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!
After 11 years living full time in Central America running Surf With Amigas Retreats, our founder Holly Beck is headed back to CA for at least a year. She is working on earning a Master’s in Counseling with plans to become a licensed therapist focusing on surf therapy.
“The ocean has saved me so many times in my life. From dealing with childhood trauma, relationship breakups, the loss of a family member, and even just day to day struggles, the ocean has always been the place I’ve gone to find healing, clarity, release, and play. I’ve been excited to learn about mental health counseling strategies to combine with my experience in surf coaching. I’ve been working with a friend to create a holistic surf coaching program that I’ll be offering while I’m in California.”
Holly has teamed up with the crew at Groundswell Community Project, a 501c3 non-profit that provides research-based surf therapy curriculum and programs that are rooted in somatic, trauma-informed, nature, and community therapy models to best support the holistic healing of womxn and their communities overcoming various forms of trauma and its mental health effects. Holly will be volunteering to assist Groundswell with their existing programs for underserved communities who may have never even been in the ocean, as well as helping to develop programs for women who already have a surf practice.
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.
They’re the SWA power duo! Surf With Amigas Co-Owners, Jackie George and Holly Beck, have been running ladies surf & yoga retreats together for almost 10 years. Both ladies typically split their time between Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and California- running retreats, surfing, and living the sweet & simple life.
We think you’ll love this Q&A with them. First up is Jackie!
Meet Jackie George
Hometown: San Clemente, California
How did you learn to surf? I grew up at the beach and learned to surf so young that I barely remember learning! I do remember early mornings at San O with my dad and his buddies. I remember the doyle sessions at Junior Lifeguards. I remember my first real surfboard was the Hobie Peter Pan Slug (still love that board). I didn’t really take surfing too seriously until High School, when my girlfriends and I would get dropped off at Trestles and spend long days on the beach. We all loved surfing and pushed each other to get better. To this day, we’re still close friends and love surfing together.
Favorite board at the moment? My new Christensen log that I scored in a trade. I’ve also been indoctrinated into the twin fin revolution program here in Costa Rica.
What’s playing on the speaker while you gear up for a surf? Cardi B, Yoncé, or some dirty dirty dancehall beats. I’m also always up for praising Jah a bit before a surf.
If you could have one super power, what would it be? Teleportation. Or breathe underwater. Or know every language.
Dawn patrol or sunset session? DP is always more reliable… but when sunset comes together, it doesn’t really get much better.
Name a surfer that inspires you: I’m inspired by the people that can surf any craft in any conditions and have a good time. I’m inspired by the people twice my age that can surf twice as long as me, and I’m inspired by the people that only come out when the waves are properly pumping. I love watching good longboarders ride shorter boards in heavy waves. I’m a sucker for a relaxed style, and anyone that can do a cheater five in the tube. I’m also inspired by ladies that come on the retreat and look at surfing with a fresh perspective. Inspo everywhere!
Favorite quote: “Be here now.”
Stay tuned for the next Q&A with SWA’s other half, Holly Beck!