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“Great surf school!”

Jesse's Samara Beach Surf School
Reviewed 20 April 2008

My husband and I ended our trip in Samara and decided to grab a surf lesson... we had a beginner one in Australia a few years ago and needed a refresher... really, it was like learning from scratch again. It was great! We were up and catching waves on our own after the first hour (unlike our earlier experience). The instructors were friendly and gave great encouragement. They were a bit further down the beach than some of the others, but well worth it for the quality of the instruction & board rental rates... not to mention fewer people around to worry about hitting as you ride the waves in.

2  Thank dr_bek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviews (8)
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6 - 8 of 8 reviews

Reviewed 16 March 2008

There were three or four surf schools in Samara - all fairly equivalent in price. Jesse's was a walk down the beach (further than C&Cs and other "in-town" ones), but well worth the stroll. A key bonus for me was the instructors - not only were they friendly and patient, but completely bilingual. I do not speak Spanish, so I would have had a difficult time at most other schools that did not have instructors that were fluent in English and Spanish.

The owner is a Tico, but his wife is an American. I did not expect that to matter, but it was actually very comforting that she was there. She was able to explain the various surf package options in a way that was very easy to understand. She helped us to navigate town and otherwise feel very welcome too; mostly, she was friendly and trustworthy.

Unfortunately, I was only in town for 2.5 days, so I bought the beginners package. For $40, I received a full private lesson (~1.5 hours) plus six hours of board time to use during my entire stay. This may not sound like a lot, but surfing is exhausting. I wanted to practice more, but my body was too tired - I still had board time left since you can come and go as you please (hours do not need to be consecutive or taken in full). The lesson was fantastic; I found quick success. However, after the lesson, you are not ignored; the staff watches you while you surf on your six-hours and gives you pointers and answers any/all questions you have.

One final thing to keep in mind about learning how to surf in Costa Rica (or anywhere) .... surfing is intense - fitness is surprisingly important. Sure, once you are "up," you can just ride the wave into shore. But, it takes a lot of energy to paddle out to the waves. I had a wonderful time because I "got up," but my roommate was not as lucky (and she is definitely a stronger swimmer than I am). I do not think she would have had a very good time if we had spent the entire week at surf camp. And, while I wanted to stay forever, I am not sure my body would have survived a full week. So, if you have ever tried surfing before and you know what you are getting into, you'll probably want a whole week at Jesse's in Samara where the waves are fantastic and the staff is even better. But, if you are not sure if you have balance and fitness - you might just want to block off a couple of days to try it first.

5  Thank Sherolsen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 February 2011
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4  Thank reisender123123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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