One thing you’ll quickly learn in Mal Pais is that everyone is surfing in Costa Rica. In fact, the majority of the Casa Chameleon staff surf in their free time, and they are a great resource for finding the best swells. But what if you’re new to surfing? Or need a refresher?
Sin problema! Mal Pais has waves for every experience level, from clumsy beginners to world-class surfers, and the manager at Casa Chameleon can schedule a surfing lesson for you with one of the local experts. We recently tagged along on a lesson with one of our favorite instructors. Originally from New Jersey, Mark moved to Costa Rica seven years ago, learned to surf, and never looked back. When teaching a beginner, he breaks the process into steps, and he explains why each skill is important to overall success.
Your instructor will help you pick out the surf board that’s right for you, and then you’ll head to the beach for some dry land practice. In this photo, Mark is teaching his surfing student proper placement on the board so he can “pop up” to a standing position.
Once you’ve grasped the basic techniques, it’s time to head into the ocean. You’ll learn how to paddle correctly, how to choose the right wave, and how to approach it on your board. This is when the fun really begins – you’re now ready to start surfing! Yes, you will fall many times while you’re learning, but it’s all worth it when you catch the perfect wave. “This has definitely been one of the highlights of our trip,” said the surfing student.
Just remember the words of one of surfing’s founding fathers, Duke Kahanamoku, who famously said “The best surfer out there is the one having the most fun”.