Tag: Surfing

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'How Do I Take My Surfboard as Checked Luggage?'

January 21, 2014 at 12:00 PM | by | ()

With each new season comes new questions about what passengers can and cannot take onboard a plane. Thus, we'll be addressing some of the most popular requests with a series called, "Got Baggage."

With winter's grip firmly squeezing a majority of the US, there's no doubt that many are dreaming of a vacation where they can wiggle their toes in the sand and frolic in the warm waters of a tropical location. If catching a few waves is on your list of things to do while traveling, here's the lowdown on how to pack your board to ensure some fun in the sun.

Most major airlines specifically name surfboards as sporting equipment that are governed by special rules that often come with special fees. American and Delta charge an extra $150, where United and Hawaiian Airlines both ask $100 for each surfboard. For United's long-haul flights, the fee doubles to $200 (uhhh). On a better note, the smaller boards (boogie and the like) are considered a regular piece of luggage on these four airlines.

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The Three Best Towns for Learning to Surf This Winter

December 19, 2013 at 10:51 AM | by | ()

After the warmth of the holiday season fades and January and February begin to sink in their teeth throughout most of the country, you won't be alone if you find yourself dreaming of the ocean. You could always cruise out to So Cal, but we're recommending an extended winter vacation this year, one that you should start planning now while the cash is already flowing from your wallet. Don't wait for those holiday bills to come -- at that point, you'll be too discouraged to cough up any more.

Given the popularity of resolutions, the beginning of the new year is a great time to try something new. And since we're talking summer, how about holding up in a small beach town and learning to surf? Here are three destinations we visited this year that will have you hanging ten in no time.

Sayulita, Mexico

So far, organic growth thanks to newfound tourism has created a local, pleasant surf town vibe in Sayulita that is not found in the hustle and bustle of nearby Puerto Vallarta. Even though many of the businesses are most definitely there because of tourism, the town has done a nice job overall of keeping them authentic and feeling local -- something we greatly appreciate.

Surfboards can be rented right off the beach for less than $25 a day and multi-person bungalows can be rented for as little as $90/night (there are also cheap hostels and a campground). We recommend you not hesitate, because as great as the town is at the moment, we see small signs of infection Ė such as annoying beach vendors and aggressive restaurant greeters Ė that could very well begin to change the feel of the town in the coming years. We have our fingers crossed, but we arenít holding our breath given the direction most other Mexican destinations have gone with their approach to tourism. So, go!

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Surfer in Portugal Catches What May Have Been Biggest Wave Ever

October 31, 2013 at 2:10 PM | by | ()

Well, isn't that the way it goes... we're in Portugal for ten days, and two days after we leave, the world's largest wave gets surfed! Last weekend, as hurricane conditions swept through the east coast of Europe and killed almost a dozen people, gigantic (and we mean gigantic) waves brought surfers to the infamous area known as Nazare, which is about an hour north of Lisbon in Portugal and an iconic surf destination with a reputation for consistently producing some of the world's biggest waves.

On the last run of the day on Monday, after rescuing his friend who had broken her ankle, Brazilian surfer Carlos Burle caught what is believed to be the largest wave in history -- a 100-foot wall of water. You must watch the video below to get a visual (although you may want to watch it on mute):

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Score a Qantas Deal to Catch a Wave at the Australian Open of Surfing

August 30, 2013 at 1:43 PM | by | ()

There's no doubt Australia is one of the best places on the planet to "catch a wave," which is why it makes complete sense to host one of the world's largest surfing competitions on an Aussie beach. Plan ahead, because, this upcoming February, Manly Beach will become the epicenter of hanging ten when it hosts the Australian Open of Surfing.

This second annual event features competitions between top international pro surfers and skaters, A-list band performances, and a host of summer activities. With just 160 days until the festival kicks off, it's time to start the travel brainstorming.

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Where To Go With Your Tax Refund: Costa Rica

Where: Costa Rica
April 2, 2013 at 1:58 PM | by | ()

Tax day is coming, and you're probably excited...but not because you look forward to sifting through receipts and credit card statements. You're excited because you're getting a fat refund. Probably. The economy may be on its way back up, but you should try to stretch that tax refund as far as you can...like with a little "you did a great job last year" trip—a Tax Refund Vacation.

Whether you're into eco-travel, surfing, zip lining, hiking, swimming/snorkeling/Scuba, hanging out with exotic animals (like the Coati), learning Spanish or just lazing on a sandy beach, Costa Rica can make it happen. Regardless, you're in for sun and warm temperatures.

If you're interested in the Caribbean side with all its eco-tourism or you'd like to scratch a visit to Arenal volcano off your bucket list, fly into San Jose International Airport. For trips to the Pacific side's beaches, surf spots and giant national parks, Liberia International AIrport is the best bet (and it's got a brand-spanking-new terminal).

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How to Chase The Mavericks in Northern California This Fall

October 26, 2012 at 2:17 PM | by | ()

Today, Chasing Mavericks starring Gerard Butler hits theaters and, if nothing else, is sure to inspire quite a few moviegoers to hit the waves, too.

The movie tells the true story of legendary surfer Jay Moriarity who made a name for himself surfing the Mavericks at California's Half Moon Bay but sadly died in a free-diving accident at 22.

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An Awesome Day on Bali: Bowing to the Surf Gods on Bingin Beach

April 26, 2012 at 2:51 PM | by | ()

BALI. For some, the word conjures up images of infinity pools, surfing beaches and tropical temples. For others, it's a nightmare of topless tourists and sweaty sightseeing. Well, we just got back ourselves and we, with the help of tips from friends and locals, did something in between...something that turned out to be awesome. Put on the SPF, hire a car* and join us this week as we reveal an An Awesome Day on Bali (Jaunted-style).

Our awesome day on Bali continues with some surf-spotting on Bingin Beach, recommended by our own contributor Max Graham.

If you've been following along on our recommendations for an awesome day in Bali, we've reached afternoon, post indulgent fresh seafood lunch. Resist the food coma siren song to chillax right there on Jimbaran Beach, and instead pile back into your private car* for a short drive further south, in the direction of Uluwatu.

It's here, along the coastline between Jimbaran and Uluwatu, that you'll find a strip of prime surfing beaches at the base of cliffs. Dreamland is the first major one for which you'll see signs, but just below is Bingin Beach and believe us that it's worth the extra few minutes driving.

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Three Warm Weather Sports It's Not Too Late to Start Learning

March 19, 2012 at 10:39 AM | by | ()

1. Surfing: If Lady Gaga can learn it, then surely you can too. To surf, you're got to be hitting awesome breaks, places that likely also come with stunning sunsets, seafood barbeques and sand in between your toes.

So how long does it take to learn to surf? Not that long, actually, especially if you head to a surfing boot camp, like Surf Simply in Costa Rica. Wanna start a little lighter, a little closer to home? There's also stand-up paddleboarding, at these three prime Cali locations.

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The Moneyball of Surfing is in Costa Rica, at Surf Simply

February 29, 2012 at 11:17 AM | by | ()

Moneyball may have gone home empty handed at the 2012 Oscars, but sabermetrics are alive and well and not just on the baseball field.

Ru Hill is the owner/operator of Surf Simply, a boutique surf coaching resort near Nosara, Costa Rica, and he has been collecting surf data for more than ten years, all the while instructing thousands of surfers in England, France and Indonesia. Since 2007, however, his home base has been just up the dirt road from Playa Guiones in CR.

Every Saturday Ru and his team of ISA-trained surf instructors, chefs, yoga instructors and masseurs welcome a new group of travelers who, while varied in surfing ability from none to plenty, all have a common goal—to become immersed in surf while on vacation. While there are plenty of surf camps, surf instructors, and surf boards in Costa Rica, you would be hard pressed to find one as detailed and systematic as Surf Simply.

While Saturday night starts with a low-key dinner at the basic yet boutique 14-guest surf resort, by Sunday morning 8am, the travelers are ready to get in the water.

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Kai Surfs Costa Rica: Budgets, Boards and Pura Vida

Where: Costa Rica
January 13, 2012 at 6:08 PM | by | ()

Kai MacMahon had lost himself to the urban life in NYC, taking up running but putting down the surfboard. That is, until recently when he bit the bullet and flew himself to Costa Rica to drive, sleep and surf wherever he damn well pleased. All this week, Kai will share his experiences on the beaches and the breaks, and how he made it happen.

Yesterday: Becoming a (surf) bum in Mal Pais

As you've probably guessed, Costa Rica is one of the most surf-friendly destinations on the planet. Surfers are welcomed here with open arms, and locals will go above and beyond to help you out. It is perfectly normal to see a massive board bag strapped to the roof of a taxi, to store your boards in your hotel room, and to set up a makeshift clothes line outside your door.

And just as friendly as it is, it's also easy. US Dollars are accepted just about everywhere and most people speak at least a little English, though no matter how bad your Spanish, an attempt to speak it will always go down well. ATMs are fairly easy to find, and most will have English as an option. The bigger bank ATMs even dispense dollars as well as the local currency, Colones, and any of the main hotels or stores will take credit cards.

Nonetheless, be careful of the foreign transaction fee charges that your US bank will tack on; look into a foreign transaction-free credit card if you travel abroad often. For myself, I tried to pay for most things in cash, only using plastic for purchases of $100 and up.

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Kai Surfs Costa Rica: Making It to Mal Pais

Where: Costa Rica
January 12, 2012 at 4:33 PM | by | ()

Kai MacMahon had lost himself to the urban life in NYC, taking up running but putting down the surfboard. That is, until recently when he bit the bullet and flew himself to Costa Rica to drive, sleep and surf wherever he damn well pleased. All this week, Kai will share his experiences on the beaches and the breaks, and how he made it happen.

Yesterday: Playa Negra and the rush of hitting the waves.

Mal Pais is a sleepy little surf down at the bottom of the Nicoya Peninsula. Itís about five hours' drive from Tamarindo (taking the sensible road), or many more hours drive than that taking the silly, but very picturesque coastal road. I say silly because the above is what sometimes passes for a road in Costa Rica.

Note that the photo was taken during the dry season. In wet season (May to November), or any time itís been raining, roads like this become impassable to all but the sturdiest SUVs. You'll find that towns in Costa Rica usually have an old man who magically knows the conditions of every river within 20 miles of his location, but as I was not in possession of one of these wrinkly oracles in my passenger seat and didnít feel like getting my SUV stuck in a river, I elected to take the boring, safer route.

Once I arrived in Mal Pais, the first thing I noticed was, well, not a whole lot really. Not much happens here, and thatís exactly whatís so great about the place. There are a couple of bars (thatís a couple more than when I was first there ten years ago), plus other mild activities like yoga, zip-line tours and so on, but the truth is you come to Mal Pais for one reason: to surf.

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Kai Surfs Costa Rica: Playa Negra and the Rush of a Single Wave

January 11, 2012 at 4:51 PM | by | ()

Kai MacMahon had lost himself to the urban life in NYC, taking up running but putting down the surfboard. That is, until recently when he bit the bullet and flew himself to Costa Rica to drive, sleep and surf wherever he damn well pleased. All this week, Kai will share his experiences on the beaches and the breaks, and how he made it happen.

Yesterday: Hitting the road to Tamarindo.

Standing on beautiful Tamarindo beach, with my board under my arm and looking out to sea, it occurred to me in a moment of mild panic that I was very out of practice. Was I making a terrible mistake? The ocean, for all its infinite beauty, is still a scary, powerful and potentially lethal thing.

You see, you can generally tell how good a surfer somebody is by watching them as they enter the water. Folks who know what they're doing look like they own it; they glide out on their boards and effortlessly get themselves beyond the break (to the calmer part of the water where you see surfers congregate). Surfers who maybe aren't so great will walk their boards out until the water comes up to their chests, then flail around every time a wave comes in, and they generally project an aura of terror.

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