Olas Verdes Press Release

Posted by & filed under Business, Sustainability.

BUILDING A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE FOR COSTA RICA’S PREMIER SURF SCHOOL
Safari Surf School’s new headquarters to be developed using sustainable design practices.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 28, 2013

Contact: Carl Kish at 866-433-3355 or carl@safarisurfschool.com

NOSARA, COSTA RICA – Safari Surf School, Costa Rica’s premier surf school and surf camp, will begin construction of its new headquarters — Olas Verdes — in November of this year.

The beachfront property is located on the edge of a 200 meter setback from Playa Guiones in adherence with the protection of the Ostional Wildlife Refuge. Local architecture firm, Prendas Loria, in collaboration with Safari Surf’s Sustainability Director, Carl Kish, will ensure Olas Verdes complies with internationally recognized sustainable design and tourism standards.

Safari Surf’s longtime base of operations,the Hotel Casa Tucan, and the surrounding property was purchased by the owners of the The Harmony Hotel, a local sustainable resort. While Safari Surf School’s owners, Tim and Tyler Marsh, are saddened to part with the hotel that has been their headquarters for over a decade, they are eager to push the envelope for sustainable tourism with Olas Verdes.

“What excites us the most is this entire project will be built with sustainability in mind. From the architecture, to the water reclamation, to solar, grey water systems etc. Our facility will be built with Sustainable Certification as a top priority from the country’s highest standard (CST), as well as certification from the Center for Surf Research.” — Tim Marsh, Co-Owner/CEO.

Hotel Casa Tucan has long been a central part of the growing surf community of Playa Guiones as well as Nosara, and has been a “second home” to thousands of Safari Surf School students who have come to Costa Rica to learn to surf and experience the Costa Rican “pura vida” firsthand.

Tim Marsh’s full story on the Casa Tucan and more details about Olas Verdes are available here: https://safarisurfschool.com/2013/05/28/ciao-to-the-casa-tucan/

About Safari Surf School

Founded by brothers Tim and Tyler Marsh in 1999, Safari Surf School is an official Billabong Camp and is Costa Rica’s premier surf school. In addition to surf lessons from ISA certified instructors, Safari offers complete vacation packages including a range of accommodations, dining, transportation and numerous other activities. The school is located at Playa Guiones near Nosara on Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast. Business and administrative operations are based in San Diego, CA, U.S.A. Specific businesses include Safari Surf School, Safari Surf Adventures, Safari Surf Vacations, and Women’s Surf Adventures. For more information about Safari Surf School, go to https://safarisurfschool.com/https://www.facebook.com/safarisurfschoolhttps://twitter.com/safarisurfer.

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Ciao to the Casa Tucan

Posted by & filed under Business, Business In "Pura Vida-Ville", Community, Sustainability.

Safari Surf & Hotel Casa Tucan – “The Story”

by Tim Marsh, Co-Owner/CEO.

I can remember my first time at the Hotel Casa Tucan in 1995…driving through Nosara on a mission to find surf, sun, and fun on my first visit to the “rich coast”, I stopped in to have a beer and ask directions. Little did I know at that time that I would come back years later and run a business out of this location.

Safari Surf School officially opened its “doors” in 1999 and from 1999 to 2005 the Hotel Casa Tucan was home to our surf program and the base of Safari’s operations. We were a small start up surf school, one of the first in all of Costa Rica at the time, and using this facility as our base of operations. We did not own the hotel but we had forged a good relationship with the manager and owner and promised her we could fill the place with traveling surfers and tourists.

From 1999 to 2005, Safari Surf steadily grew and had a solid “fan base”…word was getting out about this cool surf location, cool and unique surf program, and the unbelievable local townspeople, vibe, and just amazing aura that was Nosara, Playa Guiones. Hotel Casa Tucan along with its charm and mystique steadily became a meeting spot, a hub if you will, for traveling surfers and tourists alike. The rustic charm, the relaxed pura vida vibe of the staff was unmatched. It was so authentic you could taste it. People who could afford to stay at much more expensive lodging preferred to stay at the Casa Tucan due to its charm, its allure of pura vida, its relaxed vibe…it was perfect in so many ways.

In 2005, the hotel became available for purchase. We (Tim & Tyler) quickly knew something had to be done to make sure they could keep this little slice of nirvana. We reached out to a few previous surf school guests about the prospect of going in with them and purchasing the hotel, bar & restaurant. Within a few short weeks the funds were realized and the hotel & bar were now firmly rooted in Safari Surf Schools’ name and future plans.

From 2005 to 2010, Safari Surf school steadily rose to prominence within its industry…building relationships with guests one by one that will last a lifetime. Families, new found friends, continue to return year in and year out to visit Playa Guiones, Safari Surf, and Hotel Casa Tucan. So many faces have come in and out of Casa Tucan over the years and many to this day continue to come and enjoy the charm and serenity they have become accustomed too at their home away from home…Hotel Casa Tucan.

We have watched many of the families children grow over the years and every time they return it is like a long lost family reunion…something that cannot be forged, a real bond with people and place.

In 2010, the “other” investors preferred not to be involved in the hotel and bar side of the business so Tyler and I decided to lease the entire hotel to keep secure the environment we had created over all those previous years. To keep intact the vibe and aura that had become so renown to all its guests.
In March of this year (2013) we were approached by an investor who was eager to buy our property. So much so, that this investor offered top dollar for our entire property. Tyler and I being 1/3 partners were unfortunately not in the majority and a decision was made to sell the Hotel Casa Tucan. 30 days later and the hotel was sold. The new owners were nice enough to allow Safari Surf to finish out its current lease that runs through August of 2013. At that time the Hotel Casa Tucan, the memories, will unfortunately be no more.

This was obviously an incredibly difficult time for Tyler and me in many respects…but mainly, what were we going to do for our business, how were we going to move forward? Things transpired in lightening speed and the reality that Safari Surf did not have a home after Aug. was to say the least, a bit stressful for us.

It’s interesting how life moves…moves in ways we cannot predict. I believe things happen for a reason and that fate does play a role in our lives more than we recognize.

Not more than 2 or 3 days had passed once we had realized we were not going to be able to save the Hotel Casa Tucan than an aberration appeared before us…my wife Marsi and I had reached out to many of the local real estate and rental agents in and around Nosara inquiring about locations or homes we could use to set up our base of operations for our surf program, when we received a phone call from one of the agents informing me that there was an amazing property that had just become available and it was not currently on the market so no one knew of its availability.

This property is right on the 200 meter line or as most in Nosara know…beachfront as you can get in Playa Guiones. There were 8 lots with one of the lots having a gorgeous 4 BR 3 bath home on it. This was the ideal location for an amazing surf school retreat.

I had to work extremely fast as time was not on my side. Once word got out to the other local RE agents that this property was for sale and it would have gone in a second. There has been a large influx of money coming back into Nosara and the fact that this was available would have been swallowed up by an investor quite quickly. You just don’t see this size of a property, with its location (and potential) available any more in Playa Guiones.

I quickly sprang into action and put together an investment opportunity and sent this proposal out to a few select people I thought might be interested. The long and short of it was I was right…there were interested parties and when it all came down to it the property was purchased and a new partnership came to life.

The plans for this new location are to build an office for Safari Surf School, a club house, kitchen / food service area, pool, commons area with BBQ along with 8 to 12 (2) BR units for rent.

What excites us the most is this entire project will be built with sustainability in mind. From the architecture, to the water reclamation, to solar, grey water systems etc. Our facility will be built with Sustainable Certification as top priority from the country’s highest standard ICT as well as certification from Center for Surf Research and other entities.

The name of our new location will be “Ola Verde” or Green Wave.

We have begun the architectural design phase and anticipate breaking ground this coming November 2013. Safari Surf will be putting together a blog to follow the progress of this amazing project from start to finish.

The one and most important thing we want to transfer from the Casa Tucan to Ola Verde is that amazing vibe, that relaxed surf theme. What made the Casa Tucan so amazing was ultimately the staff…and we will be bringing the majority of our staff with us…keeping intact the “real” pura vida vibe that made Casa Tucan and will make Ola Verde the place to be!

ola-verde-clubhouse

First drawings of the new Safari Surf Clubhouse at Ola Verde.

The Inside Peak – Weekly Wrap 05.22.13

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Welcome back to the Inside Peak, fresh from a short holiday to Panama to check out the Caribbean (it was nice!) and some much needed down-time (as life is SO hectic here) and we are back and ready to rip!

In fact, a whole lot of Guiones has gone into shut down mode over the past few weeks. The bars and restaurants have been relatively empty, as have the crowds in the surf. Even the usually bustling Casa Tucan has been quiet and relaxed, and we have only had a handful of students taking lessons from our expert instructors.

But while things have been slowing down on land, it seems somebody forgot to let the ocean know it could have a break too. The surf has been, again, continuously pumping for the last week, with well over head high conditions on the outside breaks being the norm. Once again this is thanks to big south swells being generated wayyyyy down in the southern Pacific Ocean, somewhere between Auckland and Antarctica. These swells travel thousands of miles across open ocean before they hit our beach, and by that time they have sorted themselves into the well groomed, long interval peaks that we know so well.

But we aren´t the only break in the world that turns on in these swells. Waves across literally half the globe have been lighting up over the past few weeks, from Fiji to Tahiti to Hawaii to Mexico. Here is how the swell looked in Ala Moana, Hawaii…

ala
…and Teahupoo, Tahiti…
teahupoo
Heavy!

Now, not quite as large but no less exciting, check out some pictures and videos below from Safari Surf School guests making the most of conditions at Playa Guiones over the past few weeks…

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blue
white
colour
colours
pink
purple
red
stretch

That´s all for the Inside Peak this week. My apologies for the shortness of the blog post, but watch out as things ramp back up again coming into Summer! As always, keep an eye out on our Facebook, Instagram (safarisurfer) and Twitter accounts for daily updates on the Safari Surf School World.

The Inside Peak – Weekly Wrap Up 05.07.13

Posted by & filed under Community, Events, Surfing, The Inside Peak, Travel.

Hello and welcome to another edition of the Inside Peak Weekly Wrap Up.

It is an absolutely gorgeous morning here in Playa Guiones. Clear blue skies, offshore winds and postcard-perfect water conditions have combined with a severe lack of crowds to make for an incredibly enjoyable morning surf session.

tuesday-morning

This is how Tuesday morning in Guiones looks. How does your morning shape up?

After a topsy turvy week, weather wise, you could have been mistaken for thinking that we were back in the middle of the dry season (except for the lack of crowds). And with client numbers slowing down, our instructors have been able to get out for some free surfing of their own. As you would expect, they have been ripping! With surfers as talented as these guys (and girls), it is easy to see why we are still Costa Rica´s premier surf school.

luis

Luis flies…

nico

…and Nico gouges.

alonso

Alonso with a nice turn.

kimber

Kimber ripping on her backhand.

nick

With a few less students around I also got a chance to try out a few boards from our massive quiver… this is the 6´6 funboard – it is a real treat to ride!

alonso-fish

And when there are no waves, there are always fish! Alonso with one of his latest catches.

As always, our students have also been having a great time out in the water. Below is a selection of shots taken over the last couple of weeks:

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ray
girl
noboard
nico
elena3
owen-sink

Owen doing his shark impersonation.

With things slowing down for the rest of the month, this will be the last batch of SSS student photos for a little while. A few of our instructors and staff are taking the chance to head off on some mini-holidays, with El Salvador, Nicaragua and Panama the most popular destinations. Even I will be heading to Bocas del Toro in Panama at the end of the week for my own vacay, so will be resting The Inside Peak for a week or two.

But before I tip out for a little while I should come to the last, but certainly not the least, segment for the blog. Keen followers of Safari Surf School´s Facebook page would be aware of a competition announced last Thursday, whereby fans were encouraged to subscribe and register for notifications from our page (as opposed to just liking it). Just to spice things up, we decided that five randomly chosen new subscribers would be rewarded with Safari Surf School t shirts. All sounds like a great plan, right? Well it was, and it came off without a hitch… except for one important issue. Due to recent changes at Facebook, we cannot actually see the new individual subscribers for our page. We can see how many there are, but not who they are. Thanks for nothing, Zuckerberg.

But of course, we still have these t shirts to give away. So, if you were one of the new subscribers and still want to be in the competition, comment on this page or write me an email (nick@safarisurfschool.com) with your name and details… first five to do so, win the shirt! This competition is only open to fans in North America (for postage and handling purposes). So, get typing, and as always make sure you keep up with our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for more exclusive updates and offers.

Peace and duckdives,

Nick.

The Inside Peak – Weekly Wrap Up 04.29.13

Posted by & filed under Friends, Surfing, Sustainability, The Inside Peak.

Top of the morning, afternoon and evening to you all and welcome to the Inside Peak.

As we move into the month of May (Already? I know, right!), our little coastal hamlet of Guiones continues to chug along at a comfortable, easy pace. After the craziness of a few weeks ago, client numbers at Safari Surf School and the Casa Tucan have also eased. While this means slightly fewer pool-side conferences, impromptu surf sessions and bar singalongs (I promise this actually happens) for those lucky enough to be currently visiting us, it also means more time for optimum relaxation and tranquility. And, there is still a whole bunch of good times to be had, both in the water and out.

tucan-bar

Whether it is with 2 of your best friends, or 200 of your best friends, Casa Tucan always delivers.

Anyway, let´s talk surf.

Steady pulses of WSW swell from the southern Pacific has seen a continuation of the mid-range swells from the previous week. The rain storms have eased off somewhat, only really hitting late at night and early in the morning. This means that the wind has shifted back into its standard pattern of offshore until around 10am, followed by light onshores and an afternoon glass off. With the swell not getting too crazy, our students have been able to really get out and make the most of the conditions.

owen-students

Owen going through some on the beach, last minute theory before hitting the waves.

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Nice drop on an outside bomb.

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Stylin’

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This move is called ´the dropped wallet´.

James at Surfing Nosara has again delivered the goods with his exclusive, weekly Safari Surf School video. This week´s edition also has some older footage from some of the big swells to hit earlier in the month, and it definitely worth a look if you haven´t seen it already.

Meanwhile, an awesome collaboration between Safari Surf School and our friends at HKTK clothing and apparel has resulted in a new range of SSS rash vests for our instructors that use 100% vegetable-based inks in the screen printing process. These inks contain absolutely zero environmentally hazardous or carcinogenic content, and the printing is done here in Nosara. Environmentally sustainable projects that support the local community like this form the core of what Safari Surf School is all about, so we are naturally incredibly stoked with the outcome!

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The finished product.

zac-hktk

Zac from HKTK weaving his magic.

Be sure to check out the HKTK Facebook page for more info on their products, and to support the local surfing scene in Nosara .

Now, for a slice of nature. Yesterday afternoon, my girlfriend and I were lucky enough to stumble across (almost literally) an Olive Ridley Turtle laying its eggs on the high tide line at Playa Guiones. This is the first time I have ever seen a turtle doing its thing this far south from Playa Ostional, but I am told that it is a relatively common occurrence. It was a real treat to observe such a rare and endangered animal in its native habitat, and it really does amaze when you think how much these gals go through to reach this stage of their life. The Olive Ridley Turtles are the species responsible for the Arribada, which is the mass nesting and hatching that takes place at Playa Ostional, just north of us, however obviously this particular turtle decided to go it alone down with us gringos at Guiones. Here are a few of the photos my girlfriend took (right when I had just pulled a backhand cheater 5 on my Robert August 9´6 in the shorebreak in front of her, mind you. But just kidding, I heart turtles).

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Having a dig.

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Having a kip.

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Locals only!

Best of luck to all the baby turtles that momma left behind last night, and if you happen to have a can of radioactive goo poured over you and turn into a Ninja Turtle, remember that Casa Tucan makes the best pizzas in town!

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Cowabunga!

And on that note, I will see you all next week. Surf safe!

The Inside Peak – Weekly Wrap Up 04.23.13

Posted by & filed under Surfing, The Inside Peak, Travel.

Hello and welcome again to the Inside Peak Weekly Wrap Up.

Our prayers to the weather gods were answered on Friday night with the first rain in over six months falling. This is, I am sure, completely due to the will power of the millions of Inside Peak readers that I inspired to wish for the rain in last week´s blog.  Great work guys, we could not have done this without you. But in all seriousness, already the air is feeling so much cleaner and crisper, and the local flora has exploded into a million different colours.

rain

A welcome sight.

We are now settling in to a pattern of morning sunshine and offshores followed by afternoon and early evening showers, and then mostly clear nights. Beers are tasting cooler, waves are breaking for longer and everybody is looking even more attractive than usual. It is pretty much heaven on Earth.

The surf has been a continuous exercise in excellence. Dropping down to a much more manageable size after the large south swells of the past few weeks, the shape and consistency of the waves has been ideal. With crowd numbers thinning after the craziness of Semana Santa, our SSS clients have been able to get out and make the absolute most of the conditions. Check out some of our latest photos below.

sarah-left

Sarah on a great left.

andy

Andy freesurfing.

right

Chargin’

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Woops!

derek

Derek, picking right back up where he left off after a year out of the water!

elena

Elena showing some style.

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Kimber and Helberth with the Kids Camp kids!

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Cosmo, the lady killer.

And, as always, our good friends at Surfing Nosara have put together an exclusive Safari Surf School video with all of the latest highlights:

As many of you will be aware, surfing isn´t the only attraction when you make the trip to visit us in Playa Guiones. Safari Surf School offers a number of adventure and sustainability tours as extras to your surfing package. Just yesterday, I was lucky enough to join some holiday makers on a guided horseback tour of the coastal fringes of Nosara, starting from north Playa Guiones and travelling all across Playa Pelada and through to Boca Nosara.

With our tour starting at 4pm, an intense downfall at 3:30pm had a few of us worrying whether or not the tour would go ahead at all. Luckily, the rain cleared and we were treated to an absolutely stunning afternoon. After a quick familiarization with our horses (why the long face? etc) we set off on the ride. Feeling like extras from a Lord of the Rings movie*, our local guide escorted us across beaches, headlands, hills and mountains. A brief pit stop for a beer and sunset at Lagarta Lodge, home to one of the most amazing views you will ever have the fortune to see, was followed by a gallop back along the beach to avoid the next rain fall.

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Playa Pelada reflections.

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Lagarta Lodge vista.

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Happy honeymooners Brandon and Jane.

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Completely normal posing, perched on top of a 20 meter high cliff.

This is just one of the many adventure and sustainability tours that you can choose from when you stay with Safari Surf School, and is an absolute blast of a time. I highly recommend it.

Finally, you might remember from last week´s post that I was talking up a couple of secret spot missions that myself and a few of our instructors and clients have made over the last few weeks. Well, due to some “surfer´s code” type stuff it turns out I
can´t really tell you too much more about the waves that we scored. But, even though I have been sworn to secrecy, I am still going to post a WORLD EXCLUSIVE VIDEO from one of the trips. It is only a short clip, and definitely wasn´t one of the best waves ridden, but it still gives you a pretty good taste of the quality of this particular set up. And I figure that if you are still actually reading this far into the blog you deserve some sort of reward.

All I can say is that it is south of Ostional and north of Jaco, that you need a boat to get there and that we saw about five sharks on the trip out. But it was all worth it! This video features our resident Instructor and grouch, Owen, with filming credit going to Alonso.

Come and visit us in Costa Rica and we will show you more!

That is me done for the week, guys. As always, keep an eye on our Facebook and Instagram for some serious surf jealousy, and I will see you next week!

*Unfortunately Mount Doom and the Eye of Sauron were shut for the season.

The Inside Peak – Weekly Wrap Up 04.15.13

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Hello again, Inside Peak followers.

Yet another week has passed down here in Guiones at Safari Surf School, Costa Rica´s premier surf academy. As we march through the month of April there is still no sign of the first rains of the wet season. We have experienced two or three days that were tantalizingly close to opening up, but it seems that every time the clouds pass over the mountains and head towards the coast they lose their mojo. With the water levels at dangerously  low levels for some rural parts of Nosara, the rains really cannot come soon enough.

However, a crack team of SSS Instructors, (led by our resident Englishman Owen who hails from the witch capital of the world, Cornwall) have been performing nightly rain dances in the hopes of enticing the storm gods to release their bounty, so we expect to see some results soon. I wonder if a “Sustainability through Paganism” initiative could take off?

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Cool clouds, but no rain!

While the weather gods have been uncooperative in the precipitation department, they surely have been smiling on us when it comes to the surf! It seems like every week I am writing something along of the lines of “…and the swell just keeps on coming at Playa Guiones” because, well, the swell DOES just keeps on coming at Playa Guiones!  Storm cells in the South Pacific – which produce the strong southerly swells have been experiencing – have been particularly active. We are entering week four of continuous quality swell, and it still shows no real signs of abating.

pipe

Ok so it isn´t quite Guiones but we still know how these guys feel.

As always our clients have been right in the thick of it, with beginners to intermediates to advanced all giving their best – and having the times of their lives in the process. While some of the extra big days have made conditions hazardous at certain times and tides, we have made sure that our lessons have been situated at the optimal hours for client safety. And if moving your lesson to 6:30AM means that you get to catch the sun rise while you surf, it is really a small price to pay!

Check out a few of our more recent client shots below:

Nice drop, take 1.

Nice drop, take 1.

Nice drop, take 2

Nice drop, take 2

Lauren, up and riding on her very first lesson!

Lauren,  Seattle´s newest surfer, up and riding on her very first lesson!

Shelby takes her last ride of the trip all the way to the beach.

Shelby takes her last ride of the trip all the way to the beach.

Fox 1...

Fox goes left…

... and Fox  goes right!

… and Fox goes right!

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“Watch out mum!” Guitar family fun.

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Anna got some excellent waves on her trip, but I could not go past this excellent wipe out shot… Sorry, Anna! I will owe you a drink for this one next time you are here.

Our Kids Camp has continued in full swing, with the eager little grommies absolutely eating up the fun conditions on the inside break.

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“This surfing caper is so easy…

backwards

The backwards man strikes again!

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SSS Instructor Helberth lends a guiding hand.

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Alonso and the happy campers, post surf.

On top of these great photos, you can check out this video put together exclusively for Safari Surf School showcasing some of our students and instructors in the second half of March:

As I mentioned last week, some of our instructors, and more advanced students, have been taking some trips up and down the coast to search out some of the other quality set ups in this area. I have personally surfed two breaks here in the past week that I never knew existed, and have scored some absolutely world class waves in the process. I will post a few teasers below, but keep your eyes out in the next week or so for some quality photos and footage. The surprises this place can throw up never cease to amaze me!

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This wave is a lot bigger than it looks, and is not too far away from our HQ. But where, you ask?

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Secret spot #2 was a heavy reef break left that requires boat access… this was us bringing it ashore yesterday afternoon. But from where?

And on that note, that is a wrap for this week. As I said, be sure to follow our Facebook and Instagram accounts for more exclusive photos and footage, as well as all the latest happenings from SSS.

Peace!
taima

The Inside Peak – Weekly Wrap Up 04.08.13

Posted by & filed under Surfing, The Inside Peak.

Happy Monday everyone!

… yes, it is Monday already, which means it is time for another Weekly Wrap Up from The Inside Peak. It has been a busy seven days here at Safari Surf School, with loads of old, new, familiar and friendly faces gracing our establishment and making the most of our facilities. Among the dozens of clients and guests we have worked with in the last week,  we have taught and tutored English celebrities, entire surfing families (x 3), honeymooning couples (x 2), real estate barons, medical scientists, teachers, Broadway producers  and IT head honchos.

We could write a story about each and every one of these fascinating individuals and groups – only problem is we would never have enough time!

But if we have to give one shout out for the week, it would be to a first-time guest of ours at Safari Surf School, named Molly. Molly came to Costa Rica by herself, with her trip given to her as a gift for her 60th birthday. In her 60 years Molly had never once tried surfing, but within only a few days she was up and riding like she had done it her whole life. Her constant state of joy and stoke in the water was absolutely infectious, and I know that all the instructors and clients that met her happier for having done so. So, happy 60th Molly!

molly

¨This is the coolest thing everrrrrrrr!!!!!¨

Lessons this week have been running in overdrive, with twice as many guests meaning twice as many  classes. Combine this with an unprecedented amount of ´walk in´lessons, and you can understand that our instructors have been getting a real work out! I know a few of them have been averaging over five lessons a day – no mean feat when you consider how physically demanding the lessons can be.

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Lunch time at Casa Tucan currently.

But of course our instructors are up to the challenge, and are still managing to deliver the same excellent level of service to each and every client – exactly what makes Safari Costa Rica´s premier surf school.

Also keeping everybody tired has been the relentless run of swell we have had at Playa Guiones for the last few weeks. As I type this the waves are on to their fourth consecutive day of double overhead sets. Our beginner and intermediate lessons on the inside of the break have been running uninterrupted, but for those looking to head out to the ´green´waves on the outside have had to exercise real caution in choosing when and where to surf. However, those that have made it out the back with the guidance of our instructors have been getting some absolutely classic rides. Particular kudos goes to Joel (the medical scientist), who seems as adept at dropping into bomb sets on double overhead days as he is at building microscopes, and to Simon (one of the honeymooners) whose first ever outside wave was an overhead backside dredger that he managed to ride all the way to the beach. Both these guys have the makings of being great surfers if they stick with it. Do you reckon you would be up to the challenge?

We have also been taking a few of our more advanced clients to some nearby secret spots that have been handling the excess swell. In the words of the great Michael Peterson: I could tell you more, but I won´t. You will just need to come down here and find out yourself!

Meanwhile, Safari Surf School Instructor Owen has continued his run of scoring incredible surfing shots. Here is one of them taken on Saturday, courtesy of Nosara Shack.

owen

Crazy!

And as always, our good friends at Surfing Nosara continue to capture daily, high quality action stills and videos of Safari Surf School students. Check out some from one of the few smaller days this week below:

katy

Katy showing some style.

shelby

A nice drop!

chumi

SSS Instructor Alonso with some of our Kids Camp Kids!

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SUPs to the left, Instructors to the right, Stan´s stuck in the middle with you.

drop-in

These guys are obviously not Safari students.

And when they haven´t been in the waves, our guests have as always been enjoying yoga classes, horse riding, canopy tours, sustainability tours, hosted dinners and maximum relaxation. It is a tough life down here sometimes!

yoga

Taking a break from taking a break.

I hope you have enjoyed the inside view of our little slice of paradise for this week! As always, be sure to keep up with our Facebook and Instragram (safarisurfer) accounts for daily updates and photos, and we will see you all next time!

The Inside Peak – Weekly Wrap Up 04.01.13

Posted by & filed under Surfing, Sustainability, The Inside Peak.

Welcome to latest The Inside Peak Weekly Wrap Up.

There is no real point in trying to sugarcoat it – this has been a miserable week here in Costa Rica. Freak weather patterns have brought pouring rain and howling,  onshore winds, making for terrible surf conditions at Playa Guiones. Meanwhile, the winds are sweeping in armadas of poisonous jelly fish, so that any person brave – or stupid – enough to venture into the surf is being rewarded with painful stings and skin irritations for their efforts. And to top it off the only alcohol truck servicing the town has blown a head gasket, meaning all of the bars have run dry. It can´t be too long before riots break out…

Beachgoers in full body sting suits contemplate where their next drink will come from.

Beachgoers in full body sting suits contemplate where their next drink will come from.

Just kidding…APRIL FOOLS!

In reality, Playa Guiones continues to turn on perfect weather and waves day in, day out, and thanks to some more liberal drinking laws applied to the Nicoya Peninsula this year, alcohol has continued to be served over Semana Santa (for those so inclined).

Yes, the good life ticks on like clockwork at Safari Surf School, Costa Rica´s premier surf academy.

After a solid two weeks of head high and larger waves, the past few days have dropped down to a more manageable waist to chest high. Winds have been light and variable, with a handful of days producing continuous offshores. The worst problem guests have been facing is deciding when NOT to surf, as it would be virtually impossible to catch every good session when there are literally no breaks in between.

And, our guests have been firing on all cylinders. Girls and guys, young and old (but young at heart): everybody has been ripping. Here is the latest video of Safari guests, put together by our friends over at Surfing Nosara:

Of course we have been getting daily photos too:

clayton

Safari students Clayton…

stan

…and Stan, already killing it on only their first lesson!

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SSS student Grace, catching great waves in between catching giant fish.

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Party wave!

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SSS student Tracey, showing off to the kids.

It has also been great to see the amount of fun our junior Safari guests are having with our Safari Kids Camp. This is an all day experience with our instructors, featuring surf lessons in the morning followed by activities such as board games, beach soccer, rock pool exploring and general hanging out. This allows the kids to make some great new friends, while Mom and Dad are able to enjoy a day to themselves.

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SSS Instructor Prado giving some encouraging words to xxx

kids

…can work up a big hunger.

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Lucky Kid´s Camp includes lunch!

You can get more info on our Kid´s Camp here.

On to the Sustainability side of things, our Innovative Biodiesel Project is now up and running, producing diesel to run Safari´s fleet of vehicles. On-site biodiesel expert, Ryan King, has also made a novel addition to the system: it can now be pumped using pedal power.

I was ¨lucky¨ enough to spend a few hours ´on the bike´ the other day, after I had been caught stealing one of Tyler´s surfboards.

greasercycle

Alright guys, this actually isn´t funny anymore.

In all seriousness, this novel innovation makes what is already an amazing project even more so. You cannot go wrong combining environmental sustainability with exercise! Expect some more updates – and exciting news – from Ryan and our Sustainability Director, Carl Kish, in the very near future.

So that is our weekly wrap, for now. With Guiones still in overdrive for Semana Santa there will be plenty more to report when I check back in. In the mean time, we will be surfing, eating, surfing and relaxing. And we may also throw some more surfing in there, if it is possible.

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´Til we meet again…

Safari Surf’s New Sustainable Surfer Package Brings Eco-Minded Travelers to Playa Guiones

Posted by & filed under Community, Sustainability, Travel.

DSC_3147Safari Surf’s new Sustainable Surfer Package is already beginning to make a difference, thanks to generous Safari Surf guests like the amazing Sheila Canning! Sheila was one of the first Safari Surf guests to take advantage of our new Sustainable Surfer package, and she made a huge impact on the local community during her stay through our voluntourism opportunities and our Partnership with Pack for a Purpose. Not only did Sheila cross of a couple items from her bucket list and conquer her fear of water, she graciously took it upon herself to bring down nearly 40 backpacks full of school supplies and stuffed animals for local schoolchildren. AWESOME! We were blown away by her generosity and spirit of adventure! Sheila, you’re the best! If you’re interested in helping the community or donating, please consider our Sustainable Surfer Package, and check out the list of items that could benefit the local community on our Pack for a Purpose page. Here are a couple images from Sheila with the local schoolchildren. Read on for Sheila’s account of how she conquered her fears!

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Here’s Sheila’s description of crossing items off her bucket list during her trip with Safari Surf and conquering her fears. Inspiring!

Bucket List: Travel alone, surf and zip line. Succeeding in all three – Triumphant!

Hi,
My name is Sheila Canning and I am from Canada. I decided to take a trip to Nosara, Costa Rica because a friend of mine suggested it. She raved about the people, the surfing, zip lining and the beauty. I was a little apprehensive at first, for a couple of reasons. Surfing was definitely not on the top of my bucket list of things I wanted to do in my life journey. For me, almost drowning at the age of 15 gave me a fear of water, I don’t know how to swim and I have a right hip with no cartilage and a short range of motion. Zip Lining; the height aspect has certainly prevented me from partaking in that activity in Canada, so why would I do it anywhere else in the world?

My first day heading to the beach with the surf instructor, I had to tell him my story and hope that this was still possible to achieve. No worries he said, we will get you surfing. Determined was an understatement in thinking about learning to surf.

My first day, I did not even make a full standing position, my fear took over and I felt like I drank the ocean. As everyone knows if you panic when you fall into the water, your mouth is wide open. Talk about exhausting. The instructor was really good, but I don’t think he understood fully how much fear I carried with me. As we walked back to the Casa Tucan, he tells me I will stand and surf tomorrow, I agree, however in the back of my mind, I am thinking,” are you crazy?” I am not going back out there; I am exhausted from trying and choking on the salty ocean. It took me about an hour to get cleaned up and clear my thoughts. I did not surf the next day…my hip took a beating also with all the falling.

sheila-canningDay number three, I get ready to go surfing again. The voice in my head was telling me I was a sucker for punishment, and the stubborn me was saying, you can do this Sheila and you will do this. It helped that the instructor had blind faith in me. Deep breath, and remember hold your breath if you are about to go under. The first three or four times, I did not stand to catch the wave, but I did remain in the squat position, without falling off and rode the wave. I was encouraged to stand by the instructor and given step by step instructions on the fluent motion that will take place as the wave approaches the back end of my surf board. Here we go…get ready, the wave is coming, move your back foot into position, look straight ahead, lift your torso, push up with your back foot, swing around and pivot on your heal, keep the squat position, reach one hand forward and the other in front of you and keep your eyes forward. WOW! I did it, I really did it, I stood up, at that moment I thought I did it and now I’m done. Well now I have been given the boost of confidence I need. Let’s go again. I am so excited! A few more waves, well that turned into 9 more waves. Once you get your rhythm and the steps together fluently, the ride is so much fun!

On my last day in Nosara, I had signed up for zip lining. Once I arrived at the meeting place, I met a couple of people who also had fears of heights. As I fought my fear, I decided to encourage these two frightened people to be brave and everything would be ok. Helping others is always reciprocated; it helped me forget I was so scared. Don’t look down though, the fear does come back. I did make it through 13 zips, the next was always more fun than the last. Courage increases as you make the journey.