Learning to Surf in Costa Rica – Step by Step
Posted by Jack Albritton on June 06, 2014
Learning to surf in Costa Rica is much easier when learning from a surf crew with a systematic, step by step approach to getting up and riding waves. I shoot video of our surf students 2 or 3 times a week and I notice a lot behind the camera. What I notice behind the camera is an approach that actually teaches people to surf. When you attend a surf school or surf camp in Costa Rica you will have more success, and more fun, with well trained surf instructors who have an established method of teaching surfing that is successful in getting surf students riding waves. So, what is this process for learning to surf?
The initial lesson on Monday for all the new surf students is a workshop on the basics in our yoga room. This is just a short workshop to orient the students on all the basics about surfing and how the lessons will be taught. Whichever surf instructor is leading the orientation workshop for the day explains the School of the World’s procedures, establishes which foot each student should have forward, and gives a thorough, detailed explanation of how they should pop to their feet. Getting this initial short lesson inside cuts down on distractions and gives them to chance to practice technique on solid ground. Depending on the size of the group, this part of the first day’s surf session lasts about half an hour. Then it’s load up the boards and off to the beach.
Once the students arrive at the beach and unload their surfboards, they are split up into groups. There are usually no more than 3 students for each surf instructor. This is for safety purposes and also so that each student receives adequate personal attention from their instructor. Surf instructors reiterate what was taught in the yoga room and have the students do popups on the beach multiple times. Once again, they are on dry land and have stable footing. This makes it easier for the instructor to correct their stances and method of getting to their feet. After a short time on the beach, there is no holding the students back anymore. It is time to head to the water!
When the students finally make it to the water the instructors are close by, usually behind them, giving them that extra little push to catch the wave. As they get used to paddling they get more shoulder and arm strength, along with technique which enables them to start catching waves on their own. Besides the technical expertise on how to surf the instructors are very encouraging with the students, constantly cheering and clapping and giving our guests the confidence they need to dance across the water. Having a good first surf experience with qualified, experienced instructors makes it much more likely that you will surf again in the future, perhaps on another vacation or when you return home. Learning to surf in Costa Rica is an experience you will remember for the rest of your life so be sure to choose a qualified surf camp or surf school to get you started.