Monday, December 16, 2013

A Surfer's Guide To Risk Taking

In a recent article, titled "A Surfer's Guide to Taking Risks" Srinivas Rao uses the mental challenges faced by every surfer as metaphors for 'real-world' calculated risk taking.  Anyone who has ever pushed their limits in the water will recognize the references Rao makes.  Maybe we would indeed be better off, applying the same tactics to everyday decisions.   Rao outlines seven ways to apply a surfer's mentality to every day life.  For example, number for on his list: 

4. Embrace uncertainty 

There’s a moment on a wave known as “the drop.” It’s the moment when either our hopes are crushed or our hard work comes to fruition. It’s also the most uncertain moment of a wave. A wave’s shape is in constant flux and the surfer must adjust accordingly. But the shape also has a tendency to disappear or “close out,” meaning that a seemingly perfect wave can crumble into whitewater, leaving a surfer scrambling.
Nothing in life is guaranteed and living your life according to a predetermined formula is not a guarantee of success. You can’t predict your company will succeed, your art will fly off gallery walls, or your love will be returned. You have to embrace the uncertainty of it all and remember that the more waves you go for, the more you’ll catch.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Did Surfing Influence the Declaration of Independence?

National Geographic contributing writer, Joel Bourne, recently grilled historian-surfers Peter Westwick and Peter Neushul on the more notable moments in surfing's history.

Westwick and Neushuls new book, The World in a Curl: An Unconventional History of Surfing details previously little known facts about the sports history and present, such as the "political, economical and environmental consequences...(and it's) evolution from a sport of Hawaiian kings and queens, to a billion-dollar, worldwide industry."

Bourne's interview with the Peters, touches on some of the more interesting highlights of the book.  For instance, did you know that early accounts of surfing may have influence Thomas Jefferson to include the 'pursuit of happiness' phrase in the Declaration of Independence?

Westrick told Bourne:

"Both the French and American revolutions occurred as these incredible literary images were coming back from explorers in the tropical Pacific. The surfer on a tropical wave is the very antithesis of what we were doing in Europe, which was perfecting the guillotine and better ways to kill each other.
If you are sitting in Europe or colonial America reading these travelers' accounts coming back from the South Pacific who are describing "the most supreme pleasure," it really might give you pause. It might make you think, 'Wow, these surfers have it right.'"
The book also touches on some of surfing's shadier roots.  When asked about the Brotherhood of Eternal Love, a 1960's surf gang, Westrick said, 
Surfers not only reflected the '60s, they also actually helped create the '60s because they were the ones driving this tremendous supply of drugs. This image of surfers as a bunch of longhairs on the beach who can't get their act together may have helped them get away with it.
When you read federal task force reports on the menace of drug smuggling, the feds refused to believe these hippie surfers could possibly pull off something this complex and this organized. It was a major global network that these guys were running out of Laguna. They brought in millions of LSD doses, among other things.
You can read the entire interview on National Geographic and purchase the book here.  

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Garth breaks down some CRSI surfboards

  • Steve Lis Retro Fish
  • Al Merrick Tri Fin 7'6"
  • Mini Longboard/Funboard 
 Still confused about the different types of surfboards? Check out our past post on how to choose a surfboard.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Why I Decided to Learn Spanish and Surf in Costa Rica

Andrea Holt
CSI Student
Several years ago I decided to learn Spanish.  I knew that immersing myself into a Spanish speaking area and studying abroad were in my future.  I did what I often do when I get an idea and began researching how to make this idea become a reality.  I stumbled across Costa Rica Surf Institute, which offered a Spanish and surfing lesson combo. with its sister school, CSI 
Goldmine!  Immediately, I knew this was a brilliant fit for me as learning to surf was on my agenda anyway.  Furthermore, I assumed I would go brain dead with too much study and not enough physical action.
The balance between an academic challenge and a physical challenge really spoke to me, so I went.  I studied at CSI for a month back in 2010 and I have not been the same since.  Turns out I loved to surf and I loved learning Spanish (most days, sometimes my brain hurt).  Being able to exercise my body and my mind in such a fun setting was an awesome experience.  Plus, practicing Spanish while waiting in the line up was a great combination!  I’ve returned twice since then and will be going back again this fall.  
Take home points:
• Immersion is key when learning Spanish
• Exercising the body and the mind helps cement learning
• Practicing Spanish while out on the waves is also fun!
Pura vida,

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Why Tamarindo Is The Perfect Place to Learn to Surf

Ben Williams
Former CRSI Student           

Before I came to Tamarindo my previous surfing experience involved lock-leggedly wobbling to my feet and struggling to stay standing as the tiny wave I had somehow caught thrashed about behind me. After three weeks in Tamarindo I now choose my waves with discretion, paddle for them with surety, and surf them with a confidence that seemed impossible just a short time before.

Tamarindo is the perfect place to learn to surf, and I don’t use words like perfect lightly. Tamarindo’s beaches have miles of soft sand arrayed in a large cove, cutting down on currents and giving both a north facing and south facing break. In all my time here there hasn’t been a day where there haven’t been good, surfable waves.

Waves are formed when water comes close to shore and the diminishing space between the ground and the surface of the water forces the water to swell upward. This rising water crests into foamy white tumult, and there are few things in life as exhilarating as to be standing on top of a surfboard at this crest. Tamarindo’s beach has a nice, steady slope outward, so steady that you can be well over a 40 meters from shore and still be only chest deep. This slope keeps the waves consistent, predictable and great.   

Depending on the direction of the wind, the height of the tide, and other aquatic variables, Tamarindo’s waves will either muddle their way to shore in still-surfable under-a-meter swells, or they will barrel towards the beach as towering ten-foot monsters. Experienced riders can find plenty of challenging, large waves, but for the rest of us, the bend of Tamarindo’s beach means that there is always a place with waves that are the right size for any given surfer.  

Want to learn to surf in Tamarindo like Ben?  Join us for a surf camp thus summer.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Watch the Mesmerizing Trailer for "Hangs Upon Nothing"

Jeremy Rumas set out to document the beauty of surfing while employing a thoroughly DIY approach.  The director shot the entire surf movie on 16mm film, composed the soundtrack himself and even drew his own cover art and marketing materials.

He says, "Hangs Upon Nothing is a film about experiencing life on earth."  The trailer will definitely inspire you to experience more.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

A Couple Resources for New Surfers

There comes a time in every surfer's life when they hear some unknown vocabulary, are in need of advice about boards, or want to figure out what all the measurements on Magic Seaweed are about. More often than not (and definitely in my experience), we hold back the question for fear of looking like a kook. Well fear no more friends. Here are some great resources that can help answer your questions:

  • Surfing Forum: Features message boards on a wide range of surfing related topics including a beginners forum, board advice, surf shop deals and more. Check em out. 
  • CRSI Surfing Dictionary: We've linked to this a couple times now but it remains a great resource. Not sure what that dude at your local shop is talking about? Someone call you something in the water and laugh, but you don't know what they meant? Look it up here. Knowledge is power. 

 Have another resource you'd like to add? Email it to Chris at

Friday, January 25, 2013

Vans EMEA Surf Vid

Cool vid to get you in the surfing mood courtesy of the Vans EMEA Surf Team. Via Magic Seaweed.

Vans EMEA Surf Team Trip from Vans Europe on Vimeo.