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What to Check for When Renting a Surfboard

Surfboard rentalsBy Greg Gordon,  CR Surf Travel Company
www.CRsurf.com   @crsurf

This article is mostly for beginner surfers or those taking a surfboard out for the first time. You see a lot of options on the beach for board rentals, in both sizes and prices. So which is the best for you? Well that depends on the size and type you need, the condition of the board, leash, and fins, and the price you want to pay.

Size and Type

If you are beginner you are going to want a longer board. An official ‘longboard’ is 9 feet long, and most anyone under 200 lbs can easily float on it. Bigger surfers should look for wider or longer boards, but not too long. Really long boards can get heavy and hard to control in waves over knee to waist high. If you are a smaller or lighter person, you can choose a board as small as 7’6” but smaller boards are generally thinner and will not float you as well. They also turn quickly so are less stable. Even kids should get longer boards (7’6” to 8’) since the goal is being able to stand up easily, that is the fun part. Kids get frustrated and lose interest if they keep falling down.

The two main types of boards are solid or soft-top. Solid boards are harder and float a person a little better. The down side is you want to have a good coat of wax on the board so your feet and stomach don’t slip. Also it can hurt should it hit you in the head or body. Soft-top boards are the same weight, but they have a spongy top. For most of them you do not need wax to grip the top of the board. However, the sponge like surface can cause some painful rashes on your chest, stomach, and the insides of your thighs when sitting on it.
CRSurf.com
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Surfing Quepos/Manuel Antonio – December 2018

Surfer

Photo Paul Gerace, photosofcostarica.com

By Greg Gordon,  CR Surf Travel Company
www.CRsurf.com   @crsurf

If you are a surfer or want to learn to surf while you are here, then you should know a little about the surf breaks in the area. Here is a quick guide from north to south:

Matapalo

Not the point break at the tip of the Osa Peninsula, this is a quiet town about 20 minutes drive south of Quepos. The beach is soft sand and the waves generally are mellow and work best at two hours before high tide to an hour after. There are occasionally lifeguards about 1/2 kilometer north of the first beach entrance, but otherwise you may be the only surfer in the water. On smaller days it is a lot of fun for beginners, and on bigger days an empty break for more advanced surfers. 

Dominical

Bordered on the north end by the Baru River which creates rocky sandbars down the beach, this break has very powerful waves on the outside while the reform can be perfect for beginners at lower tides. There are lifeguards posted who will show newcomers where to paddle out and where to avoid. Generally when it’s head high or bigger the higher tide works better and when it’s under head high it can produce hollow barrels at lower tides. This is the most consistent wave in the country so there will always be something to surf, and there are five excellent surf schools in town (Sunset Surf, CR Surf School, Monkey Surf School, Dominical Waverider, and Dominical Surf Lessons) 

Dominicalito

Just south of Dominical, this bay has small boulders in the shore break that are exposed at low tide but covered at high tide. At the south end it’s best for beginners starting at about an hour before high tide until an hour after. Right in front of the beach entrance has a decent high tide wave for intermediate surfers. No lifeguards here and the rips can get strong, but generally it’s a couple of feet smaller than Dominical.

CRSurf.com