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.