Soft top surfboards are a great board to have in any surfer’s quiver. In fact, we’ll go so far as to say every surfer should have one. Say what you will about them, but soft top surfboards are one thing above all else: FUN!

After all isn’t that why we all started surfing in the first place?

Everyone uses soft top surfboards from world champions to the first time surfer. Jamie O’Brien shredded Pipeline on a soft top. Then he did it again at Jaws with Kalani Chapman. Mick Fanning has his own line of softboards. Big wave ripper Shawn Dollar founded the soft-top-only Wavestorm World Championships. And surf schools from Maui to Bali, J-Bay, Bells, Nosara, and Huntington Beach all use foamies as their go-to teaching boards.

To help find the perfect soft top surfboard for you, we’re going to breakdown which ones are best for which levels of surfing and wave types below. But first let’s get to know these foam topped sticks a little better.

What Exactly is a Soft Top Surfboard?

A soft top surfboard is just as it’s name describes — a surfboard with a soft deck top. Traditional surfboards are made with either a polyurethane (PU) or expanded polystyrene (EMS) foam, then covered with a polyester or epoxy resin that creates a hardened surface around the board. Hence, hard top surfboards.

Learn More About the Difference Between Poly and Epoxy Surfboards

Soft top surfboards are made with an EPS foam core (like epoxy surfboards) wrapped in either fiberglass or a synthetic wrap. The big difference is that they replace that hardened fiberglass or epoxy top layer with a soft, dentable Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate (EVA) sheet. Think exercise mats, the insoles of your sneakers, yoga blocks, and kick boards — they’re all made of the same material as a soft top surfboard.

The EVA top layer combined with the compressed EPS core make soft top surfboards lighter, float better, less susceptible to rot, and harder to ding than traditional hard top surfboards. The soft deck top also allows for a easier and more comfortable paddle. And unlike resined, hard top surfboards, soft tops don’t require wax or any additional material to prevent slippage.

Despite their most often being associated as longboards, soft tops come in a variety of shapes and sizes. For example, Mick Fanning’s Little Marley goes as small as a 29L 5’2″. But no matter how big or small they are, all soft tops are characterized as being more buoyant, lightweight, and stable than most fiberglass or epoxy surfboard of the same size.

We’re not saying soft tops are better than hard tops, but they certainly give classic surfboards a run for their money. Literally. Because they also often come with a much smaller price tag. Thanks in no small part to the king of discounted prices — Costco.

A Brief History of Soft Top Surfboards

Soft top surfboards were born from boogie boards. Reminiscent of inflatable surf mats and planked belly boards of old, the Boogie Board was invented by Tom Morey out of Hawaii in 1971. Morey, a mathematician and surfing inventor, used polyethylene foam to model (using a hot iron!) a square-tailed, round-nosed roughly 4 foot soft board that people could catch waves on while lying prone. He named his squishy topped squat board the Boogie Board (after the the Boogie-Woogie blues music he enjoyed listening to: “Boogie swung, and it had a wiggle and a jiggle to it. It was perfect.”).

During the 80s and 90s Boogie Boards took took off. These surf-riding sponges quickly became a beach staple, spawning sponsored bodyboarding teams and its own competitive contest, and becoming the new go-to wave riding brand of young beachgoers everywhere.

Surfers however were not as stoked. From the growing popularity of Boogie Boards erupted a huge bodyboarding scene. As a result, the new fad was overcrowding the waters and reignited the debate over what exactly constitutes surfing. But the bodyboarding industry ignored all that (because money) and new advancements in technology and materials soon brought the two water activities together.

In 2006, a former manager of the Boogie Board brand — Matt Zilinskas — teamed up with AGIT Global to create the “first standup experience” for surfers on a Boogie-esque board. At the time AGIT Global was the manufacturer for Boogie Boards. Zilinskas worked with John Yeh – a Taiwanese businessman and CEO of AGIT’s North America division — to develop an entirely new product applying the sandwiched bodyboard design of expanded polystyrene foam and plastic into a a full sized surfboard. They called their soft topped creation Wavestorm.

Safer and more buoyant than traditional surfboards, Wavestorm hit the market as the ultimate beginner board. And thanks to being easier and cheaper to produce the Wavestorm allowed AGIT to manufacture a high-volume priced a third of what most beginner surfboards cost. Costco, always looking for a good deal, took notice and began disturbing them in their coastal warehouses. And where Costco goes, shoppers follow. According to Bloomberg Businessby 2015 over half a million Wavestorms had been sold.

As Wavestorms ask the “Costco Surfboard” took over new players entered the soft top scene like Catch Surf, Softech, MF Softboards, the list goes on. AGIT even produces other brands including our preferred soft top for teaching surf lessons — Storm Blade. (But more on those in a moment.)

There was a time when surfers were against riding anything but massive, wooden 30 pound longboards. When wetsuits came out, many scoffed at using them. Early versions of the now-iconic Malibu Chip were chastised as “girl boards” until the guys started riding them, and fell in love. The first short boards were deemed ridiculous and a passing trend. In fact, with each new major evolution of the sport you could count on one thing — hardcore surfers balking. Then they would try it for themselves, realize how fun the new fad made surfing, and adapt it as their own.

The latest in this long line of “disruptive” surfing innovations is the soft top surfboard. Which had at first threatened to destroy all that is sacred about surfing, and now is spreading joy to both newbies and old hats alike.

A Guide to Soft Top Surfboards for Every Level of Surfing

Now that we know the who, what, and where of why soft top surfboards are so great, let’s take a look at which one is for you. In the following guide we’ll go over the best soft top surfboards, discussing which you should ride depending on your experience and the conditions.

We have used soft tops at our surf school for years and compared them all. We’ve also talked to many pro and amateur surfers to see what they prefer and tried out every high performance soft top in the surfing industry. So not only are we huge advocates of riding soft top surfboards, we love riding them ourselves.

Best Soft Top Surfboard for Beginners

We all want to have fun right? When learning how to surf you want to have a surfboard with a lot of foam. This will help you paddle easier and will let you catch a ton of waves compared to a smaller soft top surfboard. We recommend an 8ft-9ft soft top surfboard with as much width and thickness as possible.

Our favorite for learning how to surf and beginners is the 9ft Stormblade SSR soft top surfboard. 

Storm Blade SSR Soft Top Surfboard Yellow

The SSR is perfect for learning how to surf on any type of waves. With the added foam it is very buoyant and easy to learn on. Guaranteed, on a Storm Blade soft top will be standing up in no time. That’s why we us it exclusively to teach new surfers.

Why You Should Not Learn to Surf on a Costco Surfboard

It’s not just us though. Soft top foam surfboards are widely used in surf schools across the world, in particular the Storm Blade SSR. That’s because they are specifically shaped to have lots of volume and stability so you can catch lots of  waves and remain more stable when trying to stand up. They are also durable as heck, and can withstand even the harshest of beatings. And perhaps most importantly, their extra soft deck reduces the risk of accidents and injuries.

Best Soft Top Surfboards for Intermediate and Advanced Surfers

Beginners aren’t the only ones getting stoked on soft tops. Nowadays you can find any style soft top for all conditions and skill levels. For your small wave days there’s the perfect summer surf longboards that any surfer can ride, like the Storm Blades. For your medium size days there are what we call “fun shape” soft tops which are more high performance than your longboard, can make steep drops and do radical turns. Finally there are soft tops that are like high performance short boards in which you can get barreled and throw airs on.

Here is our favorite soft top surfboards for intermediate and advanced surfers:

Takayama Scorpion

Takayama Soft Top Surfboard

The Takayama Scorpion Soft Top Surfboard is one of our favorite soft tops in the surf industry right now. They ride really well in small surf but are also awesome at handling bigger surf.  The round tail helps with different wave heights but still remains loose enough to be able to throw down turns. The thermal formed EVA soft top deck allows you to grip the board comfortably but still be able to let loose in more high performance waves.

Catch Surf Odysea

Catch Surf is one of the leading soft top companies in the world right now. They have every kind of high performance soft top you can imagine. With the short board fun factor they create soft tops that will let you surf the way you want. They are super responsive in massive shore break and super cruisey on small longboard waves. You know when we mentioned earlier Jamie O’Brien conquered Pipeline on a soft top surfboard? He did it on a Catch Surf Odysea.

The quad-fin Odysea Skipper is one of the most enjoyable soft tops to shred on. They range in size from 5’6″ to 6’6″, and have a classic fish shape that allows for down-the-line-speed and stylish turns.

Catch Surf Odysea Skipper Soft Top Surfboard

Another rad Catch Surf model is the Lost Round-Nose Fish (RNF). It is designed after what is cited as the world’s best-selling fish model of all-time from shaper Matt “Mayhem” Biolos. Thanks to its winged swallow tail and tai-fin thruster setup is can rip it in everything from knee-high runners to heavy shore-break, allowing for rail-to-rail surfing and easy paddling.

Catch Surf Odysea Lost Soft Top Surfboard

INT 7’0 Funboard

INT Surfboards have been one of the new up and coming companies to master the soft top industry. Their 7′ classic funboard makes our list because it paddles like a longboard but performs like a shortboard. It gives you enough to room to paddle around the line up with ease, has pop-up stability, and is responsiveness enough to execute tighter turns or make it down steeper waves.

INT 7'0 Soft Top Funboard

Mick Fanning Little Marley

The last soft top surfboard on our list is from your very own world champions Mick Fanning. With MF Softboards, he has created his own model of soft tops that represent all the best of his surfing.

When it comes to soft top shortboards the MF Little Marley is rules the waves.

If you didn’t feel the foam on your feet you would swear you were riding a real fiberglass board. The Little Marley is for all around fun but does best in more high-performance situations. Its short, wide, and fast which make it one of the more versatile soft tops in the surf industry.

Mick Fanning Little Marley Soft Top Surfboard

Shred Hard, Stay Soft

Whether you are just learning how to surf on small waves or a legendary surfer shredding towering breaks, you will have fun on soft top surfboard. Every day they grow more popular and their designs getting better and better everyday. The latest soft top technology is set to pump foamies to the top of the surfing industry for years to come. Everyone should have at least one soft top in their quiver of surfboards and if not then you are late to the game.

Back in the day soft tops use to be frowned upon. Not just because they were seen as being for “kooks” and “noobs” but because they weren’t made to ride the way most experienced surfers would want. They were always falling apart and never had the performance level you were hoping for. 

But times have changed. New designs and innovations have made them just as sweet as regular hard top boards to ride. Now soft top surfboards are so popular pro surfers are coming out with their own high performance soft top companies. The foam logs have opened up the sport in ways never seen before, making it more accessible, friendly and fun. And with the growth of wave pools on the horizon you can be rest assured the soft top industry will only grow bigger.

Whether you are just learning to surf or a seasoned pro, you are seriously missing out if you aren’t experiencing soft top stoke.

So if you’re asking yourself should I try surfing on a soft top surfboard? The answer is a definitive YEEWWW!

Preparing For Your Surf Lesson

Confident & Positive Attitude

The number one rule for preparing for your surf lesson is having a positive mindset with confidence that you can be successful. Having an open, growth mindset will keep you positive and focused on enjoying your surf lesson experience. By going into your Private Surf Lessons with a negative or apprehensive mindset, then you are setting the tone for the rest of the lesson and it may not be as rewarding. If you think you are going to be able to do something then most likely you will be able to do it, so, if you think your capable of learning to surf then it will be easier to accomplish.

Preparing For Your Surf Lesson

Good Vibes Only

Mother Nature always has the final say

Surfing is different than most sports in many ways. The waves and conditions are changing constantly throughout the day. Some days we can know exactly what the conditions should look like, but other days mother nature throws us a wildcard. Surfing demands a lot more patience than other sports because at the end of the day, the conditions will ultimately make the decision. Sometimes the forecast can read like an incredible beach day, but by the time you get there it is be so foggy that you can’t even see the waves. This is one barrier that, unfortunately, preparing for a surf lesson cannot necessarily help you with, but it can prepare you for the potential that conditions may not be favorable for a successful lesson. 

preparing for surf lesson

Understanding That Surfing Isn’t Easy

One of the best things about surfing is that is forces you to be in the moment. The ocean will not stop for you and it will make you have to work hard to be able to conquer it. You can be preparing for your surf lesson for months but it might take some time to learn, just like riding a bike.  You can’t expect to immediately be a pro surfer or never fall, making mistakes is key to learning how to surf faster. Surfing new spots can be tricky but we recommend Bolsa Chica State Beach as one of your first spots for a lesson  The best surfer is the one having the most fun, and most of the time that isn’t the one who is the best in the  lineup.

Preparing For Your Surf Lesson

Positive

Physical Capabilities

Knowing how to swim is one of the biggest keys for preparing for your surf lesson. If you don’t know how to swim it will be a little scary while trying to learn how to surf but if you tell us ahead of time we can make arrangements for helping you learn. Here are some workouts you can do to prepare for you surf lesson. Swimming: Swimming can help build up your endurance for paddling in the water, the more endurance your arms have the easier it will be to catch waves and the more you will catch. You would be surprised that surfing is actually 90% paddling, so having good paddling endurance is a good first step.  Yoga is another activity that will help you while learning how to surf. The more flexible you are the easier it will be to learn how to stand up and the easier standing up is for you the more energy you will have to surf longer. When learning how to surf I would also look up videos or read blogs about the basics of learning how to surf to give you some insight before your lesson. 

Preparing For Your Surf Lesson

Yoga

Planning in advance

The last thing you want to do is run late for a surf lesson. It takes some time to sign in, put sunscreen on, throw a wet suit on your body, and walk down to the water’s edge, so planning to arrive on time is crucial. On top of that the instructor most likely has another lesson booked immediately after yours and every lesson must run on time, regardless of arrival time. The longer you have with your instructor the more time you have to learn how to surf.  Knowing Huntington Beach, you never know if there are events going on or maybe the freeways have traffic, so you need to make sure that you look ahead of time so you can plan your departure time accordingly. You also want to know what to pack for a day at the beach  so you don’t run into any conflicts. Another step to prepare for your surf lesson is to be well rested and eat a good meal before coming to the beach. A good meal doesn’t mean eating a lot of food, while that may fill you up it will up, it will also make you feel sick when doing exercise in the ocean. Not eating at all will make your body feel fatigued and you may end up feeling sick, therefore stopping the lesson. Just a small to moderate sized, nutrient dense food will better prepare your body for the lesson.

Go Check out some of these links for more information about surfing lessons in Huntington Beach.

Huntington Beach Surf Lessons

Private Surf Lessons

Directions

Contact Us

When to Visit: Understanding Costa Rica’s Seasons

While most of the world celebrates traditional seasons like winter, spring, summer, and fall, Costa Rica experiences a wet season and a dry season. Although Costa Rica Seasons change, one season brings more rainfall, temperatures are warm year-round with the wet season yielding a little cooler temperatures.

The Dry Season: Costa Rica’s Seasons

The dry season runs from mid-November to April, with occasional showers running through December. After that, it’s cloudless and bone-dry skies with temperatures in the upper eighties until May. Offshore winds yield clean, consistent surf with waves on tap all day long. During this time of year the waves are smaller and easier to learn to surf on, while the sunsets are to die for. The best beaches to learn to surf on in Costa Rica are right near our all-inclusive Costa Rica surf resort at Playa Guiones.  It’s for these very reasons that Nosara experiences the majority of its tourism during its summer months. 

During the dry season, the jungle dries up a bit but everything is open and tours run frequently. When you’re taking a break from the surf, the town has a number of tasty restaurants and juice bars, the jungle offers a collection of hikes, and there are adventure tours aplenty.

Costa Rica Seasons

Dry Season

The Rainy Season: Costa Rica’s Seasons

After months of rain free days, the skies part in May and the rainy season begins in full force. The majority of the “green season” begins with sunny mornings, followed by showers in the afternoon and evening. September and October are by far the rainiest months—rain often falls all day long and a number of businesses temporarily shut down.

Due to the wet conditions, the rainy season tends to be less crowded and many tours and accommodations are available at a discounted rate. People ask us What they should pack for a trip to costa rica during different seasons. Although it is wet in the rainy season, it isnt cold at all. While September and October may not be the best months to visit, the rest of the rainy season can be an incredible time to visit the beach town. The jungle and surrounding foliage become green and lush and there are plenty of empty waves to be had during the sunny mornings. Waves tend to be a bit bigger and less consistent during the wet season but there are a number of days when the surf is all time. Weather is a tad cooler during the winter months but still averages in the low eighties.

Costa Rica Seasons

Wet Season

When to Visit: Costa Rica’s Seasons

Our all-inclusive surf resort runs from November to mid-August. Although Nosara has something to offer all year long, we feel conditions are ideal during these months. If you’re looking for endless, sunny days visit us during the dry season but if you’re looking for fewer crowds and occasional showers visit us during the wet season. If you are looking for travel information or which airport to fly into check out frequently asked questions about our Costa Rica surf resort. Regardless of when you choose to come, we’re confident you’ll have a great time.

Costa Rica Seasons

Costa Rica Seasons

Written by: Rebecca Parsons

Healthy Family. Healthy Friends. Healthy you.

Healthy New Year

2019 is a fresh start. It’s a fresh page in your new, favorite book. It’s a tad bit cheesy, and a tad bit cliche. Yet, this is the chance of a fresh perspective. This New Year is a chance to look back, to be appreciative, and to move forward with full momentum, and kick off a Healthy New Year! 

Healthy New Year

Healthy New Year

 

What’s next? What are your New Years Goals?

Maybe you’ll strive to have new, active hobbies. Maybe you want to be outside more. Maybe you’ll work on being more mindful, and take more time drawing or reading. Maybe you’ll work on being more present with your family, and maybe you’ll delete that, “time sucking app” off your phone. Maybe you’ll practice making the best, darn, vegan tacos EVER! Or maybe you’ll decide to adopt a happy, yellow-lab from your local shelter.

There’s a lot to be grateful for. There’s a lot to reflect on, and remember how exciting (and draining), 2018 was. There’s a lot to be stoked on. There’s a lot we’ve each learned personally/individually- And a lot we’ve learned as a group/business here at Corky Carroll’s Surf School.

We’re grateful for our community that teaches us so much. We’re grateful for you. We’re grateful for the chance to teach our craft, and to teach the next generation of little rippers. We’re grateful to own and love this passion, that gets us out of bed each morning.

From Corky Carroll’s Surf School, to you…

THANK YOU!

Thank you for letting us be a part of your world, and to encourage new and returning surfers to hop on a board. Thank you for reading this, and thank you for engaging with us on social media. Thank you, for being you. We’re happy as can be, to remind our California Family what lies in our backyard. (Or to be honest, reminding our family what vacation is right at our fingertips.)

Healthy New Year

New you

Now… Let’s begin!

Let’s make this year the best one yet.

We welcome you to try surfing this year. Not only will surfing brighten your day/week/month- surfing allows your body to physically and emotionally feel better. After a few times Surfing with us at Corky Carroll’s Surf School– this healthy activity will give you better stamina/cardio. Surfing works-out not only your arms for paddling- but also works out your core to keep balanced, and your legs to squat and stay level on the waves. It’s also a stress huge reliever, to hang/wade in the cool water, and listen to the calming/crashing sounds (and to laugh with friends). Oh… and did we mention how cool your hair will look afterwards (really gives that, fresh out of the salon, BoHo look…)?!

In 2019, make that “home-made, famous, vegan taco!” Eat it on the beach, and rent a surfboard. Or maybe, consider taking your family to our all-inclusive Costa Rica surf resort where we make learning to surf, easy (since ’98!)! We teach all ages, and all skill and all athleticism levels. And we’d be happy to give you 1-on-1 lesson, or teach a group lesson, for a fun afternoon with friends. We even provide videos for feedback, and to show how much you learned that day!

Want to learn more about our programs, and what we offer? Simply cruise over, and hang with us at Bolsa Chica State Beach. Or just give us a call to say hi, and talk surf. Or call and talk yellow-lab, shelter dogs. Either way, we’d love to hear from you.

Healthy New Year

2019

Best of wishes for 2019!

Start this off with a healthy New Year, and a new perspective.

Tell us your New Years Goals, below!

Or tell us what active hobbies you’re trying in 2019!

 

-Hunter Rose

Poly vs Epoxy Boards: What’s The Difference?

When you buy or rent a surfboard, you probably don’t give much thought to the process that goes into making it. Who was the shaper? Where was it made? What type of foam blank was used? What type of resin was used to coat the board? While these are all valid questions the one we get asked the most often is what is the difference between poly vs epoxy boards?

Epoxy vs Poly

Epoxy(right) vs Poly(left)

Poly Technology

Polyurethane blanks (PU) date back to the 50’s, when Hobie Alter first popularized the design as an alternative to balsa wood. When compared to traditional wood boards, PU foam is lighter, easier to shape, and enhances performance. According to the American Chemistry Council, “polyurethanes are formed by reacting a polyol (an alcohol with more than two reactive hydroxyl groups per molecule) with a diisocyanate or a polymeric isocyanate in the presence of suitable catalysts and additives.” PU/PE are built using a polyurethane foam blank and then glassing it with a polyester resin. A particular draw of using PU foam is that it is closed cell—meaning it won’t easily soak up resin or water (should you ding your board), which helps keep the board light.

Poly Surfboard

Poly Surboard

Epoxy Technology

Epoxy surfboards came into the picture a bit later and it wasn’t until the 90’s that they really caught on. Typically, epoxy boards are made from EPS foam and are coated in epoxy resin. EPS foam is produced by feeding tiny polystyrene spears into a machine and then adding steam (with small amounts of pentane gas) to expand the beads and then mold them together. EPS is an open cell foam, meaning it’s extremely water absorbent. In order to keep the board water tight, shapers add extra layers of fiberglass and epoxy resin. Traditionally, most hand shapers don’t make boards from EPS foam but it is a great resource for pop-out boards.

Epoxy Surfboard

Epoxy Surfboard

Pros and Cons: Poly vs Epoxy

Like most things in life, there are pros and cons to each design. Surfers tend to like different boards for different conditions and some surfers surf better on different types of boards because of body structure. In general, PU/PE boards are cheaper than EPS/Epoxy boards. Poly boards tend to be heavier, which means they sit lower in the water, making them the ideal design for riding barrels. They are also a lot more flexible, something that has yet to fully be matched with EPS foam. Most poly boards will be more fragile then epoxy because epoxy material is harder than poly. If you want to try out certain equipment before buying it and dont know where the best wave is to do that at, go to Bolsa Chica State Beach #1 Rated Beach to Learn To Surf  to get an understanding how we at Corky Carroll’s Surf School Private Lessons  do it!

Epoxy boards, on the other hand, are much lighter, making them the perfect board for airs or quick turns. Epoxy boards also tend to be a better option for beginners as they are lighter, float better, and are more difficult to ding. EPS foam is also more environmentally friendly than polyurethane because it can be recycled and re-purposed.

There is no wrong or right choice when selecting a surfboard—do your research and decide what is the best fit for you. Before investing in a board of your own, consider renting or demoing to find your best fit.

Corky Carroll’s Surf School

If you are a beginner surfer or just need some more progressive tips but are scared to use a hard surfboard go check out why Foam Surfboards are our number one board to use! Do not buy just any foam surfboard, go check out Why You Shouldnt Buy A Costco Surfboard!

Here, at Corky Carroll’s, we offer a Surf School in Huntington Beach, California or Our Costa Rican Surf Resort in Nosara, Costa Rica. We have a wide fleet of boards to choose from and are happy to answer any questions you might have. Poly or epoxy, the choice is yours. We’re just glad you’re out in the water and riding waves.

3 Tips to Reinvent Your Surfing

Want to Reinvent your surfing? Experience the endless summer at two unique locations: Huntington Beach, California and Nosara, Costa Rica. Whether you are a seasoned surfer or new to surfing, you may have questions or doubts about equipment and/or surf coaching. Here are a few tips we’ve rounded up from years of experience on the water. Go to Private Surf Lessons if you want a detailed surf lesson teaching you how to do all the things that are mentioned below.

  1. Select the proper board: Surf Lesson

A common mistake among beginners is opting for too small of a board too quickly. When learning, you’ll likely experience the most luck on a longer, wider board. The reason it is easier to learn on a bigger board is that it has more buoyancy. The more buoyancy you have the more stable it is to be able to get up on your feet. As you become more confident in your surfing, you can try transitioning to a shorter board that still has some width and thickness to it (ex. a fish). With modern surfboard technology, you should be able to find a nice, stable board with no need to sacrifice performance. They make surfboards that are short but have as much volume (buoyancy)  as a long board has which will be your transition board. Foam is your friend, the more foam the more fun for learning! You can learn all these things while taking a surf lesson with us! Our Surfing Frequently Asked Questions page will help you determine your equipment you will need to ride waves with ease. Go check it out Frequently Asked Questions: Surfing

Variety of Surfboards

Variety of Surfboards

  1.   Find your sweet spot

Every surfboard has a sweet spot, or the point on the board where there is an equal amount of weight and volume on all sides of the board. We also call this the balance point on our board. The first things Corky Carroll’s Surf School does in their surf lessons is help the student find the sweet spot. In order to find this spot you need to go in the ocean and float on your board. If the nose of the board is in the water you are to far up on the board. If your nose of your board is to high above the water then you are to far back on your board. You look at your board as it is like boat, if to many people are on the left side of the boat, the boat will sink going left. So if you are to far on one side of your board then you will sink and you are not in the sweet spot. The sweet spot is important to note because it should be situated between your feet when riding a wave. Every board, surfer, and wave is unique so you may to play around to find your specific sweet spot, but this is a good rule of thumb for finding it. If you want to learn more about finding your sweet spot and need more help with learning how to surf go check out our blog Why You Need Surf Lessons

Go check out our Private Lesson Live Availability Private surf lessons

Huntington Beach Private Surf Lessons

  1.   Know the differences between paddling techniques

When trying to reinvent your surfing you will need to learn paddling techniques. When paddling out into the lineup there are a couple things to keep in mind. Before heading out, look for channels to paddle through (finding one can save you lots of energy). You’ll also want to time your paddle—it’s much easier to paddle out between sets than in the middle of one. If there is shorebreak, you should not start paddling until you are past it. It will be easier to walk to the opposite side of the shorebreak before you start paddling. Lastly, paddle hard. When a wave breaks in front of you, you want to have some momentum going forward so its easier to get over. You are going to either have to go over the wave doing a half push up or you are going to have to turtle roll.

paddling out

paddle out

When paddling to catch a wave you’ll want to find a good position on your board—if you’re too far forward you’ll nose dive but if you’re too far back you may not catch the wave. It may take some time to master but you’ll eventually get a feel for it. When you take off, keep your head down, your legs together, tighten your core, cup your hands, and build up speed. Once you think you have the wave, execute two more quick strokes before popping up. This will all be taught by our professional instructors during the surf lessons we put on. 

Choose your location between the surf school in Huntington Beach, California or our surf resort in Nosara, Costa Rica. Each has something to offer for surfers of all skills and ability levels—whether you’re looking to ride a wave for the first time or expand your skill set, we’re here to help. If you are a beginner and or just want to get better at surfing our Private Surf Lessons can give you the confident to get out there by yourself in no time. Go Check out Private Surf Lessons . If you need a place to practice that is safe and has perfect learning waves go check out our other blogs at Corky Carroll’s Surf School Blogs

Click the link if you want more information about our Huntington Beach Surf School/Camp – Corky Carroll’s Surf School

Click the link if you want to check out our Costa Rican Surf Resort Costa Rica Resort and Surf Camp

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5 Artificial Wave Pools to Add to Your Bucket List

In recent years, wave pools have been popping up across the globe, defying nature and providing perfect surf in the process. Each is unique in its construction and design but all are similar in the fact that they provide surf and stoke in places where waves would otherwise be unavailable. Here, we take a look at five of the top wave pools on the planet and discuss their backstory, the technology behind them, and public access. Try not to froth too hard.

 

The Surf Ranch: Wave Pool

Leemore, California

 

In 2007, Kelly Slater founded the Kelly Slater Wave Company (KSWC) with the goal of creating a soliton wave, or a wave that maintains its shape while moving at a constant velocity. In 2015, Slater’s dream came to life when the first footage of the artificial wave was released to the public. The technology behind the wave is simple yet wildly complex: a 100-ton hydrofoil is pushed along a 700-yard track, resulting in six-foot waves that last about a minute. The wave is often regarded as one of the most perfect waves on the planet and in September of 2018, the CT hosted its first event at The Surf Ranch. For now, the wave is invitation only but expansion plans should open the wave to the public in the near future.

 

https://www.surfertoday.com/surfing/14006-the-facts-and-figures-behind-kelly-slater-surf-ranch

http://www.kswaveco.com

surf ranch ca

surf ranch ca

 

The BSR Cable Park

Waco, Texas

 

The BSR Cable Park put Waco, Texas on the map as a premier surf destination in early 2018 when footage of Seth Moniz doing a massive backflip on the wave was released. The park features multiple breaks, with waves suitable for beginner, intermediate, and advanced surfers. From the minds of Jamie O’Brien and Cheyne Magnusson, the pool is fueled by 24, 10-foot wide air chambers. The result: 240-feet of wave generating area. In addition to waves, the park offers a lazy river, an epic water slide, and an on-site hotel. The park is open to the public and one-hour sessions run from $60-$90, depending on your wave choice.

 

https://www.bsrcablepark.com/bsr-surf-resort/

https://stabmag.com/news/a-new-texas-wavepool-designed-by-jamie-obrien-and-cheyne-magnusson/

BSR Cable Park

seth moniz backflip

 

 

 Surf Snowdonia

Conwy, North Wales, United Kingdom

 

Surf Snowdonia was born in North Wales, United Kingdom in August of 2015. Set against a backdrop of forests and mountains, Surf Snowdonia offers beginner, intermediate, and advanced waves to satisfy surfers of all skill levels. The wave features Wavegarden technology through which a hydrodynamic wavefoil powered by a gearless drive system displaces water under a pier to form glassy swell. In addition to waves, the park offers lessons, food, and unique lodging options. The park is open to the public and hour-long sessions cost somewhere in the ballpark of $60.

 

https://www.surfsnowdonia.com

snowdonia

surf snowdonia

NLand

Austin, Texas

 Founded in 2016 by Doug Coors, NLand made its mark as the largest surf park in the world. In an effort to be as energy efficient as possible, the park features Wavegarden technology. To further their efforts in sustainability, the lagoon is 100% self-sustaining and uses a state-of-the-art water filtration system that meets or exceeds the standards set by the World Health Organization and the Environmental Protection Agency. The park is open to the public and features beginner, intermediate, and advanced waves as well as surf lessons from expert coaching staff.

Nland

Nland Surf Park

 

https://wavegarden.com

http://nlandsurfpark.com

 

Unit Surf Pool

Anywhere

 Born in Cologne, Germany, Unit Surf Pool is the first floating surf pool as well as the most efficient artificial stationary wave on the planet. The Unit Surf Pool brings a surfable wave to any body of standing water, meaning an endless water supply and no need for chemical water treatment. Pumps pull water to the surface where gravity then creates a powerful stream heading down the ramp into the wave generating section of the pool. When the stream meets the body of water, a stationary deepwater wave is created. The Unit Surf Pool can operate in any standing body of water with a minimum depth two meters, is available in five sizes, and can be up and running in less than four months.

unit surf pool

unit surf pool

https://www.surf-pool.com

 

Wave pools offer a controlled platform, with perfect waves on a loop, making them the ideal place to learn to surf or hone in your skills. While scoring surf in landlocked regions is certainly worth experiencing, there’s something to be said about the magic and unpredictability of riding waves in the ocean. There are thousands of waves to choose from but two of our favorites are in Huntington Beach, California and Nosara, Costa Rica. When you’re ready to put your wave pool skills to the test, come join us at one of our kids’ camps or all-inclusive retreats—our expert coaches will help ease the transition from manufactured waves to everything the ocean has to offer. Go to Huntington Beach Surf Camp for our summer surf camp in Huntington Beach or go to Costa Rican Surf Resort for our international surf retreat.

Written by: Rebecca Parsons

 

Best Surf Spots

Costa Rica is known for its miles of beautiful sandy beaches, amazing landscape and many rich animal species.  With the name Costa Rica meaning the “rich coast”, it of course lives up to its name by having some of the best surfing destinations in the world. From being a beginner to being a pro surfer there is a variety of different surf spots for everyone to have the time of their lives. With Costa Ricas Pura Vida lifestyle you will find waves without a problem. Most of these spots are well known for being uncrowded but during tourist season it could be dangerous surfing locations that you are not ready for. Here on the pacific coast side of Costa Rica we will tell you what the best surf spots are for travelers learning how to surf and or are traveling on a family vacation.

Playa Guiones: Costa Rica

This beach is one of the most consistent beaches in all of Costa Rica. It will break with barely any swell and can hold on the days where there is a lot of swell.  With a sandy bottom this beach break provides perfect waves that are small enough for beginners to learn on. It was considered one of the top surf lesson spots in the entire world- Best Places To Learn To Surf .  Even on a bigger swell there is always waves for beginners to catch but also fun rippable waves for advanced surfers. Not only does Nosara provide excellent surfing conditions, it is located on the coast of a blue zone where people live the longest, happiest, healthiest lives in the world. The water stays around 83 degrees all year round while having the cleanest water in Costa Rica this makes Playa Guiones the perfect choice for a surfing vacation. It’s a perfect small town that has been a well-known surf spot for many years. Nicoya is a center for yoga, alternative healing practices, and healthy living. Homes, shops, and restaurants are spread out in the forest along the coast. The main surfing beach, Playa Guiones, has a beach break surfable at all tides, with multiple line-ups. It’s virtually undeveloped, thanks to a large wildlife refuge that protects nesting sea turtles. Just the water, beach, and grass-covered dunes. It’s one of my favorite beaches for that reason. Go check out our pictures of our customers surfing Playa Guiones @- Playa Guiones Surf Album

Best Surf Spots

playa guiones

 

Playa Tamarindo: Costa Rica

Tamarindo has long sandy beaches for beginners and also reefs for more advanced surfers. The main beach is where all the action is happening, usually consisting of a lot of beginning surfers and also a lot of swimmers. If you want to surf Playa Grande you will have to drive around to get to the beach or paddle across a river mouth, which I don’t recommend for families or new surfers. Playa grande is a more advanced surfers waves and usually isn’t the best place to go if you are new to surfing. A 15 minute walk from Tarmindos main break you will find Playa Langosta. This surf spot is for more advanced surfers that want to surf a right/left point break. Most of these surf spots get really crowded, but if you go at the right time of year then you can score. Also the town of Tamarindo is very very crowded and more focused on the night party scene. If you are going as a family then I wouldn’t recommend these spots but if your a college student it’s a perfect place.  Playa Avellanas is more for intermediate to advanced surfers. It is a great waves for barrels and turns. This is surf spot with reefs and also great point breaks to have on. It does not have a town with shops and restaurants

Best Surf Spots

tamarindo

Marbella: Costa Rica 

Even when there is no swell, Marbella always offers very consistent waves. Marbella can get big and rough, but it’s perfect for advanced guests. Marbella is also a less crowded beach since it is so far away. This break is well worth the trip.

Best Surf Spots

marbella

Ostional: Costa Rica 

Ostional is a wildlife refuge south of Marbella. It’s one of the world’s most important nesting sites for Olive Ridley Sea Turtles. Here you can see thousands of turtles on the beach and surf amazing waves. This is a wave for advanced and intermediate surfers. Ostional is about a 2 hour drive from Tamarindo. When it’s the turtle season, our guides like to go surf and then stay after sunset to watch the turtles.

Best Surf Spots

ostional

Our most favorite spot to learn how to surf is Norsara, Playa Guiones. With how consistent the waves break, the small easy conditions, the quiet beautiful town, and the jungle atmosphere this is our #1 location to learn how to surf and or take family vacations. Check out our Costa Rican Surf Resort at All Inclusive Resort Costa Rica