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New Irish Volunteer at Shaka

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Hola! I’m Erica, Shaka’s first Irish volunteer. I’ve been here a few weeks and it’s been great. Playa Hermosa is like a desert island – coconuts and driftwood being lapped by the waves and howler monkeys swinging from the trees. The best view of the playa is from “out the back” beyond the broken waves, where I was catching (or rather attempting to catch) green waves with Chris, Shaka’s surf instructor and one of the guests last week. You can sit on your board and take it all in while you wait for the next wave…nothing but lush forest canopy from the hills to the shore.  It was one of those perfect days – clean, consistent waves, not a cloud in the sky and very few surfers out. If only I could find me lucky charms that Chris winds me up about, every day would be like that!

Surfing here in warm water and hot weather is quite different to memories of surfing in Ireland – squeezing into wet, thick wetsuits, turning blue and numb, teeth chattering, and racing from the blustery weather for a hot shower! Ireland makes up for its weather in other ways, but I’m happy in Costa Rica for now and looking forward to improving my surfing 🙂



Greetings from Shaka, I just wanted to take a moment to talk about what we are doing and hope to be doing in the comming months leading to 2012.

Its currently the rainy season so its nice to have a slow down. It lets us refresh ourselves, reflect on the past year and do some maintenance, as well as dream and imagine possible new things and ideas that we would like to implement in the near future. Here is a summary of  things recently or in the near future

1. First off we had a good year so far. It was ou busiest year even in this down economy. Shaka as well as OHG is maturing and improving. We are excited to head into the new season right around the corner.

2. In August We started fixing and repairing surfboards, Our surfboard fleet was getting a bit dinged up and a our broken board pile was adding up. Shaka invested in the proper equipment and material to do proffesional board repair. The hassle, expense and delay of paying board fixers is now behind us. We now have Alejandro who has shown an instinctive talent in board repair and painting keeping us sharp

3. Ted a Volunteer with OHG has launched a campaign to get Shaka a SWIMMING POOL. You told me to hold you to it Ted, so here it is. I hear that he has already raised over half the money, so hopefully any one who visits shaka in 2012 will be able to enjoy this addition.

4. We plan on launching a project to turn the Rancho common area into a work of art incorporating Mayan, Polynesian and tribal style artwork. Headed By Chris. More info on this comming soon.

5. Our next OHG group is planned to take place in November just before the upcomming 2011 season.

6. Krista is putting together a yoga adventure package. All inclusive 7 day packages based at Shaka but daily yoga excursions to all the world class studios in the Montezuma, Mal Pais, Santa Teresa and Hermosa areas.

Well its been a while since our last blog. I thought i would mention the latest thing we have been experimenting with. Recently someone turned us on to the website . Basically its a website where you bid off something you would do for $5 such as video a short skit or taking a personalized photo as well as a variety of odd and crazy ideas. Its hard to explain so you’ll have to just check it out.

So as a kind of fun experiment we put up 2 gigs on  fiverr.

The first one is write your message in the sand then we take a picture of it and send it to you. This idea actually came from one of our guests about 5 weeks ago.

The second one is we film ourselves on a whitewater wave and announce your message or whatever and film it then send the short 12-15sec video.

Well the reaction has been far greater then we could have imagined. Almost every day now we are filling orders at the beach. It’s not that much money since since fiverr takes a dollar off every order, so we only get 4 bucks per surf video or writing in sand, but it pays the weekly beer bill. We actually got enough orders of writing your message in the sand that we decided to make it its own website.

You can check it out at  writing in sand You never know, it could end up being a good little side business.

It seems nowadays everybody wants to learn or try surfing. Stock traders, lawyers, doctors, business owners, college students and celebrities are all coming to Costa Rica surf camps to learn to surf. Even if you have never surfed you have probably worn surf clothing at one time. Does Quicksilver, Bilabong, Hurley, or Volcom sound familiar?

When we first opened “Shaka Surf Camp” in Costa Rica we weren’t sure what would be our main clientele type. Everybody we talked to said we should be targeting surf magazines, other surf communities and surfer related organizations. They couldn’t have been more wrong.

The majority of guests that show up at Shaka are business professionals who have very little or no surfing experience. They basically are looking for a fun, new, unique and exciting way to spend their vacation time. Something different then your typical boring commercial spa resort. And with Costa Rica’s tropical rainforests, abundant wildlife, and pristine beaches you cant go wrong. A common statement we hear is, “I’ve always wanted to try surfing”, and then a couple days later they say, “wow! it’s a lot of fun, but harder than I thought it would be”.

So why surf camp retreats? Because if your on vacation you don’t want to have to worry about all the logistics, like surfboard transportation, equipment selection, knowing where and when to surf and most important understanding ocean safety. At a reputable surf camp retreat they provide everything you need, so you can relax, make yourself at home, and get the most out of you surfing adventure.

Pura Vida,

Here at Shaka we are sympathetic to the vacationer who finds it hard to vacation in these sliding economies. Many people may not have the liquid cash, but may have something of great use or value to us here in Costa. So that being said we are open minded to possible trades of comparable value for items or services that we may need, like or really want. We have already done some barter vacation exchanges that worked out nice for both sides

If you have something of value perhaps we can do a trade or partial cash &trade. Here are some ideas

  1. Electronics: Here in Costa Rica electronics such as portable computers, cameras, projectors, game systems, apple products, audio equipment, studio equip etc costs more and breaks down sooner. Because of the humidity, dampness in the rainy season and salt in the air stuff breaks down frequently. It’s safe to say we always need something
  2. Sporting goods: Surfboards, aluminum mountain bikes, fishing gear, 
  3. Tools: All name brand tools cost more here. Quality name brand carpentry, power, and mechanic tools are always of interest.
  4. House and home: and once again anything that’s fancy and nice cost more or is hard to get. Fixtures, hardware, decorations, energy saving, or anything that can improve a beach house or cabanas will of course be of interest.
  5. Services: Internet marketing, marketing: We’re always looking for ways to improve our business exposure. Therapeutic: Many of us are extremely active and have nagging injuries, so a true master healer at times would be welcome. That’s just a few off the top of my head. We are open-minded to ideas, lets us know.

Some of us spend part of the year in Las Vegas, Colorado and Texas. An Item could be potentially delivered there as well.

Pura Vida
The Shaka Team