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Unlike conventional surf schools, this isn’t about standing up. Surf Simply identifies the many specific skills behind the sport and then break down the mechanisms, making surfing accessible to everyone. Their team of 7 ISA and ILSF qualified coaches are surf geeks who work with just 12 guests each week, replacing ambiguous surf lingo with clear, concise, and systemized coaching. They don’t teach you how to surf but let you teach yourself how to surf.
The Surf Simply resort is made up of six bungalows set 800 yards back from the waters edge nestled in the jungle. There is also a deep pool with a pool side lounge and dining room, a yoga studio, video analysis classroom, and a massage therapy studio. All rooms have Wi-Fi and air conditioning, and each bungalow also has two bedrooms, a private terrace, and kitchenette.
The resort only caters to a maximum of 12 surfers each week and so as a solo traveler, you can either have a private room in a shared bungalow or have a private bungalow all to yourself. Careful thought has been given to every detail of the resort as with the rest of your stay, but the best thing about the resort is the solitude. The rustle of the trees and the animals in them are the only sounds you’ll hear as you lay by the pool.
Surf Simply thinks that it’s time for surf coaching to grow up. They often hear experienced surfers say “I don’t need a surf lesson. I already surf.” They think that says a lot about the level of coaching people have come to expect. Surf schools have a reputation as having nothing to offer surfers beyond learning to stand up. Of course there is a lot more fun to be had than that and the faster you improve, the more fun you have.
Good coaching is important as you progress because so many technical aspects of surfing are very counter intuitive. So, why don't you expect as much from a professional surf coach as you would from a coach in other more main stream sport like golf or tennis? A surf coach should be a skilled teacher, an articulate communicator, not to mention an ocean safety expert.
Surf Simply takes a logical, analytical approach which demystifies surfing allowing people of all ages and abilities to get into the sport. You will never hear them offering ambiguous advice like '"feel the rhythm of the wave." Instead, they communicate specific body movements simply and concisely. Surfing can be broken down into specific skill sets which can be built on top of each other, accelerating progress and building confidence.
Surf Simply goes with the "teach a man to fish", rather than "give him a fish" approach. You’ll have some fun waves during your stay with Surf Simply but the point is that you leave knowing how to continue with your progression independently. In every lesson, you’ll learn a specific skill but more importantly, you’ll know why you’re learning it. This means that a clear road map of drills and skills will unfold in front of you for you to continue progressing with.
The Surf Simply coaches have given over 25,000 people their first surfing experience. Some people are supremely confident in the waves while other people are intimidated by just being in the ocean environment. However, everyone without exception, thoroughly enjoys their first day surfing. Surf Simply will drive you and your board to and from the beach each time you surf. However, you will also have an access to use the resort’s beach cruiser bicycles to explore the village.
During your first session, you will never be out of your depth and everything will first be explained to you clearly in small, confidence building and bite-sized sections. Towards the end of your stay with Surf Simply, you will have the chance to push yourself but that only happens later on and if you decide that you would like to. 30 minutes before you go down to the beach, you will be introduced to your coach at the resort so that you can ask any questions and have the opportunity to get anything you want from your room to take with you.
Once on the beach, your session will be broken down into sections involving 5 minutes on the sand explaining each new skill, followed by 20 minutes in the water practicing it. You will not be thrown in the deep end literally or metaphorically and whether you are a natural athlete or not. You will neither be the best or the worst person that Surf Simply has coached, so you can relax, let them walk you through everything, and simply enjoy the never ending process of learning.
Unlike traditional lessons, the emphasis at Surf Simply is not on standing up although this is one of many things that you will learn during your stay. Instead, they will first teach you how to be self sufficient in the water by selecting and catching waves. They will then show you how to surf the wave by moving your weight, while still laying down, in order to carve turns and accelerate. After 90 minutes, you will return to the resort for a smoothie. You will learn about the functional stance through video, demonstration, and practice in front of the mirror.
The reason you will learn to stand is so that you can move your weight around on the board more quickly and powerfully. This allows you to maneuver the board better. Standing up is not the end goal. There is a lot more fun to be had than that. In the afternoon, you will have a chance to practice your functional stance back in the friendly and forgiving white water. Your first day of surfing will finish with a summary of the skills which will be covered during the upcoming week as well as what they will lead on to and that’s where the fun starts.
There are a lot of things which are much easier to communicate with a TV screen and a white board, rather than on the beach. Accordingly, each day, Surf Simply has theory lessons covering every aspect of surfing including like swell forecasting, board design, etiquette, and judging, not to mention the time you’ll spend in the pool working on paddle technique, duck diving, turtle rolling, and board agility.
Video analysis is also a fantastic coaching tool. Video enables to show you exactly what you look like and what you need to do. It brings in line what you think you are doing with what you are actually doing. Level 3 and 4 surfing are almost all video analysis, but they use the video camera at some point on surfers of all levels. At the end of your stay, Surf Simply will also upload all your footage to Dropbox for you to keep.
Surfing is simply the most enjoyable thing you can do to get fit and stay in shape. You don’t have to do any preparation in order to come to Nosara and have a lot of fun surfing with Surf Simply though. They teach people from 16 to 70 and some of whom do not do a stroke of exercise and it’s not even a problem if you can’t swim either. Having said that, like all sports, the better shape you’re in the further you can progress before fitness becomes a limiting factor. Some of the things that you need to prepare before going on a surf camp are:
When people refer to Nosara, they usually actually mean Playa Guiones. Nosara is a small town about 20 minutes inland. Guiones is a 7-kilometer sandy beach with year round surf bordered by jungle with a handful of small hotels, restaurants, and homes which Lonely Planet describes as “sophisticated jungle living”.
Costa Rica is uniquely positioned to receive both north and south swells without ever being too close to the unpleasant weather systems which create the waves you love. Playa Guiones adds to the equation by being uncrowded and free of natural hazards. The gently shelving beach also creates waves which are forgiving and safe at all sizes making this beach as the perfect classroom for surf coaching.
During your stay, daily breakfast and lunch as well as three evening meals will be prepared with fresh local ingredients at the Surf Simply resort. Surf Simply also accommodates any dietary requirements that you may have, by their chef, Denis. You can also visit three local restaurants during your holiday to enjoy their menu, views, and atmosphere at an additional cost.
During your week with Surf Simply, they will arrange for at least one session of massage. If you want an extra massage session during your stay, Surf Simply will try to fit it in if time allows.
Please arrive at Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport (LIR) or San José International Airport (SJC). Surf Simply will pick you up and the pick up is inclusive in the price.