Tag: Surfing Travel

View All Tags

/ / / / / / /

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

January 21, 2014 at 12:00 PM | by | Comments (0)

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.

more ›

/ / / / / / / /

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

August 30, 2013 at 1:43 PM | by | Comments (0)

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.

more ›

/ / / / / / / /

Wish You Were Here: Gold Coast, Australia

October 2, 2012 at 1:33 PM | by | Comments (0)

The mercury is beginning to drop and autumn is right around the corner. At the same time, things are doing the opposite and heating up Down Under. Soon, the sun will be shining with the southern summer in Australia

We come to you now from the Gold Coast of said continent. The name of the specific city: Surfers Paradise. With beach after beach as far as the eye can see, we understand why it's considered the playground for the nation. Sun, sand and surf are some of the more popular attractions for the region, but nature walks, wineries and paragliding are all part of the fun.

more ›

/ / / / / /

Six Beginner Tips to Start Surfing ASAP

July 31, 2012 at 1:36 PM | by | Comments (0)

Is “learn to surf” on your bucket list? If not, it should be. Not only is surfing one of the world’s most popular sports, it also enjoys an extremely high “cool factor” which keeps the newbies flooding in. Before you frolic out into the waves however, here are a few things you should know about surfing:

· Do take a lesson
Sure you can figure it out on your own, just like you can spend all day at the ski slopes flailing down the mountain, but why would you? There are professionals to help with this. The art of surfing requires an understanding of numerous nuances and subtleties that demand years of practice. Learn some pointers from someone who’s already paid their dues.

more ›

/ / / / / /

A Semi-Secret Surfing Oasis South of Zihuatenejo, Mexico

July 26, 2012 at 5:29 PM | by | Comments (0)

Less than an hour’s drive outside Zihuatenejo, Mexico (including 15 exciting minutes on a very unpaved road), you’ll find Playa Viva—a beachfront oasis amid miles of tranquil (and surfable) beaches.

Being the first trip away from our one-year-old, my wife was looking forward to lying by the pool with a good book for three days while I, the avid surfer, was looking for waves. Although Playa Viva isn’t a world-renowned surf destination like Troncones and La Saladita to the north, I was pleasantly surprised with chest-high, glassy waves each morning. Even in the afternoon when the waves weren’t as good, the swimming and body surfing was fun in the rougher water.

For land lovers, Playa Viva hosts daily adventures like yoga on the sundeck or an hour-long ATV ride into the mountains to visit a cacao and coffee farm. And yes, lying by the pool with a book is available as well.

more ›

/ / / / /

Surfing Where? Five Beginner Surf Spots Close to Home

July 24, 2012 at 5:57 PM | by | Comments (0)


Surfing at Tofino's Wickaninnish Inn

When it comes to surfing, some surf breaks are made for beginners. Think of these as the bunny slopes of the surf world. You’re no doubt familiar with many of them. Waikiki beach in Hawaii is one of the best. Tamarindo in Costa Rica is also popular. Both offer warm water, tropical surroundings, gentle waves and plenty of options for surf lessons and surf board rentals.

But what if you’re not in Hawaii or Costa Rica? What if you’re looking for a surf experience closer to home? Well, you just might have better options than you thought.

Here are five great beginner surf breaks you probably haven't heard of, close to home:

more ›

/ / / / / / /

Wish You Were Here: Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

April 20, 2012 at 10:37 AM | by | Comments (0)

Selamat pagi! For those in the know, you know that's "good morning" in Bahasa Indonesian. Naturally this can mean only one thing. We're in Indonesia! To be specific, we're in Bali; even more specifically, the town of Ubud.

After a few flights and even more fun in a few airports, we arrived on the tropical island and it was all worth it. First, we began in the beach town of Seminyak, which was everything you dream of when Bali comes to mind. Infinity pools, luxury hotels, black sand beaches, cocktails, and sun have all played a major role in this trip. We even sampled kopi luwak, a rare coffee of origin in Indonesia basically made from mongoose poop. More on that later.

more ›

/ / / / / / / / /

Kai Surfs Costa Rica: Budgets, Boards and Pura Vida

Where: Costa Rica
January 13, 2012 at 6:08 PM | by | Comments (0)

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.

more ›

/ / / / / / / / /

Kai Surfs Costa Rica: Making It to Mal Pais

Where: Costa Rica
January 12, 2012 at 4:33 PM | by | Comments (0)

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. It’s 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 it’s 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 didn’t 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 that’s exactly what’s so great about the place. There are a couple of bars (that’s 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.

more ›

/ / / / / / / / /

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

January 11, 2012 at 4:51 PM | by | Comments (0)

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.

more ›

/ / / / / / / / /

Kai Surfs Costa Rica: The Road to Tamarindo

January 10, 2012 at 5:13 PM | by | Comments (0)

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: Making the decision to drop everything and go.

Touching down at Liberia Airport in northern Costa Rica was somewhat of an adventure in itself. The terminal itself is modest (OK, it’s a shack), and although there’s a shiny new terminal built and waiting to open, when I arrived they were still waiting for the paperwork to be complete [Ed note: the new terminal finally opens this Thursday!].

Within 30 minutes or so I’d gone through immigration (and some sort of weird security check where they scanned my bags as they came in to the country…why would they do that?), and was on the way to pick up my rental car. A word on this: driving in Costa Rica is not for the faint of heart. It’s not that drivers here are bad; certainly they’re no worse than you find in New York City. It’s just that the roads are—how to put it—somewhat unpredictable. You have to assume that there’s a horse in the road around every corner, because in many cases, there is in fact a horse in the road just around the corner.

more ›

/ / / / / / / / /

Kai Surfs Costa Rica: Setting Off from the City

January 9, 2012 at 4:54 PM | by | Comments (0)

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.

I used to surf a lot in my 20s. I even took a year out of my life to travel 'round the world on a combo surfing/snowboarding trip. At that time, I visited some of the world’s great destinations for these sports, taking in Central America, the Californian coastline, Hawaii’s legendary North Shore, and of course Bells & Bondi in Australia. I wasn't an expert per se, but I was reasonably competent on a board.

Eventually I settled in Southern California, with world class breaks on my doorstep, before making the move to NYC. In recent years though, my dearly loved 7' 6" funboard (hand shaped in San Diego, lovingly transported to New York City by your truly) has been more of an ornament than anything else. It's a beautiful '70s-style blue and white, and it's propped up against my living room wall, making me look all sporty and Californian to visitors that don’t know any better, but definitely not serving the purpose for which it was designed. The truth is, I had stopped being a surfer.

more ›