Meet one of our Blue Trailz Surf Instructors: Juan
Here at Blue Trailz Hostel and Surf Camp, we’re family – and that’s true whether you’re just visiting Tamarindo for the weekend or if you’ve been catching waves with us for years. We support other local businesses, we only employ local staff and our surf instructors were born here. Why? Because we love our little beach town and want to do our part to help the community thrive.
Plus, when it comes to surfing, no one knows the waters better than the locals. Our bilingual surf instructors are lifelong surfers and know the the area like the back of their hands. And they love sharing their favorite places with you.
So, without further ado, it’s time to meet one of our awesome surf instructors that are a part of the Blue Trailz family…
What’s your name?
Where did you grow up?
I’m a true local, I grew up here in Tamarindo – over by Playa Grande.
How long have you been surfing?
I started when I was a kid… so over 15 years now
Tell me about the first time you ever caught a wave.
I learned how to surf on my own – I started when I was about 8 or 9. The first time that I ever stood up and got that first wave was the best feeling ever. I felt like Aladdin riding his magic carpet. I loved it and just wanted to keep doing it from then on as much as I could.
What is your favorite thing about being a surf instructor at Blue Trailz?
I love the opportunity to meet people from so many different places and to share my passion for surfing. I really like seeing people enjoy the waves and get them motivated, no matter if they are newbies who are unsure or even a bit scared or advanced surfers. I always try to encourage and motivate people to make sure they have a great time in the water, so it’s great that I get to share something I love doing and help create great memories for them to take home.
What is your number one piece of advice to newbie surfers?
I always talk about safety because it is really the most important thing to learn. There can be a lot of people in the water, and you never know how much experience the person next to you has. Getting hit by a board, collisions, rip currents – these things happen but can often be prevented or made less dangerous. It’s important to know what to do before getting in the water, though. I really care about the people who go surfing with me, I don’t want anything to happen to them, so that’s why it is so important for a beginner to take a lesson and also learn about safety. The rest – the surfing part – is the real fun stuff!
What are the waves like in Tamarindo?
It is nice here because the conditions are consistent – always between 3-4 feet – and the water is more gentle than other places. That’s why it’s great for beginners or novice surfers. There are also more challenging breaks here to keep advanced surfers, like myself, very happy.
I see people relax and get more comfortable when they see the waves here because they feel like they aren’t scary. It’s good to build that confidence as you start learning.
When you aren’t teaching lessons, where is your favorite place to be in town?
I really like La Casita – it’s just across the river mouth. It’s actually another really great spot for beginners to learn how to surf.
What is another great place in Costa Rica that you’ve surfed?
There are so many great places, but if I need to choose one, I would say Pavones – it’s on the South side of Costa Rica by the Panama border. The waves just don’t stop there – you can ride a single one for a kilometer or more. You only need three waves to have a great day. It’s amazing.
What is one Costa Rican thing everyone must experience while they are here?
Oh, wow, there is just so much to see here – Costa Rica has everything you need! But it depends on what you are looking for. It’s a great place for adventurous people and to get an adrenaline rush, but it’s easy to relax on a beach and enjoy the weather, too. You can hike Cerro Chato (an extinct volcano) in La Fortuna if you are an advanced hiker, zipline and bungee jump in Monteverde, go rafting, hike to one of the many waterfalls…I don’t think there is just one thing you must do here, but make sure you include surfing, you don’t want to miss out on that!
Ready to learn to surf under the guise of an expert, bilingual instructor? Blue Trailz offers surf lessons and surf packages for surfers of every level. Our surf packages include accommodation in either Blue Trailz Hostel (as part of the Surf Camp package) or a local, boutique hotel (Luxury Surf Vacations)