Central and South America are rapidly gaining a great reputation for becoming the new surfing hotspot. The continent has so much to offer in the world of surfing — amazing surf spots for beginners and experienced surfers alike, incredible technical surf schools, and a huge range of beaches going from popular resorts to unexplored big wave spots.
In the post below, we’ll be looking at some of the biggest reasons why Latin America is becoming more popular for surfers; read on to find out more.
Technical surf coaching is available
You can get a surf lesson that teaches you to stand up on a board on pretty much any beach with a gentle swell if you try. But technical surf coaching is about much more than that — and it’s available in Latin America.
In particular, Surf Simply in Costa Rica practices technical surf coaching that breaks down the mechanics of surfing and teaching the specific skills needed to learn and improve.
The one and two-week, all-inclusive courses in Nosara, Costa Rica, are run by a team of 8 ISA and ILSF qualified coaches who work with just 12 guests each week. This isn’t one of those courses full of ambiguous surf lingo; it’s made up of a logical, analytical approach and clear, systemized coaching.
The setting isn’t bad either: the pristine sands of Nosara, Costa Rica. Costa Rica is uniquely positioned to receive both north and south swells on its many beautiful beaches, and is home to year-round 80-degree water and optimum surf conditions through both summer and winter. With conditions like that, it’s easy to see why this is becoming a surf spot favorite for many.
Huge stretches of coastline give you many options
Latin America is made up of tens of thousands of miles of coastline just waiting to be surfed. So it’s no surprise that surfers of all levels from all corners of the globe flock to Latin America.
The variety is incredible, too — from the rugged unexplored coastlines of Chile and Argentina (more on those later) to the popular surf resorts and cities of Brazil.
There are fewer places more iconic than Rio de Janeiro — where else do the mountains, sea, and city meet in a way that is quite so spectacular? Rio’s beaches have a good rep for waves, and a strong local surfing scene. Ipanema, possibly the world’s most famous beach, offers short and fast barrels, and hollow waves on a good day — as well as larger barrels for experienced surfers when the conditions are right.
If you want a more chilled destination, head to Florianópolis in the state of Santa Catarina for some of the best (and most consistent) waves in all of Brazil. It’s been likened to Hawaii on more than one occasion, due to its laid-back vibes, surrounding nature, friendly locals, and diverse waves.
The long shorelines of Florianópolis mean that despite being a popular surf destination, the variety of surf beaches are much less crowded — and cleaner — than you’d think. Expect bigger swells coming from the South Atlantic and Antarctica and dramatically varying coastal conditions.
Uncrowded beaches off the beaten track
Many popular surf beaches around the world are just that — popular. While this is generally a good indication of decent surf, it means that sometimes the waves can get crowded, and it can feel like you’re going over well-trodden ground.
One of the reasons that Latin America is becoming the new surfing hotspot is the sheer amount of undiscovered and uncrowded beaches that the continent boasts.
Chile, in particular, is luring surf explorers in with its vastly long coastline just waiting to be explored. There are many big wave spots in Chile that have never been ridden, which adds to the thrill of the sport.
The same goes for Argentina; the remoteness of the surf beaches available and the rugged landscapes offer some desolate surf spots with decent swell. While many countries have been explored and are surfer already, Argentina remains one of the final frontiers for surfers.
If you want to embrace the mysterious side of Argentina, avoid Mar del Plata (Argentina’s surf city), and head down to Patagonian beaches like Playa Union; you might even see some whales and penguins in the sea alongside you. Be warned: swell, wind conditions, and tides can be inconsistent, and you’ll need a thick wetsuit for the cold temperatures — but the reward is surfing waves that may never have been surfed before, in wild and unspoiled landscapes.
The Surf & Outdoor Expo is coming to Costa Rica
An exciting sign of things to come in Latin America’s surf scene, the Surf & Outdoor Expo will be held for the first time in Latin America in 2020.
Costa Rica is hosting this important industry event, in which various extreme sports brands, potential sponsors, and adventure sports will be present. There will also be live competitions and appearances from prominent athletes such as surfer Carlos “Cali” Munoz and BMX’s Kenneth Tencio, (who will be the ambassadors of the festival).
As the epicenter of surfing in Latin America, Costa Rica is a great choice as host, and the promotion and hype that the event will receive should be a really positive boost for both the surfing industry and Costa Rica’s adventure tourism scene.
If you want to get involved or just enjoy this exciting event, it is being held at Parque Viva in the Province of Alajuela, Guácima, from 26th to 28th June, 2020. The exhibition will be held between 10 a.m. and 11 p.m. and the entrance fee will cost approximately two thousand Costa Rican colones.
These are just some of the great reasons why Latin America is becoming the new surfing hotspot and growing in popularity among surfers. But don’t just take our word for it — there’s only one way to find out.
Site updated on 3. August 2020
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