Surf Simply’s media team consists of Laura and Ale who between them make sure that all your best waves are both photographed and filmed during your stay.
All about the lighting and lenses: Laura (left) and Ale (right) on Playa Guiones.
Last week through they decided to follow our guests around all day to show you what a day in the life of Surf Simply is really like. Enjoy…
Since Nov 2011 we’ve averaged 29.7% returning guests each week, so we thought it would be cool to offer a bit of an adventure to people that had come to stay with us in Costa Rica several times. The Mentawais Islands in Indonesia have featured in pretty much every surf film made in the last two decades for good reason. Low pressure systems spin across the Southern Ocean between May and September, sending swell after swell up though the still equatic Indian Ocean, during which they organize themselves into nice clean lines, ready to break over the razor edged, coral reefs of Indonesia. While these waves can be dangerous for beginners, we felt that some of our veteran Surf Simply guests were ready for the challenge.
So last week Ru, Kerianne, Harry, Oli, Jessie and Graham (an old friend of Ru and Harry’s but a new edition to the Surf Simply coaching team) travelled to the exact opposite side of the planet from Nosara, to The Macaronis Resort, to meet Todd, Lei-Shin, Steve, Shahan, Bella, Scott, Ceca, Danielle, Pat, Mike Bower and Mike Desaloms (below).
Ru in the barrel at Macaronis.
Most of us had travelled for upwards for 40 hours by the time we arrived but it was worth it as we were greeted with perfect waves, crystal clear water and 360 degree sunsets. The Mentawais are so remote that you feel like you right on the edge of the world when you’re sitting out in the water. A huge thank you to everyone who came and made the difference between a good surf trip and a truly epic one.
We’re now heading back to Costa Rica where the Surf Simply resort in Nosara will open up again for June, July and August. After that we’ll be running coaching courses in France in September and October (during the world title event) and there’s already talk of next year’s Indo trip. There has also been a few whisperings of something happening in South Africa next year…
Our coaching courses in Indonesia are now just a few weeks away. We’ll be in the Mentawais Islands for most of May, however all the spots got snapped up some time ago. Don’t worry though, we do still have some spaces at the Surf Simply Resort in Costa Rica in August and we will also be in running coaching courses in France in the Autumn (we do like to keep busy).
Last year’s intrepid guests at Surf Simply France, Sept 2011, with coaches Harry & Kerianne.Our coaching courses in France, will be running from mid September to mid October, alongside the world title contest, which is great to get involved with in between our own surf coaching sessions.
Hanging out with Surf Simply coaches Alex & Kerianne at the contest at lunchtime, watching Kelly Slater surf the same waves that we were that morning (above & below)
Ru giving the Surf Simply guests a technical break down of Taj Burrows round 4 heat captured on the Quiksilver event webcast (above).
There are also miles of uncrowded, stunning beach breaks running up the coast of France, north of the contest site. Lei-Shin, one of last year’s guests, enjoys a peaceful afternoon surf.
At present we do still have spaces but based on last year, the spots will probably go fairly quickly. So do get in touch with us if you’re interested. Kerianne is organizing the logistics of our France surf coaching courses and you can contact her at email@example.com.
This is really aimed at Level 4 surfers who have already mastered a bottom turn well enough that they are starting to be able to surf vertically up the wave. (We call this the 12 o’clock drill which means turning the board from 6 o’clock up to 12 o’clock).
Of course once you get up to 12 o’clock then you have to turn the board back down again. Most surfers find this surprising instinctive on their backhand, as they are already facing down the wave. However it’s common to struggle turning the board back down the wave when you do it on your forehand.
For this blog post we’re going to assume that you already have the principles of carving down (particularly the importance of having you back foot as far back as possible, as this is where 80% of the turn is coming from) . This post simply illustrates the three main upper body positions specific to turning off the lip on your forehand, which give your forehand top turn the extra 20%.
1. The Touch and Throw
This is a good starting drill to build from. It basically means that you should touch the water with your trailing hand while doing your forehand bottom turn, and then throw the same, trailing hand powerfully across your body, and back down the wave, as you turn off the top.
2. 9 o’clock Wrap
You begin with a touch and throw but then finish with your trailing arm thrown across the front of your body as your leading arm is thrown up to 12 o’clock. (This time we’re comparing arm positions to the clock face, rather than where the board is. Of course this could only be described at a 9 o’clock wrap for goofy footers, for natural footers this is a 3 o’clock wrap.) This ‘wraps’ or ‘hooks’ the turn back into the pocket of the wave rather than straight down the face. A touch and throw is better if the wave is racing down the line, a wrap is great if the wave is peeling more slowly.
3. The Reverse Karate Chop
A personal favorite. It feels cool, it looks cool and it’s the first step in teaching yourself how to do a layback. If you feel like the board hasn’t turned as much as you had hoped when you’re trying to turn back down the wave, try throwing your leading arm behind your head (rather than across the front of your body which is more instinctive). You’ll be amazed at what happens.
All three of these upper body movements are ‘throws,’ which means that they need to be done as powerfully and as fast as you can (they are not ‘held poses,’ like keeping your leading arm outside your heal rail on a forehand cutback is).
If you’re reading all this thinking it all sounds a bit ahead of you then remember that the first step is to master horizontal carving changes of direction, first in the white water, and then on the unbroken face, before attempting the more time critical vertical turns. Go have fun. Get better. The better you get, the more fun it is.
A few years ago we helped a couple of local surfers, Esteban and Luis, set up their own surf school here in Nosara. All they needed was a little guidance, a few boards and some start up capital and soon they were up and running.
A few years down the line and they have not only built a great business but also taken on the role of mentoring many of the young local grommets through the national contest circuit. Then, this year, they announced that they would be running the first Nosara Triple Crown of Surfing.
The event consists of three contests, one at the good old work horse that is Playa Guiones and the other two events at Guiones’ more fickle siblings Ostional and Garza.
Event 1 was held at Ostional during a solid swell last week. Most of the big sets were closing out and often the competitors had to dodge the bombs as they picked off smaller waves in between, which allowed then to perform turns and score points.
A phenomenal local surfer called Vibert won the men’s event, while the women’s event was taken home by Surf Simply coach, Jessie Carnes (congrats Jessie, we love ya!)
It’s always great watching Jessie catch a wave or two when she is coaching because she will be riding the same sized board as her students (as do all the Surf Simply coaches) but she throws it into such fast, powerful and committed maneuvers, that every turn is a visual reminder that it is good technique and not a just a smaller board, which allow radical surfing.