Everyone knows that booking a vacation to surf camp is a great way to introduce yourself to surfing but, like most other sports, even experienced surfers can dramatically improve their performance with the right instruction. Unlike some camps who hire great surfers as coaches, we’ve hired great surfers who are also passionate about teaching. Our head coach, Martin Reynolds, is equally comfortable working with beginners who have never surfed, as he his with competitive surfers looking to improve their maneuvers—and everyone in between.
As a former pro mountain biker, one of my main goals when I started PNS was to offer the quality and standard of coaching that is commonplace in other sports, such as skiing or snowboarding, to surfers. As an athlete, I like to know what I need to focus on in the moment and where I am aiming to get to next. Our coaches pride themselves in their ability to identify any “bad habits” or holes in the foundation of surf skills you possess and from these create a logical plan for maximum progression with specific and attainable goals. They empower and motivate you by concentrating on breaking down skills into body mechanics and decision-making and back that up with amazing teaching tools, like video and spilt screen coaching.
Here are five ways we work with experienced surfers looking to take their performance to the next level:
1. A Professional Team– Our team includes some of the industry’s best coaches. Our head coach, Martin Reynolds is an ISA Contest Judge, surf coach and lifeguard with over 15 years of experience under his belt. Martin and his team have coached everyone from kids to CEO’s, celebrities to pro athletes, and have a tried and tested curriculum that can fast track any surfer who wants to learn to surf or surf better.
2. We are Surf Geeks – Our approach to coaching includes a technical approach that breaks down where and how each surfer can improve.
- Video Analysis: We review video footage to really get an understanding of where subtle changes in positioning and timing might be improved (and of course to capture footage of you catching the wave of your life!). This kind of analysis has proven to be invaluable.
- Technique Sessions: We incorporate technique sessions in the pool, so that you can work with the coaches on specific skills that will improve your surfing in the ocean.
- Surfboard Expertise: We provide a variety of quality board shapes and sizes for you to experiment on. Martin is our in-house surfboard designer and shaper, and always more than willing to get in-depth about how different boards will perform. He can also offer consultation on finding you the perfect board.
- Surf Culture: If there’s a professional competition going on, you can bet we’ll be watching it at camp! You’ll be amazed how much you can learn watching the pros when you have an experienced judge breaking down each point.
3. Individually Tailored Coaching – Here at PNS, we have devised our own system of “Surfing Levels” so that we can focus on providing you with coaching that is specific and relevant to where you are and what you want to achieve.
We group surfers together based on their surfing level, if you are the only surfer at your level then you will receive individual coaching, simple as that. If there are other surfers at your level, then we have a ratio of 4 surfers:1 coach, which is actually how the pro’s train. While it is nice to have one-on-one coaching, it has been found equally as effective to work in small groups so that you not only learn from your own mistakes but those of others and if you see someone getting it right, you get to learn from that too. Win : Win!
4. Local Knowledge – As a more experienced surfer, you will know that we are at the mercy of Mother Nature and there are so many factors that go into finding the perfect conditions on any given day. With over 20 years spent in the area and plenty of surf spots to choose from, we know where to go depending on the time of year, swell direction, stage of the tide or direction of the wind. Our camp is located on the tip of the Nicoya Peninsula with access to beach breaks, point breaks, and a few incredible breaks we access by boat. You can simply concentrate on improving and we do the rest. This may mean we get you up and out of bed at 6 a.m. some mornings but there is no better feeling than sitting on your board in warm tropical waters, watching the sun rise in Costa Rica, just ask Kathryn & Gloria! (https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=237787523012689)
5. Whole Body Approach – We offer all the usual extras—daily yoga sessions, massage, and lots of super fresh, healthy meals and surf snacks—but go beyond the “resort” approach to really offer guests tangible ways to achieve their goals. Our fitness director, Gem Yates, is a certified personal trainer and specialist in fitness nutrition, who works with guests daily offering cross-training and nutrition tips that will make you a better, stronger surfer athlete overall. (http://www.surfcamppeaksnswells.com/2012/11/03/6-things-to-incorporate-into-your-workouts-to-improve-your-surfing/)
Don’t worry, you will have plenty time to relax and rejuvenate too…unless of course conditions are perfect at Cedros. Then we might have to bag the pina coladas for one more afternoon session…