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I’m going on a surf trip to Costa Rica and Nicaragua, and I’m looking for the perfect surfboard to take with me….

I’m eight years old. I’m starting to paddle out back and surf green waves, and want something robust, easy to catch waves on, and manoeuvrable.

Leo Surfboard, Magnific Rock, Malibu Popoyo, Nicaragua, Surfboards UK, Family Surf Co

EPOXY OR FIBREGLASS SURFBOARD?

Surfboards UK Ltd make eco-friendly, epoxy boards using techniques that make surfboard production much more sustainable. The reduced environmental impact, eco-friendly resin and custom board design, made this the perfect place to get a surfboard for our trip. Also, being epoxy, it would be much tougher than fibreglass for travelling.

EcoBoard, Surfboards UK, Family Surf Co

Surfboards UK designed the board around my needs, dimensions and whatever textures and details I wanted. When I first visited the factory it was just a big recyclable blank that shaper Stephen cut down to size and shape. I went for a 5’4” with some float, but narrow enough to carry under my arm. Then I chose a cool marble blue for the underside, and a clean white deck. I got to take it home and Posca pen my own logo and designs on it before it went back to the factory for its last coat of lacquer. I drew waves on either side, the Family Surf Co logo in the middle of the board and a palm tree on the tail.

Travelling with the surfboard

It was ready just in time for our trip. Just six days from the start to the finish of the process. It felt just the right size, light enough to carry and small enough to pack in the Ocean & Earth surfboard bag with our quiver of three other boards belonging to mum and my two brothers. At San José aiport, on the way to Nicaragua, we had to unpack all of the boards because our board bag was too big to fit on the 12-seater Cessna plane. This was fine for mine because it’s tough and made from epoxy. Which meant it arrived ding free and in ship shape for its first ever surf waves in Nicaragua (unlike Mum’s and Oli’s boards, which had one or two dings from the journey).

Ocean & Earth Surfboard bag, Playa Santana, Malibu Popoyo, Nicaragua, EcoBoard, Surfboards UK, Family Surf Co

Surf’s Up

As soon as we arrived in Nicaragua we hit the surf on Santana beach, near Popoyo. My first session didn’t go to plan, because the waves are fast and hollow, and I’m not the quickest at pop ups. The board felt so wobbly to start with, because my old board was bigger and more stable. But on the second day we went to a different beach called Mag Rock, where there is mellow right-hander in a tropical sandy bay. You had to run to the sea because the sand was so hot, but here I managed to pop up and do my first top and bottom turn on the same wave. From here onwards me and my board started to bond.

Leo Surfboard, Finca Popoyo, Malibu Popoyo, Nicaragua, Surfboards UK, Family Surf Co

Cruising in Costa Rica

A few days later we were paddling out at Playa Grande in Costa Rica, where the waves were two feet of perfect, peeling A-frames. I was so grateful to Surfboards UK to be riding these on my dream board. Even though I was still getting my balance, I was enjoying every bit of surfing on it. I was getting my feet faster and able to do so many more manoeuvres because it was so light and responsive under my feet.

Family Surfing, Playa Grande, Costa Rica, Family Surf Co

SURFING THE PACIFIC COASTLINE

At our next stop, The Sunset Shack in Nosara, I didn’t really surf my new board very much because the surf was so small and weak, so I used my little brother’s foamy. I felt like my surfing had improved so much as I got a massive air on – but unfortunately I didn’t land it. In Santa Teresa the surf was much bigger, so big I couldn’t paddle out back. So I stayed in the white water where it was difficult to do many manoeuvres or even stay on my feet for long. However, when we got all the way the Osa Peninsula, where it takes a lot of swell to get the point breaks going, the surf was almost flat. It’s hard to catch tiny waves on my board, so had to borrow a soft-top Al Merrick to surf Pan Dulce, where it was just us and the wildlife.

THANKS SURFBOARDS UK 

I had an epic trip in Nicaragua and along the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, and Surfboards UK made me the perfect board for the experience of a lifetime. It’s come home ding-free, my surfing has come on leaps and bounds and I’m busy practising in UK waters ready to travel on more amazing trips in the future.

 

Leo, Osa Clandestina, Osa Peninsula, Matapalo, Surfboards UK, Family Surf Co

MY FAVOURITE PLACES TO STAY IN COSTA RICA & NICARAGUA

Malibu Popoyo, Nicaragua

Here we had our own surf guides who were really fun in the sea and took us to the best spots. At the hotel our room was between the crystal clear swimming pool and a beach where we would watch the pelicans at sunrise. We also went to pick coconuts and mangoes growing on their farm. 

RipJack Inn, Playa Grande, Costa Rica

At RipJack Inn I loved our family suite with a private veranda beside the swimming pool. It was just a two-minute stroll along the sandy track to the waves and turtle reserve.

Sunset Shack, Nosara, Costa Rica

I loved the food at the amazing restaurant here – nachos, burritos and fresh watermelon juice. We could watch the iguanas at breakfast, play table football and it 300m to the beach for amazing surf and star gazing.

Osa Clandestina, Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica

Here the food and the wildlife was the best of all. We woke up to howler monkeys, and for breakfast we’d have gallo pinto, eggs, organic rice and guacamole. Everything was fresh from local farms. The beach was like paradise, with scarlet macaws screeching overhead, hawks perched on the rocks and monkeys swinging in the trees.

 

COVID-19 UPDATE

father-and-son-surfing

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