Monday, December 19, 2011

How to Choose a Surfboard

Anyone new to the sport of surfing can make an easy choice; just pick a board that’s long, wide and thick. For those of you that are a little more experienced, well it’s not quite as easy. A number of factors can determine what the best board for you is and I’ll try to help you narrow down the choices. It’s helpful to ask yourself some questions, understand what kinds of waves you want to ride, what kind of style you want to develop and fully understand your skill level before investing in a board. I’ll do my best to break down the various board choices and what kind of surfer they might fit so you can make an informed decision, and most importantly, catch some tasty waves.

The boards:

Longboard


For the beginning surfer it’s simple, start with a longboard. Lengths typically start around 8 feet (going as high as 12), Longboards are the ideal board for a new surfer, as they will provide much needed stability and control.

Most longboards are somewhere between 18 and 22 inches wide and about 3 inches thick. The traditional longboard design employs a single fin design, but both the tri-fin and quad-fin design have become increasingly popular for added maneuverability.

A popular option for true beginners is the “soft top” which is an almost sponge-like top for added grip and protection, essentially eliminating the need for wax and making the board safer for the surfer and others in the water.

Shortboard


The board most synonymous with modern surfing, the shortboard is a great choice for both progressing amateurs and pro’. When you see surfers ‘carving’ waves with sharp turns, or airing out off a lip, they are most likely riding a shortboard. Typically around six-feet tall, thin and with a wide middle, the shortboard is built for both speed and maneuverability.

Although it’s a tough choice for beginners, it’s the board most surfers evolve into using as it can be ridden in a variety of situations and is the best for fast, technical surfing.

Fish




A type of Shortboard that’s usually under six-feet, the fish has a distinctive twin fin set up with a swallowtail shape. Originally developed in the 1960’s from kneeboards, the fish has had a resurgence of popularity and is a great choice for smaller waves.

Many boards employing the signature fish tail design will be called a fish, but only those following the very specific size requirements can be called an actual “retro” fish.

Fun board
This shape combines the look and design of a shortboard with a longer package (typically 7 or 8 feet), which gives riders the ease of catching waves longboard style and the maneuverability of the shortboard.

The fun board is great for novice surfers looking to make a jump up in difficulty and begin the transition to a shortboard. As the name implies it is great 'fun' too as your wave count will be off the charts.

Shorter, lighter, or more athletic surfers can also use a funboard as their introductory board.

One plus is that they are much easier to carry than a longboard!

Egg


An egg is another tweener board, good for small waves. Generally it is about 6-8' long and is less maneuverable but more stable than a traditional shortboard.

An egg is basically a smaller version of a funboard.

Oh, and it's shaped like an egg.




Gun (Elephant Gun)

Generally for experts only, this is your big wave board of choice, a long (7 to 12 feet) board, that’s very thin and needle-like in appearance and typically utilizes the single, quad or tri-fin set up.


These are popular for world-famous big wave spots such as Mavericks or Waimea Bay and will look like a short-board, but with the length of a longboard for increased stability in these types of waters.

Of course there are other lesser known boards and styles of riding that I won’t cover in-depth. You may have seen a person standing up on an extremely large surfboard before using a paddle? That’s a paddleboard, and it’s usually as long as 14 feet, to create added stability. There’s also the Malibu, a slightly shorter and skinnier Longboard, created at the popular location in SoCal. There are many others like these, but they really don’t stray too far from the essential board-styles listed above.

Materials

Board construction materials also vary. Fiberglass is most common and makes for a less expensive board, but epoxy is more durable. Both of these types would contain either a polyurethane or polystyrene foam core (the part of the board that is ‘shaped’ and give it its buoyancy). In recent years balsa and other wooden surfboards have made a comeback. Wood was the original material of choice for surfboards. Many models now use some combination of wood, foam and epoxy or other materials.

Local Shapers


Choosing a brand of board can be overwhelming too. If you are a beginner, it is usually better to go with a used board, as you will definitely be replacing your first board at some point, either due to progression, or (hopefully not), wear and tear. Most longtime surfers recommend supporting local shapers (board designers/builders) whenever possible rather than purchasing from large corporations who build their boards overseas. This practice has the added benefit of being less damaging to the environment, but if you live in a remote area without a lot of shapers, it can really limit your selection.

Warm water vs cold water wax

The only other recommendation to give would be to make sure you’ve got good wax on your board (unless it’s a soft-top) that also jives with the temperature of the water you’ll surfing in. Consulting a list online or a local surf shop will do the trick for this.


-BZ

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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Meet Frank, CRSI's Surfing Director

Here is a great interview with Frank about what makes CRSI special.

Top 10 Things to do in Tamarindo

Check out the post by Brad Zimmerman at Student Globe, outlining the top 10 activities to do in Tamarindo. His list includes surf + Spanish lessons naturally, but also fishing, a visit to the Langosta tide pools and more.

Nice job.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Another answer to high airline baggage fees

We have written about surfboard airline baggage fees before. Apparently, the dudes at Walden surfboards decided to take matters into their own hands.


They designed a surfboard that can be folded to fit into a suitcase. I originally saw this thing in Men's Journal and it also was reviewed by surfline back in July.

Check it out. Has anyone tried one of these things? Thoughts?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Another Great Surfing Workout: Off Season Total Body Fitness

We have posted a few surfing workout routines on here before including Laird Hamilton’s workout and some good workouts from our yoga and surf camp.


Some people have been asking for a good off-season workout to keep in surfing shape and avoid those jello arms the first time back in the water. (Not everyone gets to live in a place where the waves are good year round)

We had Derek Dolan, a personal trainer; fitness expert and costa rica surfing camp alum, design a great total body routine that combines swimming, cardio and resistance exercises to keep your paddling arms strong and your arms chiseled. Perform each workout once a week, leaving a day of rest in between.


Use a weight that takes you almost to failure at the given number of reps. For swimming, use 20 laps as a base and increase/decrease as needed for your fitness level.

If you need clarification on any of the exercises, check out the CrossFit website for videos and explanations.


Warm Up - continuous shouldn't take more than 15 minutes.

• 10 prison squats (no weight, hands behind head)
• 10 pushups. fingers out thumbs pointing toward shoulders.
• 10 side lunges
• Wide shoulder rotations w/ 5lbs 30 front, 30 back
• 10/leg alt. leg raises.
• 10/side iron cross. on back arms straight out knees up at a 45.
• 10/leg alt backward hip circles
• 10/leg swings - balancing on one foot
• 10/leg side to side leg swings


Monday - Chest Focus

• Swim 20 laps continuous
• Bench 3x15
• Overhead squat 2x15
• Pullup 2x15
• Lateral raise
• Wall balls 2x15
• Barbell curl 2x12
• Tricep extension 2x12
• Box Jumps 2x20
• Chest Cable Flies 3x12
• 100 Swiss Ball Crunches

Weds - Legs Focus

• Run 2 miles
• Swim 10 laps continuous
• Squat 3x12
• Incline 2x12
• Single arm row 2x12
• Clean & jerk 2x8
• Reverse fly 2x12
• Hammer curl 2x12
• Skull crushers 2x12
• Burpees 3x15
• Weighted walking lunge 2x12
• 1 minute plank – 5 sets

Friday - Back Focus

• Stair climb 10 minutes
• Swim 10 laps continuous
• Pullups 3x15
• Dumbell chest press 3x12
• Deadlifts 2x12
• Shoulder press 2x12
• Kettlebell swings 3x15
• Preacher curls 2x12
• Dips 2x20
• Lat pulldown 3x12
• Calves 2x12
• Hanging leg raises 2x20


Good luck.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

New Photos from SG Spanish Students Surfing with CRSI!

Here are some great new Costa Rica surf lesson photos from students surfing during last year's CRSI summer surf programs.


Check out the picture of CRSI surf student Emily riding her first wave. Look like fun? Pay us a visit this summer!

CRSI

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Laird Hamilton's 10 Rules for Eating a Healthy Diet

Big wave surfing legend Laird Hamilton gave Men's Health his 10 tips for eating right and staying in shape. Laird is also a big fan of yoga and working out as we have noted in this blog in the past.

Here are his tips (Mens Health)


Push Start - The Big Smooth


I like to begin the day at the blender with a smoothie. My favorite recipe contains five supplements that help me optimize my nutrition. A single tablespoon of Catie's Organic Greens, for instance, equals seven servings of green vegetables. I also add apple or cherry juice and frozen bananas and berries for a nice consistency. My morning smoothie gives my body a huge amount of nutrients, which are easily absorbed because liquids are easier to digest than solids. Less than an hour later, I'm ready for whatever activity is on the agenda.

Don't Graze

I don't like to eat unless I'm hungry. When I sit down to a meal, I want my body to be in a state of craving. Not eating until you're hungry means you're not snacking much, if at all.


Chew Slowly

All too often we take our food for granted. I'm always reminding myself to eat more consciously, to savor what I'm chewing. Nature has given us millions of unique flavors. Our job is to explore and appreciate them. It also makes you hyperaware of how much you're eating.


Eat Real Foods

Be wary of any food that has been created by humans rather than nature. The ingredients on the labels of processed foods, such as the average cracker or potato chip, are mind-boggling. If I don't know what it is, it's not going into my body.


Be Diverse

The food universe is vast, and in it there are hundreds of nutrients, minerals, enzymes, essential fatty acids, bioflavonoids, phytochemicals--all kinds of elements. Each one provides something unique to our cells. That's why the more diverse your diet, the healthier you're going to be. Mix it up when you grocery shop. Don't just buy the same stuff every time.


Chew Slowly

All too often we take our food for granted. I'm always reminding myself to eat more consciously, to savor what I'm chewing. Nature has given us millions of unique flavors. Our job is to explore and appreciate them. It also makes you hyperaware of how much you're eating.


Eat Real Foods


Be wary of any food that has been created by humans rather than nature. The ingredients on the labels of processed foods, such as the average cracker or potato chip, are mind-boggling. If I don't know what it is, it's not going into my body.



Be Diverse


The food universe is vast, and in it there are hundreds of nutrients, minerals, enzymes, essential fatty acids, bioflavonoids, phytochemicals--all kinds of elements. Each one provides something unique to our cells. That's why the more diverse your diet, the healthier you're going to be. Mix it up when you grocery shop. Don't just buy the same stuff every time.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Updated: Airline Surfboard Baggage Fees



We ran a story on this awhile back via CRSI twitter but the folks over at CR Surf have a good updated list of airline baggage fees for surfboards. Yikes!

Airlines Increase Fees for Boardbags
If you are thinking about bringing your favorite quiver on your next surf trip, these airlines have increased their fees for surfboards. Be sure to visit the airlines website before booking your flight so you know what to expect.

Luckily at CRSI surfing camps in Costa Rica, we have a full quiver of awesome surfboards. We also recommend that former students who are staying awhile in CR to buy a new board and then sell it back used and still save over what it would have cost to bring your own.

If you want this practice of overcharging to end, contact the airlines by mail and visit this site to sign their petition - http://www.surfers-against-airline-fees.com/


Air Pacific- $50 each way per surfboard bag leaving the U.S.

American Airlines - $150 each way (charge is per surfboard bag if neatly packed and under 50lbs) Lightweight surfboards packaged in a single bag that weighs less than 50lbs will be accepted as a single surfboard for charging purposes. Max 70 lbs and 126 inches

Continental - $100 each way for 2 surfboards , $400 each way for 3 surfboards, $700 each way for 4 surfboards)

Continental Airlines will accept one surfboard/wakeboard or one surfboard bag containing up to four boards per customer as checked baggage. Services charges (one way):

* 1 surfboard $100.00
* 1 surfboard bag containing up to two boards $100.00
* 1 surfboard bag containing up to three boards $400.00
* 1 surfboard bag containing up to four boards $700.00

This service charge is in addition to any excess baggage charges that may apply. The skeg/fin must be removed or well padded. The entire board must be encased in a suitable container to avoid scratching. Continental Airlines shall not be liable for damage to a surfboard/wakeboard. Excess Valuation may not be purchased for a surfboard/wakeboard. Surfboard/wakeboard and surfboard bags over 70lbs (32 kg) will not be accepted as checked baggage.

Note: On Continental Airlines flights, surfboards, surfboard bags or wakeboards over 115 inches (292 cm) in length will not be accepted as checked baggage. On Continental Express* or Continental Connection flights, surfboards, surfboard bags or wakeboards over 80 inches (203 cm) in length will not be accepted as checked baggage.

Copa- $75 to all destinations, excluding São Paulo and San Jose (SJO) which are charged only US $50 (two boards per bag)

Delta- $200 each way per surfboard bag - one board per bag ($100 each way to/from Brazil, $220 to Honolulu or Maui)


If the surfboard is not in a protective case, you must fill out a limited liability release before the surfboard will be accepted.
Surfboards are allowed one board per bag; additional boards in a bag will be charged, per board.
Surfboards over 70 lbs. will be charged the excess weight fee.
Between Honolulu and Maui, there is a 20 USD/CAD/EUR* fee.
Boogie boards smaller than or equal to 43 inches (107 cm) will be accepted as part of the free allowance.

Jet Blue- What is accepted: One surfboard per case; we recommend that surfboards travel in a hard-sided (rather than soft-sided) case to prevent damage. Domestic Flights: Surfboards are accepted on domestic flights for a fee of $50 per board each way and will count as one of your checked bags. International Flights: Customers will be charged a fee of $50 per board each way and will count as part of the checked baggage allowance. Surfboards are accepted to all destinations EXCEPT to/from Bermuda, *Santo Domingo and Santiago. *Please note: Surfboards ARE accepted on flights to/from Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

Southwest- $50 each way per surfboard bag

Spirit Airlines - A fee of $100 will apply each way for surfboards. A maximum of two surfboards will be accepted per case.

Taca- $125 each way per surfboard bag (max. 2 surfboards), $175 extra for additional surfboards ($100 between Miami and San Jose, Costa Rica)

United- Domestic $100 each way per surfboard, International $200 each way per surfboard

US Airways - Surfboards will be accepted as checked baggage for a charge of $100 per direction. One item of surfing equipment consists of 1 surfboard. When packaging a surfboard, keels and/or kedges must be removed or crated in such a manner so as to prevent damage to other baggage.



These airlines do not charge for boards: Sweet!

Singapore Airlines- No Charge for first 2 surfboards
Qantas – No charge
South African Airways- No charge
Air Emirates- No Charge

Complete article at
[CR Surf]

Friday, January 21, 2011