For the first “Catching it Perfect” we thought it only appropriate to tell it from someone catching their “First” Perfect Wave:
We came down to Costa Rica on a family vacation from Texas and booked into The Westin Hotel in Playa Conchal after vacationing in Tamarindo the previous year. Last year my son Noah decided he wanted to try a surf lesson and the rest of our group, being a little more reserved took the more Pura Vida approach and watched before we committed. One thing about Tamarindo surf is that is quite busy with lots of beginners mixed in with intermediate and advanced surfers.

Noah had fun but found it very intimidating and overwhelming as surfers were coming at you from everywhere so no one else from our group wanted to try including myself. This year however we took a different approach and after doing some research, both Noah and I opted for the quieter surf beach of Playa Grande with a local company. After doing our research on Tripadvisor and reading reviews we opted for a local surf company that also offered free round trip transportation from our hotel.

They picked us up and took us to a quiet spot on Playa Grande where Noah and I had the time of our vacation. Working with an amazing instructor named Johel aka “Sparky”, he had the time and patience to give us a true lesson. He explained and taught us a lot and showed us so that by the latter part of the lesson we were out trying to catch waves with him verbally coaching us. The waves were a good size- Johel said about 4-5 feet and as beginners we were riding the white water most of the lesson not the waves.

Noah progressed way better than me so for the last few waves he took Noah out to try to catch a big wave and drop in on it. I watched cautiously from the beach as some big waves approached and next thing I saw was Noah on top of this wave that I swear looked like it was 12 feet…well it did to me with my 18 year old baby on it!!!! I could hear Johel yelling commands to him and there he was on top of what Johel said was a good 5 plus footer dropping down the face of the wave.

As he landed on the bottom he disappeared under the mounting water and I thought he had fallen off when all of a sudden out he came riding that wave like a champion surfer. I remember the look of happy and fear on his face as he was coming in and I must have looked like the biggest idiot on the beach jumping up and down screaming happily and waving my arms in the air. It was truly the highlight of our vacation and we got the pictures from the surf company to prove it.
Kerryann H, Utah

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