We picked San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua for its tranquility, beauty and – of course – the waves on its many renown surf beaches. Gearing up for our Yoga + Surf retreat in November, we thought we’d go straight to the source on what it’s like in this outdoor adventuresome locale. We asked Alex - our surfing partner and founder of Alvarez custom boards – what our retreat goers can expect. Here’s what he said.
What is San Juan del Sur like? What do you like most about living there?
Our town is ALIVE. The people are super friendly, they live their lives on the streets…they eat there, chitchat there with their neighbors; they love parades and loud music. I love that everyone knows eachother, that you can stop and talk to the elder
Our beaches are beautiful and while the whole area is rapidly developing it has managed to keep its charm: you can buy milk, vegetables from the cart, you don't have to go to the supermarket, you’ll see big oxen walking around on the streets or the locals riding horses instead of driving cars. It is indeed magical.
For someone who has never surfed before, what would you say to them? How about to someone who already knows how to surf?
First, you have nothing to prove to anyone. Most people come to us with all sorts of excuses when they sign up for a beginner surf lesson: I haven't worked out for so long, I’m scared of the water, I don't like water in my nose, I don't have good balance etc etc etc. We always explain that the first lesson is about having fun!!!
We will learn the basics of course but our main goal is for you to enjoy those 2 hours in the water, to make you lough and how to completely switch your brain off:)
For the more advanced, we get a bit more technical- how to read the waves, how to catch your own waves, how to improve your paddling skills.
This is a sport where you’ll never stop learning.
What is the biggest lesson that surfing has taught you?
Surfing for me, for us is the ultimate peace of mind. No matter what life throws at you, no matter how stressed you are, the water has this therapeutic effect on you. You don't need to be a pro surfer to enjoy surfing. Even if you just paddle out at sunset and are just sitting on your board watching the waves go by it is so calming.
It also teaches us to respect nature, respect the ocean and not to overestimate my surf skills.