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Pizza night funtimes

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Those affiliated with Shaka will surely already know about the legendary Pizza Nights we have here.  For those who have yet to attend: what are you waiting for?!

Last night was my initiation to this Shaka ritual; cue Mo’e twirling up a storm with the bases and me grating cheese like a maniac.  A few friends arrived, beer in hand, and the pizzas started to roll out.  This time we kept it simple with Margarita and Vegetariano but everyone agreed that they were “que rico” – so delicious in fact that we’re thinking of extending our operations to a delivery service!  Keep your eyes peeled for more news on that one.

What I didn’t realise was that the pizza was only the beginning – once it was all eaten and the lightweights had gone home, the rum came out and the party really began!  With YouTube videos on replay and a shot of tequila to get us well and truly in the mood, we didn’t stop until 4am.

Unfortunately my body-clock didn’t recognise the shift from surf-time to party-time, so I woke up as usual this morning at the delightful hour of 6am.  Surprisingly, I didn’t actually feel too bad but headed back to bed for another couple of hours anyway.

And speaking of surfing, there’s supposedly a big swell on the way.  Great for Mo’e and the boys but not so good for me!  But on the plus-side, I am now getting out the back without getting munched quite so much.  I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how big things really get…  Emma

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And so the surfing rehab begins

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I’ll confess: I’ve not surfed consistently for almost five years.  So when I first got back in the water here at Shaka I was almost relieved that I could even remember which way round the board goes!

A few days on and things are slowly coming back to me.  To make things easier, I’m currently riding a 7’6″ NSP, so in theory, I should be able to catch even the smallest ripple.  But catching waves isn’t the problem – it’s riding them that is!  On my first venture out back I caught a wave slightly larger than the maximum of 4-5ft I was used to in England.  I made the mistake of looking down just as I was popping up and promptly bottled it!  I bailed off the back of the board and was quickly spun into the washing machine of white water.  With no clue as to which way was up, I kicked to where I thought I might find some air, and surfaced just in time for another wave to land on my head!

But I’m slowly getting my confidence back.  Tonight Chris taught me his method of popping up which seems infinitely easier than what I had previously been doing.  So early tomorrow I’ll be out there again, and hopefully this time I’ll see some green faces, rather than just sticking to the white water.

Be sure to check back for updates on just how much the Pacific is beating me up.  My weekly donations to the Pacific currently stand at 6 hairbands, 2 bikini tops and 1 dress size!  Hasta Luego – Emma

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Save Lady!

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Greetings from Shaka Surf!

I hope that you’re having a wonderful day and taking a few moments out– wherever you are– to enjoy the sunset every night.

I’m writing today to fill you in on some perturbing news that has befallen us here in Playa Hermosa.

Some of you may know Lady, the little dog with the giant Laird Hamilton neck.  She’s a great dog—an excellent alarm, a sweet companion, and queen of the rancho.

Well, something strange happened about three weeks ago.

Nobody really knows how, but a few of our guests found her crying in the woods.  She was able to limp back to Shaka, but one of her legs wasn’t functional and she was obviously very injured.  Within a half hour, she was completely paralyzed from her mid-section down.

We called the vet who took her back to the clinic and kept her for five days, treated her with painkillers, examining her injury, and hand feeding her to nurse her back to health.  X-rays revealed that she has a lesion on her spine, causing inflammation, pressure in her lower lumbar and making it impossible for her to walk.

After a few days at the vet, she began to regain her strength so we brought her back to Shaka where we set up a little area for her with food and water and clean towels.

And we waited.

The vet couldn’t really shed much more light on the problem.  There was no break, no severed nerve, and yet, she couldn’t walk.

Here’s what Lady looked like this morning.

‘If she was a bigger dog with more weight to carry around, I would recommend euthanasia,’ mused the vet.  But, since Lady is so small and spry and has started scooting herself around with shaky little arms–and she’s got a good appetite–and is using the bathroom regularly, the vet had one other suggestion.

It was a long shot, but she had seen remarkable success on other animals with it.


There was a human acupuncture therapist in Santa Teresa who collaborated with another veterinarian healer in San Jose to start treatment on her immediately.  Lady showed significant early progress by starting to wag her tail a little.

Right now, we remain optimistic.

The thing about acupuncture, though, is that it has to be performed on a regular basis.  The therapist recommends at least thrice-weekly sessions for two to three weeks.  The sessions aren’t that expensive—but they’re not that cheap.

Funny thing is—Lady isn’t even technically our dog.  She actually belongs to the local neighbors—and believe it or not, has an entire other name in Spanish, something like Avarcelina or something—but she always felt like our dog because she spent so much time at the camp, looking after the guests and keeping the riffraff at bay.

We know that Lady has brought a lot of love and laughter to us at Shaka and all of our guests—so I guess we’re just writing today to appeal to all of you who have spent some time with Lady to donate a couple bucks—not much, just like $5-$10 bucks—to see if we can complete the therapy and give her the best shot she can get at full recovery.

Or, if you’ve never met Lady and don’t care at all, that’s totally fine too.

But if you’re interested in helping out little Lady, please PayPal $5-$10 (or heck, $2-3—whatever you feel comfortable with) to:  Shaka Surf Camp (Frank Bauer) email

This isn’t a scam, and we won’t ask you again, but we wanted to just let everyone know what was going on and give you an opportunity to help out if you wanted.

Meanwhile, the air is thick and sweet with rain, the roads aren’t as dusty, and the swell arrived on Thursday, so maybe things will be better tomorrow…

Pura vida!

Shaka Surf

Lady, receiving acupunture treatment. Initial progress looks good.

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Not only do we now have high-speed wireless, but I’ve arrived too!  Slightly less high-speed I’m afraid, as it took me three days to get here from Panama, but that’s  whole other story…

Anyways, I’m the new volunteer here at Shaka.  I’ve yet to gain a cool surf nickname, so for now I’ll just stick to “Emma”.  I’m from England where there really just isn’t enough surf, and I was tired of getting beaten up by messy, freezing waves!  So after a few years off the surf scene (ain’t much surf in London), I’ve decided to travel the world – surfing wherever I find a sweet spot.

And at Shaka I think I may have found exactly what I’m looking for: balmy weather, chilled people and best of all, uhmazing beaches and surf.  I’ll be staying here for a while as a volunteer; blogging, surfing and helping out around the place.

I’ll keep you updated as I try to recover any surf skills I once had – luckily for me I’m in the ideal place for it!

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Hey guys–

Just wanted to say a quick hello!  I’m back here in Costa Rica, back at Shaka Surf, using the high speed wireless internet here…  yes, it’s true!  Shaka now has high speed.  So in addition to hearing the waves crash on the shore (which I am listening to right now), and the birds squeaking in the trees, I can now listen to streaming music, watch surfing videos, check my email, and of course, shop online– all from the comfort of the open air rancho.

Well, not much to report here on this front.  Just wanted to say hello to everyone!  Surf has been pretty big the last few days so I’ve been getting tossed around a bit.  But, as always, it’s all in good fun!

Hope you’re all having a wonderful day!

Your friend in Latin America,



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