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Aug
10

The Beauty of The Ocean

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Yesterday was what I like to think of as the perfect Shaka/Costa Rican day.  I was up by 5:00, finished my first cup of coffee by 5:30, and on my way to the beach for dawn patrol (early morning surf session before the sun rises) by 5:45.  The water was glassy and cool, the air was clear, and the sun had just begun to rise as I paddled out to the lineup.  I was the only one in the water for a good 30 minutes, making it feel like I had the entire ocean to myself.  I am always amazed by the constant intersection of natural power and beauty that occurs in the ocean.  There is something very southing about the end result of this collision that can’t be found anywhere but the ocean.

After breakfast I helped Mo’e give a surf lesson to a family of 4 from Long Island, NY, with a set of 8-year-old twins. Talk about high energy!  But I am fascinated by every aspect of surfing, and I know the teaching process will help my own surfing as well, so I stoked stoked to help out!

Later in the afternoon, Mo’e and I paddled out for a quick session before the sun went down.  I made the transition to what my friend and past Shaka volunteer, Katie Berky, would call a more “sporty” board, moving from a hefty 7’6″ Malibu down to a 6’3″ shortboard.  It’s a whole different ballgame riding a shortboard, almost like learning to surf all over again, but I’m already stoked by the different style of riding that comes with the smaller board.  Lots of hard work is ahead of me for sure, but it’s safe to say I’ll never go back!

Off for a quick surf, and then some ding repair this afternoon

Pura Vida!

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Hey everyone, John-Michael here, the new Shaka volunteer from Texas.

It’s my first time in Costa Rica and I couldn’t be more blown away by the natural beauty of the area!  I’ve been here at Shaka for 3 weeks now and I can’t figure out where all the time has gone. Zip-lining in Montezuma, snorkeling in the nearby tide pools, trying some of the local flavor, and surfing every day probably explains some of it.  JAWS 9 and 10 went off with huge success, bringing in 5 new participants and their families, along with a few returning veterans, to shred the waves of Playa Hermosa.  I have been working in the adaptive field for a few years now, but the JAWS program with Ocean Healing Group was my first experience with adaptive surfing.  I have never been so moved like I was that first day of JAWS 9.  There is so much therapeutic power in surfing, I wish everyone could experience it first hand.  I am incredibly thankful to Frank and Mo’e for letting me be a part of such a wonderful program, and I am excited to continue my involvement with Ocean Healing Group in the future!

A quick little note about the charming power of Shaka and Costa Rica:    One of the couples staying with us has fallen in love with the area and Costa Rican lifestyle that they are planning to sell their house back in the United States and move down to Playa Hermosa permanently.  How cool to think a vacation getaway could turn into a new beginning!  Costa Rica really is an amazing place!

Well, I’m off to the beach for a quick surf session.  Only 2 weeks left here at Shaka so I have to get in as much surf as possible!

Pura Vida!

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Nov
15

Surf Yoga Balance Connection

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Now that the new Pranamar is opened next to Shaka we will be adding yoga retreat packages. Its an amazing studio facility that Shaka will be able to take advantage of.  I was doing some yoga surf googling and i found this video. It shows some interesting demonstrations on how to use yoga exercises to help prepare and improve various surfing situations.

Oct
18

Howler Monkeys at Shaka Costa Rica

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Male Howler in Canopy around Shaka

There seems to be a never ending supply of wildlife around Shaka to keep us entertained.

My favorite has to be the Howler Monkeys. You will often see them up in the tree canopy surrounding camp. They are usually moving from tree to tree eating some leaves and fruits. Even when you don’t see them, you will definitely hear them. For an animal that is only about 20″ tall weighing at most 15 lbs the loud bellowing sounds are quite something. The males make a deep roar or bark and the females make a higher pitched softer sound, all thanks to a small hallow bone set beside their vocal chords that acts like a drum. These loud calls allow troops of Howlers to communicate with each other, and also with surrounding troops. The Howler Monkeys that call the area around Shaka home usually wake you up just before dawn, followed closely by the local rooster population. It really is a great way to wake up in the morning and get you motivated to throw on your suit and head down to the beach for a morning surf.

Treetop Snack

Mom showing baby what and how to eat

All Photos Taken by Kelsey on the Grounds of Shaka Costa Rica

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Oct
15

New Canadian Volunteer at Shaka

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Taking in the view of Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica. Shaka's Backyard

Hi everyone, its Kelsey the new volunteer here at Shaka.

I’m a snowboard instructor from Whistler, British Columbia, Canada and this is my second trip to Costa Rica. I’ve been staying here at camp for just over a week and I couldn’t be happier! My first day here I took a quad to Montezuma with Brian, the previous volunteer, and it was a great way to get to know the area. On the second night a small earthquake shook the support beams of the rancho, my first earthquake ever! I’ve been surfing in the white wash, and waiting for the waves to calm down a bit to a size I can handle. The beach is so beautiful and has a nice sandy bottom, great for surfing or just relaxing and soaking up the sun. It took me two nights to master the Indo Board but I’ve got it down now; its a great way to keep fit and have lots of laughs with friends at camp once the sun goes down. I’ve biked into town to get groceries, including the most fresh and delicious pineapple I’ve ever had. Swinging on the hammock with a book in hand is a great way to relax after a day at the beach.

I have already met so many great people, both locals and expats, and I can’t wait to find out what Shaka has in store for me next!

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Sep
23

Coconut Surplus at Shaka Costa Rica

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In the last few days we have aquired over 20 coconuts, right from the palms here on the beach. Carlos climbed the tree and within minutes, was dropping coconuts, similar to the way it pours during the rainy season. Here at Shaka Costa Rica, we have enough coconuts to survive for decades if a catastrophe were to take place. It’s pretty amazing that coconuts are the only fruit that a human can survive solely from. The mik is rich in antioxidants and the meat is rich in healty fats and nutrients. It’s very rewarding to cut a coconut open, drink the delicious milk, and then spoon out the meat for an afternoon snack!
Pura Vida
Brian

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Sep
21

Bicycle surfboard racks Costa Rica

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Moe, Jed, Drew(2 guests here at Shaka), and I traveled to the hardware store yesterday to buy PVC pipe to create homemade surfboard racks for our bicycles. We got enough supplies for three racks (plus some extras) and the cost was around $15 per rack. The racks only took about 20 minutes to make and are expected to withstand the rain and mud from the rainy season. I would reccomend checking out this website for easy, step-by-step instructions!  http://www.surfing-waves.com/howto/make_bike_rack.htm .

Sep
21

Bicycle Surfboard Racks Costa Rica

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Moe, Jed, Drew(2 guests here at Shaka), and I traveled to the hardware store yesterday to buy PVC pipe to create homemade surfboard racks for our bicycles. We got enough supplies for three racks (plus some extras) and the cost was around $15 per rack. The racks only took about 20 minutes to make and are expected to withstand the rain and mud from the rainy season. I would reccomend checking out this website for easy, step-by-step instructions!  http://www.surfing-waves.com/howto/make_bike_rack.htm .