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“My new surfing family x”
Review of Bodhi Surf School

Bodhi Surf School
Ranked #1 of 3 Spas & Wellness in Uvita
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Bodhi Surf School focuses on community engaged yoga and surf vacations and retreats for individuals, couples, families, and small groups. Our goal is to teach you the theory, proper technique, and safety to have you surfing or doing yoga independently. At the Bodhi Shamabala Yoga Center, we have weekly Vinyasa Flow classes and also offer private yoga classes. Bodhi Surf is committed to incorporating sustainable business practices into our everyday operations. We love to share information on our area, both on the community of Bahia Ballena and the Marino Ballena National Park where we give our surf lessons and clinics. We also offer service learning for organized student groups interested in finding out more about Costa Rica. Above all, we aim to "awaken your inner surfer" and provide you with unique experiences that you will never forget.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Reviewed April 1, 2014

My husband and I just concluded a week-long surfing and yoga holiday with Bodhi in March. I was reluctant to surf as I'm not water confident and Gibran, Adrianne and the Bodhi surf team really helped me overcome my fears and I was standing up on the board by the 2nd day! Amazing really. Yoga with Pillar was fantastic as she helped us with our personal Ashtanga practice with specific detailed corrections and adjustments and helped us really kickstart our day with a lovely yoga class in the Bodhi shala most morning while we were there. The bonus about Bodhi and spending time with Gibran surfing and Travis during our community walk is that you see just how passionate they are about not only the sport of surfing but the community of Bahia Ballena and taking care of the environment (we signed the Ocean Guardian Pledge this morning). I left more reflective and "aware" of just how much of an impact eco-consciousness can make. We rented the rustic, beach-front cabin Casa Amarilla with it's own private beach and views of the most memorable sunsets. We both are looking forward to returning soon as our Bodhi family and the beaches of Costa Rica's pacific coast have left a permanent place in our hearts. x

Thank lkgirl306
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
achandrahuff, Owner at Bodhi Surf School, responded to this reviewResponded April 3, 2014

Thank you so much for your kind words, lkgirl306! It was a pleasure having you and your husband here on a Surf and Yoga Vacation, and we are so pleased that you enjoyed it as well. You both did so well in yoga and surfing, and I can personally say that you two improved so much in the water, we are so very proud! We're glad that our love of the community shone through as well, it is indeed our home and place of livelihood so we want to show it off! We hope you two will be back as soon as possible! Pura Vida...

-Team Bodhi Surf

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105 - 109 of 327 reviews

Reviewed April 1, 2014

Perfect glowing memories of our visit to Bodhi Surf School. As a boomer-age guy, finally finding the time to try out surfing for the first time, I choose Bodhi after reading of Travis Bay’s story in Worldview, the publication of the National Peace Corps Association. Both my wife, Susan, and I are former Peace Corps volunteers and I was drawn by the social entrepreneur mission of the whole group, Travis, his wife, Pilar, Gibran and his wife, Adrianne, that beyond just surf (and yoga), there was a community development approach to their business model. I hadn’t been in Uvita since 1998 and nearby Puerto Cortes since the early 1980s and couldn’t believe how easy it was to drive down the Costanera highway to the town of Uvita.

We stayed in the Bodhi Bungalow and it was a gem; the morning light, the tropical vegetation and fresh morning air coming in from all sides was the best. Don’t worry about lack of AC; the heat of the afternoon is tempered by sundown (early at this latitude) and the nights are cool and you’ll find yourself adapting and relieved to be released from the sealed climate-control of our typical US home environment.

That first night, Travis and I shared the background of our common Peace Corps experience while he watched over their daughter, Maya. Because he had to travel to the capital the next day, my instructor was Gibran, Travis’ long-time friend and partner in business. Gibran showed up early the next morning to take me to the beach. His style is so easy and yet clearly competent that I right away felt at ease and had confidence in his being able to get me up on the board. I’m an aquatic biologist, so although I understand the pressures on our ocean environment, I also liked hearing from him (as well as Travis the night before) their commitment to educating clients about the significance of human impact on our oceans and what their approach and philosophy is toward their clients’ total experience. Gibran gave thorough instruction on all aspects of prepping me; how to carry the board, how to withstand the incoming surf while standing on the bottom as I worked my way out, how to handle a loose board to avoid injury, proper position for riding over waves as I worked my way out, how to position myself for riding, and then, how to mount and ride. With this thorough instruction, I was able to ride my first wave as well as several others on my second day. Thank you, thank you, Gibran!

A comment of the beach setting: having been in-and-out of Costa Rica since 1975, I’ve witnessed discouraging coastal over-development since that time, especially at Jaco and many former peaceful villages in Guanacaste. For my peace of mind, I seek beach areas that are less impacted and because Uvita is fronted by the Bahia Ballena National Park, as far as you can see along the coastline is empty and reminiscent of decades-ago Costa Rica; that shouldn’t change with its park boundary protection. The village has its grocery stores, restaurants, and probably especially important for most of us today, easy internet access. But at the same time, the quiet setting, the dirt roads and friendly style make it a reminder of how Costa Rica used to be all along its vast coastlines.

I did the 2-day, total of 6 hs, surf clinic and I was up on the board by the beginning of the second day.

A quick comment on the yoga studio; both my wife and I are yoga practitioners and although we didn’t take advantage of Pilar’s instruction during our brief stay, the open-air elevated studio is immediately adjacent to the bungalow and the setting appeared ideal. So, for couples and friends traveling together without both being interested in surfing, there are other great options for relaxing and experiencing.

Finally, we choose to drive back to San Jose via the Interamerican highway over Cerro de la Muerte. Although longer, this is a perfect and recommended alternate because the sightseeing is ‘other-worldly’. A perfect roundtrip!

I’m looking forward to a longer stay and trying bigger waves in 2015.

Thank Peter P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
achandrahuff, Owner at Bodhi Surf School, responded to this reviewResponded April 3, 2014

Peter P - Wow. Thank you so much for taking the time to write this detailed and extremely kind review of Bodhi Surf School, our town, and the park. Having spent so much time in both Costa Rica (especially when it was less touristy and developed) as well as around the ocean, we feel very glad that it all lived up to your expectations and standards. It was a pleasure for all of us to connect with you and your wife and spend a little bit of time with you, as well as help you learn to surf. We hope very much to see you down here again in the near future! Pura Vida...

-Team Bodhi Surf

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Reviewed March 29, 2014

I can't say enough good things about the staff at this surf school. My fiancee and I went down to Costa Rica with a serious interest in learning how to surf. Our hotel originally recommended another surf school whose instructor was more concerned with us just getting up on a surfboard, which is great if you're interested in surfing just to say you surfed. However, we wanted to actually learn all of the intricacies involved (ie how to carry your board, how to put on a leash, how to understand the breaks/read the waves before getting into the water, how to avoid injury, how to deal with a set of waves that make it difficult to paddle out, how to surf responsibly with other surfers around) so that we could build a proper foundation and ultimately be prepared to surf without guidance. And, this is exactly what we got with Bodhi Surf School.

We learned from two amazing instructors - Gibran and Adrianne - while we were there. They truly catered the detail of their lessons to their audience. We wanted to know EVERYTHING so they took the time to really walk us through the ins and outs, but the basic foundation they started with would have allowed us to feel comfortable to go to a beach where there were experienced surfers and not feel intimidated. And, the beach break where you learn with them couldn't have been any better for beginners: 2 foot waves on average that break in each direction and mid-80 degree water.

And, it's not just about surfing when you surf. Enjoying the company of your instructors makes the experience exponentially more rewarding. Gibran and Adrianne's lovable personalities helped take the NY edge off for a week. I don't usually like to travel back to the same place twice, but getting back down to Costa Rica to hang with them and their friends is on the short-term to do list.

Also, if you enjoy Yoga, our Yoga instructor - Pilar - works with Gibran and Adrianne. We would highly recommend getting up at 6am to surf and ending the day with a 3:30pm yoga lesson with her. She is a rockstar instructor.

1  Thank Lance E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
achandrahuff, Owner at Bodhi Surf School, responded to this reviewResponded April 3, 2014

Thank you so much, Lance E, for taking the time to write this awesome review of Bodhi Surf School. We are so glad that you found us and that our "vibe" turned out to be just what you two were looking for, that our surf instruction style resonated with you and your fiancee, and that you enjoyed your Bodhi Yoga classes as well. We know you will be back and we can't wait to see you guys again! Pura Vida...

-Team Bodhi Surf

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Reviewed March 22, 2014

I was worried about a lot of things, my bad knees, of course sharks, and my general lack of experience. Thankfully there were no sharks, only sting rays, and they even taught us how to deal with those... drag your feet. As far as my knee, Gibran had good tips for that too! Summed up, the guy knows his stuff!! I had an excellent time... I mean, I killed it bra', it was rad! He even taught me that surfer slang, now I'm ready to try it out in Hawaii this fall, woo hoo! Gibran went the extra mile and sent me some references for instructor's there... I wonder if dragging my feet will scare away the sharks too? (I know it won't, but just let me think that...)

Thank Mel M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
achandrahuff, Owner at Bodhi Surf School, responded to this reviewResponded April 3, 2014

Mel M - thank you very much for writing this "wicked" review of Bodhi Surf School! We're "stoked" to hear that the Bodhi Surf teaching style worked for you - from helping you get past your fear of sea creatures to dealing with existing physical limitations. We had a blast helping you guys learn and watching you all "kill it" on your boards ;) We hope you enjoy your time in Hawaii too, and maybe someday you'll come back and visit us! Pura Vida...

-Team Bodhi Surf

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Reviewed March 21, 2014

Surfing is easy, believe it, you just have to get the hang of it and Gibran will make sure you get it :)

Thank FloHeuriseran
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
achandrahuff, Owner at Bodhi Surf School, responded to this reviewResponded April 3, 2014

FloHeuriseran - We're glad to hear you found surfing easy! We are here to make it as easy to learn as possible! We hope to see you again down this way. Pura Vida!

-Team Bodhi Surf

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