FALL IS HERE…TIME TO CHILL


October in Nosara is generally considered to be the slowest month of the year, mainly due to its reputation for abundant rainfall and the majority of the town being “shut down”. Safari Surf School and Olas Verdes have made the commitment to remain open with full services year-round, which has resulted in an unexpectedly busy and eventful month.
The month started off with a very well attended water safety course held at Olas Verdes, conducted by Marvin Perez, who presented curriculum from the International Surfing Association (ISA) and the International Lifesaving Federation (ILS). Twenty-four participants came from all over Costa Rica, Central America, and even Dubai! Later in the month, Marvin held an all-day water safety “Jr. Lifeguard” course for twenty-five local children ranging in age from 7-15 years old. Marvin will also assist in the establishment and operation of two new lifeguard towers on Playa Guiones beginning in December.

Torrential rains inundated Nosara and all of Costa Rica during the first week of October as a result of Tropical Storm Nate, which formed in the Caribbean Sea, east of Costa Rica. The storm pulled moisture
into its circulation from the Pacific Ocean over a three-day period, creating devastating floods and widespread destruction throughout the country. Many families in Nosara lost everything. An amazing
community relief response immediately sprang into action providing food, clothing, shelter, and rebuilding assistance to afflicted victims.
Donations are being accepted at:
https://www.gofundme.com/amigos-de-safari-surf-y-olas-verdes

Throughout October the Pura Vida spirit flowed and those who were fortunate enough to visit were treated to our signature hospitality, amazing nature, and killer waves.
Thanks for coming and see you all soon!

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.
 

Assignment: Describe Surfing in THREE Words

“Fun, Not Fun, So Fun!”

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This was my assignment for a group of students who spent a busy March week with us here in Nosara. Group coordinator Jason Roderick, an administrator and school counselor at Providence County Day School in Rhode Island brought 15 lucky students on his annual ‘Spring Break Surf/Yoga Retreat’ at Safari Surf School. This was Roderick’s SEVENTH annual trip!
Jason believes that surfing can offer students a positive alternative stress reliever and explains, “as the PCD Wellness Coordinator, my goal is to offer students the opportunity to experience healthy and organic ways to reduce and manage stress. Furthermore I want kids to push themselves (in a safe environment) to experience a different place and people; to respect the local community and culture, and to learn self-sufficiency, as important tools to be utilized throughout high school, college and the rest of their lives”.
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This year’s Surf/Yoga group was kept busy with surf lessons, zip-lining adventures, daily yoga and meditation sessions, a beach walk clean-up, and a spirited soccer game verse the Safari Surf instructors on the village soccer field. At the end of the day sleep came easily!
Needless to say everyone had a solid time…but, it wouldn’t be school without an assignment, right?
So we decided to come up with one…
Without exception surfing has a profound impact on one’s psyche – it’s fast and beautiful and fluid and dangerous all in one. A good time to register the impact surfing can imprint on someone’s demeanor is to catch them immediately upon exiting the ocean. This is when we asked students to pause and describe surfing in three words. The answers were awesome…here are some responses:
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Whenever I meet a new guest I give them the ‘Safari Surf School Guarantee’:
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Sustaining Substainability

Olas Verdes, Nosara
Olas Verdes, Nosara

In December of 2015, our partner hotel Olas Verdes opened its doors to the public. Touted as the world’s first L.E.E.D. Platinum rated surf hotel in the world, the project has received wide acclaim for its innovative design and management approach. I spoke recently with General Manager Luis Pardo, who has been at the helm of this noteworthy operation since its inception.
What does ‘Sustainable’ mean?
It’s the ability to run an operation than minimizes the ecological impact, while creating a positive effect to the community and its economy.
“We kept 85% of the original trees, planted over 15 times the amount cut, and added near 3,000 native plants.  We strive to furnish everything needed for the operation from local sources; supplies, food products, and employees. That’s not always possible, but it is the goal.  We are very active with community organizations and invest a good deal of resources in training and development of our staff.  We are proud of what we have achieved, but are conscious that it is a continual learning process and requires periodic reviews of our practices.”
Green Earth * Green Waves * Green Operation
Green Earth * Green Waves * Green Operation

Walking the Walk
“I lived in the United States for 10 years and worked as a manager for a popular casual dining chain restaurant. It was there I had a huge “epiphany” regarding the throw-away crisis our world is facing – plastic drinking straws! I saw that these straws came in huge boxes, and they were each individually wrapped in paper. They are used one time and then discarded. When I thought it through I pondered the foot print to manufacture, market, and ship them, an incredible expenditure of energy and resources, all ultimately destined for the landfill. This realization had a profound impact on me and inspired me to study and implement sustainable practices in my daily life.”

Project Manager & “Sustainability Guru” Carl Kish addresses the staff
Project Manager & “Sustainability Guru” Carl Kish addresses the staff

Sustainable Tourism
“Costa Rica endorses an ecological/environmental ethic in its developmental and operational policies. We protect our forests, wildlife, and natural resources. This instills pride and participation in our population. It’s cool to be green! The Costa Rica Tourism Boards states: The development of sustainable tourism must be seen as the balanced interaction between the use of our natural and cultural resources, the improvement of the quality of life among the local communities, and the economic success of the industry, which also contributes to national development.”

Olas Verdes – Model of Sustainability
“We are so fortunate to have owners who are dedicated to very high standards of ecology and environmentalism. From day one they insisted on building a state of the art sustainable hotel. It takes longer and costs more to do it right from the beginning, but it pays off! ”
Sustaining Sustainability
“It all comes down to a commitment on a personal level. My employees purchase and use the same biodegradable products the hotel uses for their homes. There is a sense of pride and personal responsibility in being a part of this special operation. They understand why we do not provide drinking straws, iron the bed sheets, or have hair driers in the bathrooms. They want to leave the world a better place for their children.”
More details on how Olas Verdes is committing to sustainability.

A Nosara Christmas Story

What’s the most memorable Christmas present you ever received; a train set, a sled, a new surfboard??

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Well, Safari Surf School senior instructor Pio Ruiz’s gift to his parents will really blow your mind!
I first caught wind of what Pio was up to six months ago.
His very sweet parents have lived in their little rustico casita down by the river all their lives. Little Pio was born and raised there as were his brothers and sisters. The reason I know about this is that we live quite close by. In dry season we can cross the river into town and would pass by Pio’s folks house every day and smile and wave to them. They would almost always be sitting on the porch, his mom clutching an old oversized Bible. They always appeared peaceful and content, and always waved back. “These are the simple joys of living here” I thought, “the real “Pura Vida”.
So what was Pio doing scouting about on some nearby undeveloped land? I asked him one day and he replied: “my parents own all this property and I am going to build them a new house”.
Well of course this piqued my interest, and I soon learned all about this remarkable man’s lifetime dream.
Pio:  “Ever since I was a young boy I knew I wanted to do something really special for my parents. They raised me in a loving environment and always took great care of me. They encouraged me to follow my dreams. So I became a surfer at a young age and it became my passion and livelihood”.
Pio has always been a very focused individual. When I first met him he had a bitchin’ 4×4 Toyota truck and took great care of it. I later learned that he owned his own home. When I interviewed him for a Safari ‘Instructor Profile’ three years ago he told me “I don’t like it when I hear people say ‘Tico Time’, which I guess means it’s ok to be late – It’s NOT ok to be late”!  As I got to know him better I developed a great admiration for his gentility, sincerity, and big heart. And oh yeah, the boy can surf…
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The New House: So it turns out that Pio is very disciplined with his earnings and has been saving for years towards this dream. “My goal was to move them into the house by Christmas of this year and I made it”!!

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One of my all-time favorite photos. Pio’s folks in the original family home.

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The term ‘Pura Vida’ has been around in Costa Rica dialect for many decades. In English it translates to ‘pure life.’ In local Tico culture it has become the expression of eternal optimism embodied by the people who live this peaceful, simple, uncluttered life with a deep appreciation for nature, family, and friends.
Kind of reminds you of the real “Christmas Spirit”!!
So good on ya brother Pio! This is a Christmas Story for the ages!!
Moving Day!
Moving Day!

 
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Home, sweet, home

Bring Your Own Crowd!

picture1 (Chrysalis Therapeutic Boarding School Group enjoying surf lessons this November)

Safari Surf School recently enjoyed hosting an engaging group of 25 students, parents, and teachers from the Chrysalis Therapeutic Boarding School in Montana for a one week long Surf-Yoga-Service “cultural immersion adventure trip”.
Take a look at this photo. Imagine being the photographer trying to organize this classic image. Imagine producing 25 surfboards, leashes, bars of wax, and sufficient skilled instructors to handle this awesome mob! We were able to organize housing, feeding, and transporting this gang to daily yoga sessions, service activities, recreational treks, and, of course, dinners out on the town. Talk about bringing your own crowd!
The Chrysalis Therapeutic Boarding School is a small private residential boarding school for adolescent girls ages 13-18. The school provides high quality therapeutic services, education, and experiential opportunities to adolescents and their families. Opportunities for creative expression are provided through various classes and workshops, as well as adventure field trips to local and faraway destinations. Executive Director Corey Hickman explained “Our goals for these types of excursions is threefold; cultural immersion, service, and high adventure. We want to teach kids how to have fun in healthy ways. The phrase ‘high on life’ may be overdone, but that’s exactly how we want the girls to feel when they depart. Oh yeah, and we keep them very busy!” I shared with Corey one of my favorite quotes on surfing “There are a million ways to surf, and as long as you’re smiling you’re doing it right.” Corey smiled back and said “so far so good!”.

Chrysalis Group Warm-up(Chrysalis Group Warmup!)

Although surfing was surely a highlight, as mentioned, the kids were busy busy busy with many other activities! Each day included a different community service event. Over the week long trip, the group planted trees with Costas Verdes Reforestation Association, assisted in painting the local elementary school and then enjoyed lunch with the kids, completed the sustainability tour at the Olas Verdes Hotel (the lovely home of Safari Surf), and visited the Nosara Refuge for Wildlife. Of course, we also had to get in some zip lining, a waterfall tour, turtle watching in the Ostional Wildlife Refuge, yoga classes (thanks to in-house instructor, Kimber Kinley), and a soccer game with local students (which they won!).

screen-shot-2016-12-06-at-6-50-29-pm (Reforesting the coastal ecosystem with Costas Verdes Conservation Association)

(Painting and lunch at the local elementary school)

From the ‘behind the scenes’ perspective, accommodating this massive group was a welcomed and completely rewarding undertaking. The Safari Team, headed up by general manager Jeffrey Baltodano, worked long hours keeping things rolling smoothly. Chef Maritza and her mother provided fantastic ‘tipico ’ cuisine using all fresh and local authentic ingredients. Kimber Kinley took time from her busy global travel schedule to spend the week teaching surfing, yoga, and helping with every detail. And of course, the entire team of Safari Instructors were masterful at keeping everyone wet and salty! School Director Corey enlisted the capable assistance of Emily Philips, a Nosara devotee and director of her own private boarding school program called ‘Echo Springs’ in Idaho.

picture1 (Emily and Corey with students Lizzie and Lucy)


screen-shot-2016-12-06-at-6-58-14-pm (Safari Surf staff doing what they do BEST!)

Corey told me that the Chrysalis School takes two ‘travel abroad’ trips a year. Over the years they have visited 24 different countries. I told Corey that when you come to Safari Surf School in Nosara we guarantee “you will get hot, dirty, wet, change colors, and be renewed”. On their last day I asked Corey how it all went. Smiling he replied “so far, so good”.
Thanks for coming guys, we had a blast!

New Season Opens With A Bang!

Olas Verdes Hotel
Olas Verdes Hotel

We have lots to report in this edition of inside Peak!
November brought an unusual amount of heavy rain early in the month, but that didn’t seem to deter the crush of surf and yoga enthusiasts that descended upon our town. Emerging from the languorous state most of us year-rounders fall into during September, an early crush of fun-seekers sort of took us by surprise. Suddenly, this place was hopping! Tour operators, restaurants, and local businesses reported record traffic – all signs of a busy season ahead. Olas Verdes Hotel (pictured above) opened its doors in soft-opening mode and along with it, on-site partners Safari Surf School and Restaurante El Manglar came into a new chapter of life. There were lots of meetings, training sessions, and quite simply a lot of work-work-work going on throughout the month as we all came together to launch this beautiful, new enterprise.
Olas Verdes Group Shot
Olas Verdes Group Shot

Cheers from Safari Surf
Safari Surfs first guest of the new 2015-16 season was Steve Beck from Southern California. Steve stayed at a nearby hostel for his first few days while he waited for the finishing touches to his room at Olas Verdes Hotel. What fun it was to watch his transition from rustico to luxury. We are all muy orgulloso (very proud) of this magnificent, new and sustainable Costa Rican operation!
Luis Video Analysis
Luis’ Video Analysis

Guest, Steve Beck
Guest, Steve Beck

Late in 2015 we also had the pleasure of hosting another lovely guest – LA transplant and well-known travel blogger Alyssa Ramos. The work of this travel writer has graced the pages of outlets Matador Network, Geo Chic, The Mirror UK and The Huffington Post, just to name a few. She authors the blog MyLifesAMovie – a site that achieves over 100,000 unique visitors each month – and her social media reach, alone, is impressive, with over 27,000 followers (and growing) on Instagram alone. Alyssa’s unique approach to her craft focuses on travel destinations for the solo traveler. Alyssa took to surfing quickly, and gracefully, publishing two fantastic blogs about her experiences here in Nosara at Safari Surf School. Be sure to check her work out here. We are grateful!
10 Ways You’ll Feel Pura Vida In Nosara, Costa Rica
10 Tips For Learning How to Surf Like a Tica
Alyssa Ramos of
Alyssa Ramos of “My Life Is A Movie”

Alyssa Ramos Making Friends
Alyssa Ramos Making Friends

G-Love in da House!
Undoubtedly a November milestone was the benefit concert at Olas Verdes for Nosara Community Watch. Safari presidente Tim Marsh hatched the idea of hosting a fun new season kickoff concert, and was able to score the very talented G-Love to headline the show. Also performing were local favorites The Pelada Dogs, as well as Tim and Marsi’s daughter Camille, an aspiring singer and songwriter whose performances and talent you can enjoy from this YouTube Channel.
Sponsored by Safari Surf School, Olas Verdes, and Surfing Nosara, the event was a huge success, and a stellar example of what is possible when  everyone comes together for the good of the community. A high point was the duet sung by G-Love and Camille in front of 300+ cheering fans!
Pelada Dog Performs on Nosara Beach
Pelada Dog Performs on Nosara Beach

Camille performs with GLove
Camille performs with GLove

Dr Ray
Dr Ray

On the scene with GLove
On the scene with GLove

Thank You Carl!
CARL PIX HERE
I would like to take this moment to recognize our friend Carl Kish. Dubbed ‘The Sultan of Sustainability’, Carl’s contribution to Olas Verdes has been enormous. He essentially came on board fresh from college where he had graduated with a degree in Sustainable Tourism. He was charged with guiding the building of the project to LEEDS Green Construction Standards, and in a Latin country no less. Carl took it all on with a refreshing energy and conviction. You will be hearing more about the myriad accomplishments Olas Verdes has achieved in sustainability in the near future. You can follow more of Carl’s sustainability initiatives through his website and certification entity, Stoke Certified.
Carl Kish..Salud!
Carl Kish..Salud!

AND NOW FOR SOME PHOTO FUN!!!
Carl Kish Discussed LEED
Carl Kish Discussed LEED

Pete “The Fit Guy” and Timmy Marsh share a sweet wave
Tim and Estabrooks
Tim and Estabrooks

Emma Guitar on a long green left (Ola Verde)
ema (3)Leah on a long green right!
ya ya blue wave
Ya Ya Blue Wave

The Ya Ya Surf-Sisterhood!
Ya Ya Sisters!
Ya Ya Sisters!

Behind the Scenes: Luis Pardo & Team and The amazing Bomberos!
Behind the Scenes: Luis Pardo & Team and The amazing Bomberos!
Behind the Scenes: Luis Pardo & Team and The amazing Bomberos!

 
Behind the Scenes: Luis Pardo & Team and The amazing Bomberos!
Behind the Scenes: Luis Pardo & Team and The amazing Bomberos!

Spreadin’ the Love!
G Love and Team

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 Goes Surfing!

INSIDE PEAK– May 2016

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“Team Building, as defined by Wikipedia, is the use of different types of team experiences and activities that are aimed at enhancing social relations and clarifying team members’ roles, as well as solving tasks, achieving results, meeting goals, and improving performance”.
I was surprised not to see the word motivation used in any of the team building definitions I read as I researched this subject. Safari Surfs’ recent trip to Nicaragua certainly motivated me in relation to doing my best. Safari owners Tim and Marsi Marsh have wanted to take the gang on a little ‘employee appreciation’ surf trip for some time. Everything aligned at the end of May, and we were finally able to slip away together for a few days. Our destination was the recently finished La Jolla de Guasacate resort in the wave-rich Popoyo region of southern Nicaragua. Safari Surf School recently launched a new learn-to-surf package in this spectacular location and we were all excited to see it. “La Jolla” means JEWEL, and man does the place ever live up to that description! I do not know if Tim and Marsi ever considered this getaway to be a team building experience, but from my viewpoint this little trip put fresh wind in all of our sails. As we prepare to move into the brand spanking new Olas Verdes Sustainable Surfing Resort next month, Safari Surf has never been more optimistic and stoked!

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An Empty Left and the beautiful La Jolla Guasacaste

The Crew

                                                                      PETER                                       JEFFRY                                    TIM
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              ALI  AND MARITZA                                                                                      PIO                                                                             JORDANI
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Luis, Helberth, Erick, Kevin
Luis, Helberth, Erick, Kevin

Midnight Express

The plan was to leave at midnight, get to the border crossing at 4am, and be in the water at 8am. Tim and I had both flown in from the states the same day and we knew we would be a more than a little fuzzy. I arrived ten minutes late at 12:10 am and the crew was all there amping to get underway. The boards were all loaded on top and we jammed into the very capable Safari van. Weird things happen when you have no sleep, you begin to “see things”. But we were adrenalized by the good vibes and energy surrounding the trip.

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DSCN9166La Frontera (the border)

“One thing you learn here is patience” – Tim Marsh

Timmy’s wise words reverberated in my head as we approached the Nicaraguan border. I had visited Nicaragua before, but never entered this way (I’d flown into Managua).  The first thing we learned was that the border crossing offices did not open until 6am. We watched as a line formed at the checkpoint. When we saw a crowded bus unload its passengers into the growing mob we realized we should be in line, not slouched out in the van. We were planning to lock down the van in a guarded parking area and Bob (La Jolla owner/operator) would meet us on the other side. The scene was chaotic and confusing, but we managed to park the van and join the line for the two hour wait.
It was about at this point that Luis discovered he did not have his passport. There was no way to sugar coat this dilemma; he had to take a bus back to Nosara. He called his girlfriend Laura to tell her the news and she responding by saying “no worries, I will bring it up to you”!    DSCN9173 DSCN9144
One of the fascinating things about living here is people watching. I am amazed at the women I meet who are traveling through Central America solo, carrying only a backpack. They speak multiple languages and seem to navigate what I call the ‘third world follies ‘with determination and no fear. Laura is from Australia and she does not speak Spanish, but somehow she threaded together three bus rides to reach the border, and she and Luis made it to La Jolla by 5pm – happy hour! The rest of our merry group trudged through the arduous and hectic border crossing routine and were met by Bob who had arranged for a large van to take us to the hotel.

Made It!
Made It!

NICARAGUA                

I’d been to Nicaragua twice before, my last visit was in 2000. I was anxious to see what had changed in fifteen years. Nicaragua and Costa Rica share the Pacific Ocean and Spanish language, but that’s about it. I was astonished at the differences. The Pan American Highway is in excellent condition. The southern portion of Nicaragua is bordered by Lake Nicaragua which is huge, almost like a small ocean. The strategic positioning of the lake creates steady offshore winds which blow all day long.

Rendezvous with Bob Eason in Nica
Rendezvous with Bob Eason in Nica

Huge modern windmills dot the countryside, taking advantage of the gusty winds to create electricity. The cost of living is significantly lower than in Costa Rica; the price of land, goods, and services are a fraction of what we pay in Nosara. We turned off the paved highway and proceeded west on a good dirt road. Once we approached the beach region it was apparent how much it had changed. Dozens of private homes, beach hotels and surf camps, dot the coastline and hillsides. “Surf Colonization” had begun invading the surf zones about 12 years ago. The number of quality surf spots and cheap cost of living began to pull investors away from Costa Rica. In Nicaragua there is no discernable middle class; the rich and the poor coexist under the same sun. The Popoyo region is loaded with great surf spots, many accessible only by boat. Add in the round-the-clock offshore winds and you’ve got surf fever!

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Stunning wave-rich coastline = Surf Colonization

La Jolla de Guasacate

The La Jolla resort is the brainchild of Tim Siviter, who also maintains some beautiful rental homes in Playa Guiones. After about a year Tim brought in a partner, Bob Eason, who runs the hotel along with his lovely wife Ditmara. I had a captivating talk with Bob about his experiences over the years in Central America. At one time Bob owned the very successful surfwear brand called Picante, but his heart was in Nicaragua and he eventually sold everything and returned to the simple life he loved. The La Jolla Resort occupies 50 acres of prime ocean view land. There are currently 11 fully appointed rooms with another 12 on the way. There is also a large, beautifully furnished private home that can be rented for groups and families.  Additionally there are 114 lots for sale within an exclusive gated community, but hurry – 70 have already sold! The furnishings and amenities are modern and upscale. After our all-night jaunt and chaotic border crossing, we were all swept away by the special beauty and comfort of the place. Bobs heart has always been ‘for the people’ and he is very focused on taking care of the locals. “For 30 years these people have lived at subsistence level with no assistance from the government” Bob points out, “but they still have huge smiles on their faces”. The hotel website: http://www.lajollahotelnica.com.
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blog-5               Owner/Operators Bob & Ditmara Eason

The Surf

Nicaragua has abundant, incredible surf. The coastline is punctuated with numerous points, coves, reefs, river mouths, and sandbars producing a variety of surfing conditions suited to all ability levels. Many of these spots are only accessible by boat. Each morning our ‘A Team’ explored by boat, while Laura and I set out in search of softer breaks where Safari Surf guests are taken for their lessons. Everyone came back stoked.

Learning Friendly Waves at Magnifient Rock
Learning Friendly Waves at Magnifient Rock

 
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MAG ROCK! Note person walking at base…………………………and……………………Popoyo Flexing!                                                    

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Empty Left………………………………………………and……………………Outside Reef Beginning to Show

The Boyz

The A-Team in action at Colorados

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Safari Nicaragua

Nicaragua offers a unique cultural experience in a wave-saturated ocean playground.  The food, service, and cushy comfort level of La Jolla is off the charts. Non-surfing activities include golf, horseback riding, stand-up paddling, volcanoes, fishing, kayaking, and other custom tours. Grenada is a great day trip for exploring classic colonial architecture, sightseeing, shopping and dining. Bob and Ditmara are wonderful hosts and tend to every detail to insure your comfort and stoke level.

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Ali on Horseback at the Salt Flats…………and………………………local wildlife

Hasta Pronto!

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Safari Surfs ‘Nica 2015’ trip brought us closer together and filled us with inspiration.

When is the last time you sat around a table with family or friends sharing good food, talking story, and laughing out loud? Hats off and big thanks to Tim and Marsi Marsh for such a marvelous experience. As Tim said “when it comes right down to it we are a family” Life’s a trip, better pack your bags! We look forward to your visit.

timmy marsi

 

Surfing for Life

INSIDE PEAK-May 15, 2015

In 2001 a remarkable entertaining and inspirational video documentary called Surfing for Life was released,  detailing the fascinating lives of nine heroic role models who are “following their bliss” through actively surfing into their seventh, eighth and ninth decades. “SURFING FOR LIFE not only challenges ageism, it also weaves a tapestry of unforgettable stories that embody many universal aspects of the human experience. The surfers’ tales reveal, among many lessons, courage in the face of adversity, the power of the human spirit and a celebration of values and relationships that contribute to rich, meaningful, well-spent lives.” From the videos press release: “Older surfers provide a great metaphor for how our society is struggling to redefine what it means to grow older. Similar to the Civil rights and Women’s movements, this age wave is tantamount to a movement and involves new behaviors – with new attitudes trying to catch-up. Could it be that “staying young” doesn’t need to be the goal after all, and that “staying well” – physically, spiritually, emotionally and mentally – becomes the goal? It’s possible if the term “OLD” can shed some of its unnecessary connotations and stereotypes. The new attitude that is emerging – and supported by lots of medical and psycho-social research – is a view of our later years not dominated by sickness and decline. Rather, the later years can be very vital, satisfying and meaningful periods of our lives.”
Nosara has been described as a “wellness town”, with yoga, healthy food, and surfing leading the way to increased vitality and longevity. We welcome surf enthusiasts of all ages at Safari  Surf. When is the best age to start surfing? Whenever you take that first step and paddle out. In this edition of Inside Peak we talk with a few of Nosara’s resident older surfers whom serve to dispel the myth that surfing is just for kids!
 

OLD GUYS RULE!

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

Coconut Harry

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Harry Heinke is a well known icon in Playa Guiones. He is often referred to as “The Mayor”.
With his fit, tanned frame and long blond hair and perpetual big smile, he is easy to spot.
This guy is almost 65 years old?
“I first tried surfing in 1967 on a 9’6″ Gordon & Smith longboard – Virginia Beach, VA – no leashes back then, so a LOT of swimming. “Surfaried” to Cocoa Beach, FL the next year with 2 high school buddies in a VW bug and 3 longboards – slept in a state park until the park rangers ran us off. Went to college in western part of VA (Va. Tech) and worked summers to put myself through school and then got a ‘real’ job, so did not take up surfing again until mid-80’s. Started going to Hawaii – made 7 trips – heard about Costa Rica via Surfing magazine and came to CR in 1992 – found Nosara in 1994 after somebody in Tamarindo told me about it – a ‘secret spot’ he said, “don’t tell anybody”!  Although I don’t rip it up like the 20-somethings we have here at Guiones, I feel good and still have fun at my age – will be on Medicare in 3 more months…
Vaya con Dios” …..
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“THE MAYOR” AT THE OFFICE

LuLu Wiegers

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At 67 years young Lulu radiates boundless positivity, aloha, and stoke. “ I love love love surfing” she beams, “its my life, what I want to do forever! I started when I was 14 years old in Manhatten Beach, California. I took a 20 year detour with marriage and some bad choices, but
Thank God I got back into it and never looked back. Everything I do; eating, exercise, yoga, swimming, biking, etc. – I do to keep in shape for surfing. I live in Guiones 10 months out of the year and love the warm water, wave consistency, and positive vibes in the water. Back when I started there weren’t so many girls surfing and I felt like one of the guys. Now there are so many good woman surfers here, it’s so great. I plan to continue surfing forever! Age is just a number! Get out there with us!”
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“VIDRIO AZUL” – BLUE GLASS…..

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

John McGovern

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

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

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Peter Lewis

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

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

BODY-SURFING WITH DAD AT PLAYA PELADA

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MY THREE SURFER GIRLS!

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

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

old guys rule

The Bermuda-Costa Rica Connection

INSIDE PEAK April 10, 2015

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

 Hammonds

Meet the Hammonds – Richard, Rudi, Louie, Sharon

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

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Bermudas Barrier Reefs “consume” Incoming Wave Energy

Here a kite surfer rides the wind!

Rudi and Louie

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Serious Q & A with my new bros

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

‘Tsumani Rudi Gabas’ on a Screamer!

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‘Big Wave Louie’ Sets up a nice Bottom Turn

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Richard and Sharon

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

 Richard Backdoors a Nice Section

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Sharon Pulling in at the Boca

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Beautiful Seascapes but No Waves!

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The Bermuda Triangle

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

Sharon and Rudi spending Quality Time

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Our House is Your House

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 Team Bermuda – April 2015

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Nosara News- New Stuff!- Inside Peak

Nosara News

INSIDE PEAK- March 17, 2015

 Nosara News- New Stuff!

New Stuff in Nosara!

Every season here in Nosara ushers in a wave of new businesses and this year is no exception. So from us to you, here is Nosara News- New Stuff!
From restaurants, to retail, to recreation, Nosara is continuing to grow in support of our already well established active/surf/wellness reputation. Despite this inevitable growth Nosara still retains its charm and “mom/pop” feeling. This I attribute to the enormous impact of our beachfront protection, which has steered big time developers and chain hotels further north.  Here is a sampling of some of Nosara’s new offerings this season.

Food and Beverage

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

Nosara News- New Stuff!Al Chile

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

tibidaboTibidabo

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

 fusion 2Fusion

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

solo bueno Solo Bueno

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

go juiceGo Juice Smoothie and Juice Bar

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

El ChivoEl Chivo

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

luna brunchLa Luna Breakfast/Brunch

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

pipa (2)Pipa Fria

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

Retail

love nosara (2)Love Nosara

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

Tamale (2)Hot Tamale

New recycled and vintage fashion located on main street Guiones.

Recreation

tennisTennis Club Colibri

Beautiful red clay tennis courts on main street Guiones

climbClimb Nosara

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

skate parkEskina Skate Park

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

ad boardCheap Advertising – Nosara Style!

Safari Photos

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

Newest Photos from Jeffrey

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Newest Photos from Bryan

Wow! friend Nosara News- New Stuff!

Inside Peak- Join Our Family

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JOIN OUR FAMILY

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

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

Stan Olga

Stan and Olga at work

 

Family Vacations at Safari Surf

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

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

 

One Big Happy Family

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

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

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Family Horseback Tour

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Families that Zipline together, stay together!

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Sam & Jeff Chandler – football bonding

Around the Table

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

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Three Generations of Lewis Girls!

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The Wagner Family dining under the stars

JOIN THE SAFARI FAMILY TODAY!

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

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

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Student group from Guilford College in North Carolina

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All-Girls Surf Clinic for Local Nosara Families

 

Inside Peak- The Germany- Costa Connection

Safari Surf’s German Connection

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I have always been fascinated by the depth of Marlon Illig. For example, he speaks fluent German. For a lad raised in rural Nosara, this strikes me as interesting and unusual. Marlon is one of the New Breed of Safari instructors that joined us this season. Safari hosts a fair amount of Europeans this time of year and many happen to be German. Imagine coming to Costa Rica from Germany to a surf school and finding that your instructor speaks German! Marlon is educated, informed, and quite worldly. I was intrigued the other day when I overheard him talking movies and critiquing actors and directors with some guests. Oh yeah, he also speaks fluent English! I sat down with Marlon to get the skinny.
PL: Everyone knows you as Jeffrey’s brother, but he doesn’t speak German?
Marlon: Well it’s a long story, but I was adopted!
PL: So explain the Germany connection.
Marlon: I was born in Germany and am a German citizen as well as Costa Rican. At 2 yrs old mom moved us to Nosara. She had been there before and longed to return. So Nosara is where I grew up.
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All Men are Brothers!

PL: When did you start surfing?
Marlon: I started 4 years ago. Since I starting teaching with Safari this season I had a kind of “rebirth” and fell in love with surfing all over again. I can’t get enough now!
PL: You are a great with people and seem to have found the perfect fit with surf instruction. What do you like about it?
Marlon: The best part is watching the transformation that people go through here. When they arrive they are all white and pasty and stressed from their busy lives. After a few days they are totally transformed, physically, mentally, and spiritually. They develop a new self confidence and inner stoke. It is such a priceless thing to observe and be part of!


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Carrie Learns Proper Waxing Technique



 
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Kids at Play

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marlon boardPL: You recently turned 18. What are your future plans?
Marlon: I am going back to Germany in two months, after high season. My dream is to become a pilot and I am looking to enroll in flight school there. I plan to return next high season (Dec-April) to work at Safari, save money, and continue my schooling in Germany.
PL: Wow what a great goal. Viel Glück an euch mein Bruder! (Best of luck to you my brother).
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                             “The New Breed” (Kevin, Marlon, fan, Jordani)

Plus Erich!

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

Inside Peak- Higher Learning Through Surfing

Higher Learning through Surfing at Safari Surf School

SurfU
“Study Abroad” – the phrase conjures up images of earnest students absorbed in esoteric topics enhanced by their unique surrounds – English Lit studies at Oxford, Italian culture and language studies in Rome, Ancient Greek civilization studies in Athens – but surfing in Costa Rica?? In January Safari Surf hosted a group of students from Guilford College in North Carolina lured by the enticing title: Surfing Centuries: An interdisciplinary introduction to riding waves, past and present. In the intro syllabus Professor Maia Dery, an avid surfer, describes the course as follows: “You all “surf” almost every day. Surfing became the runaway metaphor to describe the freedom and possibilities of the internet. How did that metaphor come into being? How did surfing, a fully embodied indigenous pastime, become such a powerful cultural trope?”
I was hooked!  “College courses have come a long way since my graduation from Cal Western University San Diego in 1973” I mused. Maia is a stoked and dedicated surfer of many years. Was this just a clever way to go on a surf trip? One glimpse at the 16 page syllabus would dispel that shallow notion. This was a bonafide heavy-duty full credit academic assignment fraught with multiple texts books and several evaluation criteria. The group spent 18 days with us and became like family. With the opening of Olas Verdes Sustainable Surfing resort this summer, we look forward to more study abroad groups, as we collectively expand our horizons together through surfing.
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Required Reading

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

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

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

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

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ROSE

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

PROFESSOR MAIA DERY

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

FAMILY

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

Cal West

Back in the day, my college graduation in 1973.

English major, what else!

 

INSIDE PEAK- HAPPY NEW YEAR

HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM SAFARI SURF!!

 All of us at Safari Surf look forward to this New Year, full of waves, smiles, and personal growth. The opening of Olas Verdes Sustainable Surf Resort will certainly be a highlight. Scheduled to open its doors in June or July of this year, the resort plans to have a “soft opening”, with a Gala Grand Opening slated for November 2015. Olas Verdes will fill a needed niche in Nosara providing upscale accommodations with a soulful surf atmosphere! Stay tuned to the Safari website (www.safarisurfschool.com) for updates.

Thanks and Pura Vida to all the great folks who spent the holidays with us. When I travel north to Orlando, Florida the planes are full of Costa Rican families taking their dream vacation to Disney World. Most of the Southbound passengers, however, are coming to Costa Rica to explore its natural attractions: surfing, fishing, kayaking, yoga, hiking, ziplining and passionate, fun-loving people. We had a mob of good folks descend upon us over Christmas; families, kids, solo trekkers, nature buffs, young professionals, and aging soul surfers. To see the joy and exhilaration surfing brings to all guests is priceless. Surfing your ‘own wave’ brings a sense of accomplishment in an atmosphere of camaraderie and instructional support. It doesn’t take long for this group of strangers becomes a tight-knit family, a dynamic that always fascinates me.

Laura and John Guitar share a wave at sunset

New Crew

Safari Surf School is stoked to have recruited four new instructors who proved themselves “up to the calling” over the holidays. It was not unusual for an instructor to teach up to five lessons per day, emerging from the water with wrinkle-skin, crow’s-feet, and salt-reddened eyes! Thanks and Welcome Aboard to our new team members.

Kevin

Marlon

Jordani

Erich

 
 

Families Families Families!

The best part of Christmas vacations are the families who come and experience Costa Rica together. When is the last time you sat around the dinner table with everyone in your family enjoying the art of conversation and just catching up? If you are feeling distanced from your family due to your crazy-busy life – take a surfing vacation at Safari Surf – we will fix it! Many thanks to the Curley, McCaulley, MaGrann, Panagos, Patch, Robison, Guitar, Chandler, Wasserman, Goldstein, and Wagner families – you guys made our Christmas memorable! And Keep Surfing wherever life takes you this year….

The McCaulley Family

The Guitar Family

The Curley Family

     

                Kids, Kids, Kids!

SAFARI BEACH BUGGY

                                                                          

Elias Shredding

 
Leo’s Treasure

Lilly Tandem

 
 
 

 Families That Play Together……..

I’ve gotta say that being amongst all these families somehow made me feel “connected” to something larger than myself. In Hawaii it is called OHANA, or extended family. Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten. The concept emphasizes that families are bound together and members must cooperate and remember one another. In the larger picture, we are all one big family. Sharing waves with family is an indescribable joy. The Chandler family of Sandy Hook, New Jersey gets the “Leave it to Beaver/Father Knows Best Nuclear Family Award”! They would play dominoes every morning at breakfast, surf together twice a day, and enjoy many a great meal around the dinner table. Last time The Chandlers were here I was lamenting that I didn’t have many pictures of them surfing. I remember telling them “but this will change”. Here’s proof:

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Jeff- Nice Bottom Turn

 
Tess and Kerry (Daughter and Mother)
Football Toss- Son, Sam and Papa Jeff
Kerry’ Sister Pam and Son, Sam
Tess Chandler
Cousin Liam
Sam and Mom Clowning

 

 WELCOME TO 2015

Mitch Stoked!

 
The New Olas Verdes Resort- Opening This Year!

 

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