A little known fact: Bodhi Surf + Yoga has a surf-only branch called Uvita Surf Lessons. It caters specifically to prospective surfers visiting Uvita and the entire Costa Ballena area; those who may not want or be able to participate in a full week of surf lessons through our signature Bodhi Sessions adult surf and yoga camps or Bodhi Family surf camps; or those who may have heard about us too late to do so! It features the same Bodhi Surf + Yoga quality: surf lesson methodology, instructors, and paradisal classroom (the Marino Ballena National Park). Providing top-quality surf lessons is, after all, how we started this business over a decade ago. Sharing our love of surfing safely and successfully with as many people as we can is our passion!
Development + history
In mid-2009, four friends from different corners of the world had the idea to start a business together that merged surfing, yoga, and responsible tourism. We chose the beautiful yet relatively undeveloped area of Bahia Ballena – Uvita, Osa, Costa Rica. Travis Bays, one of the co-founders, had done his Peace Corps service there and had fallen in love with it. As a former surf school owner and instructor from San Diego, California, he recognized how perfect Playa Chaman (also known as Playa Colonia) in the Marino Ballena National Park would be to learn to surf.
In 2010, the business officially opened its doors (figuratively) as a surf and yoga school with no physical location as of yet. Between 2013-16, the camp’s structures were built and Bodhi Surf School became Bodhi Surf + Yoga, a fully-operational surf and yoga camp with a lodge for guests to rest and chill after daily surf and yoga classes. In 2015, we built our weekly adult surf and yoga camps that were, we felt, the perfect combination of surfing, yoga, free time and relaxation, community engagement, and nature immersion.
Since 2015, we have simultaneously been operating our surf and yoga camps as well as the surf school. While we do love to see the evolution of our guests’ surfing when they are able to commit to the full week program that our surf and yoga camp provides, it is always a pleasure and delight to surf with new students, even for just a lesson or two.
Why choose Uvita Surf Lessons
If you’re reading this as a prospective surf student who really wants to learn the sport, we always do recommend the 7-day surf and yoga camp offered by Bodhi Surf + Yoga. It is the best way to really learn the ins and outs of surfing and get some consistent practice time in.
However, we recognize that not everyone is able, nor may they even want to do that much surfing on their Costa Rica vacation. If you cannot commit to doing the full camp, here are a few reasons why you should choose Uvita Surf Lessons instead:
- More than 550 positive reviews + multi-year recipient of TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Award
- 11+ years of operation and 30+ years of surf instruction experience
- Small groups: max 7:1 student to instructor ratio
- International Surf Association (ISA) certified surf instructors
- Surf lessons in a pristine, beautiful location — the Marino Ballena National Park
- Surf instruction in the following languages: English, Spanish, and French
- Social and environmental responsibility with multiple certifications and memberships to back it up: B Corp, the Center for Responsible Travel, 1% for the Planet, the Transformational Travel Council
Uvita Surf Lessons methodology
The Bodhi Surf + Yoga / Uvita Surf Lessons methodology is of course based around teaching our surf students the necessary skills to catch waves and stand on their surfboards as well as ride them. There are two opportunities to do so, one is via a regular group lesson, and the other is with a 2-day clinic.
Yet surfing is much more than just that, so our lessons also include explanations and demonstrations of the following:
- Choosing, managing, and caring for surf equipment
- Paddling proficiently
- Riding waves in the prone position
- Standing up and falling successfully and safely
- Riding waves from a standing position
- Information about waves and surf breaks
- Surf etiquette, history, and culture
- Ocean stewardship
Why learn to surf in Uvita, Costa Rica
We conduct our surf lessons at Playa Chaman in Bahia Ballena – Uvita, Costa Rica. It is is an excellent place for beginner and intermediate surfers to develop their surfing ability for so many different reasons:
- Consistent waves throughout the year
- Uncrowded beach and surf lineup
- Safer-than-average ocean conditions for novices and intermediates
- Warm water all year round
- Sandy beach lacking hazards such as large rocks and reef
- Beautiful, undeveloped, and tranquil national park beach
A few testimonials
“I just recently had three lessons with Bodhi Instructor and Founder Travis Bays. Hands down, I’ve learned and understand the sea with him more than anyone else so far. Travis also implemented a video session on the first day, so it was clear which areas I had to work on more to really improve. They are so professional, super careful and knowledgeable on when and how to push your limits so you can go that extra mile. The great thing with Bodhi is their broad level of expertise.” ~ Tey
“From beginning to the end, the student-centered service was incomparable! Of course they want you to be able to catch a surf and stand up on the board, but Bodhi instructors also care about teaching beginner’s all the tools you’ll need to go out there and be confident on your own (like how to read waves and surfer etiquette).” ~ Frankie
“As someone who has never been super comfortable in the ocean, I felt apprehensive about learning how to surf. Bodhi’s week long curriculum is put together so well, with each day building on the skills from the previous day. I have taken surf lessons where instructors merely push you into waves, but this week was so much more than that! I am walking away with the confidence to now rent a board at any beach and apply the skills that I learned with Bodhi.” ~ Ellen
Check out Uvita Surf Lessons!
If you will be visiting Uvita or anywhere else in Costa Ballena, experience the best our area has to offer, it’s beautiful coasts, in what we would argue is the most fun and exciting way — surfing! Whether you do a single day surf lesson, a two-day clinic, or even commit an entire five days of lessons, you will walk away with a memorable experience of harnessing the ocean’s power and gliding through it in the most majestic way!