Travel Diary: My First Surf Lesson in Nicaragua

surfing in nicaragua summer 2015 - style & travel blog

With all the beautiful relaxation we’ve had in Popoyo, we decided (after my hubby finally convinced me) to take a surf lesson in Nicaragua. I am pretty competitive – I grew up the youngest of 3 with brothers only. I was definitely daddy’s little girl – I played every sport under the sun and catch with my dad was a daily occurrence. I don’t typically like to do things that I have a feeling I won’t be good at. I mean, who does? I have always had horrible balance which has only gotten worse as I’ve gotten older, so when I think about balancing on a board in the ocean I am thinking of losing my balance, getting swept out in to the ocean, not knowing which way is up or down and never be seen again. Also, I hate HATE HATE thinking about what is in the ocean lurking under my feet. I did not want to go far out in the ocean and thinking about those terrifying creatures – I mean the cartoon ones on Finding Nemo were enough to make my stomach sink. I am so scared of undertows and strong currents that will sweep me away right in to a sharks mouth – Okay, now I sound a little crazy.. But seriously that COULD happen!

We heard from our wonderful Airbnb hosts that Mari was THE guy to call for surf lessons. The next morning during breakfast a tall, slim man with blonde dreads down to his butt approached us and sat down to chat. Mari was so intriguing to me – he screamed beach bum surfer amazingness – he had dirty sandy feet and hands and an awesome New Zealand accent. He was a super nice, approachable guy who made me a little more excited rather than anxious to take surf lessons.

Our surf lesson in Nicaragua was quite inspiring. Which sounds weird, but you could tell that surfing to Mari was more than just a lesson, but a way of life that he enjoyed and lived for. He drew his diagrams in the sand in front of us with staring out in to the ocean teaching us about currents and the mechanics of waves. So. Cool. I was surprised that he actually taught us about the different types of waves and what to do if you get pulled in the current – it made me more comfortable to get out there. Caleb had taking surf lessons in Maui, but not anything like this. He was very impressed! After our “surf school” lessons in the sand, we practiced the right form to getting up on the board and the right stance. I, of course, happen to be goofy footed so every time we practice standing up on the “board” Caleb and I end up facing each other. I giggle every time at his serious determination and my off-balance wiggles. I just can’t help it – he’s so cute and silly.

After much practice on our stance, off we went in to the ocean – luckily not far at all from the beach. But I have to tell you: that dang surf board is HEAVY! I try to be macho-girl, ‘I am small but mighty’ but my hubby knows when I need help. :) Going out against the waves was super challenging for me. I literally was huffing and puffing before I even got on the board once. Every time a wave hit me I would get pushed back 4 ft. One step forward, two steps back! So when I finally make it to Mari – he held the board while I got on to get ready for my first wave. When the wave came he helped me by giving a little push and VOILA I stood up! On my first wave! *victory dance* I didn’t want to get too excited yet – but there was a big ol grin on my face!

As each turn went and passed, I was sooo excited – I proved myself wrong as I got on the board each time and was actually really good a surfing! Who would’ve thought?! My poor hubby on the other hand had some trouble. :[ He is 6’4″ and looked like every bit of a newborn giraffe wobbling out there trying to stand. I cheered him on and he smiled proudly at me when I would catch my wave. After awhile he started to get the hang of it – if my husband is anything he is relentlessly persistent when he wants something. Surfing is that challenge that he is determined to accomplished. After a while, fighting the waves out to get to my spot and surfing in, I literally had a side stitch – I need to work out harder obviously. Cardio has never been my strongest attribute. :)

After breathlessly surfing for about 2-3 hours, we called it a day and watched the sun set. I mean, what an amazing life. What an amazing creation. Sometimes I just want to sell all our belongs, grab Cowboy and live in tropical paradise – I don’t care if we literally have to camp every night or bounce from hostel to hostel. That life is the good life! I truly believe in my heart some people just weren’t meant for the 9-5 Monday-Friday life – some people are meant to run free. Each day that passes I think about how less and less I want or need material things. You can keep your house note, fancy cars, and social status. I don’t need any of that. I don’t even want any of that. It’s amazing how beautiful life really is when you love it for all its worth.

Check out our surf lesson in Nicaragua video


The next day, our last day in Playa Guasacate before we head off to Granada, we rented surf boards and tried it out on our own. Above is a little video of our solo adventure attempting to surf. We still have some practice to do! :) What a great beach day, we laughed and laughed at some of our ridiculous attempts and ended the day walking along the beach staring at the cotton candy sunset soaking it all in.

Are you headed to Popoyo Beach or Playa Guasacate Nicaragua? Be sure to check Mari out for the best surf lesson in Nicaragua –

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