3 Tips for Catching More Waves at a Crowded Surf Spot

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During retreats we focus on avoiding crowds altogether as much as possible, but we know that most people don’t have the luxury of living in a spot or having a schedule where it’s possible to avoid other surfers. For all of you living a city surf lifestyle, here are some tips you can use to catch more waves even at a crowded spot.

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Holly with a lonely pre-sunrise bottom turn at a normally very crowded spot.

1. Surf during “off” hours.

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July Advanced Retreat Highlight Video

In July we hosted an advanced retreat in Southern Costa Rica. The advanced retreats are open to ladies that do have a solid amount of prior surf experience and are working on more complex turns, style, and higher level skills. This particular week we were a bit unlucky with swell. The waves were on the smaller side, but as you can see, it’s never flat and we still had plenty of surf to work with. The guests got video coaching with former pro surfer Holly Beck and participated in classroom sessions on style, how to read a surf forecast and the differences between surfboards.

Check the schedule for our upcoming advanced retreats!

Family Friendly Surf Retreat in Costa Rica

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We love family surf retreats!

It’s so fun to share the joy of the ocean with the next generation of little surfers. If you have kids that you want to get into surfing, bringing them to warm water waves with an easy channel for paddling out is the best way to do it! SWA founder Holly Beck has two kids that she’s been surfing with and has honed a program for getting kids up and riding that she wants to share with other parents! Older kids riding their own boards get to benefit from all the in water help as well as video coaching that the adults enjoy.

Check out the highlight video above from our first family friendly retreat in Costa Rica. This week we had kids from age 1-12 join us along with their parents and a few friends on a week of surfing, yoga, chocolate making, horseback riding and dance parties. It was so fun that we immediately put a couple more family retreats on the schedule.

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Penny, age 7.

Bring your kids, no matter their age

If you have kids that you’d like to get into surfing, or kids that surf already that would love to join us for a weeklong adventure in warm water, or kids that are too young to surf that you’d like to setup with a nanny so you can go surfing…. join us on a family retreat!

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Upcoming family Surf retreat dates:

Feb 16-23 2018, July 20-27 2018

Pricing is based on a per-family rate specific to your situation, ages of kids etc. We try to make it as affordable as possible, so email to discuss options. holly@surfwithamigas.com

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Non-stop family fun!

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62 Year Old Paula Talks About Her Experience Surfing into her 60s

Paula Bushardt is a retired engineer living in Florida who has joined us on several SWA retreats. She offered up this review of her experiences:

First Retreat in El Salvador

My first visit to Surf with Amigas was in 2012 in El Salvador at Las Flores.  A dear friend called me up and said she wanted to go on a surf trip to celebrate her 40th birthday.  I told her I was in as long as it was all-inclusive.  I had been working many hours and was exhausted from life’s burdens and didn’t want to have to think for a week.  The goal was to ride epic waves, get warm and go brain dead.

Here’s the highlight video from Paula’s first retreat with us, back when SWA was called “Suave Dulce!” Check out Paula’s wave at 2:13 of the video!

Continue reading “62 Year Old Paula Talks About Her Experience Surfing into her 60s”

Holly Talks Tubes

I came across this older video but wanted to share. It may be a few years old, but the sentiment is the same. There’s no better feeling in surfing than being inside the tube. Even if the wave closes out and you get pounded, it’s still an amazing feeling.

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trying to pull in on anything and everything!

Feeding Monkeys and Catching Awesome Waves in Costa Rica

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On a retreat in Costa Rica in June, the group scored some big waves, and had awesome interaction with nature. Hand feeding monkeys, incredible caterpillars, and awesome beach moments. Surf with Amigas all women surf yoga adventure retreats in Costa Rica are the best!

We are getting down to the very end of our rainy season retreat series in Costa Rica with just one more retreat starting up today. This location is amazing! Check out the video above from a retreat in June that was just uploaded and let us know if you’d like to join us in the fall when we start up again! November retreats are already sold out but we do have some space in December and beyond!

Family Surf Retreat Boat Trip Test Run

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Family Surf Retreat

Now that I have kids, and my 3.5 year old has started surfing, I’m getting really excited about hosting more family surf retreats. There’s nothing more fun than sharing the love of surfing with family. Seeing your little one’s eyes light up and that full face smile as they ride a wave alongside you is every bit as fulfilling as getting an amazing wave yourself – or so I’ve come to believe.

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Surfing Past Age 50 – Eden’s Story

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Eden is an Amiga in her 50s who recently joined us on her second retreat in Costa Rica. She has been surfing for 30 years and is so graceful in and out of the water. We asked her to talk about her experience surfing as a woman in later life and if she had any advice for other ladies her age. She said, “just do it, go surfing!” Great advice.

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A Couple Take A Surf Trip Without Their Kids to Rekindle Their Love

A couple’s getaway

Amber and Shane Yoder currently live on boat in Florida with their two young girls. Amber first joined us on a retreat several years ago in Costa Rica and has been back a few times to Nicaragua. She even brought Shane and the kids on one of our family retreats two years ago. For this trip to Costa Rica in May, they left the kids with grandma and escaped for a week of surf for just the two of them. They joined us on one of our advanced short and longboard retreats, looking to be guided to awesome surf spots, have their surfing critiqued so that they could improve, eat delicious food, do yoga, but also just get a chance to surf their brains out without worrying about the kids!

“Kids take all your energy and sometimes you forget who you are as a person, she said. It was so good for us to take a surf trip and reconnect with how we fell in love in the first place, through surfing!”

Raise your arms if you feel that one busy mamas! Wouldn’t a surf trip your man be pretty awesome right about now? It’s hard to leave the kids behind, but so good to recharge that energy and focus on you for once!

Couples Surf Retreat

If you are lucky enough to have a surfing partner and want to get away on a surf trip for just the two of you, leaving the babies (human or fur babies) at home, we do have two couple friendly retreats happening in the fall – Nov 24-Dec 2 and Nov 8-15, both in Southern Costa Rica. 

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Short or long board, Amber and Shane rip!

New Retreat Added – Luxury Surf Yoga Retreat Southern Costa Rica Nov 17-24

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“Luxurious accommodations with an unforgettable view”

The Accommodations

At Surf With Amigas we typically focus on value accommodations and go big on service in order to keep the price affordable. This one week we are offering a more luxurious accommodation option but still the awesome service you expect from us.

We’ll stay at a gorgeous house just 200m from the beach, but up a steep hill creating dramatic views. The house features 4 rooms to be split by 2-3 guests, each with it’s own private bathroom, AC, hot water, and high speed fiber optic WiFi. There’s a comfortable living room with big screen tv where we’ll do our surf coaching and classroom sessions, a relaxing pool and brand new yoga deck. The food will be catered by a local chef.

This region of Costa Rica is regarded as one of the most biologically diverse places in the world. Expect to see monkeys, sloths, toucans, scarlet macaws and a variety of other local creatures! There’s an option to ride horses deep into the jungle to check out a Native Indian reserve, do a boat trip to surf (conditions permitting), and we’ll have a ladies night out on the town. We’ll even learn to make chocolate and support the indigenous community by shopping their locally made products. We’ll relax and reconnect with nature.

The Surf

We will be driving to surf but there are several spots just a short way down the road, and relaxing on the pool deck, enjoying the view after the session will make hopping in the car to surf more than worth it. There’s a fun wave a short drive to the South featuring mostly lefts but a few rights too, a few gentler waves down the beach, and a couple world class point breaks nearby. We’ll be on a surf safari to get you into the best waves possible.  

If the swell is bigger we’ll be on a mission by boat or car to surf some of the longest waves in the world. We also like to explore some hidden nooks and crannies that are also super fun and often empty. We typically break up the group by ability so that everyone gets what they’re looking for and we don’t show up anywhere with a big crowd!


Our first retreat at this location will be November 17-24 2018. If you can’t make it that week but would love to check out this location, let us know and we may add more dates to the schedule.

Email holly@surfwithamigas.com for Questions

Southern Costa Rica Luxury Surf and Yoga Retreat Details

Price: Starting at $1950

What’s Included:

  • Two way transportation from the Golfito Airport (provided you arrive and depart on the designated days/times)
  • 7 nights accommodation in a shared room (2-3 per room depending on size of room) with AC, hot water, private bathroom and high speed WiFi
  • 4 deliciously healthy fresh meals per day (early morning cold breakfast, hot brunch, lunch, and dinner, plus dessert)
  • Unlimited coffee, tea, water, and juice
  • Daily individualized in-water surf coaching/instruction/guiding
  • Daily one on one post- session video coaching with one of our instructors
  • Video footage from surf sessions
  • A group of awesome new Amigas who may become your lifetime surfing friends!
  • Surfboard rental
  • Daily yoga classes
  • Adventures such as horseback riding, jungle exploring, boat trips, hiking, chocolate making, monkey viewing, ladies night out, etc.

Optional Extras:

  • Massages
  • Alcohol
  • Tips for staff

Book Flights

To book your flight, first fly into San Jose, Costa Rica (SJO), then connect to a domestic flight to Golfito. I recommend looking at the possible international options but then actually booking your Golfito flight before booking your international flight. I was told by an Amiga who has already booked hers that it looked like all the flights shown below on the schedule were available until she actually tried to book one of them. So book the smaller flight first just to be sure!

There are several flights per day into Golfito – an early morning, a midday, and a later afternoon flight. Our shuttle will pick you up on the midday or afternoon flight only since the hotel does not allow check in before noon. For the way out, choose the early or midday flight to take advantage of our shuttle.

For the flight from San Jose to Golfito, you need to book with Sansa Air directly – you can’t use Expedia.  For questions on booking flights or other options if you can’t find an itinerary that works for you, send us an email!