We’re catching up with alumni amigas that you may have met on your retreat!
Stay tuned for more stories and updates from our good friends across the globe.
Q: Think back to when you attended your first SWA retreat. Why did you book that trip? What was that first retreat experience like for you?
A: I grew up in Florida, consistently around water. It has always kept me grounded and makes me feel at home. I learned to surf in college. It became my new passion and joy in my 20’s. I traveled and surfed after college and had the time of my life. While traveling I met my husband. We fell in love and had two boys. My boys changed my life. I became “mom” which was the greatest gift but my priorities were no longer surfing and traveling… life was all about raising them and working. I lost a little bit of who I was during that time and there came a point where I needed to get that back. That’s when I discovered SWA. I was nervous to travel alone again but as soon as I did it I felt alive! The girls at SWA immediately encouraged me to get out in the water. They made me feel comfortable surfing again and it was exhilarating!!
Surfing is like riding a bike in some sense but it can be scary to get back out there after a long hiatus, especially when you are alone. With SWA you are never alone. You always have a crew cheering you on. My soul was on fire again and I felt like I was no longer just “mom”, I was Roni. The girl who loves surfing, music, travel and adventure. The retreat only got better from there…I met some of the most interesting and inspiring women, ate excellent food, did yoga, went lava boarding (a first for me) and much more. The entire retreat was well organized and there was never a dull moment. I felt completely fulfilled when I returned home and could not wait for my next SWA experience!
Q: Now that you’ve been on several SWA retreats, what keeps you coming back?
A: These girls know waves! They know exactly what the tides will be, when to go out and where to go. I don’t even have to think about what board to use. They are so on it! It’s such a comforting feeling going out to a new break and having them guide you to the exact spot to sit to catch the best wave. They also know where it will be less crowded and where not to go. I seriously have the best time surfing with SWA guests and coaches. It’s just all around fun! I also love how they record your waves so you can really see how you surf and actually try to improve your surfing. But…that’s only 1 reason why I keep coming back. There are a million other reasons. : )
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-
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.”
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!
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.