How to Prep Yourself For Your First Surf Class? 

 December 27, 2021

Everyone loves to soak in the sun at the beach and enjoy some watersports. Surfing is one of the most popular sports in Costa Rica. An initiative to declare the sport as a public interest has come into effect for its sports, economic, and tourist relevance. In addition, the 3rd Saturday of October is declared as “National Surf Day”. According to data given by the Surf Federation, every year, about 400-600 thousand tourists are attracted to the country, mainly for surfing.

If you’ve booked a course at a luxurious surf camp in Costa Rica but don’t know what to look for, you’re at the right place. This article will guide you through what to expect and prepare you for your first surf class.

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Surfing is the sport of riding waves on a narrow board made of polyurethane or foam. It tests your shoulder and back strength, the stability of your core, and the strength of your legs. Thus, most surf coaches advise their students to perform stretches and a few exercises before beginning training.

  1. Preparatory exercises:

Perform these exercises on the days leading to your first surf class at the surf camp in Costa Rica. Your upper body must withstand the hours of paddling, and your legs must be strong enough to pop up at the right time.

  1. Practice 3 reps of 15 press-ups. They help improve upper body strength.
  2. Practice at least three sets of 20 burpees. They are a great way to practice pop-ups on your dry runs. However, perfect the technique under your coach’s supervision, so your muscles don’t learn improper techniques. Unlearning bad habits can take quite a while.
  3. Perform three sets of 1-minute planks to develop your core. It helps you balance on the board and maintain upper body flexibility.
  4. Practice 3 sets of 10 squat jumps. They help stabilize your hips and strengthen your knees and legs.
  1. Learn how to swim:
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Being able to swim well is a bonus if you want to enjoy surfing. As a beginner, surfing will consist of about 30% of your practice – the rest will consist of swimming to your board when you fall off and paddling to the right spot to take off again. If you find swimming tiring or are afraid of the water – you might not be able to have fun while surfing.

  1. Choose the right board:

If your surfing classes don’t provide you with equipment, you will have to bring your board. Talk to your instructor about the camp’s policies regarding the same. When buying your first board, go for the longer, wider boards. They provide you with more space to adjust your pose and are easier to balance on. They are also more buoyant than the shorter variants. Consult your instructor on the appropriate length of the board for you. If you pick a board that is not in proportion with your height and weight, you might be wiped out too often, discouraging you in the initial stages.

  1. Practice breath control:
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Several beginners describe feeling out of breath and anxious when they come under a wave. They especially feel out of control when the current spins them around, and they may end up swallowing large amounts of seawater.

Practice holding your breath underwater in your shower and the pool. When over water, practice inhaling and exhaling deeply.

Remember that even though it feels like a long time, you’re not going to be under a wave for more than 10 -30 seconds when you’re surfing. There’s no need to panic, as the instructor will keep a keen eye on you throughout your training.

  1. Know your location:
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Costa Rica is one of the most popular surfing destinations. The best time for surfing is from May to November; its Green season. The swells come in from the southwest (from the Asia Pacific and New Zealand) during this season, creating spectacular waves. Some surfers prefer surfing at dawn when the easterly offshore winds are at their peak. The eastern coasts can be prone to typhoon systems and are generally not among the most popular surfing destinations.

  • Guanacaste’s best surfing locations are at Witches Rock, Playa Negra, Tamarindo, and Nosara. There are several locations for beginners in this area.
  • Nicola Peninsula offers Santa Teresa and Mal Pais. The waves here appeal to beginners and seasoned surfers alike.
  • Puntarenas boasts of Jaco, Dominical, and Playa Hermosa for intermediate surfers.
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In Conclusion

Surfing is a great activity to help you keep in shape while having the time of your life. The sense of achievement when you finally ride a wave and share those pictures with your friends is unsurpassable. Follow the tips mentioned above to help you prepare yourself for your first lesson. Then, head over to a surf camp in Costa Rica, respect the waves, and have fun! You will certainly have a memorable experience.


Author name- Hannah Gilbert


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