravioli, here its ceviche.


PL:                  Music?

Zane:             Classic Rock. My favorite group is Queen.

PL:                  OK now I see where the artist comes from!



Liana with cousin Maddox

PL:                  Nickernutt! It’s so great to see you! Watcha been doing?

Liana:            I have been over at Uncle Tyler’s playing with my cousins.


PL:                  That’s so cool, they just love you!

Liana:            I know, I’m hoping to be their babysitter.


PL:                  So last year you told me you were going to be a surgeon one day.

Liana:            Well I changed my mind! I now want to be a forensic scientist or personal chef.


PL:                  Wow! You still love writing I hope.

Liana:            Oh Yeah, still do. I love writing stories and making up characters.


PL:                  Still surfing?

Liana:            Always! I love the warm water here.


PL:                  What are your favorite foods?

Liana:            Back home: artichoke. Here: mangoes


PL:                  Favorite Music and Band?

Liana:            Alternative; One Republic. I love to sing too. I even recorded a song!


PL:                  Interesting. Hey do you know  Zane’s favorite group?

Liana:            Queen, he’s a Queen freak!


PL:                  Hey let’s write a story together for the blog

Liana:            OK Cool
Tandem with Helberth


              Liana making a record!


I am getting to know Camille better and had the distinct pleasure of hearing her perform during the brunch at Harbor Reef Lodge. Her singing is amazing, “a sound blend of Jewel and Natalie Merchant” I said – but I don’t think she know their music. No matter – at 15 this kid is poised for greatness. She is focused and disciplined and has a beautiful lilting voice.


     Camille – Oozing with Style!                             Smooth   Surfin’                        Performing in Nosara


PL:                  (During Break) Wow Camille, that was amazing!

Camille:         Thanks for coming!


PL:                  When did you discover you were “musical?”

Camille:         I sang in my 3rd grade talent show and liked it.


PL:                  What instruments do you play?

Camille:         Guitar, piano, trumpet, ukulele, drums. I’m learning the banjo now.


PL:                  Do you write your own songs?

Camille:         I have written 5 so far. I know more will come.


PL:                  What about school?

Camille:         I like school and want to go to college.


PL:                  Where have you performed?

Camille:         I play at the wineries around here (Temecula, CA) and go to open-mic nights              where I can find them.


PL:                  So what’s ahead for you?

Camille:         I want to be a singer or a teacher.


PL:                  Keep singing Camille, the world will be better for it!
Karaoke duet with Sister Liana
Nosara summer vacation – the early years
Summer 2014 at Safari House (with Zane hamming!)

Next week I’ll be interviewing Señor y Señorita Marsh!

Pura vida!


Inside Peak – Safari Surf Culinary Tour

Posted by & filed under The Inside Peak.


is a much ballyhooed mantra heard around Nosara. Surfing is great exercise that sets all of your senses pulsating. There is something about the salt water that brings on hunger! Fortunately Nosara has excellent restaurants featuring a variety of fresh and delicious cuisine. I thought it would be helpful to describe Safari Surfs food programs. When planning your Safari vacation you have an assortment of meal plans. Most folks seem to select the (prepaid) breakfast and dinner plan. Others choose the daily breakfast and keep the dinners open to explore individually. And still others leave their eating options totally open and make it up as they go along. Regardless of which food plan you select, you can always join the Safari group for breakfast and dinner and just pay as you go!


   Fresh Pacific Lobster!                                     Tyler Marsh’s “everything” pizza!


Carina and Alicia | Hungry Surfers! | Jeffrey super-stoked!


Prior to the morning surf lesson we set out trays of fresh tropical fruits; something light before surfing.

After the lesson a ‘proper’ breakfast is served in the Safari House. Breakfast choices are Banana pancakes, Tico breakfast (scrambled eggs, sausage, rice & beans), huevos rancheros, French toast, granola & yogurt with fresh fruit, eggs any style, and Costa Rican coffee and juices.


Safari Dinner guests gather at the Safari House on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for our legendary hosted dinners. Your ‘host’ for the evening festivities could be Tyler and/or Jeffrey, or one of Safari’s affable instructors. Menus vary with the season and include fresh fish, shrimp, or lobster, Tyler’s “free-range” organic chicken, Lomito (filet mignon), pasta, pizza fresh from our oven, salads, veggies, and Safari’s famous Carrot Cake. Dinners include two beers or one wine, and mixed drinks can be purchased ala cart.

Staff: We are fortunate to have two of Nosara’s best ‘foodies’ on staff to serve you: Maritza is our very talented chef, and Alicia, the worlds’ best server. We can accommodate vegetarian or specialty diets. On occasion we have guests who rent a private house and our culinary duo cooks and serves specialty dinners on site. One night per week we feature ‘Ems Yums’ amazing carrot or mocha chocolate chip cake for dessert.

Martiza and Alicia
Martiza and Alicia (The A Team!)
Din Din with host Tyler
Din Din with host Tyler
Dessert Night- Carrot Cake!
Dessert Night: Carrot Cake!


A favorite time-honored tradition at Safari Surf is loading up the van and visiting Nosara’s finest local restaurants. Currently our out to dinner nights fall on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. We have chosen to dine at our four favorite restaurants – Harbor Reef, Kaya Sol, Rancho Tico, and IL Basillica.

Pre-paid dinner guests can order anything they desire off the menu and two beers or one glass of wine is included. We always welcome non-meal-plan guests to join us on a pay as you go basis. Meet at Safari House at 6:30 pm or we will pick you up at your hotel!


The Harbor Reef Surf Lodge and Restaurant are well established mainstays in Nosara. Taco Tuesdays there have become so popular that reservations are required. The tacos are made fresh and tasty and they just keep coming! This is also a great people watching night. You will encounter folks you met on the zipline or our surfing, and the atmosphere is upbeat and happy happy!

Jeffrey’s Favorite: Tacos and more Tacos

Tyler’s Favorite: Tacos and Beer


                       Harbor Reef Restaurant                                     All you can eat Tacos!



Kaya Sol Surf Hotel and Restaurant are a weekly stop on Safari’s restaurant tour. Chef Jorge Diaz is well known around Nosara. Jorge spent many years at Harbor Reef Restaurant (as did our chef Maritza), and is well known for his creativity and generous portions. Kaya Sol’s diverse menu features market fresh meats and seafood as well as pastas and local ‘tipico’ dishes.

Jeffrey’s favorite: chicken nachos supremo

Tyler’s favorite: steak with portabello mushrooms


*Kaya Sol Menu Download:


Rancho Tico is a true local Tico spot that’s a bit off the beaten path in the Pueblo. Specializing in Casados (meaning married), this dish combines meat, chicken, or fresh fish with rice, black beans, salad, plantains, and veggies. There are many other items on the menu that are terrific, such as typical Costa Rican Sopa de Mariscos, Ceviche and Camarones a la Milenesa. Famous for huge portions, great prices and a fun, friendly traditional Tico atmosphere, Rancho Tico remains a weekly Safari favorite.

Jeffreys favorite: lomito jalapeno

Tylers favorite: fish casado

Rancho Tico – made from scratch tipico cuisine under the huge open air rancho



IL Basillica

The hands down favorite for pizza and Italian specialties in Nosara, IL Basillico is the creation of local a local surfer known as Chandy. Chandy spent years learning the art of Italian cooking in various local establishments, and was the kitchen manager for 6 years at Pomodoro, a very popular Italian restaurant in San Jose. One of the most popular selections at Il Basilico is the Pizza Il Basilico; a house specialty featuring ham, pepperoni, salami, mushrooms, chili, onion, garlic & olives. The authentic menu also features a full range of traditional pastas, as well as seafood & meat specials.

Jeffrey’s favorite: pesto pizza

Tyler’s favorite: seafood pasta

IL Basillica-1
IL Basillica-2
IL Basillica-3

Chandy´s IL Basillico: Out of this world pizza, and Italian delights


Safari Kids Camps

Snacks and lunch at the Safari House are included in our half and full day kids camps!


**Special Requests**

Safari will gladly help plan and arrange birthdays, anniversaries, or other special occasion. Please let us know!

How about a sunset horseback ride on the beach and dinner at La Luna – we can do that!
La Luna Restaurant


Hope to see you grubbing down here soon!

Pura vida,


Inside Peak – Surf Rides

Posted by & filed under The Inside Peak.


Welcome to August! It was a quiet “news week” here in Nosara so for this week’s edition I thought it would be fun to take a look at surfing rides – the vehicles used by surfers to get to the beach. I’ll make sure to cover transportation options available here in Nosara as well. Surfing really caught on in California in the early 60’s and spread like wildfire to the Gulf and East Coasts. Surfers were becoming a distinct “demographic” with their own culture; music, clothing, lingo, hair styles, and surf vehicles. I remember my very first surf vehicle – it was a 1960 hand-me-down Valiant station wagon with pushbutton transmission. Mom make curtains for the back windows, and I had an 8 track tape deck blasting the latest Iron Butterfly album- a sure-fire chick magnet. Wood paneled station wagons or ‘Woodies’ were all the rage back in the day, and many woody clubs are going strong in the USA. The venerable Volkswagen Bus was the surf ride de rigueur back in my surf hippie days. Seeing them always sparks a tinge of nostalgia. Nowadays big SUV’s dominate the beach lots, but creativity is still in charge when it comes to finding a ride to the beach in style.


My 1st car – 1960 Valiant                                                                                         The legendary VW Bus
Back in the 60’s we had a word for someone who talked a good surf but never actually paddled out: HODAD. A hodad would bleach his hair blond, wear baggies and sandals, and drive around with a board strapped on his car to impress the girls. In later years these characters still existed and were called many things: poser, greaser, glam, wannabe, pretender, etc.

Perfect Hodad Car!

Surfing Safari

‘Let’s go surfin’ now, everybody’s learning how, come on and Safari with me’ – The Beach Boys
Tim and Tyler had it right when they chose the name Safari Surf. Perhaps based on the African wildlife expedition concept, a surfing safari is the search for waves by vehicle.



Most surfing safaris became camping trips, and over the years I’ve seen some amazing vehicles customized for a long stay at the beach.


The Woody

Very popular in the 50’s, the woody is a wood paneled station wagon. It became the perfect surf vehicle. There are many thriving woody car clubs that won’t let go!


VW Bus

If there ever was a classic timepiece of 1970’s surfing it was the coveted VW Bus!


Different Rides for Different Tribes


Horsepower to the surf zone – (just keep an eye on your board)!


Helicopter Entry                                                                              Fine Car Transport                                                                                Pedal Power


Camel Taxis are booming in the bustling Morocco surf scene!


Indonesia Luxury Charter                                                                                                                                                                              Cruising south of San Francisco


Hearses were great surf vehicles!


Where there’s a will, there’s a way…….
What the???

Getting Around Nosara

Playa Guiones in Nosara is the front yard of a mellow little surf community. Hotels, restaurants, a market, and bank all lay within easy walking distance. For those looking to explore a bit there are several options available: rental car, bicycle, golf cart, and ATV’s.
My favorite is the quad or ATV (all terrain vehicle). Quads are economical and easy to drive.
The best thing about the quad is you feel part of everything you see since you are outside.
Quads handle our rough dirt roads and seem tailor-made for this kind of place. Answering to demand, most quad rental businesses equip them with surf racks.


Customized Quads – ideal for surf exploration!


Tinis & Ricardo’s surf ride                                                                                                                                                  Helberth’s clan off to the beach


Fun Mobile!

True Story: This group of guys has been coming to Nosara every year for 20 years. In the early days they would charter a private plane that would remove the seats to be able to load all the boards on. The hotel owner would meet them at the airport and drive them to the hotel in his dump truck!
And don’t forget good ole’ walking – Go Surfing!


The Inside Peak – A Look into Safari’s new HQ: Olas Verdes

Posted by & filed under Sustainability, The Inside Peak.

Part 1 – “Sultan of Sustainability”


We are stoked to have Carl Kish with us this week! Carl is Safari Surf’s Director of Sustainability. Carl exudes a laid back confident stoke that is catching.  We are hearing more and more these days about this word “sustainability”.  I was finally able to learn from the man himself about this intriguing new direction Safari Surf School and surf tourism is headed. Originally from San Francisco, Carl graduated from San Diego State University with a B.S. in Sustainable Recreation and Tourism Management. As an intern for the Center for Surf Research at SDSU, Carl helped the Center’s director Dr. Jess Ponting develop the Sustainable Surf Tourism Certification Program and acted as a sustainability consultant for Tavarua Island Resort and the Hotel Casa Tucan (Safari’s former home). As Sustainability Director, Carl is developing Safari Surf’s Sustainability Management System which encompasses all aspects of our business: environmental impact mitigation, interpretation, wildlife conservation, cultural preservation, supply chain management, and community development. Carl is also the Affiliate Program Manager, contacting surf schools all over the world to form new partnerships and establish various opportunities for more people to discover the paradise that is Nosara. Costa Rica has long embodied a healthy attitude towards all things environmental. With over one quarter of its land mass preserved in wildlife refuges, reserves, and parks, the country is poised to embrace this new wave of sustainable tourism concepts. Carl serves as an ambassador and liaison in advancing this new culture with innovative practices.


Costa Rica’s Vast Natural Ecosystems and Biodiversity are World Renown

Q & A:

PL: Welcome back Carl! I remember when you first came on the scene here a couple of years ago, working with Dr. Jess Ponting on benchmarking the Casa Tucan Hotel for sustainability. Tell us how it all started.
Carl: I began my college education at San Diego State University in 2008. I was interested in working in surf tourism in some capacity. I enrolled in the school’s hotel management program, figuring this was the logical starting point. At the end of my freshman year I caught wind of a new major being offered in Sustainable Tourism and Recreation. This caught my interest so I investigated.

PL: Is this where you met Dr. Ponting?
Carl: Yes. Dr. Jess (Ponting)is from Australia and is now an Associate Professor (recent promotion) at SDSU! His vast travels in surf tourism zones around the world have revealed that without proper planning and management, severe environmental damage in the form of erosion, deforestation, and pollution were inevitable. Not to mention exploitation of the local communities which inhabit these surfing areas. Jess felt certain that carefully planned and managed sustainable surf tourism could be the driver to bring conservation and community development to thousands of coastal communities in the less developed world.

surf pollution

[Damage to Coral Reefs | Pollution in the lineup]

PL: And thus the Center for Surf Research was born?
Carl: Correct! Dr. Ponting went on to earn the world’s 1st PhD in sustainable tourism management and in 2010 began the Center for Surf Research, a nonprofit educational facility housed in the school of Hospitality and Tourism Management at San Diego State University.

PL: Wow, so this was exactly what you were looking for!
Carl: Yeah it all kind of fell into place. I changed majors end of Freshman year and graduated in 2012 with a Bachelors in Sustainable Recreation and Tourism Management.

PL: What does the CSR do?
Carl: Many things! We offer field-based courses in sustainable tourism management and provide opportunities for internships, study abroad, volunteering, and research. We foster partnerships with governments, the surf industry, and tourism developers and the development of an accurate and viable sustainability reporting process.


Education & Outreach!


Study Abroad Trips!

PL: This is all so fascinating and cutting edge. Great work Carl and press on!
Carl: See you back in Nosara soon!


¨Carlito¨You’ll never meet a more positive human!



Part 2: An inside look at Olas Verdes Surf Resort!


Starting on the 2nd Level of the Clubhouse!

The highly anticipated Olas Verdes Surf Resort is expected to open in April 2015. The facility will feature 17 upscale rooms with a large clubhouse and pool. The clubhouse will accommodate the hotel reception office and Safari Surf Schools office/operations center. The most impressive aspect of this project is the dedication to sustainability in all areas of the operation. “Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Under the direction of Olas Verdes’ Project Manager, Carl Kish, the project endeavors to become the first LEED Platinum Certified Hotel in Costa Rica. In the United States and several other countries around the world, LEED certification is the recognized standard for sustainable design and construction. The LEED (leadership in energy and environmental design) green building rating system is developed to promote design and construction practices that increase profitability while reducing the negative environmental impacts of the building process. LEED standards measure all aspects of sustainable building sites: water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, landscaping, and indoor environmental quality. Carl took me on a tour of the Olas Verdes construction site and pointed out several of the sustainable innovations required for LEED certification.

Carl (middle) with LEED consultants Fabricio and Federico from SPHERA.

Carl (middle) with LEED consultants Fabricio and Federico from SPHERA.

Olas Verdes Sustainability Initiatives

The Olas Verdes Surf Resort is being constructed by Guanacaste Builders of Nosara. This will be their first LEED certified project to date, and serve as a model of sustainable building practices throughout Costa Rica. The building will be earthquake proof and will include two 7,000 liter rainwater collection tanks recycling water from natural precipitation and air conditioning units. There are three waste water treatment tanks that will convert black water to treated greywater for reuse through the resorts irrigation system and toilets. Only native vegetation will be planted, and interpretive signs will identify all plant and tree species in the landscapes. The resort will maintain an organic garden and compost all biodegradable matter. There will be solar water heaters and solar panels throughout the resort, which will result in 20% of the resorts total energy being supplied by solar. All construction waste is identified, sorted, and disposed of in LEEDS approved recycling facilities. There are many more sustainability initiatives in all facets of the construction, resulting in a state-of-the art surf resort.

Carl explaining the new pool design that will blow your mind, but you'll just have to wait!

Carl explaining the new pool design that will blow your mind, but you’ll just have to wait!

Guanacaste Builder's worker stoked on the on-site recycling center.

Guanacaste Builder’s worker stoked on the on-site recycling center.

Rocks at both entrances catch any mud or pollutants on the truck's tires before entering public roads.

Rocks at both entrances catch any mud or pollutants on the truck’s tires before entering public roads.

Sedimentation barrier to protect the stream from runoff on the construction site.

Sedimentation barrier to protect the stream from runoff on the construction site.


The Inside Peak – Blue Zone

Posted by & filed under The Inside Peak.

Nosara’s Blue Zones

It seems like Costa Rica makes headlines everywhere you look these days: CNN’s top 11 places to go in 2014, NY Times lists Nosara in their TOP 45 Places to Go article, National Geographic’s Top 20 Surf Town includes Nosara, and on and on. In 2004, population researcher Dan Buettner teamed up with National Geographic and the world’s leading longevity experts to identify pockets around the world where people lived longer and better. He named these areas “Blue Zones”. In these Blue Zones he found healthy, active, and thriving communities, inhabited by an inordinately large concentration of people enjoying life in their 90’s and 100’s. He visited these areas to study the lifestyles, community, diets, etc. in an effort to distill the essence of each Blue Zone and share his findings with the world. Buettner discovered Blue Zones in Japan, Greece, Sardina, and more recently the Nicoya region, which includes Nosara!


Everyone who comes to Safari Surf seems to get swept up in the vibrant energy that defines Nosara. The inviting warm ocean, blazing sun, good food, yoga, amazing surfing, and Pura Vida vibe serve to put the spirit in a happy place. Now to be informed we are encompassed in a Blue Zone – well it all starts to make sense! Spending a week surfing in Nosara is good therapy for the body, mind, and soul. I am convinced that the youthful population of Nosara’s local surf population will yield many future nonagenarians. The defining characteristics of Blues Zones vary from place to place but generally include diet, exercise, lower stress, family, community involvement, worship, and even taking sun! In Nosara surfing can be added to that list. I once heard the ocean referred to as Big Blue. Better add salt water to the list!


My dad and I watched a ‘60 Minutes’ broadcast that featured a California doctor’s recent research and report on an active senior community developed in the 70’s called Leisure World. The doctor looked into old files and records of the original residents. She then went to check up on them, see if they were still ticking, and indeed found that many were still actively enjoying life. My dad lives in a ‘senior’ community in Florida, originally set up for retirees from all branches of the military. I find this to be a very cool place – everyone waves, helps each other, swims, walks, plays golf, square dances, and gathers at the community clubhouse. I attended a weekly dominoes game of 90 somethings and was immediately recruited as a player. It was fun, fast-paced and competitive, and required quick thinking. I was amazed at their sharp minds, wit, and math skills. The 60 Minutes broadcast stated that the largest growing segment of population in the U.S. was that of 90 years olds and higher, who are living longer and better. And from what I have seen in Nosara and Florida, I believe this to be 100% true.


[L to R: Instructor Pio’s folks in Nosara; Dad’s Florida dominoes team; Delightful Sue heads home.]


As I see it, Safari Surf School is a Blue Zone Destination. We all want to get more years out of our life and more life out of our years. A Safari vacation will put you in touch with those things we lose touch with in our busy lives. When is the last time you sat around a dinner table for three hours with new found friends and even your own kids?! Surfing together and immersion in Nosara’s abundant tropical pleasures will do you (and us) a world of good. See you soon and Pura Vida!


The Inside Peak – Inventor of the Indo Board

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Hunter Joslin – Inventor of the Indo Board. Credit:


Hey Gang, it’s May 5, Cinco de Mayo! I am in Florida visiting my very cool 94 year old dad and prowling around my old stomping grounds in Melbourne Beach.  So today all the Mexican restaurants and bars here are jammed with people drinking margaritas at 10am and all I wanna do is go to the beach. I did manage a morning surf yesterday and that felt good. I ran into my old pal Hunter “Indo Man” Joslin, the creator of the Indo Board Balance Trainer. We use this ingenious device at Safari Surf School and man it really works. My dad and I paid a visit to Hunter at his office/warehouse facility and had a blast. True to form Hunter had my dad ‘Log’ on an Indo Board grooving! In terms of surf training, the Indo Board is a great tool. We have one in constant use at Safari, it just kind of draws you to it, enticing you to get on. I thought a little profile of Hunter and his inspired product would make an informative and useful blog!




Hunter Joslin hatched his balance board idea 40 years ago as a young swimmer/surfer in Palm Beach Florida. He placed a basic wood platform on a roller and voila! He loved the sensation, it was fun but it also provided serious exercise and a balance challenge that would entertain him and his friends for hours. Then life took over and Hunter became involved in numerous surf industry ventures; owning and operating  a bikini company, importing & selling merchandize from Bali, announcing professional surfing and skateboarding events, and co-owning a surf-trip travel agency called Surf Express. Hunter hired me at Surf Express and our #1 surf trip destination was Costa Rica. It was here that I began my love affair with Costa Rica, and over my 10 year stint at Surf Express I became very well acquainted with this magical little country. Hunter ended up selling his share of the travel agency and launched full-on into developing the Indo Board Balance Trainer.



PL: Great to see you mate! So things are hopping in Indo-World?

Hunter: Yes business has been good. We have been spreading Indomania across the globe!


PL: Great to hear. So what does the Indo Board do?

Hunter: The Indo Board is a fun and very effective balance trainer. The simple act of balancing the deck atop the roller engages your core and stabilizer muscles by challenging the rider with “instability” which must navigated. In scientific speak it’s called ‘Proprioception’: The ability to sense stimuli arising within the body regarding position, motion, and equilibrium.


PL: What are the key elements in balance training pertinent to surfing?

Hunter: A centered, “planted” stance is the key. Knees should be slightly bent, back straight, arms at your sides. If you can remember these basic elements, your surfing will improve. I see many students struggling with bending/leaning over – “butt-out-itis” – or throwing their hands up in the air which throws you off balance. If you always remember to return to the core stance you will progress. The Indo Board greatly helps with this!


PL: Outside of surfing, where has the Indo Board found audiences?

Hunter: Any sport or movement activity can benefit from Indo Boarding. We are working with Pro golfers, PE teachers, dance instructors, personal trainers, skiers, runners, swimmers, martial arts; the list is ever-expanding. Our latest product is the Indo YOGA board which has become very popular.

PL: As you know, Nosara has developed into a major yoga destination so this is very welcome news.

Proper Posture for Balance Training (from
A centered and balanced posture on the Indo Board is achieved by

  • feet shoulder width apart

  • look forward, not down

  • hold your head and shoulders upright

  • neutral spine with hips rolled slightly forward

  • knees bent more than you think they should be

  • engage your core to keep your alignment

  • engaged shoulder blades and back, chest out

  • quiet upper body with no unnecessary arm movements

  • strive towards perfect top to bottom alignment of the ankles- hips-shoulders.

  • do not break/bend at the waist

PL: The Indo Board comes not only with the roller, but a mouth inflated cushion. What does the cushion do?

Hunter: The IndoFLO cushion offers the user a less intimidating balance training experience. Unlike the roller, the cushion stays in one place and you can’t be thrown off. This is ideal for rehabilitation exercises and for older folks who want to take it slowly. Now, let’s get your dad on it!

My Dad – 94 years young – getting’ INDO it!


PL: Well to us it’s always been about surfing! Thanks Hunter and Pura Vida!

We’ll have you come down and do some training sessions when the Olas Verdes opens next year.

Hunter: See you in Nosara


Indo Man in Indo



The Inside Peak – Meet the Manager: Jeffrey!

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Introducing Safari Manager: Jeffrey Noguera

One of the great things about living here is getting to know the local people. I find it very easy to make friends here as everyone you encounter seems upbeat, cheerful, and exuberantly social. My all-time favorite Tico and closest friend is Jeffrey Noguera. Jeffrey migrated here from the big city (San Jose) and decided to make Nosara his home. He began working at Casa Tucan as a waiter, and eventually got coerced into management by Tyler and Tim. He has learned the hotel/restaurant/surf school business from the ground floor up, but also hit the books on nights and weekends, graduating with a college degree in business management. Jeffrey really came into his own after Casa Tucan was sold and we moved into the transitional ‘Safari House’. He became the resident manager of Safari Surf School and really found his niche. I have enjoyed every moment working with this outstanding gentleman, and will always treasure our friendship.

PL: When did you get here?

Jeffrey: I moved from San Jose in 2009. My dad lived here and I visited him and got to check out Nosara. I had just come from a hectic city life where I mainly played   soccer professionally. Man it was so beautiful and laid back, everyone was smiling, carrying surfboards, girls in bikinis………. I told myself this is where I belong!

PL: When did you start working?

Jeffrey: Soon after I came here I got a job at Casa Tucan as a waiter. Tyler and Tim were Co-owners and Safari Surf School was located there. As time went on I got pulled into hotel and restaurant management responsibilities and I liked it. I had also started business management classes at the University of Costa Rica campus in Nicoya.




PL: Were you a surfer at that time?

Jeffrey: No, my sports background was in soccer. I played professionally for the National Team in Alajuela. But the guys got me out on the beach and in the water, and ahhh it was great!



PL: You recently graduated from college?

Jeffrey: Yes I graduated from a 4 year business management program. Now I am a “Licensia”, kind of the same thing as Bachelors degree. It was a very good program. I learned a lot about business law and finances, things I use every day here at work.


PL: How do you like your new role at Safari House?

Jeffrey: Everything is very different from Casa Tucan. Now we do not have a public restaurant and hotel to manage. I like it because we can give our full attention to the surf school guests. I am much more involved with the surf lessons and do all the scheduling, which can get pretty complicated when we are busy. I also live here so am pretty much always on the job.

PL: And you are the resident PING PONG CHAMPION!

Jeffrey: Yeah man I even won a bottle of tequila at one of our tournaments!






PL: You have worked hard and saving money. Now you have a blue MacBook, a blue iPhone, and now a new blue car! Dude you are living the dream.

Jeffrey: Yeah man, I like blue!

PL: How do you feel about the opening of Olas Verdes?

Jeffrey: It is going to be really special. The location is very private and close to the beach. For sure it will be the #1 hotel in Nosara. I am very proud to be here!


The Inside Peak – Meet Our Instructors: Tinis!

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Welcome back! This week we feature our favorite Surfer Girl!

Tinis Gomar heads up our very cool Womens Surf Adventures program as well being one of Safari Surfs illustrious surf instructors. I have always enjoyed talking to Tinis; she is super smart, super fit, super stoked, and a lot of fun to have around.

PL: Hi Tinis, well it’s your turn to be interviewed for the blog…

Tinis: Ok, let’s do it!


PL: About your name Tinis, it’s kind of unusual, does it have a meaning?

Tinis: It’s a nickname my sister called me as a kid, I think it had something to do with being a small kid, as in tiny!


PL: Where are you from?

Tinis: I was born in San Jose; I have been in Nosara for 7 years.


PL: How long have you been surfing?

Tinis: Seven years – I started the minute I got here, naturally!

PL: How long have you been teaching?

Tinis: Six years. It was a natural fit, I love helping people.


PL: Do you surf in contests?

Tinis: I did a couple of times but it’s not my thing, it felt too confining”


PL: Tell me about Womens Surf Adventures

Tinis: This is Safari Surfs customized surf adventure packages for women.

Safari sets up an all-inclusive experience which includes lodging, meals,

yoga, massage, a canopy tour zipline day in the rainforest, and lots of surfing.


PL: Do you feel there is an advantage for women students to work with a female instructor?

Tinis: Yes I do. Many women, especially Americans, are a little reserved coming here and they just feel more comfortable with a woman teacher/guide. It’s a psychological thing. I love it because it is very involved and intimate. I spend a lot of time with them and really get to know them, who they are inside. I miss them when they leave; we share a deep bond of friendship. 


PL: You also like teaching the kids do you?

Tinis: Oh Yes, I love the kids and especially our Kids Camps, so much fun.


PL: You always seem very healthy and fit, what is your secret?

Tinis: I eat well; do yoga, and lots of workouts. My boyfriend Ricardo is a well-known personal trainer here and he helped me become a certified TRX trainer. I teach three classes a week at Guiones Wellness Center.


PL: Ricardo is a great guy and you two just look like you belong together!


PL: Do you like big surf?

Tinis: Well yes, up to a point. I like waves in the 4-6 foot range, just overhead!



PL: You are always wearing the latest styles in swimwear.

Tinis; I had a bikini shop at Kaya Sol 2 years ago. I like designing surfwear for women. Maybe I can open a shop in the Olas Verdes Resort!


PL: Importing figures in your life?

Tinis: My mom all kids!


PL: Dream surf trip?

Tinis: Indonesia and Australia


PL: If you could own any car in the world what would it be?

Tinis: A monster truck!


PL: Thank Tinis, nice talkin’ to ya!

Tinis:     Ciao!



1) 2)

*Safari t-shirt to the winner!*

The Inside Peak – Meet Our Instructors: Kevin!

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New Kid on the Block: Kevin Montiel

Safari is stoked to introduce our newest instructor Kevin Montiel. This kid is a fireball of dynamic energy in the water. He is in superb condition and devotedly surfs 4-6 hours each day. The first time I saw him surfing here really blew me away – I look up to see this guy just blazing across the blue face of a head high wave, subtly weighting and unweighting  his board and pumping for maximum speed and trim. It was the fasted I have ever seen anyone go on a wave in Guiones, or anywhere for that matter. Kevin is well known in the surfing ranks here and is a top-notch competitor on the National Pro Surf Circuit and the locally promoted Nosara Triple Crown of Suring. You never see him without a huge smile, he is polite and affable and a pleasure to talk to.


PL: Hey Kevin welcome to the Safari Team!
KEVIN: Thanks man, so stoked to be here


PL: So where are you from?

KEVIN: I was born in San Jose but have lived in Nosara all my life


PL: When did you start surfing?

KEVIN: I started when I was 10 years old. I’m 18 now so I’ve been surfing for 8 years


PL: You are very dialed into the contest circuit here, when did you start competing?

KEVIN: I started surfing in contests when I was 11 in the mini-grom division


PL: And now?

KEVIN: I surf in the Juniors division. I am #1 ranked in the Nosara Triple Crown Series


PL: Where have you traveled to compete?

KEVIN: All over Costa Rica. Last year I got to go to the East Coast Surfing Championships in Virginia Beach, it was a great experience.

PL: Wow dude I surfed in that contest in 1968, I feel old!

The Future


The Past – young Kevin                Me in 1968

PL: What are the “strong points: in your surfing?

KEVIN: Aerials and power carves!

Kevin in Flight!

Blazing Speed!

Power and Style!

PL: How did you become interested in becoming an instructor?

KEVIN: My brother Luigi started a small surf school here and I started there.

I liked teaching but it was hard to working with family, you know?

When Tyler called and asked if I wanted to work at Safari I was so stoked, a dream come true!


PL: What do you like about it?

KEVIN: Safari brings in guests who stay for a week, so you really get to

know them and can work with their strengths and weaknesses. It is very satisfying to see them improve over the week. I also love teaching the kids.

Hard at Work

Fun with the Kiddos

PL: I always see you with Nuria, is she your novia?

KEVIN: Oh yes, for sure!

Nuria & Kevin


PL: With you surfing 6 hours a day how do you have time to see her?

KEVIN: She is out there surfing with me!

Nuria Styling!

Thanks for reading!

Pura vida,


The Inside Peak – Meet Our Instructors: Owen!

Posted by & filed under The Inside Peak.

Owen Stoneman – “The Internationalist”

Owen Stoneman is one my favorite characters down here.  He lives for surfing. Owen is one of the few who’ve contemplated surfing on a larger, historical scale. He has an innate appreciation for all styles and forms of wave riding, and even commented favorably on my old guy Skip Fry approach to riding a wave – 12 foot single fin, trimlining, California slouch, kind of just standing there feeling it all, like music. He’s a smart dude who could be living a number of different of human roles and profiles. Somehow his degree in environmental resource management seems appropriate to his chosen path. But Owen has chosen the path of what I call the ‘Bohemian Surf Nomad’, kind of like Nosara’s version of Dave Rastovich.  He rides all sizes and styles of surfboards expertly, and somehow is able to switch back and forth eloquently.  Owen embraces day to day life as a surfing metaphor: ‘whatever come s your way……ride it’.  He is a top-notch surfing teacher and coach and is very serious and focused on each individual lesson as if it has deep meaning and importance – which we all knows it does when we are in the student’s position. Owen has spent many years hoping the globe from surf school to surf school, riding the seasons, following the endless summer, and logging countless hours of water time.  I recently learned that the love of his life, lovely Belle and he, are going to have a son.  They are both over the moon about this and it makes me wonder how it will all play out for them in “surf metaphor” terms.  I’ve never seen the guy with dry hair – likely a trait that will be passed on to the little guy.

PL: Where are you originally from?

OWEN: The UK, guess you’d call me an ‘Englishmon’


PL: When did you discover surfing?

OWEN: I started in 1993 in Cornwall. People don’t realize that England is basically an island surrounded by the North Sea, English Channel, Celtic Sea, Irish Sea, and Atlantic Ocean. Cornwall is on the southern tip with some beautiful beaches, good swell exposure.

Geography Lesson – where’s England? Cornwall Coast [right photo]

PL: At what point did you discover this “knack” for teaching people how to surf?

OWEN: I had always lifeguarded in Cornwall; I was close to the sea. When surfing found me I became obsessed. At seventeen I became a full-on surf bum, I would hang out on the beaches of France all summer. This was before the global surf school boom. People would always ask me, “hey, can you teach me how to surf?” I gave it a go and really liked it; I was good at it and saw people renewed by the experience. It dawned on me that ‘surf instructor’ could be a valid career and keep me closely connected to the waves.


PL: And the rest is history as they say! Where have you taught surfing?

OWEN: Cornwall, Canary Islands, Australia, Portugal, Morocco, Ireland, Panama,

Costa Rica. When the season comes to a close here in Nosara I head off to somewhere where it is just getting started.

PL: I’ve heard that ski instructors and white water rafting guides do the same thing, kind of follow the sun, the old Endless Summer cliché!


PL: You have a huge following of students who return and request you for lessons. There is a wide range of ability levels that you work with, and you regard all with equal concentration and intensity. You seem to take your lessons very seriously. What is your approach to teaching?

OWEN: In my own surfing I look carefully at the waves and “mind surf” for a few minutes. I look for sections, rip tides, shoal areas, and channels. To me surfing is about tapping the energy from the source (the wave) and flowing with it. I try to instill this with my students, I want them to tune into the elements, be like water! I especially like coaching intermediate and advanced students


PL: Your almost “psychic” ability to read waves has earned you the moniker ‘Owen Almighty’.

OWEN: You’re a funny guy….

PL: Local legend says you are the ‘immaculate’ offspring of Coconut Harry and LuLu?

OWEN: That’s been going around for a long time! = ???


PL: You surf so many different boards, what’s your favorite?

Owen: Whatever one I’m riding at the moment……

Owen conducting his weekly video analysis class for Safari Surf School Students

PL: Your thoughts on next year?

OWEN: I am really excited about the opening of the Olas Verdes Resort. It will be an amazing base for Safari Surf School and I am looking forward to being a part of it.


Hamming it up with Safari Presidente Tim Marsh