Elevating Female Surfers Who Are Breaking Stereotypes: A Visual Project

When we’re asked to collaborate with a few inspiring women in Northern Costa Rica to support a project that elevates the reality of diverse lineups of female surfers, we immediately said YES.
Our friend Ivana +  her team recently created a set of fine photography prints (soon to be transformed into a gorgeous coffee table book) that are being used to tell a different story about women’s surfing than traditional marketing tells. The project is meant to encourage girls and women around the globe to free themselves of stereotypes and limitations of their engagement in sports and recreation.

Below you can learn more about the project from Ivana herself-

I am the author and producer of the project Nature of Surf Women, which is a result of my passion of making a project about a new wave of female surfers that are breaking existing stereotypes of beauty, age, and strength.
I met the photographer, Gabriela Tellez, in 2020. She has a deep understanding of creating a narrative, so we did a test photoshoot in April 2020. Not only does Gabi have the artistic style I was envisioning for the project she also fits the profile of being a female photographer from Costa Rica with an international career. It was an instant match, so we decided to live and work together in Nosara for a year.

In Nosara, there is a diversity of female surfers and many were happy to join the project and to evolve in their relationship with their bodies, with nature, the ocean and surfing. We have photographed a total of 33 women ages 12-67 years old representing all surfing levels.

We just published our website with a number of limited edition fine art photography prints. Buying the images will help us raise funds for the next stage of the project which is a coffee table book design and publication. It will be a multimedia book that will use QR codes with sounds of nature from Costa Rica, original songs from some of the surfers portrayed in the book as well as their life stories.

Our goal is to apply for Kickstarter to introduce the project to the broader audience of women who love nature, surfing, and adventure, while also encouraging girls and women around the globe to free themselves of stereotypes such as beauty standards and limitations of their engagement in sports and recreation.
We are honored that Holly Beck joined our team and that she will share her life story as an introduction to the book.
Stay tuned as we will post you when we launch the project on Kickstarter.

Stay connected to the project here-

It’s Never Too Late to Become a Surfer: Mary’s Story

Mary joined us this season at the Southern Costa Rica Longboard Surf House with a few of her closest surf friends. These ladies surfed for hours every day and reminded us that it’s never too late to just go for it and try the things you’ve always dreamed of trying. 

“I’m going to turn 70 and really what I think about is that it’s time to do everything that I really want to do. There’s no time a wastin’ here.”

Enjoy Mary’s surf story below

Our New Favorite Wetsuit Brand

Designed by women, for women. That’s Mamala Surf.

Mamala Surf is an independent wetsuit company that’s making premium wetsuits, specifically designed for women. We had the pleasure of meeting the founder of Mamala Surf, Angela, this spring at one of our Longboard Surf House Retreats in Southern Costa Rica.

We’ve tried them, and we love them!

They’re lightweight, high quality, and perfect to use as your daily suit or travel suit. Most importantly, Mamala Surf wetsuits are designed for women. Sleek black wetsuits with an epic shark/mermaid logo displayed on the leg anyone? It’s a company we are SO happy to support!

Our team of surf instructors is excited to bring their Mamala wetsuits for our upcoming surf & yoga retreats in Morocco! So, keep on the lookout to see our team rocking their stylish suits in many cold-water adventures to come.

To learn more about Mamala Surf, click here.

Inspiring Surfers: Advanced Tube Riding Retreat

14 charging amigas + 1 super cool amigo joined us at the Northern Nicaragua retreat location for a week-long shred fest! We had a record breaking week with the most tubes ever ridden, the gnarliest waves ever taken, and the best turns ever completed. This inspiring group of surfers spent the week pushing their limits and supporting each other along the way. We can’t wait to do a retreat like this again!

Enjoy this recap of the Advanced Retreat shred-fest in Nicaragua!

Most of our retreat locations are open to surfers of ALL levels and have plenty of shortboard-able waves close by. If you’re a fellow shortboarder and feel inspired to join a retreat and level up your technique, contact us here to see which retreat might be the best fit for you!

Surf Etiquette Tips We Love

What’s the key to keeping our lineups safe and fun?

Knowing and spreading the unwritten rulebook to surfing- surf etiquette! So, here we are! Ready to pass down and circulate some surf etiquette/safety tips, for whoever may need it.

Tip #1: Get to know your surf level

Whether you’re brand new to surfing, or already have some experience, it’s essential to find a surf spot that suits your skill level. Surfing at a break that’s right for you is the best way to avoid unwanted surf incidents- whether that means avoiding crowded lineups, difficult waves, sharp reef, etc. 

It’s certainly courageous (and cool) to push outside of your comfort zone and surf difficult waves! You should only try to push these limits once you’re completely confident that you can control your surfboard and maneuver around other surfers or obstacles in the lineup. 

What’s the best way to find a break thats right for you?

One recommendation, besides reflecting on your own surf sessions and experiences, is to talk with experienced surfers in your area. If you’re at your local beach and wondering if the break or conditions are appropriate for your level, scope out an experienced surfer who’s close by and just start chatting! Chances are, they’ll be willing to point you in the right direction. 

Tip #2: Practice reading the “lineup”

Getting to know your own surf abilities isn’t the only piece to the puzzle. It’s also important to pay attention to other surfers in the lineup! When you’re out in the water (and even before you paddle out) you should definitely be taking mental notes on the other surfers in the water.

Which surfers are the local legends? Are there any beginners? Who is catching the most waves?
Lineup by @holalenita

Paying attention to other surfers will help you to make better informed decisions about where to sit in the lineup and which waves to paddle for. Another perk? If you’re respectful and observant to others in the lineup, they’ll be respectful and observant right on back!

Tip #3: Avoid ditching your board

Here at Surf With Amigas we put it like this: “If your board is 9ft long and your leash is also 9ft long… that’s an 18ft radius of destruction”.  Learn how to turtle roll and do it often. It’s even fun to practice this technique with a surfboard in the pool! Don’t know how to turtle? Watch our tutorial here. It’s also important to practice how to dismount from your board at the end of your waves without launching the board into the air.

Keeping your board close by is extremely important when it comes to surf safety. If you see your surf buddies ditching their boards, spread the word! Give them the “radius” talk, then teach them how to do the turtle roll! 

Turtle Roll!

Surf safe. Be respectful. Have fun!