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“Excellent all around, outstanding coaching.”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Surf Simply

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Surf Simply
Certificate of Excellence
New York City, New York
1 review
“Excellent all around, outstanding coaching.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 May 2014

I emphatically agree with the other positive reviews about Surf Simply -- the resort amenities were top-notch, the food was amazing, the organization and execution by the staff was excellent, etc. Without downplaying those aspects of the experience, I wanted to underscore the excellence in coaching at Surf Simply. The high level of coaching, to me, makes the week not just a cushy get-away that one could just throw money at, but a truly unique experience. Clearly Ru is interested in hiring not only great surfers, but individuals with a seemingly endless amount of knowledge, patience and contagious enthusiasm for the sport. These coaches aren't just working to help pay the bills while on an ex-pat surf holiday, they are genuinely interested in being great coaches -- a huge difference. I worked with Jessie during my week. She exuded confidence and passive-charisma that inspired me to try harder, to listen, and improve. I counted at least one breakthrough during each session, far exceeding my expectations for the week. I don't think my experience was totally unique -- every other student, from beginner to advanced in turn, felt like they had the best coach on the beach. I have been surfing for about 10 years -- in Surf Simply terms I am a level 3, borderline level 4 surfer -- and this was my third surf-camp vacation. I would comfortably put Surf Simply up against any other group in the world as the best overall experience. I can't wait to go back.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled solo
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Helpful?
Thank Sean B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
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Date | Rating
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English first
Calgary, Canada
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 May 2014

My first thought following my week at Surf Simply was when can I come back. It is truly an exceptional experience! Ru and the entire Surf Simply team are amazing. Francela is an incredible surf coach. Thank you for your patience!
Perfect days...eat healthy meals, surf, review theory, massage, yoga, relax etc. in the intimate environment Ru has created. It doesn't get better than this...

Stayed May 2014, travelled solo
Helpful?
Thank JayLeach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 May 2014

About me: I am a 38 year old carpenter and a longbaorder from the North East region of the USA. I am also a vegetarian, and a non-drinker. I have never taken any real surf lessons prior to this experience.

I first heard about Surf Simply through finding youtube Surf Simply podcasts. Every week I would watch the videos and look at the photo albums on Facebook. I was excited about the opportunity of video coaching and being photographed so I could see what I was doing. No matter how great something feels in the ocean, by seeing it on film, you can adjust and make your next wave so much better. I always knew this was somewhere I wanted to go to strengthen my surf skills.

In December of 2013, I emailed Surf Simply about making this trip happen, and the process was effortless. I paid for the trip in two installments, half up front to secure the week, and the other half a month prior to arriving. They took care of everything else (except my flights). We stayed in communication right up to when I arrived.

I spent my first night in San Jose and was picked up and driven to Surf Simply the next morning. (side note: They also picked me up from a hostel a week later and took me back to the airport!) Everything you could imagine was there. The space is beautiful, the facilities are so well taken care of. The communal space/pool and constant surf movies were great for the down time between lessons and classes. Having 10-11 people there for the same reason made my solo travel not so solo. I made amazing friends with the crew of people I shared the week with.

No matter what level of surfer you are, you will learn. I went there with things I wanted to improve and came back with so much more. My goals were to learn cut backs, and more advanced long board techniques like cross stepping and nose riding. I also wanted to get better at going left.

The coaching staff was amazing, friendly, and made the experience feel as much a vacation as it did school. My coach Jessie was awesome. She was able to explain things in a way that were easily absorbed. When she would critique or offer feedback, it was in a way that was clear it was in my best interest and would make me a stronger surfer. She was really empowering in all her interactions with me. She made all the hard work a beautiful and fun experience.

It wasn't so much that I was able to do everything they taught me when I was there, but I was given so much to take home. I was given the skills and direction to execute my goals on my own once coming back.

I could go on in detail, but quickly, I want to just say a few things about the services outside of the surf coaching.

1. The food was incredible. I was the best fed vegetarian I know. The portions are huge and you not only are full, but then some. This was great considering it was all burned in the surf.

2. I chose the massage over yoga. It was one of the best massages I have had. She knew all the muscles to target from surfing. She knew exactly where to focus without me explaining.

3. The free Wednesday, I chose the kayak/paddle board trip. We were able to bird watch and see wildlife native to the river. The guide was super knowledge and it was obvious that he cared deeply for the area and its sustainability in a real way, not for show.

You may be hesitant to believe all the five star ratings of Surf Simply, but honestly, if I could rate them higher I would.

I look forward to meeting up with friends I have met while there now that I am back at home. I also can't wait until my next stay at Surf Simply.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled solo
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Helpful?
2 Thank Wellwisher39
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 May 2014

Even after 2 weeks still "stoked" after my first trip to Surf Simply, now I know why so many have returned time and time again. If you ever imagined the ultimate surf camp and want to "live the dream", Surf Simply is that dream and much more.

Ru, staff and coaches deliver the highest expectations in and out of the water. Daily activities run like a Swiss watch with plenty of time to relax and enjoy the Costa experience. Sarah will spoil you with her superb 5 star freshly prepared meals too.

If you just want a surf vacation to satisfy your bucket list or take your surfing to the next level. Surf Simply has the highest level of professional coaches in the water with you as well as film crew on the beach to capture your progress. Costa has wonderful waves for increased wave counts to practice variety of techniques improving your skill level. When beginners who have never planted their toes on a deck of a surfboard gliding down the line after a few days in the water is a snap shot how successful Surf Simply applies their craft. Those seasoned surfers who are dedicated to their own surf board Surf Simply has an extensive quiver so you won't miss your favorite stick

I hate to broadcast this on the "net" for personal reasons; just maybe Surf Simply can do for you what they did for me. I had a serious medical condition several years ago with extensive nerve damage in my right leg. The doctor told be lucky to be 75% physically after all the re-hab. Being a goofy footer unable to pop up so rode my leg drop knee on the board. That has been a 3 year battle to pop up right leg forward so a buddy recommended Surf Simply to over come my disability.

I had Harry for a surfing coach, I felt sorry for Harry having me as a student as I was stuck in that comfort zone. After watching the films, Harry tweaked new techniques and my goofy foot came up on the deck of the board. Harry did in 3 days what others and myself have not been able to accomplish in 4 years. The ultimate test was the last day Harry had me cross over to the other side of dropping in on over head ++ waves and both feet planted on the deck gliding down those steep faces.

I had a great doctor who gave me a second chance at life and a fabulous coach who gave me another second chance at surfing.

Harry,

Thanks for all you did for me, your friendship and coaching will be cherished

Pura Vida

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled solo
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Helpful?
Thank Steven M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston, Massachusetts
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 May 2014

I recently returned from a second visit to Surf Simply and I can say that the second time around was just as amazing an experience as the first. The quality of the accommodations and the meals are terrific and all the extras like the massage, airport transfers, and logistical arrangements are handled professionally and with great attention to detail. But what really sets this place apart, what really makes it something quite special, is the surf coaching. I came to Surf Simply already in love with the sport but I’d also been floundering in several physical and theoretical aspects. The coaching and the methodology at Surf Simply really unlocked many mysteries and clarified the core of surfing for me. I’d started surfing relatively late in life and I truly believe the coaching at Surf Simply has helped me make personal leaps that would have not been possible otherwise. Harry was my coach for a second time and I was really impressed by his keen ability to spot issues and suggest the little adjustments I needed to break through barriers that had previously been holding me back. The coaching across the board is really superb; speaking as someone who has had a lot of exposure to different coaching styles in athletics and the professional world, they really understand the key components to great coaching: they have the depth of knowledge, they are great communicators, and they are very supportive and enthusiastic. To Ru and his team, Harry, Francela, Jesse, Ollie, Prado, Ross, Dani, and Alice, I would like to say thank you for another amazing surfing experience in Costa Rica…..you’ve truly won a fan for life.

Stayed April 2014, travelled solo
Helpful?
1 Thank Noel L L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Jose, California
Level Contributor
86 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 May 2014

My wife and I have been to Surf Simply twice and have a third trip planned for the end of this year. Ru and the entire Surf Simply team do an excellent job and take very good care of you. I see a lot of detailed reviews here, so I’ll stick to the things that stand out in my mind and that may be especially helpful to you for making the decision to do it and also to best enjoy the experience.

The setting is fantastic and there are very good reasons why Surf Simply is located where it is. First and foremost, the surfing is fantastic. You have a huge beach and sand bottom surf break that is ultra-consistent year-round. Costa Rica is well known internationally as one of the best places to surf and Surf Simply positioned itself on one of the best breaks (Playa Guiones), especially from a learning perspective. You basically have no crowds, plenty of room and waves in a very friendly low-hazard environment with clean and warm waters to concentrate on learning and enjoying yourself. The setting is also fantastic in that you are in a very small coastal community that is about 45 minutes (25 miles / 40 km) from any paved roads. The landscape is gorgeous and is a mix of jungle views mixed in with more dry and wooded hilly terrain. Despite being remote in a sense, the small town just a short bike ride or walk away from Surf Simply has a great collection of food and shopping (bank/ATM, great medical clinic, etc.) that you may want.

We go to Liberia each time and the taxi that Surf Simply arranges for you is a comfortable and not too long a ride (roughly 2.5 hours) through the beautiful countryside to get to the coast. The airport is modern, nicely designed and efficient. Recommend you don’t show up with too much stuff as Surf Simply really does take care of everything. The Surf Simply resort is great with nice common areas to hang out (pool, deck, rancho --- outdoor bungalow) and relax (WiFi, surf movies, etc.) or talk and play board/card games with those in your group that you meet. Wireless Internet access is fast and reliable. You have access to snacks and drinks 7x24 in between meals that they cook and the dinners that they drive everyone to around town. You can been as picky as you need to for your diet and Sarah, LuLu and others will accommodate you well. The food is fresh, delicious and there is nice variety. The rooms/chalets are outstanding. Very comfortable, clean, nice quality materials and well thought out for you.

The Surf Simply coaching method and philosophy are great. They are very effective at breaking down the complexities to get you to progress quickly and safely. Each day, there are two surf sessions and at least one theory/classroom session to review some fundamentals or review video shot at the beach earlier of your surfing. The coaches are patient, love what they do and very knowledgeable. We were mainly starting from scratch in our first visit and they got us up to speed quickly. Our first week, we were lucky to have Ollie working with just my wife and I and he took us from the fundamentals in the whitewater all the way to catching unbroken green waves out back and having a blast. This second time, we were with Ross and we refined the basic skills, focused on more carving turns, angled take-offs and going down the line and then finally cut-backs and extending the ride. Learned a lot and Ross is very friendly, helpful and sincere.

Given the Surf Simply team’s local knowledge and extensive surf experience and effective teaching capabilities, I expect that even very advanced surfers could benefit from what Surf Simply and the Costa Rican conditions will offer you. By the way, when Ru and the coaches have time off, they are typically surfing around the world or holding on-location surf trips in places like France.

Alice and Dani run the show in the background and keep things running smooth. Lulu/Sarah and the ladies nourish us with some delicious food & snacks. Crystal is gifted at bodywork and if you appreciate that, would recommend a minimum of 2 sessions with her. The rest of the staff that takes care of the property are all friendly and very nice people. Hats off to the entire team for not just running a "surf camp", but an impressive business that displays such commitment & passion.

Ru and team want you show up, relax, enjoy, surf, learn and not worry about anything when you are at Surf Simply. I can easily say that they meet all of these goals and it’s a great trip to experience. They have it all down to a science from both surfing to comfort and they are also very open to feedback and making things right that maybe weren’t perfect.

This is really easy --- you found a great spot to come to and the right people to give you a great experience, go and have a blast. See you in the water. Meanwhile, we'll be fantasizing about being back there...

Room Tip: All of the rooms/chalets are great, we've stayed in 2 of the 6 and don't think there is much...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank TripShawn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco, California
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 May 2014

This review is almost a year late. I went to Surf Simply last July after a recommendation from a friend. It was my first trip to Costa Rica, and I wanted it to be full of good surf, food, and people. Surf Simply provided all 3. The costumer service was done in a such a way that calling it customer service doesn't do it justice. Everything from the pick up at the airport, to the food, the instruction, the other guests, it just feels like you're going home. My surfing improved massively, I made friends with people from all over the world, ate amazing food both at Surf Simply and the places they took us, and had the best trip of my life. Another five star review for this amazing place.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled solo
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Helpful?
Thank Matt C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Surf Simply

Property: Surf Simply
Address: Playa Guiones, Nosara, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Nosara
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 25 Speciality Lodging in Nosara
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Surf Simply has broken the surf camp mold by providing coaching of a standard one would usually expect to receive in more mainstream sports. The makes of the Surf Simply podcast (available on iTunes) offer all inclusive package from their beautiful boutique surf coaching resort in Nosara, Costa Rica. You stay incorporates not only - video analysis, theory sessions on everything from board design to surf forecasting, pool training and in water coaching during your two fun surf session each day; but also transfers, accommodation, yoga classes, massage, fresh home cooked food and a variety of destinations in the evening from beach BBQs to stunning cliff top restaurants. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Surf Simply Costa Rica/Nosara

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