Tamarindo Backpackers is a traveler’s hostel promoting a fun, relaxed vibe with a social atmosphere. We cater to surfers of all levels from around the world.
Elias Tobia runs his surf school SALT - Surf as Life Therapy. He is an incredibly passionate surfer who loves sharing his stoke with others. Elias also offers professional photos, video analysis of your surf lessons, theory and etiquette, and breath and physical training. He is a fun and professional instructor and an advanced surfer with more than 16 years of experience. He teaches beginner through advanced surfers. Elias loves helping others to really take their surfing to the next level! Elias can take you to nearby beaches to explore other breaks and test your skills.
from Canada, July 2019
"Amazing solo trip to Tamarindo!!"
My first solo trip at 49yrs young was the most life changing for me. I met great people at the Backpackers Hostel including the volunteers and the manager. Walking in through the front gate the layout and design of the grounds and pool area make you feel at home and very comfortable. You can lay by the pool and watch the monkeys overhead almost every day! The vibe was relaxed from day one right through to the last day and the surfing was hard but well worth the effort, I can’t wait to surf again! Elias is a superb instructor with a great soul and a knack for understanding his students who usually become his friends. The restaurants and shops of Tamarindo are second to none. If you accept “pura vida” you will have a great experience:) thank you Tamarindo!!!
from United States, June 2019
"Great Vibes All Around"
I visited Costa Rica for about a week after an American music festival and rainy season began the day I arrived. At first, I had a difficult first few days dealing with the weather and other issues and really just wanted to go back to the states but Elias and the people running the hostel were so great and turned a trip where everything was going wrong into a pleasant vacation. By the end of the week I was honestly really sad to leave the place. Everyone at the hostel was super fun and inclusive, and Elias was extremely flexible with the schedule.
from United States, February 2019
La buena onda de los chicos que trabajan ahí! Feli, Santi, Yaya, Cynthia y Hada, gracias por todo!!!!
from United States, December 2018
"Amazing time with Elias"
Elias is an amazing instructor! Overall a very calming presence and very patient. He wants you to succeed and is so happy when you can catch the waves. He genuinely loves what he does and it’s infectious to everyone!! Great experience. I want to come back and surf again with Elias.
from Sweden, March 2018
We were really satisfied with the surfcamp. Definitely worth the money
from Switzerland, December 2017
Best place to be in Tamarindo
from New Zealand, November 2017
"Amazing time in Tamarindo!"
We loved our stay in Tamarindo and our participation in the surf camp! Elias is an amazing teacher and we learnt so much and had so much fun during this week! He is positive, professional and you can really see that he loves what he's doing! The stay at the beautiful hostel was also great, it had a very friendly environment and we met lovely people! The location was also good with just a short walk to the beach and the center. Over all we are more than happy with our experience, big thanks to Tamarindo backpackers and the lovely staff, SALT and Elias!
from United States, November 2017
"S.A.L.T. is the real deal - Highly recommend"
The name of Elias’ company, Surf As Life Therapy, is a perfect name because I really do feel like I learned as much, maybe more, about life as I did about surfing during my time with Elias. Elias went above and beyond what would be expected of a surfing instructor by sharing personal stories about his life and even hosting a family style bbq cooked by his parents for the hostel guests. I always felt comfortable with Elias’ style of instruction and really enjoyed our conversations after each lesson relating surfing and the ocean to everyday life situations.
The best part for me was my first lesson, which was at Tamarindo beach as the sun was setting. The waves were firing that evening and the line up was crowded. I never would have felt comfortable paddling out on my own in that setting. The opportunity to be in the water with Elias and seeing the local rippers shred down the line in the midst of a stunning Tamarindo sunset behind them and then even catching a wave or two on my own that night with Elias’ help is a memory that I will never forget.
from Germany, November 2017
"More than a Surf Camp"
I took the Camp with a friend of mine. From the very first beginning we felt in very good hands . Elias was giving us a short overview what we gonna learn and in what steps. He made sure that we felt safe in the water wich was very important to us. He tought us about the safety tips and reapeated it every lesson. That helped us a lot to move safe in the water and knowing what to do in different situation.
During the camp he realized our learning process and took action to improve our skills very quickly.
The surf trips where so much fun. We had one session where we had the beach for our own and Elias tought us well so we felt confident enough to go out the next day on our own to cought a couple of waves . So we were able to catch waves, good size for beginners, on our own after three days surfing. I think that speeks for itself.
It was always fun with Elias and you can feel that the most important thing to him is making you have fun surfing. That is his focus and he is doing a great job. He is always there when you are in the water to help you out.
He is teaching you how to act in different situations because every day is different when you are in the water. He transfers that to normal life and how to act when different situations come up. So he is not just teaching you surfing he also teaches you about life.
After all we can highly recommend Elias as a Surf Instructor . He is doing a great job and it was always fun being with him.
Ben and Markus
Amazing! So happy and so grateful that i got the opportunity to do this surf camp and meet our teacher Elias. I've had a few surf instructors before but non where like Elias. A brilliant surfer, instructor and person.
Adapting his lessons all the time to meet our needs and desires . With all his positive energy and constant feedback really developed during these days not only as a surfer, but as a human as well. Elias always cheered at us to keep going and his whole way was just inspiring.
If you want to learn how to surf or improve your surfing and have a really good time, this is with no doubt the place.