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Soft Tops: Surfboards For Every Surfer

Soft Tops

A soft top surfboard is great board to have in anyone’s quiver. Everyone uses soft tops from world champions to the first time surfer! Back in the day soft tops use to be frowned upon because they weren’t made to surf the way you would want. They were always falling apart and never had the performance level you were hoping for. Now soft tops are so popular that pro surfers are coming out with their own soft top companies and they are selling out immediately.  Soft tops are especially good for learning how to surf but they have also come out with high performance soft tops that can surf like you would your regular surfboard.

Soft Top Nation

Soft Top Nation

 

Description: Soft Top

The soft deck top allows for a more comfortable paddle and is also very forgiving with dents and dings. They are lightweight, stable, and are more affordable than a normal fiberglass surfboard. Here we will go over the best soft tops in the surfing industry and why we like all of them for different reasons. We have took our surf school soft tops we have used for years and compared them to the best in the industry. Also we have talked to many top pros/amateurs to see what they preferred and also we ourselves have tried out every high performance soft top in the surfing industry.

 

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! Here is our favorite learning soft top surfboard in the surfing industry. The 9ft Stormblade SSR soft top surfboard 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. You will be standing up in no time. Here at Corky Carroll’s Surf School  this is the soft top that we use to teach every new surfer.

Storm Blade

Storm Blade

For intermediate/advanced riders

Nowadays you can find any style soft top for all conditions. For your small wave days they make perfect summer surf long boards that any surfer can ride. For your medium size days they have what we call “fun shape” soft tops which are more high performance than your long board but can still make steep drops and do radical turns. Finally they make soft tops that are like high performance short boards in which you can get barreled and throw airs on. The list below is our favorite soft top surfboards. 

Takayama Scorpion Soft Top

Takayama Soft Top

Takayama Scorpion

The Takayama Scorpion Soft Top is one of our favorite soft tops in the surf industry right now. They ride really well in small surf but also can handle bigger surf if needed.  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. Here at Corky Carroll’s Surf School Private Lessons we use these boards all the time and they last forever.

 

Catch Surf Odysea Soft Tops

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 long board waves.

Odysea Soft Tops

Odysea soft tops

Odysea Soft Top

Odysea Soft Top

INT Soft Tops: 7’0 Fun Board

INT Surfboards have been one of new up and coming companies to master the soft top industry! This 7’0 fun board makes our list because it paddles like a long board but performs like a short board.  “It gives you enough to room to paddle around the line up with ease, has enough pop-up stability, and it gives you just enough responsiveness to execute tighter turns or make it down steeper waves.

INT 7'0 Soft Top

INT 7’0 Soft Top

Mick Fanning Soft Top Surfboards

The last soft top surfboard on our list is from your very own world champions Mick Fanning. He has created his own model of soft tops that represent his surfing and made them for everyone else to enjoy! If you couldn’t feel the foam on your feet then you think you were riding a real fiberglass board. This board is for all around fun but does better 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 Soft Tops

Mick Fanning Soft tops

Whether you are just learning how to surf or a legendary surfer you can have fun on soft top surf boards! The new technology that we have come across will make soft tops at 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.

If you need any surf lessons or want to join our summer surfing camps go check us out Private Surf Lessons Huntington Beach and Summer Surf Camps Huntington Beach

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When to Visit: Costa Rica’s Seasons

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 marginally 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

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Healthy New Year

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 try one of our newest Surf Boards. 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!

 

-Corky Carroll’s

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Huntington Beach Surf Spots

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

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.