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“Wonderful people and a wonderful place”
Review of Surf Simply

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Surf Simply
Certificate of Excellence
Chicago
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Wonderful people and a wonderful place”
Reviewed 16 December 2010

Last week I took myself on a solo vacation to Costa Rica, to attend a surf camp called Surf Simply. The "curriculum" included surfing in the morning and at sunset, theory classes and surf videos, home-cooked meals, and even yoga. I went by myself. I found myself at this beautiful "rancho" with a pool, an outdoor living room, and several private 2-bedroom chalets for lodging.

There were nine travelers at Surf Simply that week, including myself. It was amazing. We all got along like gang-busters, and I spent more time in the ocean this week than I had cumulatively in my entire life previously! The first day I had some fear of the waves, but after nearly three hours a day in the water and having some fun getting tumbled, swallowing water, and taking a wave or two in the face, that fear was long gone. Over the week, I found myself completely enjoying surfing and everything that goes along with it. (There was one meal where we found ourselves groaning in pain just from pouring a bowl of cereal, arms sore from paddling). I'm much more comfortable in water than I was that first day, and I can even surf. I can surf!
I'll never forget my three favorite waves of that week, or that awareness as new skills clicked into place at the peak of a wave. As one of my new friends from surf camp put it, I caught the stoke.

For those of you considering going to Surf Simply, I can also say that the coaches and the staff are wonderful -- their friendliness, commitment to excellence, and all around wonderfulness is abundant. Every coach gave me at least one important insight into surfing (and maybe even life!) -- and the positive attitude of the people around me was unbeatable. And it was really nice having my surf board carried by one of the coaches every once in a while, and getting an extra tow or "paddle-power" push into a wave. :-)

Surf Simply treats their guests well, and I REALLY appreciate that the package truly was all inclusive and hassle free.
The owners have put together a really solid experience. Their commitment to excellence is clear.
Oh! And they also send you an online album with photos that they take of your surf lessons So great!

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1 Thank Ana456
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Toronto, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 December 2010

I did a ton of research before going, and was skeptical that of the 70 odd reviews they received here no one had anything bad to say. They deliver on EVERYTHING they state on their website. Surf Simply is a great little vacation spot; regardless of your surfing ability, if you want to surf, you’ll have a great time.

My Top 10 reasons to go vacation with Ru, Jem et al. at Surf Simply:
10. Wetsuit, um no thanks – not having to put on a cold wetsuit everyday is really nice
9. Wristband, I don’t need no stinkin wristband – the resort is beautiful, clean, great wifi (and you’re in the jungle), very intimate and private. Great communal lounge area, but also the ability to chill by yourself. No pretention. Very different from a typical “all-inclusive resort”. Snacks beer and wine available, it’s great to finish a day of surfing with a beer… or maybe two
8. The “off” day – great chance to do something a little different, but still plenty of time to go for a surf without the instructors
7. The People we meet – you’ll meet some really cool people who are there to vacation and surf as well
6. Soundly sleeping – you’re so active during the day you’ll have some great sleeps, the A/C in the room doesn’t hurt either
5. J’adore Chef Jem – clean, fresh food, every day at the resort. The restaurants are good, but its Jem’s food I adore
4. The camera doesn’t lie - Video analysis is irreplaceable, especially if you have been surfing for a while. You’ll see what you are actually doing, instead of what you think you are doing
3. The wave, the stoke – the basic element of a surf trip is a clean, consistent, fun wave. Playa Guiones delivers, and the people in the water are chill
2. Back to school – both in and out of the water, I doubt you’ll find superior surf teaching anywhere in the world
1. The crew – while the instruction is excellent, it’s the instructors and staff that make the trip

And a few tips and cautions
1. If your idea of a vacation is lying on the beach, relaxing / sleeping all day and partying all night / every night, this is not the place for you. There is a couple of places to grab a drink that are fun though
2. Despite how much exercise you’re getting, the food is so good you probably won’t lose weight, but you’ll be in better shape
3. The camera doesn’t lie – be ready to laugh at yourself, along with everybody else, because you are going to bail badly at some point and it will be documented forever
4. Before you go, make sure you do some exercise, you’ll get way more out of the trip
5. Protect yourself – take care of your ears (water inside them sucks) and your body from rashes (boys – under armor type spandex under the board shorts are a great idea). Surf Simply prepares a great care package for you to do this

While surf simply may have a higher sticker price than other surf trips in Costa Rica, I highly doubt you’ll get more for your money than at Surf Simply.

Reviewer’s note – it should be noted that I was asked, very politely, to write a review. Given how great these people run their business, I was more than happy to.

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2 Thank Aiken819
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco, California
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 December 2010

I made quite an impractical decision 5 years ago to make surfing a big part of my life. To pursue my new dream, I made it a mission to learn how to surf. It's an impractical goal simply because I am landlocked in Toronto and I only visit the ocean about twice a year.

I wrote my first review of Surf Simply 4 years ago when I discovered them during my first trip to Nosara. Since that first visit, I've returned regularly to Surf Simply for week-long lessons and coaching. I've written rave reviews about the camp, its staff and its service. Well, I'm now both thrilled and amazed to report that the Surf Simply methodology is effective and I am the proof.

I returned to Nosara last week for another coaching session. In total, this is my 6th week-long coaching sessions with Surf Simply. It's crazy that I am now able to catch green waves, surf down the line and attempt maneuvers. We went on a few trips to different breaks and I'm now comfortably paddling out to various breaks and conditions. I can now honestly say that I can surf and I now have the foundation to continuously improve.

I was recently asked how and why I was able to accelerate my learning curve so dramatically. After some thought, I attribute it to one simple reason: I mentally and intellectually understand the mechanics of surfing. The Surf Simply coaches did not just push me into a bunch of waves, yell at me to stand up and call it a day. They spent a ton of time on breaking down, simplifying and explaining the theories of surfing. I intellectually understand the "WHY", and not just the "HOW" of surfing. I understand why I should lie three inches further forward on my board. I understand why I should angle my take off during low tide surf. I understand why I should step on my tail for my turns. Although I surf infrequently, my mind is fully prepared to surf when I do get to an ocean.

Here is the punch line. There is no way a guy from Toronto who only surfs a few times a year should be able to surf. Surf Simply has proven that it can teach anyone who is willing to learn and try. For those of you who truly do want to learn, then Surf Simply is simply the best.

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3 Thank rathersurf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 December 2010

I had an amazing week with the crew at surf simply. I had never surfed before but these guys made it easy. I think there was about 10 people in our group for the week with 6 instructors. They always were right next to me to talk about what was going on and seemed to be more excited than me when i caught a wave. Food was awesome. I even did the yoga. Conditions were sick. Highly recommend. Ru and Gem are the best.

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Thank mbower123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 December 2010

Well imagine not having to take out your wallet even once while you're on holiday. The Surf Simply guys provide nothing but refreshing services such as these throughout your time there. Everything from surf, food, outings, massage and yoga is taken care off.

Jems gourmet food is incredible and experimental and I would rate it higher than any of the top restaurants we were taken to. The massage was beyond incredible at day 5 when my body was not moving anymore. The sunset yoga was a perfect combination to the surf.

The surf lessons are technical and you learn from EVERY session. How could you not, you get blackboard and video tips aside from a twice a day surf schedule. The guys are friendly and take their coaching very seriously.

Somehow by the end of it, you will leave feeling either:
- you want to become a surf pro
- surfing is your sport. for life.
- promising yourself you will be surfing more regularly
- upgrade your fitness regime after you saw yourself in the surf camp, surfing twice daily!

Ill be back again for sure.

Helpful?
1 Thank poojamunshi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Hampshire, USA
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 October 2010

While being a faithful follower of TripAdvisor, I have never felt compelled to write a review until now. My son and I attended the last session of the season in August. This review is submitted a little late but this being my first submission, I had trouble figuring out how to fit in everything I want to share without it being 10 pages long.

When I decided on a surf camp vacation, I had a few concerns. First, and foremost, I wanted to go someplace where I would actually learn to surf and not just splash around in the water with a surfboard for an hour between spa treatments. Another concern was that both my son and I have no surfing experience at all and we would need a camp equipped to handle newbies without sticking us in the children’s group. Then there was the matter of fitness level. My son is young and athletic but I'm neither. Would they be able to teach someone who is not exactly ready to run a marathon or swim the English channel? I found the Surf Simply reviews on TripAdvisor so I checked out their website. It seemed like they had all my concerns covered so we booked with them and I’m so glad we did. We had a blast!! You’ll never meet a group of people as passionate about surfing as they are. There were instructors for every skill level so we didn’t get stuck in a group with advanced surfers. As for the fitness level, I found surfing to be physically challenging but not outside my comfort level. I never felt over my head or beyond my physical ability. Luke was our main instructor for the week and he was great. “Stoked” is definitely a word I would use to describe him (as well as friendly, knowledgeable, and patient). Even though I found every possible way to wipe out, Luke never gave up on me or make me feel like surfing was beyond me. I can still hear him yelling out to me in the whitewater, “Chicken-wings, April, chicken-wings!!!!” Besides telling me what I did wrong, he was always quick to tell me what I was doing right and to genuinely cheer me on when I caught a wave. Also, the lessons taught by all the instructors were detailed and understandable instead of the vague "just feel the wave, Dude" instructions that I was expecting.

Now I need to talk about the chalets. Can I just say Wow!?! My son and I shared a 2 bedroom chalet that was absolutely beautiful with marble counter tops in the kitchen and tile floors. I can’t, however, figure out what the full kitchen was for. We never had to cook a meal for ourselves the entire length of our stay. Breakfast and lunch were served up at the main house and dinner was hosted at a different local restaurant each night which was great. One thing I have to mention is that while I enjoyed all the meals, my absolute hands-down favorite was lunch. We would return from surfing expecting to find a sandwich and chips or something similar waiting for us. Instead, we were served a fantastic gourmet lunch prepared by Gem. Seriously, it looked like something you’d see on the cover of Bon Appétit (and it tasted as good as it looked too).

Besides surfing, there were massages with Krystal you could schedule and daily yoga sessions with Jessie which were both fantastic. Also, we got to choose a mid-week non-surfing activity. We picked the canopy zip-line tour which was very cool. I could go on and on about our stay at Surf Simply but I want to keep this review at a reasonable length so I'll just say that it was, by far, one of the best vacations we have taken. The whole Surf Simply team (Ru, Gem, Luke, Becky, Harry, Sam, and Sausage) made our stay amazing and unforgettable! My son and I have already started talking about going back for another stay.

Helpful?
Thank CAustralis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paducah, Kentucky
1 review
Reviewed 19 October 2010

Hello all! I stayed with the folks at Surf Simply back in August (2010) and it was most definitely a 5 star experience. I am still a beginner surfer as this was my second surf trip, but with the instruction I recieved from Luke, Sam, Harry, Ru, and the whole crew (in and out of the water) I feel like I can go back in the water next time with full confidence. The food was incredible and always hit the spot after a session. Not to mention, they take you out to a great local restaraunt nightly. Thursdays are especially enjoyable. Especially if you make it La Banana with Sambo! They're a very friendly and warm bunch of people who make you feel like you're at home through out the week. The chalets were also great. Modern, but very simple, which I enjoyed immensely. I haven't been to any other surf schools, but I looked into several others before booking with Surf Simply, and I can't imagine any of them being on top of their game the way Surf Simply is. Highly reccomended and well worth the cost. I would definitely travel with them again. In fact, I believe I recall saying this within the first 24 hours of being there. Thanks again guys!

Todd.

Helpful?
Thank letsworkitout
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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