Surf Lessons with Frijoles Locos, Playa Grande, Costa Rica
Shakas and surf. Playa Grande near Tamarindo.
How Beginner Surfers can Stand Up on a Wave their First Time Surfing
No doubt about it, learning to surf is hard! Here are 4 tips for beginner surfers, to ensure you stand up on a wave the first time you surf.
1/ Determine if you are goofy or regular foot.
Goofy foot surfers have their right foot forward and regular foot surfers have their left foot forward. If you snowboard or skateboard, you should already know which of these you are. If not, have a friend push you from behind and whichever foot you step forward with first, becomes your front foot.
2/ Practice pop-ups on the beach.
Draw a cross in the sand and lay down on it so your chest rests on the center of the cross. With hands in a wide push-up position, at chest level, draw your tummy in, to create space for your front leg to come through and plant your front foot at the center of the cross. Your back foot remains behind. Both your feet should be perpendicular to the vertical center line, not parallel as if you were skiing. Repeat, as many times as needed, until you nail the pop-up.
3/ Keep your hands flat.
Think stable table. Hands flat on the surfboard will keep the surfboard steady. A common beginner surfer mistake is to grab the edges of the surfboard like reading a book- it will rock and roll and you will fall off.
4/ White-water first.
Stay in the area of the beach where the waves have already broken. This area is referred to as the white-water. Allow the white-water waves to push you toward the beach, and stand up as soon as you feel the power and speed of the wave.
- Jump off the surfboard before the shallows, to avoid breaking the surfboard fins (and to avoid knee injury!)
- Always cover your head with your arms before coming up for air after you fall off the board. This will help you avoid hitting your head on your board or fins.
- Surf only where you would be also confident swimming.
Final words of advice: Invest in a surf lesson from a professional surf instructor. A good surf instructor will help you choose the right location, learn safety tips, improve faster, identify your mistakes, and make the whole experience more fun and rewarding. We look forward to taking you surfing.
Email us NOW to make your surf lesson reservation [email protected]
Frijoles Locos Surf Shop is proud to support La Paz Community School, particularly their scholarship program so that today’s youth will have a bright future. In generations to come, local families will have more opportunity to create their own businesses, become leaders within the community, increase awareness of our environment and embrace sustainability.
La Paz Community School is a non-profit organization that was founded in 2007 in order to address fundamental socioeconomic and cultural gaps prevalent in a region struggling to cope with the balance of an agriculture and tourism based economy. By integrating talented youth from the underprivileged, middle class, and upper class sector of rural Latin America, the school transforms student differences into strengths that foment rich and meaningful dialogue and experiences at all grade levels, thus preparing students to effectively confront global challenges.
The scholarship program at La Paz Community School enables students who would never have been afforded the chance to receive such a quality education, to do so. While donations to the scholarship fund help cover costs of education, there are so many other needs to be met, which is where you can really help (Pack for a Purpose). Thank you for your time and effort in giving back to the community you are visiting. In this way, you are truly helping to change the future of these wonderful children and consequently, their own families.
Frijoles Locos also supports CEPIA, founded by the wonderful, talented and visionary Laeticia DeWeer. CEPIA is an organization that helps improve the quality of life of youth and families in the local area, by supporting and training to assist the poor in job placement, teaching new skills, attending to physical and mental health of those in need, and promoting cultural development.
Although our 6 year old charges these waves, doesn’t mean they are just for beginners! Something for everyone in Playa Grande.
Surfing Costa Rica- Playa Grande’s best spots and nearby surf breaks…To surf Playa Grande, Costa Rica you will need to access the beach at one of a few options. The main public beach access is at the end of the road straight down from Frijoles Locos Surf Shop, where Hotel Las Tortugas is, and 200 meters north of here known as ‘the palm trees’. Palm trees are great for families, offering good shade. Both places have guarded parking for $2 per vehicle. Don’t leave anything in the car anywhere, ever!
Palm Trees surf spot is closest to Casa Costa Palmera, Casa Sylmar, Casa Blanca, Villa Siempre, Villa Olivia and Casa Mirage.
Nearby the rock there is a wedgy beach break but not good for beginners. Beginner surfers should stick to Palm Trees or between Casa Mirage and around 100m north of Hotel Las Tortugas.
There is parking in front of RipJack Inn also, but not guarded. No matter what, never leave anything in your car. Ever.
Head high to a 6 ft surfer. Double overhead to a 6 year old.
It takes a good 25-30 minutes to walk to or from the Tamarindo estuary to the main peak in front of Hotel Las Tortugas. Main peak has plenty of crowd, plenty of vibe, and should only be surfed by competent strong intermediates and up.
Palm Beach Estates to the south end of Playa Grande has a long stretch of beach with breaks all along. Sandy bottom… tends to have more walled up waves but can be fun on the right day.
Casitas is at the very south of the beach before the river-mouth.
Other nearby breaks include Playa Avellanas (all levels of surfer), Playa Frijolar (Marbella), Junquillal and Playa Negra (truly advanced surfers only).
Check out our Driving Directions blog to access information on how to get to some of those other surf breaks mentioned.
Rent your surfboards from Frijoles Locos and ensure that you have something great to ride, that the airlines haven’t damaged en-route or charged you a fortune to carry!
The Frijoles Locos Guide to Playa Grande Attractions and Activities.
Here is a summarized outline of things to do in Playa Grande, Costa Rica during your vacation. For more in-depth information, check out our ‘tours and information‘ tab on our homepage.
Playa Grande is famous for its Leatherback Turtle nesting season (October to March). You can arrange a night-time turtle watching tour at the local MINAE office. Guided tours cost $26 per person, and if you don’t see a turtle, you can come back for free the next night.
Rent a bicycle and explore the area. Low-tide biking on beach cruisers is a great way to get to Tamarindo to explore. Bicycle rentals are available from Frijoles Locos Surf Shop.
Early morning walks to look for monkeys- they are loud! Just follow the strange, deep bellowing sound and take your camera.
El Frijol Feliz Day Spa located at Frijoles Locos offers massages, facials, pedicures, manicures, body scrubs and more.
Day-trips to Arenal Volcano, Rincon de la Vieja National Park, Palo Verde National Park and more are easily arranged through your hotel or at the local tourist information.
Yoga Classes are conducted 6 mornings per week in the high season at the RipJack Inn.
Surf lessons for all levels are available from Frijoles Locos Surf Shop.
Take a Spanish class- ask at Frijoles Locos for more info.
Play ping-pong at PGI’s table tennis table
Kids love the tide-pools at low tide… bring with you a little kid’s fishing net that doubles as a butterfly net when you aren’t at the beach.
Walk to Playa Carbon- the black sand beach to snorkel or just feel a million miles away from it all. Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy!
For night-clubs and night-life, Playa Grande isn’t the pick. Tamarindo is where you go to party, any night of the week. Wednesday nights in Potrero at Las Brisas are Ladies’ Night, a hot pick for some all night music and dancing.