As we mentioned in our Sustainability Goals for 2021 post, our local staff are the x-factor of Safari Surf School. As the first school to open up shop in Nosara, back in 1999, Safari Surf has been a trendsetter for similar businesses in Costa Rica. In over 20 years in business in Costa Rica, we’ve learned that no one quite compares to the local community. Our staff has a deep passion for surfing, the ocean, and sharing Costa Rican culture and Pura Vida hospitality with our guests. Since we were the first surf school to open in Nosara, some of our staff members have been with us for decades. Others have come on board a bit later, but either way, our staff is our family. In this week’s Safari Surf Staff Highlight, we introduce one of our surf coaches who has been with us for years, Pio. Pio and I caught up after his morning lesson.Continue reading
At Safari Surf School, we’re in the business of turning regular people into surfers, which, as you may assume, require a lot of water time. For 99.9% of our guests, the more time in the ocean, the better. As guests become more acquainted with surfing and its many nuances, they can’t help but be consumed by it. When guests aren’t surfing, they’re talking about surfing, planning their next surf session, or at the very least, thinking about surfing. There are those rare moments when you surf so much and so often that you need to take a break. That break could last a few hours or even a whole day. Fortunately for our guests, there is plenty to do in Nosara and Playa Guiones, both in and out of the water, that doesn’t involve riding waves.
As we mentioned in our Sustainability Goals for 2021 post, our local staff are the x-factor of Safari Surf School. As the first school to open up shop in Nosara, back in 1999, Safari Surf has been a trendsetter for similar businesses in Costa Rica. In over 20 years in business in Costa Rica, we’ve learned that no one quite compares to the local community. Our staff has a deep passion for surfing, the ocean, and sharing Costa Rican culture and Pura Vida hospitality with our guests. Since we were the first surf school to open in Nosara, some of our staff members have been with us for decades. Others have come on board a bit later, but either way, our staff is our family. In this week’s Safari Surf Staff Highlight, we introduce our long-time Operations Manager, Jeffery Noguera. Jeffery and I sat down after my morning surf when he was just getting back to the office from filming clients on the beach.Continue reading
As surfers, we feel we must be as environmentally conscious as possible in all facets of life, including our business. Sustainability, however, goes beyond just one’s environmental impact. Sustainability in travel and tourism means not only being eco-conscious and reducing waste but ensuring our existence as a business doesn’t displace, diminish, or damage the local culture and economy. 2020 was a rocky year for travel, but we used that time to reflect on our core values as a business in Costa Rica and as surfers. This year, we aim to continue our sustainable mission through a commitment to preserving, protecting, and improving the natural environment of Nosara, its culture, and its people. To find out more about our sustainability goals for 2021, continue reading below.Continue reading
Our Costa Rica surf school is perfectly positioned for our guests to have a complete Costa Rica experience, both in and out of the water. Located in Guanacaste on a remote stretch of the Nicoya Peninsula, travelers in Nosara can experience Costa Rica’s abundant wildlife on land and sea. If you’re surfed out for the day or need to give yourself a bit of a break, head to one of the nearby protected nature reserves and see Costa Rica’s exotic wildlife. Nearly one-third of Costa Rica’s land is protected as national parks, nature reserves, and wildlife refuges. Additionally, since the 1980s Costa Rica has successfully reversed its deforestation by 200%. To say that wildlife thrives in Costa Rica would be an understatement. Costa Rica is home to exotic and endangered wildlife that once dominated the entire Central America region but has since but poached out of existence in many other countries. Sloths, Scarlet Macaws, Spider Monkeys, Howler Monkeys, Jaguars, and more all call Costa Rica home. If you want to find out how to experience Costa Rican wildlife on your visit to our Costa Rica surf school, continue reading below.Continue reading
Panama’s serpentine dual coastlines have been attracting surfers for decades. The heavy military, industrial, and financial presence of the United States in Panama during the twentieth century led to the inevitable surf exploration of both coastlines during the seventies and eighties. As Central America’s most populated country, one would assume that Panama’s waves break onto densely populated beaches with fancy high-rise hotels just beyond the sand, but that is far from the case. Panama’s coastlines wind southward from Costa Rica to Columbia in an S shape pattern for nearly 500 miles. Both sides of the country are teaming with world-class waves just begging to be surfed. While there’s plenty of untouched coastline littered with points, reef passes, and beach breaks, most surfers find themselves in one of four areas between Panama’s two coasts. To find out more about the wave in Playa Venao and Panama’s other world-class setups, continue reading below.
So, you’re thinking about taking a surf trip to Costa Rica? Regardless of your skill level or prior surfing experience, Costa Rica has a wave for you. For beginners, Costa Rica’s Pacific coastline stretches for hundreds of miles and is dotted with friendly beach breaks that are ideal for learning. For intermediate surfers, Costa Rica has a variety of waves that are perfect for progression, like sizable beach breaks and slow rolling rocky points. Advanced surfers will get their fill at Costa Rica’s notorious barreling beachies and seemingly endless left points. To find out which wave you should be surfing on your next Costa Rica surf trip, continue reading below.Continue reading
As surfers, we spend quite a lot of time close to nature. It could be argued that there is no single activity that is as in tune with nature as surfing. Riding waves in the ocean that are created by storm systems thousands of miles away is about as close to nature as you can get. It’s surfing’s proximity to nature that drives surfers to protect the environment. The ocean is our playground, and it is heartbreaking to see it filled with trash, single-use plastics, and discarded fishing gear. As a traveler, your movement already weighs heavily on the environment. The carbon emissions from one long flight exceed approximately 14% of your car’s annual fossil fuel emissions. Additionally, modern traveling is ripe with wasteful single-use products. So, what is a traveler to do? Without giving up travel altogether, there are a few steps travelers can take to help reduce their environmental impact while on the road. If you’re visiting our Nosara surf school and want to reduce waste during your journey, continue reading below for How to Travel Sustainably When You Visit Our Nosara Surf School.
Making the leap from an intermediate surfer who can catch waves on their own, cleanly ride down the line, and turn, to an advanced surfer who is comfortable in most conditions, can ride a variety of boards, and maneuver with ease on the waves face, is one of the most difficult transitions to make in surfing. The instructors and guides at our Nosara surf school, Safari Surf School, want to make that transition as seamless as possible, so we’ve compiled a list of tips that will help intermediate surfers progress in the water. While there’s no replacement for time in the water, these tips are a step in the right direction for intermediate surfers looking to improve. To learn Tips for Intermediate Surfers from Our Nosara Surf School, continue reading belowContinue reading
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.
As much as we love our home in Nosara, Costa Rica, and our home break Playa Guiones, we can’t say no to a new adventure. When we decided to expand our operations at Safari Surf, we looked far and wide for a wave and location that reminded us a bit of our roots in Playa Guiones but still had an independent culture and identity. Most of all, we wanted a new adventure for ourselves, and our Safari Surf guests. After leaving no stone unturned and much deliberation, we settled on a little slice of paradise known as Playa Venao, Panama. To find out more about our Panama operation and why we fell in love with Playa Venao, continue reading below for Why More Visitors are Heading to Panama & How we Settled on Playa Venao for Safari Surf.Continue reading
10% OFF ALL PACKAGES…INCLUDING 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.
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/
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.