3 Best Surf Breaks In Costa Rica
Updated: May 23
With British Airways adding direct flights from London Gatwick, this dream surf destination has just become even easier to get to. We've been traveling to Costa Rica for years, we love the warm water and there are so many fun surf breaks. You can always find a great wave to ride somewhere along the coastline that will suit your ability perfectly.
So here are our top 3 surf breaks in Costa Rica for intermediate surfers, what type of surfboards are best for the waves and even the best type of manoeuvre's each wave is perfect for.
1- Playa Carmen
Nestled under the fringes of the beautiful Cabo Blanco nature reserve, long peeling beach break waves lap at its shores. With its warm Pacific waters, this beach is a intermediates surfers dream spot. During the dry season, December through to March, the waves here vary from 2 to 4ft. This is the best and most consistent time to get your surf fix. Playa Carmen is a long sweeping bay where the waves break over sand, so you don't have to worry about those wipeouts whilst practising your next big trick.
The best type of boards for this wave depend on your ability and surfing style. Playa Carmen's wave caters for all kinds of surfers and their choice of wave craft. If you are just starting out and are just starting to ride green waves, we recommend an intermediates mini-mal, around the 7ft range. For the more experienced intermediate surfer, a shortboard fish hybrid would be the best all round performance board to ride, around the 5'10 to 6'2 mark. But the waves here are so perfect and forgiving almost any board will feel great. Longboards, twin fins and single fins all perform well and are a joy to ride on this beach.
2- Santa Teresa
Just a short walk north along a beautiful secluded bay lies the famous stretch of sand known as Santa Teresa. This is one of Costa Rica's best dry season beach break waves. This tropical surfing mecca has been luring traveling surfers to its perfectly curved long walls for decades. Santa Teresa's waves pack a little more punch than its neighbour Playa Carmen.. Due to its more north western facing shores, the waves here break with more intensity and speed, and on its day can throw up some world class tubes.
So, if you feel you have mastered the gentle rollers of Playa Carmen, why not take a walk north and test your surfing skills on this epic beach break. This is still a great wave for intermediate surfers on a high tide. On a mid to low tide you can see the pros threading through the green tubes, launching into the setting sun. Because Santa Teresa waves are a little more challenging , slightly faster take offs and steep walls require a little shift in equipment. A more pulled in shortboard shape would serve you well here. If you only have one board try adding a larger set of fins to a gain more hold and control in the steeper sections.
Way down south beyond the thick tropical jungle covered Piedras Blancas national park, is the world class point break of Pavones. Peeling endlessly into the bay, it is a fairly forgiving wave.
However, the left hand point break set up and slippery cobblestone point makes for a more challenging surf. If you feel your ready for a surf trip into the unknown, your fairly confident with your ability to take off, ride left hand breaking waves, then head down south and test your skills at this dream spot.
This is a really long wave and requires a board with plenty of drive and speed. Try adding a little more volume and length to your standard shortboard, especially if your a natural foot riding this point on your back hand. For added speed goofy footers may prefer to ride a twin fin on this wave. This will give you maximum speed down the line allowing for some stylish lines. Pavones can throw up a decent wave in the dry season for surfers switched on to its moods, but this point really starts to come alive later into the dry wet season shift as bigger swells start to hammer the bay. Check out our surf coach Alan Stokes in our film below.
So why not join us this February, in this unique surfers dream spot, for our Wild & Free surf and yoga retreat in collaboration with Wavelength Surfing Magazine .More info here, Costa Rica Surf and Yoga Retreat
To book onto our Costa Rican Surf and Yoga adventure or any of our other surf and yoga holidays click the links below.
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