Why Playa Guiones in front of our Nosara Surf School is the Ultimate Learning Break

Learning to surf is no easy feat. It takes a lifetime to truly master surfing and understand all the nuances of the ocean and the art of wave riding. While it can take years to become technically proficient and self-reliant in the water, the process is fun as hell. As we have said over and over again, once you catch your first wave, you’re hooked for life. Quite a bit of work will go into catching that first wave. To make that process easier, you’ll want to be sure you’re surfing in a proper learning environment, like our home break at our Nosara surf school. An ideal beginner-friendly wave has a sand bottom, minimal crowds, friendly locals, and a variety of peaks, just like our home break in Nosara, Playa Guiones. To learn more about why Playa Guiones is the ultimate wave for learning and progression, continue reading below.
Nosara Surf School
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Avoid These Beginner Surf Mistakes with Tips from Our Nosara Surf School

Surfing is not like most sports. Plenty of people try surfing and decide it’s not for them, but once a beginner surfer catches his or her first wave and rides cleanly down the line, they’re hooked. Like all things worth doing, surfing requires a tremendous amount of time, patience, hard work, and even a bit of luck sometimes. Our surf coaches at our Nosara surf school, Safari Surf School, teach hundreds of new surfers every year. We’ve seen new surfers excel and master the basics quickly, and we’ve had students struggle wave after wave to find their feet. Each student, however, is thrilled after their first wave. The journey from riding your first wave to becoming a sufficiently skilled surfer is a long one, but it’s filled with endless small victories that make the road well worth traveling. To help new surfers transition to the intermediate level, we’ve compiled a list of common mistakes beginner surfers make and how to avoid them. Continue below to read Avoid These Common Beginner Surf Mistakes with Tips from Our Nosara Surf School.

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Have you tried surfing Nicaragua yet?


10% OFF ALL PACKAGESINCLUDING CUSTOM TRIPS
It’s no secret that this time of year is one of the most popular for surf trips. Most of us have time off work, want to celebrate the season and head down to the tropical waters to catch some solid sets. There is also no bigger bummer than hearing the dreaded “we’re all booked up”. We hate saying it…you hate hearing it. And, unfortunately, unless you book super early…this time of year is notorious for that very phrase.
But fret not, fellow surfers…we’re here to help! We are so stoked to announce that our Nicaragua location is finished renovations and is back online and ready for business.
Nicaragua has recently experienced a resurgence amount surf travelers because it offers some of the best surf in the world, is fairly easily traveled and frankly, is just a damn good time.

Headed up by one of our head coaches, Nicolas “Nico” Almeida, our Nicaragua location offers incredible top-notch instruction, amazing cultural adventures, and perfect surf conditions. Located at La Jolla de Guasacate, the Safari Surf Resort is perched upon a gorgeous landscaped hill with majestic ocean and mountain views. Pristine beaches and world-class waves for every level of surfer are just a short hop away. With a stylish clubhouse, restaurant, 2 pools, 18 room boutique hotel, with a luxurious spa, yoga center, and a 4 bedroom luxury rental home, Safari Surf Resort is the hottest new full-service lodging facility in the Tola and Playa Popoyo area.

We are also providing an incredible array of other activities, like deep sea fishing, SUP, yoga, horseback riding, golf (Guacalito de la Isla Golf Course & Hacienda Iguana Club), day trips to Granada, Ometepe, or other towns close by.
Just like our Costa Rica program, we provide an array of packages in Nicaragua…including completely customized trips (currently at 10% off). This is the place to book your next surf vacation.

New LGBTQ Surf Program…it’s about time, right?

Recently, while doing some research for an upcoming project, I got tuned into a film that I found, both as a newbie surfer, and personally (in my first published acknowledgment of this…whew!) as a bi-woman, pretty eye-opening.  Produced in 2014 (I know…I’m usually late to the party), Out in the Line-up, has won multitudes of documentary awards all over the world and exposed a side of the surfing world that frankly was long overdue to be addressed.

Like many other sports, surfing hasn’t necessarily been at the forefront of LGBTQ community acceptance. We see the same narrative that has been played out over and over again…people suppressing who they because they are afraid of the very real repercussions of being an out athlete.  Out in the Line-Up illuminates these exact scenarios in the surfing world with complete candor and honesty. From former pro’s who have lost sponsorships, had to cut careers short, to surfers that have contemplated giving up the sport they love or worse because they’ve been ostracized for simply being gay.
This was surprising to me because I have always viewed the surfing community as one of complete acceptance…especially of things that may fall outside the lines of the status quo. I mean, look at us…mostly a group of sun-worshipping, vagabond seekers of the perfect left who regularly shun the norms of society in exchange for one good set at dawn patrol. The surfing community, like few others in sports, is inherently built for the inclusion of the unique and that should be fervently embraced in all its shapes, sizes, and colors.
Luckily, as a result of the efforts of passionate individuals like Thomas Castets, producer of  Out in the Line-up and founder of gaysurfers.net, and LGBTQ pro’s like Serena Brooke, the tide within the surfing community (see what I did there) has begun to significantly turn.  And frankly, it’s about damn time.
Indelible on any surfer is the transformative experience that being out on the water can provide. It’s why we all become and stay addicted…and that’s something we should want to share with anyone and everyone.

In that vein, at Safari Surf Adventures, we are very excited to launch our flagship ‘Surf Pride’ surf camp, to help celebrate and support friends and surfers in the LGBT community. The trip is open to all and has all the same features of any SSA surf camp, but is aimed to provide a comfortable, open and progressing environment for all our clients to concentrate on their surfing.
This trip is being headed up and coached by former Pro-Surfer, LGBTQ advocate, and all around cool chic, Mrs. Serena Brooke. It will also be our first camp in the land down under…so obviously, we are STOKED!
For more information on how you can get involved, what the trip includes, etc., please visit our trip page: https://safarisurfadventures.com/booking/220/noosa-heads-australia/
 

THE NEXT LEVEL


 
Safari Surf School founder and Prez Tim Marsh can be summed up in one word: Irrepressible. Look it up and you’ll find words that say “That’s Tim!”: passionate, unquenchable, everlasting, ebullient, exuberant, buoyant, [more]high-spirited, impossible to hold back…
I remember hearing motivational speaker Joel Weldon touting his mantra “SUCCESS COMES IN CANS, NOT IN CANNOTS” – this is Tim!
With the success and growth of Safari Surf School in Nosara, Costa Rica, you’d think he’d have his hands full. He does! But inside that brain of his, the hamster wheel spins madly – he is hatching something!
A longtime dream of Tim’s has been to create a program that bridges the ‘novice’ surfer to the next level. The result has manifest in a new travel abroad guided surf coaching company call Safari Surf Adventures. Geared for the intermediate skill level surfers, Safari Surf Adventures organizes all-inclusive “coaching tutorial” group trips to exotic locales with amazing challenging waves.
With the first of two promo trips now under his belt, I asked Tim about this new adventure program and where it’s all headed.

 
1) Explain the genesis of SSA I’ve always knew there was the “next level” or “natural progression” with Safari Surf School…meaning the surf school program could only take a person so far in their surf skill set as well as one’s taste for adventure travel.
I started a business plan back in 2011 and had just about finished the plan in 2012 for the future project called Safari Surf Adventures. The program was to be dedicated to intermediate level surfers and above. Persons looking to take their surf skill set to the next level while surfing remote and exotic point type waves with top notch surf coaches in the water with you and state of the art video analysis software for recording and analyzing one’s surf technique. All this while enjoying the local cultures of the destinations we go to and traveling with a sustainable philosophy to ensure our footprint is not too large and the local communities we visit can benefit in some fashion from our presence. The plan was set and ready for a public launch in 2012. I created a page on my website letting people know there was an investment opportunity and then BANG. The rug was pulled out from under me. My partners in the hotel Casa Tucan decided they wanted to sell the hotel and Safari Surf School was about to be homeless. My focus immediately turned to finding a new location for SSS in Nosara and the SSA program was put on the back burner. Three and a half years later Olas Verdes was completed and Safari Surf School had its new home. I had achieved what I had set out to do which was to create an awesome home base for my program there in Nosara.  Late in 2016 I received an email from a person interested in an investment opportunity. I had no idea what it was about but soon came to find out a person had seen my original old web page about my investment opportunity for SSA. Literally 2 weeks later another person contacted me about the very same page / investment announcement that I had placed on the back burner some years prior. The signs were flashing and the stars seemed aligned to make my SSA program come to fruition. Through hard work and strategic relationships SSA was born and we have completed our first two pilot trips.
2) Where will future camps be held?
We have base locations in Indonesia (Timor area), Peru, Portugal, New Zealand, Morocco, and of course Nicaragua and Costa Rica. We are also looking at adding locations in Australia, Puerto Rico, and possibly in Maui. 
3) What factors go into selecting a destination?
We are looking for somewhat remote locations with shoulder seasons that are not crowded and have world class point type of surf breaks. Riding a point wave will increase one’s surf skill set exponentially! The locations need to have quality accommodations, and we are interested in training and employing local peoples where we can. Obviously we’re looking for quality people to work with in each location.
4) Who are the coaches? Describe the coaching process.
We’re in the process of working with many coaches but currently we have world ranked # 2 surf pro Serena Brooke working with us in the Australia, Indo, and New Zealand area. WE have Kimber Kinley along with my local SSS staff members who are ISA Level 2 Surf Coaches like Alonso, Helberth, Pio, Luis etc. working with us in the Americas (Peru, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua). We’re always looking for high end surf coaches to join us!
5) Will the trips be videoed and photographed?
All trips surf sessions will be videoed along with photographs, but our main content will be video as this is what we will be using to analyze and breakdown surfing technique and performance. All video, photos, and analysis footage will be provided to guests.
6) Who is this new programed geared towards?
So far, we’ve had mostly SSS alumni which has been so cool! There is really no right or wrong board type for these trips. Most I will say have been guests shortening their boards and getting more comfy on mid-range length to short boards. We’ve had men and women with all types of age variance …really this program is for everyone who is a solid intermediate level surfer.
7) What other activities are offered along with surfing?
Ha …what don’t we do! Of course there are all type of ocean and land-based activities to partake in. We also visit local schools, local cultural events, local communities. For example, on our latest Rote, Indonesia trip we all toured the island on mopeds, visiting remote communities, markets, hidden beaches, and restaurants – A Blast!
8) How did the first two trips go? AMAZING !!
These were “pilot” trips to get people there and provide us feedback while we also did a ton of video so we can create location story board videos for these locales as well. 
9) Where can we find out more on SSA?
Our website is now live: www.safarisurfadventures.com We also have pages on Facebook and Instagram.
 

Hey Boss: Why Not Costa Rica?

As a business owner, I understand the importance of recognizing employees who “keep the lights on” with daily operations. Having a happy, healthy, reliable and productive team of operators, instructors, managers, staff, strategic partners and other stakeholders – year in and year out – are key to the success of our business. It would be impossible for Safari Surf School to maintain its success record without a team that feels valued, motivated and appreciated for their work. And while we live a charmed life surrounded by surf, we still take time to get together as a company and have a little fun. So, how do businesses recognize employees for their hard work and achievements? For a few, that answer is travel.
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Many companies offer annual top producer recognition platforms, which may vary from extravagant holiday parties to exotic travel experiences. By way of “Circle of Excellence” programs, team-building experiences are oftentimes tied to destination travel, allowing businesses to reward excellent employee performance while strengthening relationships between leadership and contributors. If this sounds like your approach, my question to you is this: Have you ever considered Costa Rica as a destination of choice? From proximity to the United States and lower total costs of travel, to rich experiential travel choices, happy people and a blissful atmosphere, there are a number of factors that make this Central American landmass a great option.
That sounds great, you say, but why would I consider spending this time with a surf school? The answer is easy: Because we offer an irreplaceable experience built around a sense of achievement, centered in paradise, surrounded by beauty, customized to your liking, complemented with experiential options, and soaked in a charmed Pacific coast culture. Do you question the attractiveness of this as an option? Then I challenge you to mention it to a few employees and just watch their eyes light up.
Sure – on paper we’re a surf camp. Our daily office space is filled with beautiful sunsets, tropical landscapes teeming with abundant wildlife and surfboard-toting beachcombers. Yet while surf instruction and beach life are at the core of our operations, Safari Surf School offers so much more than instruction on surf. We are more than a patient, well-trained staff who delivers hands-on instruction, eco-friendly, top-notch equipment and the knowledge to help you catch your first wave. We’re actually providers of customized, experiential travel who can coordinate the memory of a lifetime for the health and well-being of your company’s most important assets – your people. And we do it in the midst of the ultimate in surf culture and latin culture, with ecotourism and sustainability principles front and center.

Wake up to the sounds of Howler Monkeys stretching their vocal cords off in the distance… time for a fresh cup of coffee or whatever moves you. Off to the Safari facility for a pre-surf snack of fresh fruits and banana bread and then meet up with your surf instructor.

howler monkey
Resident Howler Monkey

So why should you head south with your team for some rest, relaxation and camaraderie? For starters, take a look at cost and proximity. Compare the cost of travel to Costa Rica with other popular, sunny destinations. We’ve witnessed incredible average price drops into the Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport of Liberia, Costa Rica over the last year. All major carriers (Delta, United, American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, jetBlue, Alaska Airlines and Sun Country Airlines) now make daily runs into this airport and the average direct flight into Liberia is 5 ½ hours from LA and 3 ½ hours from Houston. Upon arrival, your drive is less than two hours to our beach hamlet, or if you arrive into SJO (San Jose), we’re a short direct 50 minute flight away into Nosara where we pick you up.
Second, this country is quite simply filled with happy people down here. Who couldn’t enjoy themselves within a paradise of smiles and kindness? If this sounds like a bold statement, simply walk over to a post I made a few months ago and read all about The Search for Happiness. Discover how Nic Marks, founder of The Centre for Well-Being in London, created an equation to calculate what he calls the Happy Planet Index (HPI) and proving out Costa Rica as the happiest place on the planet.
Olas Verdes Hotel
Outdoor view of the beautiful Olas Verdes Hotel

When it comes to a relaxing atmosphere and charming facilities, we offer you access to Olas Verdes Hotel, where we serve as anchor tenants. This newly-launched hotel is the world’s first LEED-certified surf hotel and will soon be Central America’s first LEED-Platinum hotel. Olas Verdes occupies several hundred meters of ideal Pacific coastline of the ever-popular Playa Guiones and features seven independent structures, offering 40 accommodations, comprised of 14 standard guest rooms, 10 suites, and four private-entrance cottages. Amazing, right? This is an ultimate corporate playground. Just imagine business meetings where you know that you can play, meditate, relax and still foster a teamwork atmosphere, in an authentic environment.
We have the ability to configure team building opportunities, immersive travel and educational for corporate travel groups, rewarding your company with irreplaceable experiences within the densest region of biodiversity in the world. A short-list of experiential guest activities run the gamut, from deep-sea fishing, volcanic-fed hot springs and rainforest expeditions, to cultural immersion, local fútbol, yoga and massage.
Playa Guiones Surfers, Nosara, Costa Rica
Surfers approach on Playa Guiones, Nosara, Costa Rica

My wish is that if you are evaluating options for business group travel, take into considering a most-unique and rewarding option of travel to Costa Rica, coupled with the great reward of catching your first wave (or dusting off those long-lost skills with some refreshing instruction along the beautiful Nosara beach of Playa Guiones. In a future installment, I am going to elaborate on the Costa Rican culture and atmosphere by elaborating ‘pura vida’ – a term which has been present in the Costa Rican dialect for over fifty years.

Surf Faster With These Tips

Playa Guiones Rip

So you’ve mastered the basics: you can paddle and catch waves with ease, stand up and drop in and bottom turn. Now what? The next step is learning to create and maintain speed! Speed is one of the most important elements in surfing. Without it, you won’t be able to perform even the most basic moves and turns. It’s the same with skiing, snowboarding, or pretty much any board type of sport; speed is the key to maneuverability.
With that said, here are some helpful tips to surf faster:
Checking and Understanding the Waves
First things first! Before you hop in the water, you have to check the waves. Watching the waves and understanding the type of wave / break it is will certainly help you understand how to ride the actual wave. I almost always sit and watch waves for about 10 minutes, especially at new breaks I’ve never surfed before. By watching the waves and how they are breaking you can see where the “sections” that are faster come along while the wave is breaking, where it may close out, where it may soften or slow down, etc. Of course there is no substitute for actually riding the wave. At least seeing how it is breaking before you jump on them will help – especially with watching a few waves other surfers catch and seeing how they ride the wave to completion.
Bottom Turn – Stay High!
Your initial bottom turn is the key to your entire wave. By timing it right, staying low with a low center of gravity, with legs bent and coiled like a spring, you should release that “coil” spring in your legs to project yourself down the line. This will automatically thrust yourself down the line and high up on the face of the wave. That initial burst of speed is the catalyst for the rest of your wave. As they say in surfing, “Your bottom turn is EVERYTHING.” Once you have propelled yourself forward from that initial bottom turn and you find yourself on the upper third of the wave…this is where you will always reach the apex of speed on a wave.
Stay Close to the Pocket (“S” Turns)
Staying close to the energy source (the pocket) is a key factor in maintaining speed, for as the closer you are to the curl or epicenter of the waves power source the faster you will go. The wave will dictate what your next move is but in this little piece I’m going to explain how to keep your speed or if need be, even go faster. (I’ll cover slowing down / cutbacks at another time).
The classic “S” turn, or as we surfers say a lot “pumping down the line,” are terms for generating and keeping our board speed high. The “S” turn is really quite simple and I equate it to a coiled spring that contracts and expands. If you’ve ever watched a surf movie, or perhaps above average surfers at the beach, you notice this when the surfers are “pumping” or expanding and contracting like a coil to gain speed on a wave. While going high on the wave then low, then high, then low – ”pumping” their legs from a bent (contracted) to extended (expand) position in rapid succession – they are creating the speed needed to go faster down the line of the wave.
Keep Your Board Clean (and Fins)
Make sure to clean the bottom of your board. This will help you move faster on the water. Believe it or not but I see people all the time with wax marks on the bottom of their boards from boards laying on each other, or whatever other reason. Your fins also have a lot to do with speed, as does the design of your surfboard (yet another article topic coming soon).
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Relax and Watch
I cannot emphasize to you how important it is to watch other surfers in the line up. This is a great way to see other people’s styles and also how they “read” the wave while surfing it. Of course this is also a great way to self-teach, too. Just relax and let the waves come to you. Like anything else, practice, practice, practice each maneuver until you have the confidence to know that you can execute whenever you need them. Aloha!

Don’t Forget These 5 Surfing Essentials

One of the greatest moments of a surf trip is the second you first step onto the beach, feeling the anticipation of the adventure to come. The last thing you want in that moment is to realize in that you’ve forgotten something crucial. With so many items essential to your surfing trip, we’ve put together a list of 5 surfing necessities that you should always pack before you head out to catch some waves.
Surf Essesntials
Sunscreen
When you’re out in the sun all day it’s important to bring a high quality, waterproof sunscreen to protect your skin. Try to get a container that is small enough to keep in a pocket of your board shorts. When you’re a hundred yards out and need to reapply, you’re much more likely to do it if it’s in your pocket than if you have to make your way back to the beach. Don’t come home a lobster.
Backup Leash
The last thing you want when you’re out surfing is for your leash to break, especially if you don’t have a backup. Bring at least one or two extra leashes of varying thicknesses in case yours breaks. It’s ideal to have a thinner leash in small surfs to prevent unnecessary drag, and thicker ones as the wave size increases, but beggars can’t be choosers. If your leash breaks, whichever one you have in your bag will do.
 
Board Repair Kit
Having a board repair kit in your bag can be extremely helpful for fixing dings as they happen. Before getting a kit, it’s important to check what type of foam your board is made of. Boards that are made of polyurethane can be fixed with polyester or, if you have it, epoxy resin. If your board is made of EPS Blanks, make sure to use epoxy resin instead of polyester, because polyester can damage your board. A good repair putty that can work on either type of board is FCS Instant Repair Putty.
Day Bag
Many people don’t think to bring a day bag with them on a trip, because they’re often already bringing a larger travel bag with them. It’s easy to ding up your board when moving from car to car or getting on a boat, and bringing a day bag would provide the extra protection your board needs while you’re out and about.
Surf Wax
It’s important not to forget to bring your preferred brand of surf wax, because they may not have it where you are going. Additionally, you need to make sure that you bring the wax that best suits the climate you’re surfing in, so you can be sure it won’t melt.
 
Before you hit the road with just your board and your wetsuit, make sure to think through everything you might need. This quick list of things we often forget ourselves will set you up for success on your next surf trip. Don’t be caught unprepared!

The Top 7 Surf Destinations for Surfers of All Levels

 
There comes a time in every surfer’s life when the itch to surf different waves comes to a “peak”. These different waves can be down the road a bit, up or down the coast, or for those lucky enough to be able to afford it…jump on a plane and go search for that perfect wave.
I was lucky enough to grow up in Hawaii…Oahu’s South Shore, where there are so many different types of waves to choose from depending on swell direction and wind direction…that is the bonus of living on an island, the wind is always offshore somewhere!
 
I got the travel bug early in my life and set out to find new waves and explore new cultures. I have located some of the dreamiest surf spots to check out for your next vacation, regardless of skill level.
 
Uluwatu and Kuta, Bali

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Bali is a premier spot for surfers who are looking for a full tourist experience.   Uluwatu is an insane reef break for those with advanced intermediate to advanced surf skill set. It’s set off a major cliff, with waves running down the reef as perfect as one can draw them on paper or dream them in their head…setting surfers up with impeccable waves. For beginner surfers, the beach of Kuta is ideal with its 5km long shore free from coral reefs or rocks.

Do know that both locations can get pretty busy!

 
Surfrider Beach, Malibu

For a sweet surf spot within the Pacific U.S., Surfrider Beach (Malibu) is the perfect place to catch some great long point break waves. Malibu Point creates perfect swells, and the heart of Los Angeles is just an hour away. That being said be prepared to share waves as there are a lot of surfers in the water there looking for that perfect long wave just like you.
 
Nosara, Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a country loved by all who visit. In addition to being home to killer surfing spots, the country is full of beautiful landscapes and Ticos who live a simple lifestyle. The climate is ideal (80 – 85 degrees Fahrenheit year round), The water is in the low 80 degrees as well. Nosara is perfect for surfers of all skill levels. Convinced? Visit us at the Safari Surf School, and we’ll help you jump on a board!
 
Tourmaline Beach & San Onofre, San Diego

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Both beaches are California favorites, as they are ideal for surfers across the skill spectrum. If you have kids, you might want to head to Tourmaline Beach, which is full of tide pools hosting many small sea creatures. San Onofre, also known as Old Man’s Beach, is part of the top five most visited state parks in California.

 
Surfer’s Point, Barbados
Barbados is a Caribbean island with many shores catering to surfers, but Surfer’s Point is the perfect set-up for both beginner and intermediate surfers. Barbados is dedicated to tourism, so finding accommodations and a good meal after your ride will never be a challenge.
 
Taghazout, Morocco

As a country that hosts surfers who have traveled far to experience the waves at beaches like Crocodiles and Killer Point, Morocco is a hotspot for tourism. Despite the high concentration of visitors, the country’s culture remains intact. Taghazout caters to beginners and experienced surfers alike.
 
Noosa – Point Break, Queensland, Sydney
This list wouldn’t be complete without a nod to one of the many surf spots Australia has to offer. In Noosa, you will find one of the best longboard breaks in the world. The area is perfect for advanced surfers who know how to catch a ride, as well as beginners who just want to master gliding on a board.
 
We hope this list inspires you to reach your full surf potential and enables you to visit the surf destination of your dreams. Want more info on the world’s top surf locations? Check the links below.
 
http://travel.cnn.com/explorations/play/worlds-50-best-surf-spots-250983
http://www.balisurfadvisor.com/points/uluwatubeach.html
http://www.surfsim.com/surf-travel/top-10-surf-spots/asia/indonesia/bali/uluwatu-kuta/
http://www.discoverlosangeles.com/what-to-do/activities/malibu-surfrider-beach
http://adventure.nationalgeographic.com/adventure/trips/best-surf-towns-photos/#/surf-taghazout-morocco-camel_55811_600x450.jpg
http://www.australiangeographic.com.au/travel/destinations/2014/01/gallery-australias-8-greatest-surf-spots/8-greatest-surf-spots-(1)

Be Prepared: Keeping Our Surfers Safe

THE INSIDE PEEK – SEPTEMBER 2015
ESPIRITU-DE-CORPS: UNITY, COMMON INTERESTS AND RESPONSIBILITY IN SURFING

Folks on Playa Guiones last week were witness to quite a show, as Safari Surf School’s team of instructors underwent an arduous, week-long Lifeguard Training and Surf Rescue course.

Espiritu de Corps comes from French origins. It translates to “a sense of unity and common interests and responsibilities as developed among a group of persons closely associated in a task, cause, enterprise, etc.”

In a largely unregulated “industry” worldwide, surf schools seemingly can open on a whim with few boards and a surfer-dude instructor; little thought is given to format, technique, safety, and professionalism. As the Founder and leader at Safari Surf, I am dedicated to the cultivation of a team of top-level, highly trained and qualified surf instructors, authenticated by my ongoing support of specialized training programs and events advancing this cause. It is my assurance that our team is certified to the highest degree of preparedness and professionalism in all areas of instruction and water safety. As recently as last week, I found great joy and pride watching our Safari Surf squad of instructors running drills on the beach.

Lifeguard Training and Surf Rescue certification are a prerequisite course for inclusion in the International Surfing Association’s (ISA) professional development programs. Recognized by the International Olympic Committee as the world governing authority for the sport of surfing, the ISA Surf Coaching & Instructing Educational Program is the international standard for accreditation of Coaches and Instructors in the surf school industry.

Last week, such an intensive lifeguard training/surf rescue course was lead by Marvin Perez and his associate Kali Urena of Jaco Beach, on-site in Playa Guiones. “When we came to Nosara we didn’t know what to expect” stated Marvin. “We were so stoked to be received by such a dedicated group of guys, whom are now fully certified and ready to rock. Pura Vida!”

At Safari Surf School we take care of our team – they are our family, and we pay top dollar as well as cover their medical insurance, health insurance, retirement, social security, and vacation pay. We believe that this is not only fair, but the right thing to do.
Pura Vida, indeed!

Warm-up: Daily conditioning began with stretching and calisthenics, to kick off our ISA certification.

Daily Warm-Up: Morning exercise includes some laps around Olas Verdes’ new pool.

Coach Marvin Perez delivers his presentation through his motivational instruction technique.

Watching our lifeguard’s during sprints delivers a “Baywatch” effect, Safari-style!

Walk this way: Lifeguards practice technique and build endurance with rescue efforts.

Mealtime: Safari Surf School’s Chef Maritza’s delivers a wonderful and well-deserved meal to our lifeguards.

Turtle Arribada: Safari Surf School President Tim Marsh standing amidst an epic turtle arribada in Ostional.

Big Achievement: We are again renewed as ISA (International Surfing Association) Certified as well as Surf Rescue / Lifeguard Certified lifeguards.

Saludos amigos! A spirited send-off for Marvin and Kali. Thank you!

Safari Surf School’s Week with Donavon Frankenreiter

donavon frankenreiter costa rica

Last week was Billabong’s Surf With a Pro with none other than the legendary surfer and musician, Donavon Frankenreiter! We had an awesome time sharing the pura vida vibes of Nosara and Playa Guiones with Donavon, Billabong crew and the lucky SWAP winners! Donavon and Grundy’s topped the week off with an epic show at the Tropicana in front of a jam packed crowd! Scroll down to see some snapshots of the stoke-filled week:

Safari Surf School's Week with Donavon Frankenreiter
Donavon and Surf with a Pro winners on their way to Mala Noche waterfalls.

Donavon Frankenreiter - Safari Surf School
Mala Noche waterfalls. Photo by Donavon Frankenreiter via Instagram.
Donavon Frankenreiter - Safari Surf School
Safari Surf’s Sustainability Director, Carl Kish, stoked to take a break from work and jump off some cliffs.
Donavon Frankenreiter - Safari Surf School
SSS Owner, Tim Marsh, and headliner, Pierre Monney before the show.
Donavon Frankenreiter - Safari Surf School
Double Trouble. Brothers Tim and Tyler Marsh.

Donavon Frankenreiter - Safari Surf School
Billabong Camps Manger, Josh and Billabong Photographer, Troy.

Donavon Frankenreiter - Safari Surf School
Peter from Safari Surf School was invited up on stage to jam on the harmonica with Donavon and Grundy’s! It was all time!

Donavon Frankenreiter - Safari Surf School
The man of the hour–Donavon! Photo by Ariana Crespo from La Voz de Guanacaste.

The Inside Peak – Weekly Wrap Up 05.07.13

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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.

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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.

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Luis flies…
nico
…and Nico gouges.
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Alonso with a nice turn.
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Kimber ripping on her backhand.
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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!

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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
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nico
elena3

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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

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.

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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.

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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.
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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

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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.

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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.

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Sarah on a great left.
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Andy freesurfing.
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Chargin’
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Woops!
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Derek, picking right back up where he left off after a year out of the water!
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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 04.08.13

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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.
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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:
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Katy showing some style.

shelby
A nice drop!

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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.

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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!
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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

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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:

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Safari students Clayton…

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…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

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…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.
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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…