5 Tips and Tricks to Be in the Know Like A Pro at Your Costa Rica Surf Camp

5 Tips and Tricks to Be in the Know Like A Pro at Your Costa Rica Surf Camp

Tamarindo is the perfect destination for a Costa Rica Surf Trip. With warm water, perfect waves, fantastic options for hotels and food, and a lively town to make sure you have lots to do when you aren’t in the water, you really can’t ask for more. Many surfers in Tamarindo are beginners and come to learn but there are also locals who have been surfing the Tamarindo breaks since they were kids. Coming in with a little bit of inside knowledge will make you fit right in and people will think you have been surfing for years! Here are some of the best tips to sound like a local on your Costa Rica Surf Trip.

  1. Know the good times to surf with a surf forecast app

It is super handy to have a forecast and description of current wave conditions in the palm of your hand when you visit Tamarindo. One of the most common that people use both here in Costa Rica and around the world is called Magic Seaweed. With comprehensive information and a super easy to use interface, it is no wonder it is so popular. And the best part of all? It is free! Make sure you have it downloaded on your phone before you arrive in Tamarindo, and you will be able to impress all of your new friends with your knowledge of the waves. Not to mention, looking at the app every day to check out the height, wind, and swell will help you learn how to read the water so that you can decide for yourself when the conditions are the best. By using a surf forecast app you will get used to hearing terms like onshore and offshore wind or the length of the swell, and you will quickly become a lot more comfortable with the terminology. The app can use your location to show you the forecasts of breaks near you, or you can enter them manually so you can keep an eye on your favorite surf spots all over the world!

  1. Make sure you have the right gear!

Surfing is a nice sport because you don’t really need much at all to jump in the water. It is pretty much just you and your board, especially in Tamarindo. In a lot of surf destinations around the world, wetsuits are necessary in order to stay in the water for extended periods of time. Luckily, that isn’t something that anybody needs to worry about on a Tamarindo Surf Trip, because the water temperature is dreamy. However, it is important to make sure your swimsuit of choice is good for surfing. Iguana Surf Shop will give you a rashguard to wear during your surf lesson if you would like, to protect your skin on the foam top boards and also to shield you from the sun. From there, for guys things are easier. A good pair of board shorts will do the trick. For ladies, it is a little more important to make sure everything is going to stay in place.

I have had a few too many swimsuit malfunctions during my time, but luckily that is easily avoided. A secure one piece is a great way to go, and the rashguard can just go right over the top. If a bikini is more up your alley, just make sure it is nice and tight so that it will stay on when you head into the waves. Sometimes girls even wear something more like a sports bra rather than a strappy top. Most importantly, just make sure you are comfortable and don’t forget the sunscreen!

3. What’s the deal with waxing surf boards?

Most people have heard of waxing skis and snowboards, but if you have experience with that it won’t necessarily help you with waxing your surf board. Unlike waxing boards for snow sports, you wax the top of a surf board rather than the bottom. The wax is not for making them more slippery like in the snow. In fact, it is supposed to have the opposite effect – to create more traction on the top of the board so that it is easier to stand up. If you are a beginner, you will likely start on a soft top, in which case the top is made out of foam and you won’t have to worry about wax at all. But as you get a little more experience, you will move to a hard top fiberglass board, and you will definitely want to make sure you wax the top before heading out. Wax makes it a lot easier for your feet to stick to the board so it is less slippery when you stand up. Iguana Surf will provide you with wax when you take a hard top out for a lesson or rental!

4. Surf lingo?

Out in the water, you will likely meet people from all over the world. You will hear English phrases like, “that one’s mine!” or, “dropping!” when surfers are calling their waves in the water. You will also hear instructors yelling, “paddle, paddle, paddle!” encouraging students to give it their all to catch a wave. If you would like to sound more like a local at your Tamarindo Surf Camp, you can toss out a little bit of surf slang in Spanish. Here are a few of the basics:

Wave – La ola
High tide – Marina alta
Low tide – Marina baja
Surfboard – La tabla
Fin – La quilla
Wax – Cera
Left – Izquierda
Right – Derecha
Crowded – Llena
Mellow – Tranquilo
Watch out! – Cuidado!

Of course almost everyone in Tamarindo speaks English as well, so if you don’t get the Spanish terms down before your Costa Rica Surf Trip, don’t sweat it. If you want to impress the regulars though, you can toss a few of those terms out.

  1. Warm up before hitting the waves!

Surfing is not an easy sport. Your body will thank you if you do a little stretching or warming up before heading into the water. The key spots you will want to hit are your arms and shoulders, as they are going to be working hard paddling out into the waves. Doing some arm circles and shoulder stretches will help get your joints loose. Your knees will also appreciate a little love since it is key to keep your knees bent when you are up on your board riding the break. Starting with a few dynamic lunges and squats is a great way to get them warmed up. Doing some forward folds will help get your back and hamstrings loose to improve your mobility and flexibility. Last but not least, a few neck circles will help get you warmed up so that you can look over your shoulder when catching the waves and keep your eyes out for other surfers in your area. Once your body feels warm and ready, dive in!

Now that you are ahead of the game and ready to impress everybody with your surf knowledge, it is time to book your Costa Rica Surf Camp! What do you have to lose? Visit this link to book the best surf camp in Costa Rica!

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