Surf Inspo: Coco’s Favorite Surf Reads

Lost your stoke? Need some new reads to get hyped for your next surf adventure? Open up one of these books and take a journey with inspiring surfers in search of incredible waves.


In Search Of Captain Zero

a surfer’s road trip beyond the end of the road

By Allan C. Weisbecker

My favorite surf book ever. This book really captures the essence of surf travel and it opened up my mind to the wild magic of Mexico. 

On his journey from New York to Central America in search of a long lost friend, Allan finds himself in some wild places, surfing empty waves and gathering clues of his dear friend Captain Zero’s whereabouts along the way. This book is hilarious and entertaining from beginning to end and it really inspired me. I still dream of driving through Mexico and Central America! Maybe one day. As far as I know Captain Zero is still living there in Mexico- my sister ran into him a few years ago in Panama and they surfed together.



Bustin’ Down the Door

By Wayne RABBIT Bartholomew

I read this book while living in Hawaii. The author, “Rabbit”, is an Australian surf legend who writes about his adventures in Hawaii in the winter of 1975 where he was almost chased out, first by locals, then by huge waves crashing through his front door in the night.

After reading this book I moved to Australia and eventually met Rabbit at Southern Cross University where I was studying Sports Management “surfing studies”. I remember during his open discussion he asked the students if we could leave our desks and sit in a circle on the floor instead. Legend indeed.




Barbarian Days

 A Surfing Life

By William Finnegan

“The particulars of new places grabbed me and held me, the sweep of new coasts, cold, lovely, dawns. The world was incomprehensibly large, and there was still so much to see. Yes, I got sick sometimes of being an expatriate, always ignorant, on the outside of things, but I didn’t feel ready for domestic life, for seeing the same people, the same places, thinking more or less the same thoughts, each day. I liked surrendering to the onrush, the uncertainty, the serendipity of the road.” — Finnegan

This quote taken from Barbarian Days really sums up the excitement of surf travel. Never knowing what is around the next corner, traveling to new places, exposing yourself to new cultures, and embracing the unexpected. I read it in a just a few days! After reading I starting thinking about surfing bigger waves and began training a few weeks later too!


Stay inspired! 

Pura Vida,




Yep, that’s right. We’re headed back to our original stomping grounds in Northern Nicaragua with a variety of Surf & Yoga Retreats on the schedule from Nov. 2020 to Mar. 2021… and we’re stoked. We’ve already begun dreaming of volcano scattered backdrops, warm waves, dirt roads, and reggaeton!


Surf With Amigas originated back in 2010 in a small village in Northern Nicaragua when SWA Founder and former pro surfer Holly Beck was drawn to the idea of sharing the empty beaches, perfect waves, and slow pace of life with other adventurous women who wanted to surf. Apart from the obvious reasons why a place like this is any surfer or traveler’s dream, the local community has always made it extra special to SWA. Unfortunately, the political and economic issues that transpired in Nicaragua in recent years have put small villages like this one in a rough place. Simply put, less tourism = fewer jobs, so as we shift back into hosting our Surf & Yoga Retreats in Nicaragua, we’re especially committed and really stoked to help our local friends in the community along the way. 

Interested in joining Surf With Amigas at one of our Surf & Yoga Retreats in Northern Nicaragua Nov. 2020 to Mar. 2021? Check out the retreat highlight video below or click here to learn more. 



Surf With Bandidas

water shot, surf with amigas, surf camp, learn to surf, Costa Rica, holly beck

One of our Amigas from the last retreat took home the footage and edited it into this awesome video. We usually do the edits ourselves, so it is really cool to see the experience purely from the perspective of one our guests. Here’s what it looked like last week in Costa Rica!


How to Survive Closeout Tubes

how to survive closeout tubes, holly beck, tube riding, learn to tube ride, surf coaching, Nicaragua, surf with amigas

How to Survive Closeout Tubes

I posted this video to my Instagram account and received many questions. “Why?” “How did you survive that?” “Was your board in one piece afterwards?”

The most common question was, “how did you fall in order to not get hurt?” Well… let me explain.

I grew up in Los Angeles’ South Bay, an area with plenty of surf, but unfortunately mostly beach breaks without a lot of shape.

The waves in that area break close to shore, get hollow, form plenty of tubes, but it’s rare to make it out of the tube. As a teenager, I developed a love for the vision you get from standing inside of a hollow wave, regardless of whether the wave let me out still standing. I got used to the crunchings that inevitably followed sending course sand deep inside my wetsuit, scalp and ears. I learned to survive closeout tubes and actually really enjoy them. Any pain that resulted was all worth that blissful momentary vision.

Since then, I’ve moved to a much more shapely Central American beach break where coming out of the tube is a whole lot more common. But, I still haven’t lost my love for a good crunching close out. Sometimes, if I know there’s no chance of making the wave, I actually feel more relaxed. I can just stand there and enjoy the view. This day there were a lot of good waves, but also a lot of really excited local kids scrambling to take every one. I got a little annoyed and paddled further South, deeper than anyone, to wait for my good one. This big lump came in, I saw it doubling up, knew there was little chance of making it, but felt like I needed to prove my point so the kids would back off. Plus…. I really wanted that view!

If you’re going to go for closeouts, or even are just trying to learn how to get tubed, knowing how to fall definitely helps.

First let me say, the safest place is inside the tube. If you takeoff on a bigger hollow wave, and decide to straighten out towards shore (instead of pulling in), there’s a good chance the lip will land on your head, on the back of board, etc. The power from the lip landing on you as it falls is something you want to avoid. Alternatively, if you take off and try to pull out through the face, the wave will likely suck you up and “over the falls” which again can be more dangerous.

The key to falling as safely as possible is to jump off from inside the tube.

If it’s a small wave, I typically won’t jump off at all, but just ride as long as possible and let it knock me off as it will. If it’s a bigger one however, I will jump. There are two options:

1. Kick the board out in front of you and kinda just sit back, falling off behind the board. In theory I think this is a good idea, but in practice it’s not what I typically do.

2. Jump forward. Usually most of my momentum is going forward, hoping to make the tube, so I find my body wants to go forward as well. Therefore, I usually jump off forward and slightly to the falling lip side of my board, trying to fall as flat as possible (to not have an elbow or leg sticking out that will slam into the shallow bottom). Imagine diving forward into a body surf position. Typically I’ll do a little twist as I dive so that I land more on my back. That way if you do bounce off the bottom, it’s your shoulder or back that hits, instead of your face/elbow. That’s what I remember doing on this wave and while I did bounce off the shallow sandbar on my back, I wasn’t hurt. My board was miraculously also in one piece and I happily paddled out for more!

If you want to get coached to surf hollow waves, join me on one of our advanced tube riding retreats in August or November. More info here.

To see the best waves (including plenty I came out of) from the swell, click Play below.

January CoEd Retreat Highlight Video

shelly, double Shaka, surf with amigas, learn to surf, surf camp, Costa Rica

This week was one of our co-ed adventures. We had three couples and a trio of ladies join us for some long waves, awesome food, jungle hikes, and lots of surf improvement. One of the guys (yellow hat) scored the best wave of his life on the trip after years of surfing. We’ve got a couple of new young shredding surf instructors who were putting their skills on display in between helping the guests get the best waves of their lives. Super fun!