Archive for the ‘Surfing’ Category

Family Trip to the Beach

Yesterday was our first “Family Trip to the Beach”. We haven’t been to the beach in AGES so this was definitely quite an exciting deviation from the norm. The main reason we havent popped down to the coast in ages is that our car has been having x, y and z issues it took till now to get it all sorted out.

Anyways, with the car back in business, purring like a kitten, we packed the car and prepared for the day out. With surfboard in the back, doggies in the boot, snacks and water for Linda, along with water for the doggies and general beach stuff for all we were on our way.

Sofia isnt used to travel in the boot so the downgrade from Linda’s Lap to boot was quite a shock for her while Fuzzie seemed to take it all much better, even if he did end up being sick in the car by the time we got to the beach. We headed down to Corralillo by Caldera and it was great to be back by the beach, and on such a beautiful morning as well.

Joel spent his time in the water catching waves while I entertained myself alternatively with my book and alternatively with throwing the doggies into the water. I was so pleased to see that Sofia hadnt forgotten the lessons “water is your friend” from our time spent down in Esterillos while Fuzzie, who we were not sure if he even liked water, ¬†didnt seem to mind it at all and happily jumped around in the waves.

After a couple of hours on the beach we dragged two tired doggies home, back to the rainy central valley. Its amazing how the mornings over here usually start off very nice and sunny, only to descend into rainy afternoons as of approximately 1pm at the moment. The rainy season is definitely here again. But I really don’t mind at all as long as I can have some sunny mornings and some weekends at the beach!

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A Tropical Christmas

The only thing missing from my Tropical Christmas was the calypso music. (Gotta remember to get the “Calypso Christmas” CD for next year..) We rented our usual beach house down in Esterillos Oeste to spend our first Tropical Christmas by the beach and it has been absolutely wonderful although slightly strange. And I regret not bringing my fairy lights, as we have some terrific palm trees over here that would be very suitable as tropical Christmas trees. (Mental note: Bring them down on Friday when we head back to the beach)

I got a beautiful surfboard from my wonderful boyfriend and a delicious set of organic cotton sheets from my mum, a fantastic Putumayo Family Christmas music CD from my dad and some small bits and pieces from my loved ones back home. Unfortunately I was a terrible girlfriend and forgot (!) my wonderful boyfriend’s Christmas present at home…I hope the present in itself will make up for it (it is something that has to do with the other love of his life – His 1977 Toyota Landcruiser so it should make him pretty pleased). Once he gets it that is…

I got to have a surf on Christmas day which was pretty amazing. There would not have been ANY chance of that if we would have been back home in the UK. I think I am spoiled for life now after having surfed these warm waters in just a bikini. Unfortunately me and my new board didnt really get along that well on Christmas Day morning. I think the main problem was a communication error that meant it didnt understand what I wanted and I didnt understand what the hell it was doing. Our differences of opinion were solved by me as I got out of the water, marched home and changed it to my old board. Unfortunately my second tour to the beach happened too late and the water had already retreated too far out, making the waves so small that even on a larger board it was just not happening at all.

My second encounter with my new board ended in a slight disaster (although this was following some pretty good waves before!). I thought I could ride the board prone into shore but that was just a stupid idea I soon figured out. Being as light as it is my new board threw me off and bounced up in the air before landing on my head and calf muscle, giving me a big bleeding bump on the head and a throbbing calf muscle that was soon almost twice the size of my usual pathetically small calf muscles.

So no more surfing for a few days for me ūüė¶ Which I am feeling quite devastated about. I feel its a complete waste just sitting here without having the chance to enjoy the beach and the water that is just around the corner from me now… I will give my leg a few more hours to heal, but god damn then Im going in again.

My mum is also here celebrating her first tropical Christmas in ages and its been really nice to show her where we live, show where we usually go when we go to the beach, to introduce her to Sofia and to just have her around (She makes amazing food so I am slightly taking advantage of that as well…)

I dont think it really feels like Christmas, but then again, who cares when you can have iguanas, monkeys, hummingbirds, BBQing by the pool, surfing and great company anyways? Ok, time for a little nap and then let’s see if this leg and head can manage some more waves..

4920 46xx xxxx xxx5

Ah, I just want to go shopping!! Over the last few weeks I have little by little started noticing things that I need to buy/replace as well as a growing craving for shiny new things… Its nothing I am proud about, but my god how I want to acquire some lovely new things…

I really want is a bikini. I want another surf bikini, but I also want a non surf bikini. Something that doesnt have to be “wave-proof” (i.e. “waching-machine-tumble-in-waves-proof”) and that can just look pretty without being too practical. Sometimes a girl needs unpratical things – That’s just the way it is.

The problem is, I want this one. Well, at least something like this, with this cut. I think this is the reason I dont do that much shopping, I am too picky with what I want when it comes to the cut of clothing.

Unfortunately, I dont really know where to go around here to find items like this… I think its from Calzedonia, but Im not sure, nor am I sure if they even have Calzedonia here. But surely there should be something like this in the shops over here, after all Costa Rica is a fairly tropical country with quite a high amount of days that qualify for beach visits and hence beach wear.

Ironically, this is exactly the opposite to what I was going on about in a past entry about Surf Wear, but I think you need to be prepared for everything – and hence have swimwear to suit every occasion. Especially in a warm country. Even in Spain where the bikini season was “only” something like 7 months I had about five bikinis. Here, where I spend time in the water all year round, I have one that I can use. Something has surely gone a bit wrong here.

So that is to be amended this weekend. I do want a new surf bikini as well though as another thing I have learned over these last few months is that a white bikini is not the best option for surfing rivermouths like Barranca or in general surfing during the rainy season when the water is the colour of a strong latte at its best. Hence I would like to change my slightly brownish white bikini with blue stars on it, to something that looks a bit, well at least cleaner.

I think my whole urge to shop has been building up slowly thanks to me having had to do some online shopping for other people. While browsing for Christmas presents and Birthday presents I came across all kinds of beautiful things, and here we now are with me longing for a proper shopping trip – and missing my credit card! The good thing is that I wont be buying on credit this weekend, but the bad thing is that me not having a credit card totally limits me to the shops that do exist around here, with no access to the wonders of the virtual world.

But with or without credit card, at least I will get a little fix to my shopping cravings this weekend as well as a surf with the wonderful J! What more can a girl ask for…?

How to Duck Dive

Yesterday I was getting bruised and battered in the messy waves while trying to learn how to duck dive. I guess it went alright, but as I was saying to Joel through gritted teeth, I have real trouble “feeling” the flow of this move and hence accepting that I might possibly be doing it correctly like he says I am. My duck dive doesnt¬†feel like¬†a smooth flowing move I assume it should be, just¬†like the duck has in the video above, it feels more like a huffing and puffing and hoping for the best exercise before the wave catches my bum and I slide off the board.

I am impressed though that I managed to get the board down under the water a few times, and I bet once we go back to practicing in real wave and not just in a quiet section of the lava pools in Esterillos Oeste, Ill hopefully get the hang of it. I am quite curious to see how much this might help my surfing and help me win the battle against the waves..

Yesterday’s session did take¬†my breath away though, literally! I was karate chopped in the right side of my waist¬†by¬†the board as a wave threw it straight at me and lost my breath for a moment from the pain and shock of the beating. My god, I am used to bruises on my legs and dont really mind them anymore, but my appendix, small intestines and liver hasnt had that much experience of physical pain so this did leave me breathless.

To be fair,¬†yesterday’s session just ended up being a bit crazy with messy waves all over the place, so I was¬†quite pleased when I¬†managed to paddle out with my super floaty board AND¬†managed to¬†ride¬†one wave quite nicely during the short session. Like a colleague of mine says: “Even One Wave is a Session” so this day will go down in the diary as yet another succesful outing!

And hopefully next time I will be as gracious as the duck in the video when I plow through the waves to get out there..

Esterillos Oeste

This weekend is a real treat. We are spending it down at Esterillos Oeste with some friends just lazying around, surfing, BBQing and well, just enjoying life in general! Its been a while since we were here last and I have almost forgotten how fantastic this place is for relaxing and really recharging your batteries. Not to mention the surf, I loved coming down here before, because the waves are quite big, but still fairly soft, making it perfect for me on my epoxy.

I got down here already on Friday since my company was doing a team building outing in Jaco for the day. It was a fantastically fun day at the beach surfing followed by cocktails, arm wrestling and dancing at The Backyard Bar in Playa Hermosa. I had so much fun and I feel like I know a few of my colleagues much better now as well.

Anyhow, J picked me up from The Hookup at Los Suenos around 8.30pm and we headed down to the beach. This time we have rented a gorgeous house all the way at the end of one of the dead end streets off Calle Canada, and turns out its absolutely fantastic! Three floors, pool, gorgeous large terraces on each floor and all of them looking out over the jungle.

Having got here pretty late we didnt really properly see the house until the next day, but my gosh did we hear the other inhabitants during the night! We have massive lizards living in the ceiling and they were making a glorious noise all through out the night while the cicadas were playing their tunes all around us in the jungle. The noise did wake me up a few times, but its actually nice waking up to the sounds of nature, especially since it will lull you back to sleep as well pretty much immediately.. Its a nice give an take.

This morning Sofia was up and demanding to get outside already at about 4am. She hasnt stopped since then.. She has explored the jungle, run around meeting other dogs, swam in the pool, been to the beach, run around some more and had a face off with a local capuchin monkey. We were having so much fun watching her and the monkey battle it out, one on the ground, one from the top of a palm tree.

I had a few wonderful waves down at the beach as well. Its been a while since we have been surfing here so at first I was a bit worried about the size of the waves, but I soon “got back to normal” i.e realising that they might seem big, but actually they are pretty soft. Had quite a few just for fun and a few that were excellent even by my own high standards of self criticism. And I finally managed to really get one pop up done PROPERLY! I.e. without dragging my damn knee behind me. Oh my gosh the feeling of that beats anything! Well, almost anything.

Tonight we have had a BBQ and now its just relaxing in the warm night to the sounds of cicadas while watching a beautiful lightning display in the distance. The rain hasnt reached us yet. I cant wait till tomorrow when I will get to do some more waves!! And ah, the sleep I will have tonight after a couple of hours in the waves and a day in the humid heat of the coastal area.. I do love our life in Costa Rica.

The Pep Talk

A Personal Pep Talk

Right. Its time for a good personal pep talk! God damn, I can do it! And I can do it DAMN WELL! Hear me ROAR!

Well, something like that… ūüôā

So today is an absolutely wonderfully sunny Sunday and we are a few hours away from hitting the beach with our boards. It’s Barranca time again, and apparently the swell is excellent for me as a beginner. At least that is what my personal surf coach says ūüôā And that’s what this pep talk is all about, giving me the ooomph to hit those waves and not be scared about the steepness of them, or the force or them, or of my board hitting me, or of other surfers getting in my way, or of me getting caught in the leash, or of… Well, you get the point. Its a scary world out there for us beginner surfers.

But today I feel GRRRRREAT! And I am ready to hit those waves 100%! I am NOT going to pull out at the last minute and I am not going to bail on any great waves and I am not going to let a few waves taken over the head get me down. I am going to be as buoyant as my bloody board always is (making it oh so hard to get out there!) and not let any of this pull me down.

I am keeping my fingers crossed now that this pep talk will work and that I will have one of my BEST days EVER out there in the swell today! And if it doesn’t work, I will go with the “Eat Ice Cream” option from the card above.. H√§agenDazs super premium ice cream (as they modestly describe it on their website..) always works… ūüôā

Women Surfers

I have just come to the conclusion that I think I should have a role model for surfing, someone¬†who I like the style of and who I could learn a bit from.. So for the¬†last few¬†days I have¬†tried to keep an¬†eye out for some¬†female surfers that would fit the bill. As mentioned, the most important criteria for me¬†with regards to this, was that I wanted to¬†find someone¬†who’s style I like so that I can learn from that… Someone I can watch in action, and hence get an idea of what I would like to look like on the board…

So I found this lovely lady:

Kassia Meador. Ah, I very much like her style on the board and I have gotten so many wonderful ideas from watching a few of the videos about her that can be found on YouTube.. She ticks, well, the one¬†box I had for this. ūüôā

God damn I want to be able to do this! All of what she is doing! And get photos this amazing proving it! ūüôā She has inspired me so much to push myself further with the surfing (Although, not as much as J is inspiring me :))¬†that¬†I cannot wait to get into the water again now.¬†Thankfully I think that will¬†happen already tomorrow! Bring it on!