Archive for Newbie Tips


The Balance Board at Shaka Costa Rica!

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The Balance board is a great way to gain core strength in the lower body. It simulates the rotation of weight from the back and front legs while surfing. It usually starts off with one of us crouching really low (as if we were inside of a barrel), and then doing a one-footed stance, and then escalates to using one foot and one hand to balance.  I recommend balance boards at all surf camps because they are a great  when the waves are not ideal or at night.



Top Ten Ways to Prepare to Learn to Surf

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1. Book a 2 week surf package at Shaka Beach Retreat(of course we gotta plug ourselves). If its your first time 1 week will go by fast and just when you start to get it ya gotta go.

2. Make sure your surf instructor is Mo’e or one of his good friend instructors.

3. Facebook all your friends tell em your going surfing in Costa Rica at Shaka. Rub it in and make them jealous

4. Start working on dropping any extra pounds if ya need to. The lighter and fitter you show up the easier it will be for you as well as your instructor.

5. A simple exercise regimen 3-4 weeks prior will do wonders for your stamina. Push ups, pull ups, crunches, and lying back extensions are great, if you work with weights utilize circuit training. work more medium to light weights with high repetitions progressively decreasing rest time between sets,  also give some good attention to your posterior deltoids.

6. Upper body cardio is king. Any type of cardio is good, but if you can do some upper cardio such as paddling, Rows, boxing aerobics, Swimming laps etc.

7. Get an Indo balance board. Indo boards are great for practicing weight distribution and relaxed balancing. They also will help get your legs toned and in shape. They come with dvd’s to show you how. You can do 10-15 minutes a day in your living room on the carpet in front of the TV easily. You should be able to find one at any board sport or sporting good store.

8. Make sure you can hold your breath for at least 20 seconds. When you start you will be in shallow water(about 4-6 feet deep), but a wipe out can still put you under for a few seconds and the more breath you have the more relaxed you’ll be.

9. Flexibility: If you do yoga that’s great or just a simple 10 min daily stretching regimen focusing on limbering your legs, chest, arms, and back

10. Educate your self. Go google crazy. There is tons of info online about surfing tips, ocean knowledge, surf reports, surf equipment. Follow our blog because i will continue to put up tips and info about surfing and the area. Finally leave Comments on this blog and ask any questions you may have, all are welcome.

Pura Vida & Aloha


Why do we say surfing is the hardest board sport in the world? In actuality it doesn’t take any longer to learn to ride a surfboard than any other board sport, but in surfing because of the elements of the ocean the amount of stand up time you get in an average surf session is miniscule compared to say snowboarding or skateboarding. For example I’ve been surfing for over 15 years and am pretty efficient with my time in the water but still in a 3 hour surf session with perfect conditions and no crowds i might still only get 5 minutes total on my feet.

 Point#2 Learning the ocean. Before you even get to practice surfing you have to learn about the ocean, tides swings, currents, how to deal with endless oncoming whitewater or waves, and to top it off you need the strength and endurance to paddle back out then catch a wave over and over. To make things even more confusing every surf spot will have a huge range of changing characteristics such as ,reef break, point break, sand bar beach break, high tide wave, low tide wave, onshore wind, off-shore wind, rip currents, channel or no channel and the list goes on. One of the first things people realize when they take their very first surf lesson is how difficult it is to balance just lying down on a surfboard with the motion of the ocean.

Point#3 The hunter element. In surfing we essentially become wave hunters. A. First you have to find a good hunting ground or as we call it beach. B. Then you have to watch carefully to see where the waves are running, how long the set intervals are and where there are not already to many other hunters getting in your way or stealing your catches.  C. You then need to make sure you have the proper equipment to catch the waves. D. Finally you need paddle out, wait in the line-up, identify an incoming wave, position yourself at the peak, pick the proper direction left or right then finally the chase is on. 

 All of this makes surfing the hardest board sport, but the challenge, the ocean medium, and the lifestyle makes surfing the most addictive board sport as well.

Pura Vida & Aloha