Which Costa Rica Airport is the Best to Fly Into

In Costa Rica, there are two main international airports to choose from: San Jose (SJO) and Liberia (LIR). We recommend selecting the one that best suits your budget and geographical needs based on what area you plan to spend most of your time. Since these two airports are located far from each other and offer different benefits for travelers, here is a quick breakdown to help you decide which one you should use when flying into Costa Rica.

If  you are trying to get to Corky Carroll’s Costa Rica Surf Resort Liberia International Airport will be closer than San Jose International Airport. Read below for details on travel times to and from the resort.

Here are the two main airports and the difference between locations.

Map of Liberia to San Jose Airport

Liberia International Airport

Located in northern Costa Rica within the Guanacaste Province and near the Pacific Ocean is Liberia International Airport. (Also known as Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport.)

“LIR” is the second main international airport in Costa Rica. It is situated right next to Liberia City. Just over an hours drive from some of the most picturesque and popular beaches in the country, Liberia is an excellent choice for those looking to soak up the sun with perfect surf breaks and miles of soft sand.

Liberia International Airport Costa Rica

Over the past 10 years, the Guanacaste region has grown to be a top tourist destination for travelers visiting the scenic and less crowded Northwestern coastline of Costa Rica’s Pacific Ocean. This is where you’ll find some of the best all-inclusive resorts, laid-back boutique hotels, and affordable surf hostels that Costa Rica has to offer, along with biodiverse national parks and watersports. It’s also the closest and most convenient airport for guests staying at our privately-owned surf ranch in Nosara, as the drive takes around 2.5 hours (compared to 5-6 hours if transferring to/from San Jose).

Liberia International Airport Entrance

It’s worth mentioning that this airport recently underwent major renovations and improvements in 2012 and 2018 to make traveling even easier. And unlike the rough unpaved roads around San Jose, the well paved roads near Liberia make for a smoother ride with less traffic. If you’re headed to Guanacaste for the beaches, resorts, mountain corridor, or Nicoya Peninsula, the Liberia International Airport is the one to consider.

Liberia is the Best Choice For:

  • Beaches & Surfing
  • Avellanas
  • Coco
  • Flamingo
  • Grande
  • La Fortuna
  • Montaverde
  • Nosara
  • Ocotal
  • Playa Conchal
  • Playa Hermosa
  • Riu
  • Tamarindo
  • BoardMembers Surf Ranch – Nosara
  • Four Seasons Resort
  • The Hilton
  • The Westin Golf Resort – Playa Conchal

San Jose International Airport

Centrally located near Costa Rica’s bustling capital city of San Jose is SJO, the prime airport for tourists visiting the Central and Southwest regions of the country. It’s full official name is the Juan Santamaría International Airport.

This airport provides easy access to nature, local culture, and beaches set on the south end of Costa Rica’s Pacific Ocean. It’s also about 30 mins away from a variety of accommodations from budget-friendly hostels to high-end resorts.

San Jose International Airport Costa Rica

If you’re flying on a budget, you might want to consider SJO as an alternative to the smaller and sometimes pricier LIR airport mentioned above. Flights can be $300+ cheaper than flying into Liberia. But the price of cheaper flights is often times offset by the high cost of local transportation like bus or taxi transfers to and from the area, which can cost upwards of $200+ per ride.

If you are staying closer to Liberia or Nosara, it will take 4-6 hours of riding on busses or driving on hectic, high-traffic, rough roads to reach your destination from San Jose. SJO is also a 5 hour drive from our surf resort; nearly twice the distance as Liberia airport.

San Jose International Airport could be the better option for those on a tight budget and have extra time to spare getting around.

San Jose is the Best Choice For:

  • Budget-conscious traveling
  • Exploring the hub of local culture and city life
  • Close to nature & wildlife activities
  • Beaches in the South
  • Dominical
  • Jaco Beach
  • La Fortuna (Arenal Volcano)
  • Manuel Antonio
  • Montaverde
  • Puerto Viejo
  • Punta Arenas
  • Tortuguero
  • Uvita
  • DoubleTree Resort – Central Pacific
  • Los Suenos Marriott Ocean & Golf Resort
  • Radisson San Jose

Inside San Jose Airport

Traveling to Corky Carroll’s Costa Rica Surf Resort

Arrivals into Costa Rica

We provide a complimentary van service to our all-inclusive surf resort in Nosara from both airports, using the transportation service CRIC (Costa Rica International Connections). The drivers speak English and Spanish and will wait for you to arrive, even if flights are delayed. If customs or baggage claim is taking a long time, don’t worry, the driver will wait for you.

As mentioned above, Liberia (LIR) is the closest airport to us. When arriving into Liberia please allow 2-3 hours driving time to get to our resort from the airport.

If you choose to fly into San Jose (SJO), please plan on the ride taking 4-5 hours from the airport to our resort.

Once you arrive at the airport of your choice and gather your bags, you will be greeted outside the airport by one of our drivers holding a sign with our logo and your name on it. Like this:

Costa Rica Surf Resort Shuttle Service Driver

If you are arriving late into either Liberia or San Jose airport, and plan on staying in a hotel nearby for your first night, we will pick you up at your hotel in the morning. Our driver will be waiting outside your hotel a sign with our logo and your name on it.

Departures from Costa Rica

If you are staying at our resort and your departure flight is out of Liberia, we recommend allowing for three hours travel time to the airport and two hours for flight check-in. If your departure flight is out of San Jose, we recommend planning five hours for travel time and two hours for flight check-in.

Once you have booked your flights, we handle the rest. We provide transportation to and from the airport, so you can start you vacation the second you step off the plane. Best of all if you arrive early enough, we’ll have you out in the water surfing before the sun goes down. For more transportation information check out our surf resort FAQs page.

Conclusion

If you’re still unsure which Costa Rica airport is best to fly into, the two most important factors to keep in mind are time and budget.

Liberia is closer to some of the best surfing beaches in the country but flights can be more expensive. San Jose is closer to nature activities and the hustle and bustle of the capital city with generally cheaper flights, but has more expensive local transportation.

Regardless of which airport you choose, you’re bound to fall in love with everything the spectacular country of Costa Rica has to offer. We’ll see in you in paradise!

HOTTEST SURF HOTELS IN HUNTINGTON BEACH

With so many Southern California beaches to choose from, there’s no question why Huntington Beach has become the most popular tourist destination in Orange County. Almost 10 miles of white sand and breaking waves line the shore of this bustling beach city, providing all day entertainment for swimmers, surfers and beach goers. Whether you’re visiting for surf lessons, music festivals, bonfires on the sand or shopping at the new Pacific City, HB has it all. If you’re wondering where to stay when traveling to Surf City, allow me to simplify your life. Here’s a list of the best and highest rated surf hotels in Huntington Beach, all of which are located steps from the sand along the iconic Pacific Coast Highway.

PASEA HOTEL  AND SPA 

Coming in at the priciest one on our list, this click and trendy, newly constructed, pet friendly, high-end hotel is situated across the street from the Pacific Ocean. Pasea Hotel  Features contemporary rooms and suites with ocean views, a rooftop bar & lounge, outdoor pool, yoga, luxury spa services and free WiFi. It is especially popular with the younger crowds given its prime location, right next to Pacific City. This comes in as our #1 surf hotel in Huntington Beach 

HYATT REGENCY HUNTINGTON BEACH RESORT & SPA

A long-time favorite amongst visitors and locals, this upscale resort is located across from the beach and features Spanish architecture, upgraded rooms and suites with traditional decor, five restaurants, three pools, a kids club, fitness center and free continental breakfast. 

WATERFRONT HOTEL BY HILTON

This well known and popular, beach-inspired Hilton hotel features some extra resort amenities that make it an excellent choice for families. Stylish and contemporary rooms and suites offer guests a choice of city or ocean views. Showcasing tropical outdoor pools, waterslides, cabanas, beach equipment and multiple venue spaces, this resort provides everything for your vacation or special event.

KIMPTON SHOREBREAK HUNTINGTON BEACH RESORT

A stylish, surf-themed 4-star rated boutique hotel that sits within steps of the famous Main St. hub. This property is set across from the beach and zero minutes from nightlife, bars, restaurants and retail shops. There’s no pool at this hotel but it does boast a 24-hour fitness center with a 40’ bouldering wall, complimentary beach cruisers and a wine hour. Perfect for travelers and beach goers that want to be right in the mix of all the entertainment.

BEST WESTERN HARBOUR INN & SUITES 

A less expensive, no frills hotel located north along Pacific Coast Hwy, close to Huntington’s Bolsa Chica State Beach and Sunset Beach. Clean and classic guest rooms, some with balconies that offer a view of Huntington Harbour, free WiFi and continental breakfast. Close to the beach, Starbucks, restaurants and the #1 rated surf school and kids beach camp in Huntington Beach.

So there you have it! The hottest, trendiest, highest rated and favorite hotels in the HB area. There are more, unlisted options in the city but none with the level of amenities, views, service or close proximity to the sand as the hotels mentioned above. Wherever you choose to stay, there’s no shortage of fun in the sun when you visit Huntington Beach.

If you are staying in the area and you want to learn from the best surf school in town go check out Private Surf Lessons

Father’s Day

Father’s Day is just around the corner and the never-ending question of what to get Dad is finally over. The gift of surfing is a memorable experience, rather than another item stacked on the shelf. Whether it’s sharing a beach day with the family or Dad getting out into the water and challenging waves on his own, it provides an experience to get outdoors and enjoy nature in the Californian sunshine.

father's day dad day

Father’s Day at Corky Carroll’s Surf School: 

Corky Carroll’s Surf School has been providing surfing lessons for over 20 years with a team of instructors that have strong knowledge and experience in surfing, so Dad is in safe hands.

The location of the surf school at Bolsa Chica State Beach in Huntington Beach is an amazing spot for Dad’s first time because of the relaxed surfing conditions. Surf City’s Bolsa Chica State Beach has a gentle break, a sand bottom, and mild water temperatures year-round making it an ideal spot for Dad to learn how to surf. This will make his Father’s Day the best yet 

Lessons for Dad

If Dad is a beginning surfer or just wanting to improve his skills, Corky Carroll’s Surf School has lessons available for all levels. A friendly and knowledgeable instructor, wetsuit, and wide selection of surfboards will be provided for Dad to have an unforgettable Father’s Day!

For further information on private lessons: Click Here

 

 

There is a lot more going on at the beach this Spring and Summer than you might think. Check it out with me! Let’s go to the beach!

HB

 

Huntington Beach is taking getting back to the beach to a new level of family fun for 2018 with activities and events for everyone. We couldn’t be more stoked!

Beach body ready or not ,Let’s KICK IT!!!

It’s Back to the Beach Fest 2018

 

Hey Guys Howzit, I am Bruddah Chris. I will be hovering and covering awesome events, entertainment and anything that shines bright in our surf culture. If it’s  happening here in Huntington Beach. I am gonna check it out.  So be sure to check back every couple of weeks for all the latest in what’s hattnin here at da beach. Mahalo, I appreciate you.

I love this time of year!   It is April and time to get back to the Beach. If you love surf culture, live music, food, drinks, crafts, arts and awesome party’s then HB is the place to be this Spring and Summer.

Surf City is kicking off the 2018 Festival Season this Saturday and Sunday April 28, 29.

Travis Barker and Feldy in partnership with KROQ are hosting a lil family friendly beach bash jammy jam. Guess what they are calling it?…

They are calling it “Back to the Beach Fest 2018”

So stoked as the artist lineups for both Saturday 28, and Sunday 29,  are packed nadz with killer bands. Some of  music’s most respected and recognizable sun punk bands representing  our surf, skate, bike, wind sailing, sandy pants, epic vibes, sun-n-fun, SoCal life style will be throwing down hot licks and rootsie good tunes.

 Bands like the Aquabats, the Mighty Mighty Bostones, 311, and Long Beach’s Sublime with Rome will be kicking the funky, phat party tunes in the dunes. RIGHT ON THE BEACH.. BOYYYY!!!

Gromms under 10 are free!

Links to Single day and full weekend passes can be found on the Back to the Bach Fest website.

You will also find all the Beach Fest 2018 info including BUT NOT LIMITED TO the lists of allowable and unallowable items that can be brought into the festival area- i.e.

  • No glass is allowed, you can bring a refillable plastic water bottle
  • Blankets and low backed chairs are allowed as well
  • No outside food or drink will be allowed
  • Sorry evil doers, no bad vibes allowed. (Message from the Aquabats)

 Free parking will be available at Edison High School along with a shuttle service that will be providing safe rides to and from the Festival event area for a fee.

Family friendly games and a “PUNK kids zone” will be part of the festivities.

With all the action and skankin around you are bound to get hungry and thirsty.

Food and beverages will be off the chains. Delicious organic and vegan grinds, and Meaty Carnivorous options will be abundant. Craft beers and cocktails “will be flowing like the Salmon of Capistrano.”- L. Christmas

It’s enough to give you that gleaming with a sense of Nirvana feeling, ya know? Like being in heaven. This event is so loaded with fun for the whole family I can’t imagine a better way to launch into the festival season. It’s gonna be so rad. Hanging with the wahini  and the grommets. Enjoying in one of the worlds most beautiful festival settings available. Just soaking in all the shine I can handle. This party is gonna be as rad as we make it. Be the vibe you wanna see. Smile, Have a killer time.

  Want more action? Get Your Sea Legs On

Sea Legs at the Beach I can not wait to spend more time here. Now that they have regular hours for the season. Sea Legs at the beach is open to all ages. A fun combination of restaurant and entertainment venue. Sea Legs at the Beach is a glorious oasis of bitchin built right on the sand. Enjoy the best of HB life style and entertainment. Located on the Huntington Beach Bike path. It’s an epic spot to chill out, grab a bite and a cold frosty brew or a hand mixed cocktail while enjoying free live entertainment. Relax and soak in the vibes of the Pacific. April 29 and every Sunday it’s Reggae Sunday at Sea Legs

Legendary  DJ / VJ / and TV personality Richard Blade is a regular host of parties and events at Sea Legs On the Beach. Getting it poppin off with a 70’s & 80’s flashback, this years Cinco de Mayo party is gonna be glorious with live music provided by the smooth, cool sounds of Yachty By Nature. Find out more about location, menu, and entertainment options here  Reggae Sundays and Richard Blade’s Cinco de Mayo Beach Party

I hope you will be down to check out  Surf City Nights Farmers Market and Crafts Fair in Down town HB Every Tuesday  http://www.huntingtonbeachevents.com/calendar.html

So much to do between surf lessons and sessions. It’s all happening right now. No need to wait. Something great is happening in HB right now and you can be part of it..

sun flower

April is gorgeous at the beach in Huntington Beach, Ca.

Even if you still need it to warm up a little before you get back into the water. Mother Nature is doing her Spring beauty thing at the beach. The flowers are popping off and all the little critters that come with them are thawing out and bouncing around. Summer is right around the corner and Surf City is ready to party.

HB animals

Back to the Beach trailer  “What is a Kahuna? Is it good to have a big one”- line from Back to the Beach a movie From Paramount Pictures 1987 -good clean family surf film starring Frankie and Annette. Recapturing the magic of their on screen relationship and the result is a huge beach party for everyone. The band Fishbone makes an appearance to “Jamaica Ska” I like to think it’s a preview of what’s gonna go down at Beach Fest on Saturday and Sunday

For any of your surfing needs go to our Surf School and find out more details

Thanks for reading guys! Be sure to check back in a couple of weeks for more on what’s hattnin in Huntington.

Chaka, Mahalo,

Bruddah Chris

 

  by Chris Benton

Huntington Beaches Surfing Spots

Brookhurst Street: Huntington Beach 

This surf spot is on the south end of Huntington Beach, Ca. It is located right next to the Santa Ana River Mouth. The combination of drainage from the storm drains and the tidal surge from the hb marshes makes this surf spot dirty. Overall this wave is pretty good most of the time and can be excellent on the right swell mix. The wave is pretty steep and hollow and can get pretty closed out on bigger S and WNW swells. It is not a beginner wave I would recommend to anyone. The beaches are very long and if your a beginner you will need to surf the inside shorebreak because the outside is for advanced surfers. The biggest drawback is the water quality especially after even the smallest rain.

Surf city

South Side and North Side  Huntington Beach Pier is one of the most famous surf spots of all time.From reality tv stars to professional surfers everywhere, HB pier has everything you would want except for a beginner surfing wave. In the summer it has huge contests, crowds, and all kinds of other nonsense, most of which happens on land. Breaking the sides into two different surf spots is necessary because both provide different waves and atmosphere. The waves are very similar in shape on both sides but you get a very different feel and attitude as you move from one side to the other. The North side is open to surfing all year round while the South Side has black ball during summer. The crowd here is localized and some surfers can get aggressive towards people learning how to surf.

 

Huntington Beach Cliffs– This surf spot is a soft and slow wave most of the year. You can long board on the smaller days but it gets fast enough to short board on a lower tide, particularly with a swell combo. In the winter we get NW swells the change the wave from being soft to actually holding some size and being heavy. When there is swell and when there isn’t swell the cliffs have a good crowd on them. Most of the locals will surf it everyday and there are a lot of new beginner surfers trying as well. It can be localized at times during the year, but most the time you can find a spot in between others to have some fun. The walk down is more difficult compared to the surf spots to the south or north because of the rocky cliff. The dog beach is located right on the beach in front of the cliffs and can get very crowded for parking on summer days. Make sure you watch your step for dog poop!

hb cliffs

Bolsa Chica State Beach

There is no black ball at Bolsa Chica State Beach

Black ball is a yellow flag with a black circle that lifeguards put out meaning no surfing allowed. This happens because of the amount of tourists in the water. Even though there is no black ball it is still a lifeguarded beach. Lifeguards patrol the beach year round while lifeguard towers are staffed roughly from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. At Bolsa Chica State Beach there is no black ball, so that means surfing all day!

Conditions

At Corky Carroll’s Surf School the conditions are important for beginning surfers. Bolsa Chica State Beach has a gentle break, a sand bottom, and mild water temperatures year-round making for ideal beginner conditions.

A gentle break allows students to learn how to surf on the outside and inside.

The inside is closer to the shore where the waves have already broken. This area is mostly white wash, which is waves that have broken and washed out. These waves are easier to get into and best for beginners. The outside waves at Bolsa Chica State Beach break slow, allowing beginner surfers to enjoy them as well. Unlike the beaches south of Bolsa Chica State Beach, such as the Huntington Beach cliffs or Newport Beach where the waves break faster.

A sand bottom allows for gentler impact when a wipeout happens.

A wipeout is when you fall off your surfboard and as a beginner it is inevitable. With a sand bottom the ground is soft, so it is less likely to get injured and safer for all ages and ability levels learning how to surf.

Go to our why bolsa chica blog! Bolsa Chica Blog

Stingrays! Bad or Good?

If you’re unsure about your stance on stingrays, we don’t blame you. They’re often portrayed as deadly, cold-blooded creatures who wield their venomous tails like a weapon. They’re also 99% of the time not hurtful or mean creatures. The best way to form an opinion is by learning a little more about the stingray.

When people see stingrays in the water the first reaction people make is get me out of the water! But they usually act kind and gentle around humans. Its only when a stingray feels threatened that beach-goers have to worry. Most of the stingray attacks in California happen when a human swims above or in front of them, either creating no escape route for the stingray or they accidentally step on them. Of course any animal that is cornered or scared can be dangerous, just as a stray dog can be dangerous if backed into a corner.

Trying to learn how to surf Private Surf Lessons

The stingrays do not want to eat or hurt you!

The diet of these creatures consists of small animals that live in the sand – mostly shellfish, small worms. The stingray feeds by hovering directly over the sand and fluttering the wing-like edges of its body disc to clear away the top level of sand. This exposes the little creatures that live just under the sand, and the stingray plops on top of them and eats them.

stingrays

How to Avoid Stingray Attacks

Stingray Attacks  are more likely to happen to swimmers or surfers who are entering or exiting the ocean through shallow water and accidentally step on a stingray.

Naturally, the stingray will react. When the stingray is stepped on, it quickly whips its long tail forward and down, which jabs the stinger at the base of the tail into usually the foot or leg of the person. This is a defensive maneuver designed to remove the beachgoers foot from the stingray’s body, and it works. To avoid stepping on top of a stingray, beachgoers can shuffle their feet when entering and exiting the water. We call this the stingray shuffle! The Stingray Shuffle is simply sliding your feet along the sand instead of taking big steps. To a stingray, these sliding movements feel more like vibrations, which scares them away. If you take big long steps the stingray will not feel these vibrations and will stay put until you step on their backs, which most the time ends up in getting stung. Here is a video that will show you how to stingray shuffle. Go watch this video that demonstrates how to do the stingray shuffle and what to do if stung https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9a6QRcSBQec

ray shuffle

How to Treat an Injury

Treating stingray wounds requires submerging the affected area in water as hot as the individual can stand, around 110 degrees. If parts of the barb are not lodged into the wound, this type of treatment can easily be done at home instead of the doctor’s office; however, it’s important to note, if the barb is deeply lodged into the skin and/or the area does not seem to be healing, a trip to the emergency room and some antibiotics are in order. Carefully remove any surface debris from the wound with tweezers and continue to soak the area in hot water until the

One of the most common questions we get asked is what is the best surfboard for learning to surf. Answer: a soft top surfboard. Thanks to their improved buoyancy, soft tops make paddling and standing up easier, letting you catch more waves and have more fun. They are also safer than hard top boards because getting hit with something soft is always better than getting hit with something hard. (That’s just math.) But what many beginner surfers don’t realize is there are a lot of great options out there for soft top surfboards. So instead they head over to their local mega superstore and pick up a Wavestorm Costco Surfboard.

But take it from us, that’s not a good idea.

Costco: Your One Stop Shop (Except for Surfboards)

We love Costco. Cheap gas. Fifty pound bags of popcorn. Free tastings. It’s heaven in a warehouse. Where else can you buy a pair of board shorts, get some photos printed, have an eye exam, prepare for a barbecue, find a computer, and stock up on enough toilet paper for a decade — all while feasting on a free lunch of mini-sausages, Vitamix smoothies, and microwavable empanadas.?

Best of all, the prices are killer. A $9.95 large pizza to go? Don’t mind if we do.

Over the past couple years Costco has also become the king of selling soft top surfboards. Their Wavestorm model is the most popular surfboard in America. Head down to the Huntington Beach pier on a mid-summer Saturday and you’ll see a flurry of them heading out …. and then getting washed ashore.

And while there’s definitely a place for a Wavestorm in any surfer’s quiver, a beginner would be better off looking elsewhere than Costco’s line of soft top boards when first getting started.

Costco and Kooks

Let’s get one thing clear. Riding a Costco surfboard doesn’t make you a kook. Neither does learning to surf. So long as people respect their gear, the ocean, and others around them, the waters are free for all to enjoy. Everyone makes mistakes and wipes out. That’s life. No worries. It’s how you approach the waves that really matter.

Even seasoned surfers can mess up from time to time. Dropping in on other surfers? That’s wrong no matter how long you’ve been surfing, or how good you are. But most experienced surfers know better. Those hitting the surf for the first time usually don’t, and are more likely to make the mistake of taking a wave that someone else has priority on. Odds are they are also riding a Wavestorm.

And that’s why Costco surfboards sometimes get a bad rap.

Costco makes it really easy to get a board. Maybe a little too easy. And over the years they have gained a certain association with kookdom. That’s because the majority of people riding Wavestorms are beginners. Beginner surfers are often linked to being “kooks” because they are still figuring out the surfing etiquette and lifestyle. Put two and two together and you can see how Costco surfboards can gain a certain reputation.

But we don’t buy into that reputation. The point we want to make is Costco surfboards aren’t necessarily bad, they just are not right for beginners.

The Soft Top Revolution

There is a great quote that sums up our motto perfectly.

The best surfer out there is the one having the most fun.

That’s what it is all about. The lessons, the equipment, the waves — it all boils down to having as much fun as possible. In the past, soft top surfboards had a certain stigma. They were frowned upon by surfing purists who thought soft tops bucked the trend of tradition. Not to mention, they made surfing more accessible, which in the already overcrowded lineups can be a regular surfer’s greatest fear.

But this is nothing new. There has always been those reluctant to embrace change.

Foam surfboards were initially balked at by those loyal to their 40 pound balsa wood boards. When shortboards arrived on the scene they were seen as a joke by longboarders. Using Jet Skis to catch big waves was paramount to cheating. Hydrofoils were considered a novelty act. And then there’s the Chip.

Back in the 50s, shorter, thinner boards with more-defined rockers came out that made learning to surf easier and more forgiving. They became popular with California’s growing population of female surfers. At first, guys chided these “girl surfboards” for being too small and delicate. That is until they tried one for themselves and instantly fell in love. Soon these “girl surfboards” helped fuel the Surf Boom and provided the model for one of the most famous surfboards of all-time: The Malibu Chip.

The same thing is happening to soft top surfboards today. Although they may have been originally designed with the beginner surfer in mind, seasoned surfers are starting to enjoy them too. So much so we wrote a soft top surfboard guide for every level of surfing. Because every surfer should have a foamie in their quiver.

Why? One reason. They make surfing more FUN!

The Pros of Costco Surfboards (and Soft Tops)

There is a time and a place for everything, and that’s certainly true for Costco surfboards. They can be really fun, in the right conditions. Have you seen the Wavestorm World championships? Turns out even pro surfers are getting kooky with Costco Surfboards. But these members of Team Wavestorm know what they’re doing, and learned to surf the right way first on boards suitable for the task.

That’s because Wavestorm surfboards are better for someone who already knows how to surf. Their thinner shape and squatter tail make it easier to loose control while on a wave, allowing for some gnarly maneuvers and just as gnarly wipeouts. That’s why Wavestorms are for experienced surfers, who can take advantage of this loose performing board and tap into their full fun-releasing potential.

Which is why we recommend against using a Costco surfboard when you are learning to surf. After you figure out the fundamentals, then go ahead and tackle pipeline on a Wavestorm.

The Cons of Costco Wavestorm Surfboards

Costco stocks other board besides Wavestorms. But since they are the most prominent, popular and widely used, especially by beginners, it’s important to understand why Wavestorms in particular are not ideal for learning on.

The top reasons being:

  • They are thinner
  • They are narrower
  • They have a small tail width

Each of these contributes to losing stability, float and buoyancy while on a board. Which are some of the most important features required for beginners to properly learn.

Also, there is a reason why Wavestorms are so inexpensive. They are priced according to quality and scale, and built with less durable materials. The means they break down quicker than stronger constructed soft top boards.

Waterlogged Wavestorm Costco Surfboard

While for someone looking to have short-lived fun that might be enough, a dedicated beginner surfer will want a board that allows more room to progress. Not to mention one that can take a beating.

What’s In a Board?

Whenever you buy or rent a surfboard you should give serious thought to what the board is made of and its dimensions. For example, when buying a hard top surfboard knowing whether it is glassed with epoxy vs fiberglass, or shaped using polyurethane vs EPS foam, makes a big difference. The length, width and thickness of the board matters too.

The same level of consideration should be given when choosing a soft top board. Soft tops are not just for beginners. Every level of surfer from novice to intermediate and advanced can benefit from having a soft top in their quiver. So long as it is the right model for them.

Just like you need to choose the right surf spot to learn at (which is why we hold our surf school at Bolsa Chica), you need to find the right board to start with. The result is a much safer, and funner, experience all around.

A beginner should choose a board that is suitable to their skill set, height and weight, and can survive the initial mishandling that comes with trying something new for the first time. Not just go with whatever Costco has on its shelves for the best price.

The Soft Top We Use Instead of Wavestorms

At Corky Carroll’s Surf School we teach surfing using Storm Blade Surfboards. This model has been around since 2006 providing some of the best high-performance soft top surfboards on the market.

Storm Blade is produced by AGIT Global, which is actually the same company that puts out Wavestorm surfboards. But there is good reason why you find their sturdy Storm Blade’s being used at a lot surf schools and surf camps around the world, and not their thinner Wavestorms.

Not only do Storm Blade surfboards come in a wider selection of sizes for all skill levels, but Storm Blade’s strong yet forgiving, extra buoyant foam layered construction and well calibrated thickness make surfing an unparalleled experience for beginners to advance. Overall their design with beginner in mind and use of high-quality materials provides a perfectly balanced wave-riding platform to surf.

When compared to Wavestorms, the Storm Blade is thicker providing creating stability. And perhaps most notably, the Storm Blade’s wider, better shaped squash tail performs superior to the poorly shaped blocky squash tails on Wavestorms.

All this will have any novice standing up in no time, and is why recommend an 8ft or 9ft soft top surfboard with as much width and thickness as possible for beginners. Our favorite surfboard to learn on in the industry is the 8ft Storm Blade SSR.

Storm Blade SSR Soft Top Surfboard

 

This might all sound like an over-fluffed up endorsement, but we feel really strongly about the boards we use for our surf lessons and truly find Storm Blade’s to be the best. But like we said earlier, there is no one-size fits all when it comes to surfboards. There are plenty of other great soft tops out there (some of which we include in our surfboard rentals quiver).

We want everyone to have fun surfing. And we want beginners to learn the right way. So think twice about that Wavestorm $100 Costco surfboard if you’re just starting out. The better choice is to learn on a higher-quality soft top.

-Hunter Rose

Learn How to Surf at Bolsa Chica State Beach

Corky Carroll’s Surf School has chosen Bolsa Chica State Beach in Huntington Beach, California as the perfect place to learn how to surf! The surf school has run its entire 22 years at this beach. This area was once called “Tin Can Beach” because of the amount of debris cluttering the shore. In 1961 state parks took over the beach and cleaned it up. It now offers three miles of wide sandy beach between Seal Beach and Huntington Beach. Bolsa Chica State Beach was chosen for Corky Carroll’s Surf School because the location, conditions, and waves make it an unbeatable combination for learning how to surf in Southern California. https://www.surfschool.net/private-surf-lessons/

Location, Location

For a surf school easy access and good facilities are essential. The parking comes easy, the fresh water showers are crucial, and black ball is nonexistent here.

Located in Huntington Beach, ten minutes North of Main street.
Being close to downtown Huntington Beach, yet not in the center of it all makes it a less touristic spot. Also, the location provides easy access from the 405 freeway. The adults taking private surf lessons and the kids attending summer surf camp don’t have to fight for waves and there is plenty of space on the beach. Being close to Main Street in Huntington Beach provides many options for shopping and food nearby.

Unlike the rest of the crowded beaches, parking is not an issue.
Away from the Huntington Beach pier and Main Street makes it easier to find parking with less tourists. It has a massive parking lot with many spots.

The facilities at Bolsa Chica State Beach provide hot/cold showers and clean private bathrooms.
After a salty day in the water there’s nothing like being able to take a fresh water shower. Allowing the parents and kids to get the sand and salt off before heading home or to Pacific City for a fun afternoon of shopping and dining.

Bolsa Chica State Beach

3-mile stretch of sandy beach along the famous Pacific Coast Highway.
The 3-mile stretch of beach allows for a nice place to spend the day with the family. Come watch the students surf, while enjoying the surf and sun. Also, lifeguards are on duty during the summer months. Fun tip – The Pacific Coast Highway goes from Baja, Mexico all the way to the Olympic Peninsula in Washington!

Bolsa Chica State Beach and the surrounding area is a natural adventure.
Camping overnight is possible in an RV/Trailer at a designated camping area. It doesn’t get better than camping steps away from the sand overlooking the ocean. On the other side of Pacific Coast Highway is the Bolsa Chica Wetlands where you can stroll on long walking paths, visit the Bolsa Chica Nature Center, or watch the numerous species of birds.

There is no black ball at Bolsa Chica State Beach
Black ball is a yellow flag with a black circle that lifeguards put out meaning no surfing allowed. This happens because of the amount of tourists in the water. Even though there is no black ball it is still a lifeguarded beach. Lifeguards patrol the beach year round while lifeguard towers are staffed roughly from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. At Bolsa Chica State Beach there is no black ball, so that means surfing all day!

Conditions
At Corky Carroll’s Surf School the conditions are important for beginning surfers. Bolsa Chica State Beach has a gentle break, a sand bottom, and mild water temperatures year-round making for ideal beginner conditions.

A gentle break allows students to learn how to surf on the outside and inside.
The inside is closer to the shore where the waves have already broken. This area is mostly white wash, which is waves that have broken and washed out. These waves are easier to get into and best for beginners. The outside waves at Bolsa Chica State Beach break slow, allowing beginner surfers to enjoy them as well. Unlike the beaches south of Bolsa Chica State Beach, such as the Huntington Beach cliffs or Newport Beach where the waves break faster.

A sand bottom allows for gentler impact when a wipeout happens.
A wipeout is when you fall off your surfboard and as a beginner it is inevitable. With a sand bottom the ground is soft, so it is less likely to get injured and safer for all ages and ability levels learning how to surf.

 The average summer temperatures of the Pacific Ocean in Huntington Beach range in the high 60s, while winter brings slightly cooler water temperatures ranging from the high 50s to low 60s.
With the mild water temperatures surfing is possible all year round! Our summers are typically warm enough to surf in boardshorts or a spring wetsuit and the winters are possible to surf in a light full wetsuit, which is the beauty of Southern California. Corky Carroll’s Surf School has both full winter wetsuits and summer spring suits to provide for our guests learning how to surf.

The Waves
To surfers waves are everything, so finding the right wave is necessary for different levels. Corky Carroll’s Surf School chose this beach for the gentle crumbling 3-5 foot waves, ideal for beginners.

An ideal beginner wave, offering a long and gentle break that crumbles, not crashes.
A wave that crumbles means it is breaking softly and slowly, it has an easier face for beginners to ride. A wave crashing is more powerful and fast, which is more difficult to catch and drop into.

The average swell height, wave size, ranges from 3-5 feet year-round.
Swell is the collection of waves moving away from a storm in the ocean. This swell as it heads into shallow water at your local beach will make the waves you surf. A small swell size, such as 3-5 feet is a very good size for people learning how to surf.

Bolsa Chica State Beach

Bolsa Chica’s waves are half the size of anywhere else.
Bolsa Chica State Beach faces west, so when the big South swell hits in April through October it is half the size of the beaches surrounding it, such as north of the cliffs through Newport Beach.

It is generally considered a longboard wave.
The bottom shelf at Bolsa Chica State Beach is shallower than other beaches.This shelf makes the waves smaller than anywhere else, creating calm waters making it a good place to learn how to surf.

Learning to Surf
Bolsa Chica State Beach, the slow rolling shape, generally short paddle, and mostly wide open beach is a great place to learn how to surf.

Safety comes first
Bolsa Chica State Beach has a sand bottom with small and mushy waves, this combination makes it one of the safest places to learn how to surf. Before going into the water safety in the water is something to learn first. Learning how to paddle out, knowing which way the current is going, protecting yourself from the board, and the stingray shuffle are a few things to learn. The stingray shuffle is shuffling your feet in the sand while in the water instead of taking big steps. The shuffling sends vibrations that scare away stingrays in the immediate vicinity, thus you won’t accidentally step on one.

Wetsuit
Seeing as though Huntington Beach’s water temperature stays moderate year-round only a light wetsuit is typically needed. Depending on the time of year a wetsuit is important to protect against the elements, such as staying warm in colder water. Corky Carroll’s Surf School provides Ripcurl wetsuits for students learning to surf.

Board size and type
Bolsa Chica State Beach is a great spot for longboarders because of the slow rolling waves and longboards are the ideal type to learn on! The right size board is important for beginners, a big board provides more balance and stability. The student is provided a surfboard based on their height and weight. We take pride in our surfboards and getting you started on a real board, no soft-tops here. Unlike the soft-top Costco surfboards, Corky Carroll’s Surf School teaches surfing on high-end hand-shaped surfboards with a traditional concave bottom that provides the same safety of a soft-top surfboard.

Paddling
Less paddling is needed at Bolsa Chica State Beach because the waves aren’t as powerful as other beaches. When beginning this is good because you want to spend your time catching waves not paddling the whole time! Learning how to paddle correctly is important because 90% of surfing is paddling. Starting off with a good paddle technique will help in the long run for getting out past the break. For now it will help with paddling into the waves to surf. Corky Carroll’s Surf School teaches the “4 disciplines of paddling”, 1st: waterline, 2nd: feet together, 3rd shoulders up, and 4th: Stroke.

Proper Stand up Steps

Standing up
Corky Carroll’s Surf School teaches the 3 steps to standing up: 1st: push-up, 2nd: drive the knee, and 3rd: rotate. Bolsa Chica’s slow rolling waves and long white water create perfect conditions for implementing the 3-steps to standing up and for all ages learning how to surf.

Let’s get out there!
Now that the basics have been discussed it’s time to get in the water. For first timers the inside area is a good place to start in the white wash. The waves don’t break there, so surfing the mushy white wash can help in learning to paddle and standing up.

As you can see Bolsa Chica State Beach is a beginner surfer’s paradise. Choosing the correct beach to take surf lessons is just as important as choosing the right surf school to learn at. The location is easily accessible, the conditions make for an easy introduction to surfing, and the waves are easy to ride. Also, consistent good waves and year-round mild water temperatures makes Huntington Beach the real “Surf City, USA.” Come and learn to surf at Corky Carroll’s Surf School at Bolsa Chica State Beach  https://www.surfschool.net/private-surf-lessons/

Costa Rica Cell Phone Service

Traveling to Costa Rica just recently became even easier as you can now use your US cell phone and cell phone plan while here!

How It Used to Be

Previously, you could either bring an unlocked phone to Costa Rica and then buy a SIM card and a temporary service plan for that phone, or buy a cheap phone in Costa Rica, complete with SIM card and temporary service plan. Those options still work of course, and you can buy everything you need at the airport in Costa Rica, or from one of hundreds of stores, kiosks, or street vendors all over the country.

The four cell phone carriers in Costa Rica are Kolbi (state-owned), Movistar, Claro and TuYo (all private companies). You can buy a low-end phone from any of these carriers for around $25, then buy a prepaid SIM card for texting, calling and internet use. Often a 5000-colon (US$9) prepaid SIM is sufficient for your average vacation, as long as you don’t make many international calls.

Cell Phone Service Sim Card Gsm Vs CDMA

How It Is Now
If you want to bring your own locked cell phone from the US and use it in Costa Rica, here’s what you need:

1. A cell phone that operates under (or can be switched to) DSM mode.
A Samsung Galaxy S4 cell phone, for example, can operate as either a CDMA phone (the mode used on Sprint in the US, with a Sprint account) or GSM (the mode you should switch to in Costa Rica). Once you land at the airport, you can switch to GSM mode (settings/connections/more networks/ mobile networks/network mode/chose “GSM”).*

OR

2. A US cell phone with an international plan that you are good with.
AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile cell phones all have different options for international travelers, none of them free. The best bet seems to be paying $10/day to have full use of your domestic plan with the same benefits. This is easy, and takes only a 5 minute cell phone call to your carrier. Be sure to check with your individual carrier to be sure as plans and features can change quickly.

If you have Sprint, it works a bit differently. For example, if you sign up for their Open World program (at no charge) you get free calls and texts within Costa Rica and from Costa Rica to the US. The plan also comes with 1 GB of data (you can pay for more). With the Open World plan, if you’re in Costa Rica with your US phone, and want to dial a Costa Rican number, you dial 506 (the country code), then the 8-digit Costa Rican number. Although you are dialing from a US number to a Costa Rica number, you don’t need to bother with the international access code from the US (011) if you are physically in Costa Rica.
If you’re dialing from your US cell phone in Costa Rica to a number in the US, you don’t need the international access code (001) from Costa Rica; just dial 1, the US area code, and the US cell phone number.

If someone is calling you in Costa Rica from the US, they just dial your US area code and your number; no international access code needed.

*Side note: In the US, two of the four major carriers (Verizon and Sprint) use CDMA while the other two (AT&T and T-Mobile) use GSM. Many phones are compatible with either GSM or CDMA, but not both.

Cell Phone Service GSM Vs CDMA

A Surfer for President? Why the Long board is Chairman of the Board

Image- Recording artist Corky Carroll “Surfer for President”

What were long boards called  before the revolution of  shortboards sparked up in the 50’s & 60’s?…

 Hey guys today I am answering that and:

  • Why should I learn to surf on a longboard?
  • Why do surf schools act like the longboard is the chairman of the board?
  • Long board chairman

These days there are so many different types of surfboards. We have laser cut, light weight, durable, maneuverable, wafer-thin, easy to carry, short surfboards. Boards are being made with space aged materials developed by NASA scientists that have devoted their lives to making pans.(story for another day)

So why do we still use long boards to teach surfing with so many different board types to choose from? It can be confusing trying to figure out what kind of board to use when beginning surfing. This should make things a little easier for you.

There are many reasons why beginning with the long board is the best and easiest way to ensure you have the most fun and safe time building a solid foundation on your way to surfing your little guts out. Learning to surf should be fun. The surfboard you choose to plant your fun-damental roots with is important.

 In this video Corky makes it look like dancing Surfing is a way to express your joy and style through sweet moves to a rhythm.

Instead of moving to the beat of the drums we move with the rhythm of the ocean. The oceans act as our universal dance conductor. Our beautiful waves are the music and our board becomes our partner. Using a longboard is a great way to express personal style.When learning how to dance it would make sense to learn on a solid dance floor, right? The process of becoming in touch with your mind body connection and working out the movements you want to use to express your funky, funky, joy. Would be much easier, and in turn, much more fun on a solid platform rather than a tight rope…

That might sound like an extreme comparison. So is learning to surf on a short board compared to the huge advantages of rooting your surfing fundamentals on a nice stable foundation like a longboard. At least at first…

Long board

Quick Advantages to rooting with a longboard:

  • Paddling is much easier than on a short board.
  • A long board allows you to catch a wave earlier and more easily. Being at the front of the line-up gives you the most opportunity to catch waves in the first come first served style lineups of today.
  • Easier to sit on (which can be tricky) long boards are more stable.
  • The extra stability of a long board allows for the long take offs that beginners might experience so you catch more waves and have more time to get to your feet.
  • Smooth ride. The big boards are not as susceptible to choppy water conditions and can feel like gliding on air.

Priority in the lineup for a long boarder is like a fast pass to your favorite attraction. In the line-up long boards are chairman of the board.

Quick advantages of surfing with a longboard at Bolsa Chica or Playa Guiones:

  • Both Bolsa Chica and Playa Guiones are consistent with longboard friendly and long board advantageous conditions.
  • Each spot is known to break with nice even workable waves that do not “pitch” or “throw” hard.
  • The surf is generally fun and consistent year round.

 

In Line-ups around the globe, longboards are the royalty of the surf.

 The royal roots of surfing

 According to ancient Pacific Island lore. One legend tells us that back in the day, same as today, life on the Islands was intertwined and dependent upon the ocean.Being an accomplished waterman in the village was a very respected skill. Often the best watermen in the village were considered chiefs and treated like royalty. These watermen chiefs were known as Kahuna. The oceans meant everything to the people and their survival. Being able to navigate the ocean and feed a village was a big deal.

So how does this relate to surfing?

This is the root of surfing.

Legend has that a particularly stormy season was taking it’s toll on a Pacific Island village. The storms wiped out their crops. The village needed fish. Their Kahuna was the best waterman in the village. Following his heart and his instincts the Kahuna went out fishing in the stormy ocean.. He would brave the ocean storms to feed the village.Knowing it might mean the end of his life. The Kahuna was willing to risk everything for the wellbeing of the people he called family. That type of spirit is what made him royalty in his village.The Kahuna set out in his one man boat to harvest the oceans bounty. As he pulled fish after fish into his boat the pounding of the ocean began taking its toll.

The sides of the boat began leaking. The Kahuna’s boat began taking on water. Knowing that if the boat sinks, he could lose his catch, his boat, and possibly his life.The Kahuna acted swiftly and purposefully.Instead of giving up and sinking into the ocean. The Kahuna began to do something unexpected.

The Kahuna tapped into his heart and instincts. He strung his catch together and began to break his boat apart even more. Completely removing the hull walls of the boat leaving only the bottom.  The bottom of the boat was buoyant enough to float. He started paddling making his way back toward shore. The closer to shore the Kahuna got the happier his heart became. The Kahuna became so overjoyed to see the faces of his family waiting for him on the beach that he stood up and began riding the waves into the shore like a champion of life. This is part of the magic of the Kahuna. His boat became the first surfboard. The Kahuna became the first surfer.

Instead of giving up. The Kahuna followed his heart and his instincts. He fed the village and surfing was born. Truly Royal in life, love, spirit.As the ancient Kahuna would tell you. The longboard has strong roots for a good surfing foundation. Learning to surf and navigate the ocean on a long board  is the key to years of surfing joy.

Whether you call it a boat, a log, or a surfboard. The longboard will always be the OG root of surfing. The “chairman of the boards.”

Answer to today’s question: The original “surfboards” :) were  originally named based off of the specific wood and shape used to make the board. Some boards were exclusively reserved for use by Hawaiian royalty.  The penalty was deaaaaaath if ridden by non royal kooks. 

Long board chairman

Check out these spots for the hot board history info:

“revolution of short boards in the 60’s.’’ -surfer today

International Surfing Museum Huntington Beach, CA

Surfing Heritage and Culture Center in San Clemente, CA

Written by Chris Benton “The Blog Master”