Our retreat locations in Northern Nicaragua are situated just a short walk from a big sandy bay with peeling rights and lefts. It’s our favorite playground in the area for both longboarding and shortboarding! With waves for everyone, the bay provides the perfect layout for us to connect to the ocean and just have FUN.
We hope you enjoy this surf video celebrating Amigas of ALL SURF LEVELS, ages, sizes, and backgrounds, catching super cute waves on their longboards in Northern Nicaragua!
What surf specific exercises can I do to prepare for my retreat?
Surf With Amigas’ head yoga instructor Reesie just made this perfect compilation of workouts and stretches that you should do to prepare for your next retreat with SWA. Expect to do pop-up practice, stabilizing core workouts, and a few juicy hip openers. After completing the exercises in this video (a few times) you’ll be ready to go!
Interested in more surf-related tutorials or workouts? Let us know!
There’s no shortage of inspiration when we look at the lives of SWA’s Co-Owners, Jackie George and Holly Beck. Now that you’ve all met Jackie, we’re excited for you to learn more about SWA’s founder, Holly! This former pro-surfer and mom of two has many incredible stories to tell.
MEET HOLLY BECK
Hometown: As a child, Palos Verdes, CA. Currently rotating between Aposentillo, North Nicaragua and Pavones, South Costa Rica.
How did you learn to surf? Well my mom told me that surfing was for boys, not something a nice young lady should be doing, and that if I surfed, I’d never get a boyfriend. “You should be sitting on the beach looking cute in a bikini, not out competing with the boys.”
By the time I was 15 I’d bought myself a board and wetsuit from a garage sale and had friends with licenses to drive me to the beach. I was still a little wary that no one was going to like me if I surfed though, especially since there were very few girls that surfed in the mid 90s. Luckily, a couple of boys from the surf team took me in and I threw everything into surfing. I was totally obsessed. I papered my walls in surf mag photos, did every school report I could on something related to surfing, and really found healing in the ocean. I picked it up quickly and started competing right away. I got 2nd place in my first contest and then became super driven to get better and win!
Favorite board at the moment? I like to ride different things. I get tired of any one feel. I’ve been riding a 5’4 round tail twin fin quite a bit lately, but also enjoying the glide of finless boards.
What’s playing on the speaker while you gear up for a surf? I’ve been into Rising Appalachia. Folky, female, and has a bit of a political stance.
If you could have one super power, what would it be? To travel through time and space with the snap of a finger. Go back to that swell last week in Nicaragua and get tubed. Dip over to Pavones when it’s firing. Go give my kids a quick cuddle when they’re spending time with their dad, etc.
Dawn patrol or sunset session? Dawn patrol without question.
Name a surfer that inspires you- I love the way steph gilmore is always smiling, plus her super stylish but also radical approach to riding waves. My favorite male surfers are the ones that ride everything, can be goofy, but also rip. Ryan Burch and Rob Machado.
Wildest surf story… go! Ooooo that’s a tough one. I have a lot of really wild surf stories from when i was on tour. Lately surf stories are a lot more tame, especially since I often have kids along for the ride. Probably the wildest story lately was when I was at the beach with my kids and the swell was pumping and my almost 4 yr old grom Soleo really wanted to surf.
I had a 7’6 with us on the beach. The waves were overhead and peeling down the line but there was a good channel and I knew the spot well (and most of the people who were out). I put him on the nose of my board and we paddled out. We had to pop over a couple big whitewash waves but then we paddled super fast between sets and made it out. We waited and waited, and people were tripping on us being out there in such big waves. Finally, a good one came. There was someone on it, but it was a friend that I knew wouldn’t mind us sharing. We dropped in on a well overhead wave and rode it all the way down the point. Soleo was super stoked and so was mom!
To learn more about the other amazing surf ladies that make up the SWA team, click here!
The cross step. Both graceful and functional, it’s how us long boarders really use the entire surfboard, from front to back & back to front. It’s how the most talented surfers dance and trim their way to the nose.
Ready to transform your longboard shuffle into a graceful cross step? Keep reading.
Start here: Practice on land!
Repetition of the cross step (or any technical surf skill) on solid ground will implant the physical movements into your muscle memory. If you can master the cross step on land, you’ll have a better chance of accessing the fancy footwork once on your surf board.
Cross step as you walk through the kitchen, while checking the waves, or while playing on your yoga mat. Practice it everywhere! Once the movement feels completely fluid and natural you can take it to the water.
The cross step setup goes like this- First, drop into your wave and get going down the line. Think about placing your feet closer to the inside rail of your surfboard, the rail that’s tucked into the wall of the wave. Then, it’s all about the stall. Shift your weight onto your back foot in order to slow down and steer the board up towards the top third of the wave. The stall often resembles a bottom turn, depending on the size and shape of the wave.
Taking the Step:
After the stall, it’s time to take the step(s). Shift your hips forward then let the feet follow. The back foot crosses over the front. To start, just cross your feet, hold, then right step back into your normal stance. Step lightly. Once this movement feels more comfortable, try and take a few more steps. The end goal is to take as many steps as needed (usually 2 or 3) in order to get your toes all the way to the nose.
Check out this video of SWA Co-Owner Jackie styling through a stall-to-cross-step combo during a Surf With Amigas Morocco retreat.
*As always, remember to take it slow, laugh through the wipeouts (there will likely be a lot of them), and surf with other ladies who inspire you to surf more + have fun!
Escape reality for a week of unforgettable adventure in Northern Nicaragua!
It all starts with surfing.
Whether you are ready to catch your very first wave, become more confident in the water, transition to riding a shortboard, or improve your existing skills while making new surfing friends, we will help you achieve your goals. There are great waves for beginners, advanced beginners, intermediate, and experienced surfers all within walking distance. Getting you into the best waves is our top priority. If you are willing to think positively, push yourself, and listen to feedback you will leave the retreat a better surfer.
After surfing we’ll do yoga.
Yoga is so good for your body and mind. After a morning at the beach and an awesome meal, we’ll head up to the elevated ocean-view yoga studio. Yoga is a great way for surfers to work on core strength, flexibility, balance, and breathing. The yoga sessions will vary between strength building and restorative yoga. The instructor will provide modifications of poses so that every yogi will feel supported and challenged.
If the wind cooperates and the waves are good in the afternoon, we’ll head back to the beach for a second surf session. Otherwise we’ll set off on an adventure. We’ll hop on horseback and gallop down the beach, take a day-trip to the colonial city of Leon and hike up, then board down an active volcano, get dressed up and indulge in incredible French food at a hilltop restaurant with a 360 degree view. If conditions permit we may take a boat cruise to check out a secret surf spot.
The difference between Surf With Amigas and other women’s surf and yoga retreats is attitude and experience. Unlike other places where the instructors are barely intermediate surfers themselves, when you stay with us you will be coached and supported by a program put in place by Holly Beck, a professional surfer with a keen eye for how to help you specifically improve. We video every session and go over the footage so that you can see what you’re doing right and what little changes might help you really improve.
We also create a culture of support. The other girls will become your new surfing sisters, yelling and cheering and clapping and dancing in celebration of your awesome rides. You just don’t get that anywhere else.
$1,900 all inclusive package includes ($1,800 early bird special if booked 3 months in advance):
– two way airport transfer (if you get a flight that arrives on the first date of the retreat and departs on the last day.)
– 7 nights accommodation in a shared cabana
– 4 deliciously healthy meals per day (early morning cold breakfast, post-surf hot breakfast, lunch, and dinner)
– all beverages except alcohol
– daily surf lessons and video coaching
– all afternoon activities such as yoga, horseback riding, volcano boarding, estuary cruising, and other surprises
– video footage of you riding the best wave of your life (photos are sometimes available at a small additional cost depending on availability of photographer)
Typical Daily Schedule looks like this:
6:30am wake up for buffet breakfast of coffee, juice, cereal, toast, yogurt, fruit
7:30am – 11am surfing, surfing, surfing!
11:30am delicious lunch
4pm second surf session or other adventure
7pm dinner with new friends