Learn to Paddleboard Surf in Costa Rica

Paddleboard Surfing in Costa Rica

The sport of paddleboard surfing more commonly known as sup surf has arguably been around for hundreds or even thousands of years, depending upon who you ask or where you are sup surfing. The modern sport of sup surfing, it is safe to say, has been around for, let’s just say, half a generation. If you want the in-depth story on everything SUPSurf, download our book here.

But for this article, we will be talking about the reasons why so many people decided to learn to SUPSurf in Costa Rica?

People from outside Hawaii and California started getting interested in sup surf in recent years. But one area it has shown to be a perfect atmosphere is the tiny peaceful country of Costa Rica.


What Makes Costa Rica Perfect for Sup Surf?

Costa Rica is perfect for sup surf for many the same reasons it has grown as the eco-tourism model for most of the world.

Costa Rica, first of all, is a safe and stable country. It has years of giving much of its attention to education, healthcare, and protecting its environment. Because of this, Costa Rica has filled with some of the “happiest people on the planet.” Also, awe-inspiring natural beauties, including clean beaches that every surfer dreams of.

That’s the big picture of what makes Costa Rica so great. Now we will list three reasons why Costa Rica is becoming the new hot spot for supsurf. As a result, why you should learn to sup surf in Costa Rica.


People’s Attitude

This is probably the number one reason we enjoy SUPSurfing in Costa Rica slightly more than many other places. If you have ever been in a crowded line-up, you probably know where we are going with this first reason.

SUPSurf Grit

SUPSurfing is a sport that requires mental strength inward and outward. You have to deal with your own motivation and willingness to fall. You also have to deal with the surfers around you.


In the surfing community, you immediately learn how important the word “locals” is. They defend their turf and like to have secret spots of their favorite waves. When these spots are discovered by more affluent surfers that can hop on a plane and go when they wish, the animosity begins to set in. These can be very intense situations on much of the planet. In our book, you can learn about the etiquette of surfing. Also how it is slightly more important on a SUPSurf board because of your extra equipment. 

Friendly Ticos 

Before you get turned off, what we want to say is that Costa Rica has one of the friendliest line-ups you will find anywhere. The country was trained in eco-tourism. You are more often than not treated like a local than treated as an outsider. It is still important to follow standard etiquette. For the most part, the pura vida you will notice is consistent from the land out into the waves.

This attitude of the locals is never more important than in the moment of learning. At our Nosara SUPSurf Camp and Caribbean SUPSurf Academy, our goal is to make you one of the locals from the start. It helps when our coaches are on the Costa Rican Pro Circuit. The local Costa Rican’s are natural teachers and genuinely find joy in offering help and seeing someone enjoy their country.

Local Experts

This makes Costa Rica home to really what we consider some of the top SUPSurf coaches. With a business in whitewater rafting, I always said this about whitewater guides also. The authenticity of how much they enjoy what they do, the willingness to help, and the fact that water sports are run year-round make them some of the most seasoned guides/coaches you will find.


Wave Consistency 

The second reason Costa Rica will one day become a SUPSurf Mecca is the consistency of the surfing conditions.  While the weather is changing, if I had to be a weatherman, I would probably want the job of picking wave conditions on some of Costa Rica’s beaches. Chances are you will have perfect conditions if you know which time of year to go where.

This is a major plus because Costa Rica really became popular from two separate events.

Surfers & Biologist

The first was the surfers in the early ’80s coming down for the consistent waves, and the second was the biologist studying in the tree canopy.

The stable government allowed for both of these, not that that would have stopped the surfers.

Once the surfers made their way back, telling stories about the waves, the rest was history. Forty years later, you are almost always certain to have those same perfect conditions.

One of the most consistent beaches you will find anywhere in Nosara is our SUPSurf Academy.


Two Coast Caribbean & Pacific

I am always surprised at how many people forget this small little detail.

How many countries can you think of that have two amazing coasts that are both epics for surfing?


Same Country but Very Different Coast

What I enjoy most is that they really feel like two totally different countries. The topography, culture, and flor & fauna are different, making each very distinct.

History has shown that most prefer the Pacific over the years, but if you had to ask me, I would take the Caribbean as my favorite coast in Costa Rica. I don’t think I am in a bad mood when I am on the Pacific, but just overall vibe, I go for the Caribbean.

Because this article is on SUPSurf, you will have a longer season and a chance to improve more your SUPSurfing on the Costa Rica Pacific coast.

The benefit to the two coasts in Costa Rica, other than the luxury of feeling like you can visit two different countries, is that they both have opposite dry seasons.

The Pacific has a longer dry season that runs from January to August, which you can see in our Nosara SUPSurf Academy dates we only open during those months. After August, the rain comes in the Pacific, and the dry season starts in the Caribbean, making it without question the most picturesque and perfect place to learn sup surf in Costa Rica. The window is short, but the experience shouldn’t be missed by any sup surfers wanting to learn or work on their skills.

The Caribbean SUPSurf season runs from late August to mid-November.


In closing, those are just a few reasons why we recommend you learn to SUPSurf in Costa Rica.

We could go on with some more reasons like the great healthy food, the exotic and places to stay. Not to mention all the other great adventures you can enjoy in Costa Rica. But if you are like us, you will probably find it hard to take a day off from the waves.


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POC Camp

The POC camp is an extension of the POC lodge and while the POC Lodge is located with vast views of the Pacuare River Canyon the POC Camp is down on the river’s edge. While it might not have the view of the POC Lodge it sits on one of the calmest sections of the river making the POC Camp home to one of the river Pacuare’s best spots for taking a swim and relaxing on the river’s edge.

POCsito is a favorite among so many of our guests. It is a glamping experience with some of the important comforts of home.

POC Lodge

Started in 2011 is the POC lodge. If you haven’t figured it out by now POC lodge is our own lodge and what we like to call the “baby” of the P.O.C. Adventure Company. We wanted a lodge on our favorite part of Costa Rica which is the Pacuare River and with the help of locally harvested supplies and labor, the POC Lodge was born.


This is a 180-acre property that runs over 1 mile of the Pacuare River. Our goal has always been to offer as much comfort as possible without steering too far away from our roots of just roughing it on the river’s edge. Our lodge has hot water, a splash of luxury in the rooms, and 5-Star service and attention to our guests.

Our favorite part about the lodge is that we built a short hike up from the river’s edge. We know we have the best views of the Pacuare River canyon and unfortunately pictures don’t even do it justice.

Arenal Paraiso, Arenal

Have you ever wanted to stay the night at the base of an active volcano? Well here is your chance. The Arenal Paraiso is located at the base of the Arenal Volcano with breath-taking views of the perfectly cone-shaped volcano.

Here at Arenal Paraiso’s, you will enjoy the beautiful property which offers much more than just a view. The property has numerous bungalows that offer a splash of luxury while surrounded by lush tropical rainforest. After a day of adventure, you will love making your way back to relax or hang out in the pool at Arenal Paraiso.

Shawandha, Caribbean 

Located at the edge of the white sandy beaches of Costa Rica sits the Shawandha lodge.  A perfect blend of eco-style luxury along with the sounds of the ocean and vibrant ambiance of the rainforest.

Shawandha lodge is set up with individual bungalows made out of local wood. You will be sure to wake up to the sound of the local residents such as the howler monkeys and green macaws. After your day of adventure, you will have a chance to relax and enjoy the beautiful swimming pool at the Shawandha Lodge.

Hotel Villa Florencia, Turrialba

Located in the valley of Turrialba surrounded by sugar-cane plantations and views of the smoking Turrialba Volcano sits an old plantation home that has been renovated into a beautiful small hotel named Villa Florencia.

This is a great hotel with a beautiful pool and plenty of space to take long morning or afternoon hikes. The Villa Florencia hotel is a chance to enjoy luxury while feeling like you stook back in time. While you are in the valley don’t forget to look up as the Turrialba Volcano can often be seen doing small eruptions from across the valley.

Casa Turire, Turrialba

Casa Turire has been one of our favorites since we started. The grounds are some of the lushest you will find anywhere in Costa Rica. Casa Turire sits in the valley of Turrialba surrounded by mountains and the beautiful Turrialba Volcano. The most amazing part about Casa Turire other than its great restaurant and home-made sugar cane ice cream is that it sits on a peninsula surrounded by Lake Angostura offering great morning hikes, birding, or SUPing around the lake.