The Ultimate Holiday Destination

Nosara, Costa Rica: The Ultimate Holiday Travel Destination

The holidays are upon us and the 2017 year is coming to an end. Why not give the best gift of all and celebrate in style with an unforgettable journey to one of the most picturesque and sought after surf destinations in the world? Have the Ultimate Holiday, Come surf and stay at our private, all inclusive ranch in the relaxing and scenic beach town of Nosara, Costa Rica for an epic and memorable experience the whole family will enjoy.

Surf, stay, play and eat while you enjoy the climate and culture that encompasses the essence of Costa Rica. Come and experience true Pura Vida at an epic Costa Rica Surf Resort!

Travel to the warm, sunny, white sand beach of Playa Guiones where we provide our guests with daily step-by-step surf instruction for all experience levels. There you’ll discover an uncrowded, pure sandy bottom beach break with consistent glassy peaks. The water temperature stays around 80 degrees and offers ideal surfing conditions with a variety of waves and swell directions to suit any surfer, from beginner to advanced. We film each morning session from the shore and the water to help capture and improve individual progression. Guests will also take home a highlight reel of their surf lessons. And there’s no need to bring a board since we have nearly 100 to choose from!

Ultimate Holiday

Our surfing camp and ranch is ideally located in the Guanacaste province of Costa Rica’s “gold coast.” It is situated on a privately owned half-acre of lush tropical land that rests just a quick 4 minute walk from the breathtaking shoreline of Playa Guiones and minutes away from the village of Nosara. The property consists of 6 well acquainted private bungalows, a lagoon style pool (open 24 hours), chaise lounges, outdoor showers, a jungle garden and an open-air dining area with TV and WiFi.

Ultimate Holiday Resort

Breakfast, lunch and dinner meals are freshly prepared each day with Costa Rican coffees, juices and beers and are included in your stay. For photos and more information visit:

When it’s time to take a break from surfing, soak up the local culture with plenty of nearby entertainment options that will surely appeal to everyone in your group. Enjoy a relaxing day in the village with an array of fantastic restaurants, retail shops, local arts & crafts on display and some of the top rated yoga studios in the country. Tennis, mini-golf, a skatepark and the world’s largest Olive Ridley turtle nesting site (located near Nosara at the Ostional Wildlife Refuge) offer fun, family-friendly options. For the more adventurous travelers, explore all that Costa Rica has to offer with paddleboarding, legendary sportfishing, turtle watching, horseback riding, zip lining, and quad rentals!

Our in-house cooks prepare delicious family style cuisine in our state of the art kitchen, using only the freshest ingredients of the highest quality. Traditional meals including rice, beans, local fish, meats and produce provide guests with a variety of enticing options. Freshly brewed Costa Rican coffee and fresh juices are served with breakfast. “Bocas” (appetizers) are provided after sunset with a selection of local Costa Rican juices and beers. Local organic cafes and restaurants provide expanded dining options to visitors.

Winter is approaching in California but it’s summertime right now in Costa Rica! Put your parkas down and grab a bathing suit because the sun is shining, the water is warm and the waves are breaking. Daytime temperatures stay in the mid to high 80’s with nighttime hovering around the cozy mid 70’s. The beauty and warmth of this tropical paradise remains throughout the day with stunning sunsets and an exotic backdrop.

Located just a couple miles inland from the sea and still somewhat undeveloped, it’s no surprise that the small beach town of Nosara is one of the most popular in Costa Rica. The village has become well known for its endless yoga options, exotic beaches and amazing surf. The primary spoken language is Spanish, although Nosara’s community is a multicultural mix of locals and expats, many arriving from America, Canada, and Europe. With plenty to see and do, there’s never a shortage of entertainment in this town.

Our 2nd generation family business has hosted guests for over 20 years and whether you’re planning a family vacation, romantic getaway, or epic Costa Rica surfing trip, we combine hospitality and the perfect location to help make the most of out of your holiday getaway!

By: Alexis Folden



Why Bolsa Chica State Beach

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.

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!

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.

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.

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

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Cell Phone Service in Costa Rica


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”).*


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

You down with the Foam Tops!?

Nothing Says I Love You Like the Gift of a Foam Top for Valentine’s Day

Is it OK to let your homie ride a foam top?

Simply put… Yes Ride The Foam Top!

Hey guys, today I am focusing on the formerly taboo topic of soft top foam surf boards or “foamies.” Surf culture can be a bit particular as to what qualifies as a surfboard in the local lineup. If you are just starting out surfing. You are going to be new in any lineup, right? If  you paddle out on something that has not been accepted into the quiver of options for serious surfers, it will get labeled as “kooky” and so will you… Woe! Kooky? Not cool that sucks. Why does that happen?

The lineup can be dangerous if you are not familiar with proper surf etiquette. Wipeouts, injuries, even worse …board dings, can happen quickly. That is the reason surfers can be quick to label something in the water as kooky. It is not personal. It is the law of the ocean. Safety first.

If you are wondering about foam top surf boards and whether they are cool or not I am here to officially  proclaim them “totally cool”. As a matter of fact I think by now most surfers have a “foamy” in their quiver. They are notoriously fun. They are safe and more ding resistant than traditional boards. Catching waves wth them is easy–peasy lemon squeezy. Foam top boards are now  widely accepted and used  as real surfboards. The boards work so well they are available for use at the school.


Corky Carroll’s Surf School- Playa Guiones- Nosara, Costa Rica

Quick reasons foam top boards are an option at the school:

  • More safe in the surf for the rider and other swimmers
  • Proven factory molds for successful wave catching and performance
  • Buoyant and stable translates to catching more waves
  • Great for beginners, care for the boards is easy. Not as much ding repair

The boards we use:

This long board has three “Marine Ply Stringers” and is just waiting for you to put your toes on it’s nose this Valentines. The top skin is comfy and the bottom is slick.

Foam Top Soft Top Stormblade

Smaller in scale but not performance. This lil board includes: a wood double stringer, fully plushy rails, fiberglass wrapped foam core with a slick bottom. Wide and buoyant this board will help you catch a lot of waves. This model is a smaller scale board.


I know so many surfers that resort to their foam tops for “fun” that I wonder why they ever use their “performance” boards. So if you were wondering what to get your Valentine this year. Try giving your honey a “foamy” soft top  surfboard. They will have so much fun with it. They won’t look at you cross eyed, except in surf-fire ecstasy. Guaranteed  you will forever be their #1 Valentines Day Foamy-Homie. So, go ahead, take the plunge, score a foamy and fall in love this Valentine’s.

Want more info on foamy boards? Check these sweet spots:

Jack’s Surf boards

Why every surfer should own a foamy vid,

Fun on a foamy vid

Thanks for reading guys! Let’s stay connected. Send a comment. Maybe even hit the like button. We appreciate it mucho!

As always hang loose, have fun out there, stay safe and don’t forget to remind yourself that something great is going to happen today.






Why the long board is chairman of the board

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”

Wave Pool vs Real Ocean Surfing

Will the New High Tech Wave Theaters Change Surfing?

 “Arizona?!” -Corky Carroll from the movie “The North Shore” 1987
In that one-word response to a pro surfer from a wave tank in AZ, Corky captured it all

Kelly Slater Wave Co is working on opening his fully green, solar powered, programmable techno-wave ranch to the public ???? Soon. Somewhere in central CA.

“We appear to be watching the ocean..”- Rick Caine. 

Can the new high tech wave theaters compete with our oceans?

Will they change the face of surfing?

When I look at footage of the manmade NLand surf park in Austin Texas and Kelly Slater Wave Co’s version of machined waves via YouTube. I gaze at the screen with my jaw gapped and mouthwatering over seemingly endless tasty waves.

The new spots seem like perfect fun but I can’t help but notice how something is missing…

Lines from the movie “The North Shore” come barreling into my head. Here is why.

That epic slice of 80’s cinema, and one liner heaven, is a statement from 1987 about exactly what I am looking at today. Surfing in a controlled synthetic environment and how that compares to surfing in the ocean.

wave pool vs real ocean surfing kelly slater

Tanks are a great way to bring surfing to spots that do not have surf

“The North Shore” movie is about a surfer from Arizona. Rick wins the Arizona state surf championship at his local wave tank. Instead of buying tacos with his winnings and staying home, Rick slides that wad to his travel agent, and follows his dream of surfing the big waves of the North Shore of Hawaii. Right there, that, should tell you something.

-The wave park champ can’t wait to get out of the wave park and actually surf the breaks of his dreams.

OK that was 1987′ and Rick’s wave park was literally a pool. It represents the antiquated idea of a wave tank.

Modern wave pool technology

Flash forward to today. The combination of research, engineering and technology have allowed for dramatic change in the performance of wave pool capabilities.

  • NLand is in Texas, which I know is different than Arizona, but I think we can all agree that ya don’t think of surfers or surf spots when I mention Arizona or Texas. Cowboys and deserts yes, Surfers? No.
  • Austin is a great spot for a wave tank competition if you have the whole thing to yourself.
    However, because you are in a smaller space the waves seem a little crowded.
  • In order to keep secondary back wash and inner pool turbulence to a minimum the wave generation has to be somewhat infrequent. So not a lot of waves, looks like 10-12 waves per hour in choppy conditions.
  • The session ends and everyone is asked to leave the water.

Problem with the wave pool idea especially for beginners is the limited time you get to spend in the water. Compared to the time you get to spend in the ocean it isn’t even close. When your session is over at the surf park, it’s over.

For beginners the new parks can help you learn what it might be like to surf and give you a fundamental foundation for getting up and riding your first waves. You catch it. You ride it. That’s surfing right?  You can work on skills and rest assured there will be waves. Seems safe and fun but short lived.

The waves look awesome for intermediate to advanced surf enthusiasts that have a dream to one day go to a manmade break and pay per hour to ride.

I could see Olympic surfing truly happen now which would be great for surfing.

“I think when a surfer becomes a surfer, it’s almost like an obligation to be an environmentalist at the same time.” – Kelly Slater

Best wave pool option out there

Kelly Slater Wave Co did the right thing! Kelly has gone all green energy and fully programmable. Dial up any wave from anywhere in the world and his machine will produce unreal epic replications of waves. The waves are long and shreddable.

  • He is using only solar energy.
  • For perfect conditions, the glassy conditions you dream of, his smaller pool can generate and handle 4 “perfect” waves per hour.
  • Great for more tank contests and promoting green energy, awesome!

 “Eskimos have several hundred words for snow. Well, Hawaiians have just as many words to describe waves and ocean conditions.” -Chandler


The wave pool has two words to describe its conditions: on and off

For an advanced surfer with dreams of a certain break like pipeline or somewhere in Costa Rica a wave pool like Slaters Wave Co is totally programmable. It can provide a simulated experience and is a great way to have a guaranteed perfect wave.  You can practice what it could be like to actually be there.

Only problem with that for our bucket listers is you can’t say that you have surfed a break unless you have been there and surfed it.

You can’t dial up a wave and tell everyone at home you just surfed the pier in Huntington Beach a.k.a. Surf City USA like they do at the US Open event that is held there every year.

All the visceral knowledge of and about ocean conditions or why we should care for our oceans is lost in a wave tank. Anyway way you look at it, there is no ocean at a wave tank. Once you leave you may not find yourself surrounded by a richly rooted surf community based in surfing heritage and spirit.

“The biggest sin in the world would be if I lost my love for the ocean.” – Laird Hamilton  

 kelly slater wave pool

What are your roots?

Corky Carrolls surf schools are rooted into two epic surf spots and are submerged in surf culture: Bolsa Chica State Beach, Huntington Beach, CA and Playa Guiones, Nosara, Costa Rica

  • Huntington Beach
  • Huntington Beach Pier
  • Dukes
  • Jack’s Surfboards

Why did the original pioneer of professional surfing Corky Carroll put his surf school at Bolsa Chica?

Just like in gardening, for surfing, where you plant your surfing roots is important for you and your sprouting grommets. In gardening the seed sprouts roots into the Earth to connect with it for nutrition. In surfing our dreams are the seeds that we connect with our lives. We are planting our surfing roots and connecting our dreams into our life. Surfing becomes the root source of living a dream. We truly grow because of it.

The overall connective experience that people are looking for when beginning their surfing adventures and planting their surfing roots can only be found by being submerged in the oceans and the surrounding communities. You are planting your surfing roots and your life grows because of it physically, mentally, spiritually.

You remember your first wave. You remember the people you meet. It all becomes a part of you and your personal surfing journey.

Bolsa Chica translates to “Little Pockets.” I like to say Little Pockets runs deep in surfing roots, heritage, and history.

Bolsa Chica State beach has a sweetness to it.  Perfect for beginners, campers, families and journeymen alike.

bolsa chica

  • *It’s protected, smooth, flat beaches are the beneficiary of California weather. It doesn’t suffer from lack of waves being consistent with swell from any direction.
  • *Talk about legendary surf roots and community: Not only was Corky Carroll the first professional surfer, Corky helped pioneer another surf staple. Just up the road is Kasnvas By Katin where he helped with the designs for the original pair of board shorts.
  • *When your lesson for the day is over at the beach. The ocean is still open. The ocean doesn’t black ball you after your hour is up.

Bolsa Chica has less black ball issue hours than most breaks local to Huntington Beach

Encounters with the local dolphins happen almost daily at Bolsa Chica and other surrounding breaks. In Costa Rica Howler Monkeys and animals of all kinds are always around.

Connecting with Mother Nature and connecting with animals in a shared environment does something to our perspective. It can be life changing, and life enhancing.

Something resonates with the soul when you are surrounded by Mother Nature’s vast epi-scapes like “the Cliffs”@ Huntington Beach, the wetlands @ Bolsa Chica State Beach, or the sugary beaches of Costa Rica. The soul connection to the ocean’s power and beauty cannot be found in a manmade pool. A wave pool just can’t beat the life enhancing challenges and bond building experiences that the ocean can present. Our oceans are priceless.

When a surfer talks about choosing his line, he is talking about something unique that is within each wave and each person. Surfing in the ocean is another way to tap into your overall sensory awareness, learn something about yourself, and express it creatively.

I love pools but they are not alive like the ocean

Ricks roots did not change because he went to surf in Hawaii. He struggled to take his surfing into the ocean. His surfing roots were still in Arizona. Then he connected more dream roots when he combined his dreams with his reality. He was the champion of a park and his ultimate dream was to surf for real. That should tell you something about the difference between manmade wave parks and the real natural deal. That will not change, I still think Corky said it best -“Arizona?!”

Looking at the new wave theaters I can’t help but notice how something is missing.

So where do you go to practice and learn how to surf?

The path you choose is up to you.

Sharks at Bolsa Chica in Huntington Beach?

No more shark paranoia: 5 facts that will ease your fear of sharks

Enough with the shark paranoia fed from the media. With the rise in technological consumerism, such as GoPros and drones, news coverage has been more focused toward shark sightings, causing people to mistakenly assume that there are more sharks in the water. Rather, they have always been around. The only difference now is that people have the technology to document. Certainly, sharks pose danger to those who enter the ocean, but so do other sea creatures, such as sting rays and seals. Anyone who enters the ocean must know that he or she is entering a wild environment that is home to wild sea life. Open water swimmers and surfers must be aware of the difference between SeaWorld and the ocean. The open sea is not an environment to fear, but one to respect. The most efficient way people can respect the ocean is if they educate themselves. Here are five shark facts that will answer some of your lingering questions regarding sharks.

1. Sharks do not like humans. They love stingrays.

Sea lions, fish, mollusks and even other sharks are a few of the sea creatures that sharks prey upon. The reason sometimes sharks bite humans is because we are mistaken for seals. In order to prevent a shark from mistaking you as its meal, it is advised to enter the ocean on a sunny, clear day. That way, a shark will have better vision differentiating between you and a seal as opposed to when the water is murky.

The good news is that sharks also eat stingrays. This predation helps our surfers and instructors in reducing the chances of getting stung from a stingray, which is more prevalent than getting attacked by a shark. Instructors are more likely to get stung because they are the ones walking along the ocean floor without a surfboard, while surfers are less likely to get stung because stingrays like to hide in the sand. Hence, stingrays serve as easy food for sharks because they rarely surface, making the ocean a safer environment for surfers.

2. The sharks seen off our coast are juveniles.

Sand tiger sharks are most common to our waters. Their name indicates that they stay near the bottom of the ocean, briefly swimming to the surface for air. Growing about 100 cm in length as juveniles, they are harmless. These sharks are extremely shy, making it an effort to avoid humans. According to an article from the OC Register, the juvenile great white sharks that have recently been reported on the media are being studied by Cal State University, Long Beach marine biologists.

3. There are no reports of a shark attack at Bolsa Chica State Beach.

Out of the 180 shark attacks dated from 1900 until present day throughout North America’s Pacific Ocean, only four have occurred in Huntington Beach. However, the Shark Research Committee considers a shark mistakenly bumping into a surfer while looking for fish to be an attack. The recorded “attacks” from Huntington have never resulted in any injuries. The committee also shows no record of any sharks attacks from Bolsa Chica.

4. You are more likely to get struck by lightning than get attacked by a shark.

The chances of you getting attacked by a shark are slim. According to the Florida Museum of Natural History, the odds of a fatal shark attack are 1 in 3,748,067. Florida Museum of Natural History also states that your chances of getting struck by lightning are 1 in 79,746. Those statistics should ease your worries.

5. Dolphins and sharks do not get along.

Sharks rarely attack dolphins, which is why dolphins are thought of to be guardians of the sea. A dolphin’s “bumping” behavior typically keeps sharks away from them. Since dolphins travel in pods, an individual shark can easily become intimated by a pod of dolphins. This is reassuring because dolphins can be seen almost every day in front of our camp.

El Nino in Southern California

What a refreshing start to the New Year! With years of long awaited rain, El Nino looks like it could help weaken California’s drought. Despite the excitement, it is vital that citizens take caution to these drastic weather reports allocated to this winter.

Huntington Beach, also known as Surf City, has been greatly affected by El Nino in the past. In 1983, El Nino brought along surging waves that made the pier collapse. Because this year’s El Nino is expected to be the most intense with heavy rainfall, Surf City is taking extra precaution. The Huntington Independent stated that Huntington Beach marine-safety officials will install a 5-foot-tall by 20-foot-wide sand berm to protect ocean front properties in case of extreme high tides- also known as king tides.

el  nino

Beach goers are also taking care of the beaches by cleaning up trash. On December 12 2015, the Surfrider Foundation hosted a beach cleanup at Bolsa Chica State Beach.

Corky Carroll’s Surf School is looking forward to a building swell.  According to Surfline, El Nino creates warmer water temperatures that balance the colder air temperatures. This mixture of warm water and cold air creates extreme weather such as tornadoes and rain storms. The LA Times states that these changes in weather forecasts typically occur in early January and usually last until April.

People should be cautious of high tides and swells building; the ocean can be quite inviting for the adventurer, but also quite dangerous- even for the experienced surfers. Strong rain storms will affect people’s houses if flash flooding occurs. It is also important to note that the runoff from sewage all drains into the ocean whenever it rains, so the water quality will be pretty low; many surfers will probably get more sick than usual this winter.

Other than the high advisories, enjoy El Nino’s refreshing rainfall. And no matter how badly any surfer has desired his “Point Break” moment- remember to live to surf another day.

Choosing A Surf School in Costa Rica

Property: Are you staying in a hotel or someone’s personal “resort”?

Our guests stay with us on our private land. We have 6 bungalows that wrap around our own private pool. Great picture of the pool and rooms on our homepage of the site. We are not open to the public for walk up 1 night guests. It becomes a real family and friends atmosphere for all of our guests. Our private kitchen/restaurant/rancho is only open to OUR guests. 90% of all other Costa Rica surf schools put their GUESTS in random hotels that are also open to the public. The other surf schools will then drive over to these places and pick up their guests to take them to go surf. We are in Nosara Costa Rica (the Guanacaste Peninsula).

Beach Access: How close is the property that your staying at to the beach??? We are located just a 4 minute walk to the beach. Good picture of the beach access trail on our site.

Lessons: Does the surf school do group lessons (these are not good) or private 1 on 1 lessons, We offer unlimited 1 on 1 lessons. We do no group lessons. WE also Video tape every 1 on 1 lesson in the morning. We than do video critique after lunch as a group on our 50inch Sony flat screen. We have a Apple TV to do extra edits.

Surfboards: What type of surfboards do they have?? We are one of the Few schools that have real Authentic hand shaped surfboards. Most schools use the Costco models or some other China mas manufactured model (neither are real boards). We have over a 100 surfboards on hand for our guests to use. This allows them to pick the board that not only fits them but also fits the wave conditions that are happening that day. We also have Authentic hand-shaped SOFT surfboards as well (Liquid-shedders &storm blades).

First timers or seasoned surfers: 75% of our guests are return customers. Which means we have and are taking their surfing out of the beginner level. Our family and friends atmosphere allows for return/ more seasoned surfers to enjoy it and our first timers/ beginner surfers to learn from our past guests how it is to learn how to surf. We get seasoned surfers from our Huntington beach location to First timers from South Dakota. We get people from all over the world.

Outside activities: Zip line, horseback riding, quad rental, car rental (National & Alamo walking distance from us), bicycle rental, shopping, yoga, message / spa, minute golf. The 19 years of doing business in costa Rica allows us to have the best knowledge on all the outside activity companies. We book all your outside activities and we organize your transportation to the activity.

The surprises of being a surf school business owner

If you are a business owner, you know each day is guaranteed to be filled with surprises. Today we (owners of Corky Carroll’s Surf School) were rewarded with a gift from one of our employees. A gesture that surprised us because generally an employee is looking to receive not to give. We appreciate all that our team of surf instructors do for us, this is a very physical job both mentally and physically. A unique job site where not only do you have your boss supervising every move but also the parents of the surf school participants are present with expectations of seeing their kid surf. It’s easy to assume that the life of a surf instructor is nothing but tasty waves and a cool buzz. A big thank you to Todd Martinez for everything you have contributed and we wish you a strong and successful senior year at Long Beach State University.

Thanks for the coffee mugs!

Corky Carroll’s Family Owned Business