Learning to surf at Tamarindo Beach

December 28, 2009 - Filed under Stuff to do

Tamarindo is a popular spot for learning to surf. The waves are fairly small (though there are a couple larger points along the beach) and it’s well suited for those just picking up the basics. There’s plenty of board rental shops along the beach, most of which will provide lessons for around $40 for a two hour lesson. So, a few weeks ago I decided to try surfing on my next day off.

Saturday came around and Kelly and I wandered down to the beach to find that a huge swell had come in and the usual 1-3 foot waves had turned into some monster 5-7 foot waves and bigger! I wandered into a surf shop to see if a lesson was doable in those conditions and they convinced me that by 3pm things would probably have calmed down a bit.

Normal wave size:

Normal Tamarindo Wave Size

Freakishly large wave size:

Big wave swell at Tamarindo Beach

3pm came around and not much had changed on the intimidating surf front, but I went ahead anyway since I had already paid and gotten my free t-shirt. I put my rash guard on and had a quick briefing on the finer points of surfing like the importance of covering your face if you stand too close to the front of the board causing the nose end to bury in the sand, converting a surf board into a catapult…

Learning to surf

The two other students and I entered the water, pushing our boards ahead of us over the first few waves. After a few attempts at standing up on the board as the instructor pushed us ahead of the surf, it was apparent that I have absolutely no sense of balance. The other two students were fairing much better than I was, so the instructor went back to the shop to get me a bigger (the biggest) board.

For the next hour and a half, I managed to get up on my mammoth surfboard 8 or 10 times, more often ending up doing a push-up to back flop into the water. The few times I did get up, it was a relatively short ride due to the crowd of other tourists in the water. But really, I was exhausted after the first half hour of fighting that beast of a board out through the huge waves to a point where I could hop on.

Look Ma! I'm surfing!... sorta

I’ll be giving it another go in the near future since it wasn’t ideal conditions for learning this time out. All in all, my first surfing attempt was generally a frustrating and tiring experience. I walked away from it with some skinned knees, a tweaked shoulder, and considerably more respect for those people who made it seem so effortless from afar.

Surfing Tamarindo Beach

Sunset surfers headed home

Posted by: Shim

3 Comments so far

  1. Shannon OD December 29, 2009 12:51 am

    It sounds like a lot of fun, even though it was tough. I took some lessons in Australia and it was incredibly hard – I had board burn all over my knees, was so wiped out…but then again, I’d take more lessons in a heart beat!
    .-= Shannon OD´s last blog ..A Little Serenade…Six Songs for a Happy Birthday! =-.

  2. Shim December 30, 2009 1:31 pm

    I’m looking forward to giving it another go. It WAS rough, but it’s something I’d like to be able to enjoy when down at the beach… Lots of practice ahead!

  3. Evelyn Ahmed August 1, 2010 1:27 pm

    i broke my arm on a freak surfing accident but hey, surfing is a nice sport..-


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