We are really missing early morning coffee chats while quickly applying sunscreen for a dawn patrol surf session, second breakfast stories of the awesome rides and hilarious wipeouts, video analysis of everything that went right and how to improve, delicious healthy lunches catering to any dietary preferences, afternoon paddle outs with supportive new friends, waterfall hikes, horseback beach gallops, chocolate workshops, meditative relaxing yin yoga sessions, cocktail hour laughs and impromptu dance parties, sunset appreciation, and chatter-filled dinners looking forward to the next day of adventure.
It’s been five months without a retreat and we are eager to get back into the swing of things. We have been monitoring borders closely and wanted to send out a hopeful update to those of you on our credit list and everyone in desperate need of a warm water vacation!
Costa Rica – The good news is that Costa Rica has started welcoming back foreign tourists. There is a list of 32 countries from which tourists can currently enter legally, provided they produce a negative COVID PCR test result from within 72 hours of travel and buy a specific travel insurance to cover any potential medical fees and extended hotel stay. The exact requirement for this insurance has been changing and we will update guests on what needs to be covered and some options on where to buy it as we get closer to November. So far, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and much of Europe are on this list, but the US is not.
However, we just received an update that as of October 1, Americans from certain states will be able to travel directly to Costa Rica – California, Washington, Oregon, Wyoming, Arizona, New Mexico, Michigan, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Maine, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont, Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia)! Visitors can arrive via a flight with a layover in a non-authorized location. For instance, a Colorado resident could fly from Denver to Houston to Costa Rica, as long as she doesn’t leave the airport in Texas. You must show your driver’s license from one of these states as proof of your residency there. For information on exactly what is required to enter (Covid test, medical form and insurance, click here: Entry Requirements)
More states will be added over the coming weeks. If you do not have a driver’s license from one of these, we expect (hope) that by November entry will be open to all states. To go from no international tourists before Aug 1, to now opening to at least some Americans a month later, and many more states by October 1, we see it is a positive sign that the opening will continue and be complete by November. For more information click here: Tico Times Article. We are hoping to host our first retreat in Costa Rica the week of Oct 10-17 at the Longboard Surf House and do still have a few spots available!
Nicaragua – There isn’t clear information being reported about the opening of borders in Nicaragua. As of now the airport is open and tourists are welcomed as long as they provide a negative COVID test result, but the government is making it very difficult for commercial airlines to operate due to very restrictive rules. As a result, there are no commercial airlines currently flying. Do not be fooled by available tickets on an online search. So far the only way in or out of Nicaragua is via charter flight. We will not feel comfortable expecting to run retreats until commercial flights are once again available. We are watching and hoping to soon begin promoting retreats in Nicaragua to be held in December at La Bahia.
Panama – There is also an absence of information regarding the planned border opening for Panama. Right now only citizens and residents are allowed to enter. The border closure to tourists was just extended at least until October 12. We are watching closely and will keep you updated once we know of a firm date for reopening and what the rules will look like.
Morocco – We had scheduled to host our first fall retreats in Morocco in October. Based on discussions with our partners there on the status of the borders and tourism restrictions, we have decided to postpone those retreats for a full year. We have yet to finalize the exact dates, but they will likely be the first two weeks of October 2021.
Indonesia – We are still on a “wait and see” pattern here. We have up to two years to use our credit with the resort and are aiming to schedule retreats sometime between May and July 2021. We will be working to choose dates over the next couple months and will let you know asap.
In the meantime, thank you all for your patience and support. We are working on some fun things to be able to connect to our Amigas. Let us know if you have any questions and stay healthy!
After any surfer learns how to take off and drop into green waves, the next logical skill to learn is how to surf down the line. But, as we all know, learning how to go down the line and surf on the open faces of your waves is not as easy as it sounds.
If you are dropping in, getting stuck behind in the white wash, and are unable to reach the open faces of your waves, this tutorial is for you!
The video below is an oldie but goodie. Former SWA instructor Britney runs through tons of helpful surf advice that will help you improve your take-off. The best part? The video includes real-life video examples for each surf tip that’s provided.
We hope this tutorial helps you rack up your number of epic down-the-line waves! As always, if you have more video tutorial requests, contact us here.
The bottom turn. It’s the setup for most maneuvers in surfing. Want to get barreled? Do a cutback? A snap off the top?
A good bottom turn will set you up for success
We know its not as simple as it sounds, so here we are. We encourage you to play around with these techniques. Consider how your board feels different under your feet each time you try something new, and practice, practice, practice.
Below are 4 simple steps to improve your bottom turn:
Keep your back foot on the tail pad
The tail (back end) of the surfboard is the point where the board pivots and turns. If your stance is in the middle of your board and your back foot isn’t placed on the tail pad, you may notice that the board feels stiff and difficult to turn. If you don’t usually get your foot all the way back there, just start here! Practice this. Notice how the board starts to respond differently. Just get used to placing your foot back there, then move on to step 2.
- Position yourself at the bottom of the wave
Mid-wave bottom turns just aren’t as good. Why? If you’re already halfway up the wave, there’s not much space to really set up for a good turn! The best a mid-wave bottom turn will ever produce is an average horizontal cutback. Try to get speed and pump yourself down to the bottom of the wave to set up for the bottom turn. This will ultimately give you more space on the wave to work with and result in a bigger, better maneuver.
Touch the wave with your inside hand/fingertips
Once you’re positioned at the bottom of the wave, try to reach your inside hand or fingertips down to touch the wave. This will automatically pull your chest down closer to the wave and get you in a lower stance. It also creates a pivot point on the wave. Creating this pivot point will not only give you more control, but will help direct the nose of your board more vertically up the wave. Getting the hang of this is seriously a game-changer! When you try it out you’ll know what I mean. It may be a technique that you’ve never even noticed before, but after reading this I encourage you to go watch a few surf videos (of short boarders) and you’ll notice that talented surfers do it on almost every single wave.
Look up (or ahead) at the section on the wave that you want to go to
The momentum from your bottom turn needs to take you somewhere! As you reach your inside hand into the water you should already be looking up (or ahead) at the part of the wave you’d like to go to. The purpose of a bottom turn is ultimately to set up for a barrel, snap, or cutback. Keep this in mind and keep your eyes on the prize as you set it all up.
We hope this 4 step guide to improve your bottom turn is helpful and encouraging. If you try out these techniques and they work for you, please share with us! If you’d like for us to break down another surf maneuver, contact us here.
Surf With Amigas believes in giving back to the communities where we live, love, and surf with our guests.
We have been funding baby sea turtle conservation programs in Nicaragua and Costa Rica for many years. Our funds contribute to turning potential poachers into conservationists, assuring that sea turtle nests are not raided by people wanting to eat or sell the eggs, but that eggs are transferred to a safe hatchery, assuring the best chance of success for the little turtles.
Starting last year, Surf With Amigas has supported a therapeutic arts program for Costa Rican children and adults. In a community where there are not any extracurricular activities available, having an opportunity to spend some time in a safe space, exploring art with an encouraging teacher has contributed to an increase in self-esteem and feeling of well-being. This program is especially important now that schools are shut down.
Our partners are asking for our continued support of these worthy programs, but unfortunately since we are not able to host any retreats right now we don’t have the extra funds to do it. We are reaching out to ask if any of our awesome Amigas have a little extra to help in this time. Luckily, a little goes a long way down here.
We know and love these organizations and know that 100% of the money generated will go directly to these projects. Thank you so much for your continued support!