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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.
Less than an hour’s drive outside Zihuatenejo, Mexico (including 15 exciting minutes on a very unpaved road), you’ll find Playa Vivaa 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.
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: