Surf Instruction

Spreading the love of surfing through quality surf instruction is our pride and joy, but we have some other tricks up our sleeves.

We know one of your main reasons for visiting us is to learn how to surf, or improve your skills. Not only do we teach you how to surf; we also teach you ocean awareness, basic pre-surf stretching exercises and, most importantly, safety.

All of your equipment will be supplied unless you prefer to bring your own. There are two (1) hour + surf lessons each day, one at approximately 7:30am and the afternoon lesson will be at approximately 3pm. Please note that lesson times may vary depending on wind and tide conditions. Safari Surf School employs a maximum 3 students to 1 instructor ratio (with the exception of large yoga retreats and corporate groups). WALK-IN LESSONS are available for booking at our Olas Verdes office — come on in!

Safari Surf School not only employs all ISA (International Surfing Association) accredited surf instructors; they are all also RLSS certified lifeguards as well. We also employ state of the art tools and techniques to help expedite your learning curve. We use video review 2 times weekly .This allows us to critique your mechanics when popping up and paddling, and your overall placement on the board.

With video shot from the beach, this will allow our instructors to get a detailed view of what you are doing correctly, and what techniques still need some work. We have all the angles covered!


For some of you, this trip may be a “Bucket List” item that you have always wanted to try, for others, you may be passionate about learning the craft, and many of you may fall in between. It does not matter to us which category you fall into as we instruct all our guests with the same techniques and passion!

Surfing is a “sport,” and in learning or progressing in any sport there are certain “levels” or “goals” that we must set to gage progress. By presenting each level to our guests as a “goal” in which they can achieve, we can clearly define what our direction for the week will be for each guest. Learning to surf is not brain surgery, all you really need is the right environment: Playa Guiones – a perfect beach-break for all levels of surfing, but especially beginning and intermediate; proper equipment – Safari has high-end polyurethane and epoxy boards from short-boards and fishes to long-boards and SUP’s; experienced instructors – we have the most highly trained instructors in Costa Rica with safety always being most prevalent; set a goal – we will put together a goal or level to achieve during your stay with us and a blueprint to continue your progress; and of course, a sense of humor!

Surf Skill Levels

We have broken down surfing “levels” into (5) easy to understand categories (there are more “levels” but for what we are teaching, these  are sufficient). We do ask guests to inform us of their current level in advance, but we also assess all of our guests during their first session to verify what level they are on and how we should proceed instructing them for the rest of their trip. Here are the levels:

Level 1: Beginner

Never surfed before; no knowledge of surfing or the equipment to – having had 1 or 2 lessons in the past with basic knowledge of the surfboard and basic knowledge of lying and paddling a surf board.

Level 2: Beginner

Have had 3 or more lessons and have a decent understanding of how the surfboard works, proper paddling technique, placement on the surfboard. Have been introduced to basics of “pop-up” technique, water safety / ocean awareness, the “Turtle Roll”, surf stance (Goofy or Regular foot), white water rides.

Level 3: Beginner / Intermediate (Having Mastered Levels 1&2)

Comfortable paddling out through white water / “Turtle Rolling”, paddling to the outside, sitting on surfboard, spinning surfboard while sitting, have general knowledge of terminology like: impact zone, the line up, take of zone, backside, front side, very comfortable with the “pop up” from the prone position to your surf stance, very comfortable surfing white water rides.

Level 4: Beginner / Intermediate (Having Mastered Level 3)

Can paddle out to the outside, can catch open faced waves on your own. Can “bottom turn”, can “trim” on an open faced wave, can “grab your rail” while trimming on open faced wave.

Level 5: Intermediate / Advanced (Having mastered Levels 3&4)

Can read the waves and locate good catch-able waves on your own, can bottom turn and do “S” turns on the open face, can perform “cutbacks.”