We booked our surfing experience well in advance. We booked 4 private instructors as we have kids aged 8 and 10 and wanted a person dedicated to their safety as none of us had surfed before. Overall this was an awesome experience with just a few glitches.
We were picked up at our hotel on time by a taxi driver. We were a bit disconcerted when he headed away from the beach where we had been told we were surfing. He drove us back in to town to the main office, even though our hotel is 3 minutes from the beach. When we got to the office a lady jumped into the back of the taxi (the hatchback) and we took off again. She spoke English (unlike the driver) so we were able to determine that she was a photographer and we were being taken to a different beach as the one close to us we completely filled with people. This was true and we had wondered how that would work, so that was a bit of a relief. We drove for a bit, crossed on a tiny ferry-on foot, walked a bit through a little village and were met by a jeep that raced careening across a deserted beach to avoid getting stuck. Here we had a few more people climb onto the sides of the jeep!! When we reached our surfing spot it was amazing! Deserted beach - no kidding just us!! and a grass lean to for shade. They had rash guards for us which was great as I had forgotten mine at the hotel! At this point the one English speaking guide told gave us our orientation to the boards and had up practice "popping up" At this point I noticed that there were only 3 instructors when we had paid for 4. I asked the photographer but she was not sure why. I decided it was too late to change that, given our location and just went with it. My children each had an instructor and my husband and I shared one. The kid's instructors were great and never left the children's side for a moment. My daughter's instructor was so sweet, gentle and kind with her that I could have cried. She is only 8 and spunky but very tiny and not a super swimmer. She had a fantastic time and great success! My son is 10 and caught on right away. He was up every time and the best surfer of us all. My husband and I had the more fluent guide but he was not friendly. He was sarcastic and complained under his breath. I am 42 and my husband is 47 and this was our first surfing experience. I am fit and fairly capable but surfing is hard and getting pounded on by the waves was challenging. I was reasonable successful but the instructor seemed frustrated that I wasn't getting it fast enough. We had paid for a one on one lesson but didn't get it. We each had to take turns surfing as the instructor rotated between us. I wanted to keep surfing for the whole time and he seemed to be tired of trying and went to the beach. The photographer sent him back in when I decided to go it on my own if he wasn't coming... That said, the experience was unique. The company handled themselves well and the other instructors were awesome. They gave us pineapple and fresh coconuts to drink which was refreshing after all the salt water. A man came by leading a 10 month old foal and we got to pet her and that was amazing. The photographer was lovely, friendly and really made the whole trip great. She took wonderful photos and dropped them all on a disk for us and left it at our hotel that night.
At the end of the trip another man came to drive the crazy jeep ride home and I asked him about the lack of instructors. He said, "to tell you the truth one of the instructors phoned in sick" I hope it didn't' ruin your experience of the office will be furious" I said it didn't and that I was a bit concerned about the fact that I had paid for 4 private lessons... he gave us $20 off the price... not sure that was that best deal but the day was amazing, the beach gorgeous and we all had fun. I would definitely recommend MASS for your surfing experience and suggest requesting Isla Damas as your surfing location as it is soooooooo much more of an experience than the public beach would have been. The children's instructors were exceptional, and safety was not an issue at all. Loved that we can check off surfing on our bucket list!
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