Staying at a Costa Rica surf camp is a great way to make friends and have experiences you wouldn’t normally have. It will take you out of your comfort zone and expose you to people you probably never would have met in your normal life. It will also give you an opportunity to experience other cultures. Not just the Costa Rican culture, but the cultures of the other international guests. That being said, there are some common courtesies you must keep in mind if you plan to stay in a dorm at a Costa Rica surf camp.
Top 5 No-No’s While Staying in a Dorm at a Costa Rica Surf Camp, Tamarindo
- It’s NOT All About the Nookie!: We get it – you are young, meeting new people, and you’re on vacation. People hookup. But hooking up is a big no-no in a dorm room, for obvious reasons. It makes your dorm mates uncomfortable and there is no privacy. The bathroom is also not an option! The bathrooms are shared and your dorm mates have the right to use them for their intended purpose whenever they need to – not waiting until you are done doing your business.
What to do instead: Maybe the dorm experience isn’t for you! Instead, book a private room at our Costa Rica surf camp in Tamarindo. If you’re already staying in a dorm and the opportunity arises, book a room for one night. There are a handful of hostels and hotel rooms in Tamarindo for under $65 a night, although they may not be available last minute. We definitely do not recommend the beach as a last resort. It is not private or a safe place to hang out at night and sand gets EVERYWHERE!
- Don’t be a Hot Mess: In a dormitory, you could be sharing a space with up to seven other campers if you stay at Iguana Surf Camp in Playa Tamarindo. Space is limited to your bunk, your locker, and two shared bathrooms. Remember that everyone is on vacation and everyone paid to be here. No one wants to see your dirty underwear on the floor or your hair all over the sink!
What to do instead: Pick up after yourself and tidy up the washroom after you use it – this ain’t your mom’s house! If you’ve splashed water or other liquids on the floor or toilets, simply wipe it off. Take a glance around the bathroom when you are done and leave it in good condition for the next camper. Keeping things tidy, organized, and put away in your locker will help keep things from going missing or stolen.
- No Sticky Fingers Please: This rule is a given, but something about being around other people’s things all week leads some people to believe that they can use whatever they find. These are not your siblings! These are typically people you’ve just met and any stealing or unauthorized borrowing is a big no-no.
What to do instead: If you feel you must borrow something from one of your fellow campers be sure to ASK FIRST! Keep in mind that it could be uncomfortable for most people to lend things or money to people they barely know. Be sure to bring everything you need, enough cash, and a debit or credit card.
Costa Rica Surf Camp Tamarindo packing tips, reviews, and more
- No Party Animals: This seems obvious, but you would be surprised how often people are not even aware that their actions are disrespectful to others. Some of these things may seem obvious but it is a good reminder for most situations and especially vital when you are sharing a space with strangers. Things like being late to group surf classes or trips, being loud in the dorm and shared spaces, and smoking indoors (including the bathroom) and in outdoor common areas.
What to do instead: Make sure you are on time for all of your surfing classes and shared trips. Everyone is waiting to go so don’t be the reason they have to lose precious time on their vacation. Try to keep the volume down in the dorm rooms, especially when others are trying to sleep. You may be able to party all night and get up to surf the next morning but some campers need to be well-rested to hop up on their surfboard. Keep the partying at the bars outside the surf camp and if you come back late at night, pretend like you are sneaking into your bedroom like you did when you were a teen! Smoking is not permitted at any hotels in Costa Rica by law. Ask the Iguana Surf Crew where is the best place to smoke and dispose of your butts.
- No Only Child Syndrome: Try to remember that the dorm is a shared space and therefore certain things have been put in place with that in mind. Some campers may like their room a little cooler while others may want it a little warmer, but the air conditioner settings have been set with everyone in mind. Please do not mess with the settings. Also, taking linens or pillows off of another bed is a no-no. Another thing to keep in mind is spraying a lot of smelly or greasy suntan lotion, cologne, or perfume around the sleeping space can really bother other campers and leave the room stinky.
What to do instead: If you feel you must adjust the air conditioner, ask an intern for help. This will save you from possibly wrecking it or messing up the settings so that it does not run well. If you need a change of sheets, pillows, or an extra blanket, just ask a member of the staff. Be sure to use the bed that is assigned to you and only that bed and its linens/pillows. Lastly, spray your smelly sprays in the downstairs bathroom or outside, not near the bed linens where the smells can linger or stain the sheets.
Now that you know how to act in the dorm, there are a few things to learn about surf etiquette.
Top 5 Surfing No-No’s for Playa Tamarindo Surf
- Don’t ditch your board: Wear your leash and stay with your board at all times as it may get away from you in the waves. It is best to duck dive or turtle roll (we will teach you) with your surfboard rather than abandon it to strike another surfer or swimmer.
- Respect the lineup: This is the area in the water, away from the swell, where surfers wait to get their turn catching a wave and it is bad form to paddle around them to get closer.
- Don’t drop in: If another surfer is closer to the peak, paddling it, or already riding a wave, do not cut them off. Cutting someone off is rude and dangerous.
- Pay attention: Always be aware of other surfers and the waves as conditions are constantly changing. Never put your back to the waves and keep your eye on the surfers around you to avoid getting hit.
- Know your limits: Be realistic about your skill level so you do not put yourself or other surfers in danger. If you don’t think you can handle a wave, stay back and let another surfer have it.
We know most people don’t do these things on purpose and you’re here to learn. Now that you know better, you will do better! Come test your surf skills and social skills at a Costa Rica surf camp in Tamarindo! Your new dorm room pals and Playa Tamarindo surf awaits!
Written by Jennifer LaCharite