Stoked to have ARRIVED IN THE CARIBBEAN!

Stoked to have arrived in Puerto Viejo!

Stoked to have arrived in Puerto Viejo!

First Contest of the Costa Rican National Circuit

Prize Giving - GO DANIELLE!!!

Prize Giving - GO DANIELLE!!!

This weekend was the first contest of the National Circuit in Costa Rica. First of all, I would like to say a HUGE congratulations to my friend and fellow Calavera Swimwear girl Danielle Ciminero for getting first place! YEAAAAH – such a great result. Unfortunately I, on the other hand, didn’t do so well haha. I was knocked out in the early stages of the contest after a shocking heat of closeouts, bad luck, and probably poor wave selection! I was really gutted to be knocked out so early without even getting the chance to surf properly, but I guess this is the way it goes sometimes. My coach tells me its OK and it’s all part of the training, and that I shouldn’t let it upset me, but I can’t help but feel like I have let myself down and everyone else, so I am genuinely sad. I really wanted a better result. I would like to thank my sponsors, Calavera Swimwear and A3 Energy Drink for making it possible for me to take part and be there. It was a great weekend and the organization was fantastic, so thank you the circuit organizers and all of the contest sponsors for making it happen. I learn something from every new experience, and I will be able to carry this through to the next contest with me and strive for a better result. Lots of training in this week coming!

On the brighter side, I have been invited to the Caribbean this week for a surf and lifestyle photo shoot with two freelance photographers and writers from the UK and California. They are here to write up some articles for surf magazines, so I am looking forward to scoring some good waves and good times with the girls! The surf forecast looks insane….so stay posted for photos and updates!

Day off (sort of), clean boards, and contest preparation!

Clean Boards!!

Clean Boards!!

In preparation for the contest this weekend, today was my rest day. Well, supposed to be my rest day haha. We actually ended up having to do a last minute surf photo shoot at 6am this morning, so my plan of having a lie in was not fulfilled! Nevertheless, everything went well and it wasn’t a super hardcore surf, so the rest of the day I have been taking it easy. I always find it hard to relax and have a day giving my body a break. Its so frustrating when all you want to do is surf! But giving yourself a rest is so necessary for your mind and your body; tomorrow I am looking forward to feeling fresh and replenished!

I killed time today by watching loads of surf movies, napping, eating and I cleaned my two favourite boards ready for the weekend, (Bobby and the Corey – yes they all have names!). I love my surfboards, and I take so much pride in them, but I am not going to lie, cleaning them I find a bit of a hassle sometimes! I have however, recently been introduced to this thing called The Pickle. It’s awesome. I do the usual thing and leave my board in the sun for a couple of minutes and then scrape off most of the excess wax with my least used credit card, or a wax comb if I can find one. THEN you use the pickle 🙂 It’s a chemical free dry wax remover. It takes off all of the extra wax and dirt so fast and so easily and makes your board look brand new. I couldn’t recommend it enough, it works like a dream. Theres no better feeling than having your board super clean with fresh wax, whether your preparing for a contest or just feel like giving your board a bit of a makeover. Show your board some love x

Link: Where to buy your Pickle Wax Remover

 

The Pickle

The Pickle

More surfing and surf tips!

Surf Training this morning

Surf Training this morningSurf Training

Surf Training

Surf Training

Caught some super fun rights this morning in training. The banks were perfect and it was like surfing a right hand point break – I LOVE it when that happens!

Top tip for surfing: When doing your bottom turn (backside and frontside), touch the wave with your hand (your hand closest to the wave). This will help you compress and bend your back knee, creating a sharper line and making your turn more vertical. It’s also really helpful to to plant your hand in the wave on your turns as well, this keeps your shoulders over the rails and helps to generate more power through your turn. Holding your hand in the wave when you’re trying to get barrelled as well helps you hold your line and stops you from sliding down the face of the wave. Soooo the lesson for today and something to practice for the week is always try and keep a point of contact with the wave with your hand. Feel the difference!

Apres surf Gallo Pinto

Gallo Pinto

Gallo Pinto

This morning I had an awesome training session at Esterillos. Like I had predicted, we were practising contest surfing again and this time doing 10 minute heats, as opposed to the 15 and 20 minute heats we were doing last week. It was just as much hard work as I had expected, and more! It involved a lot of very fast paddling and concentration haha. Overall I feel like I had a really great session today and learnt ALOT, so I’m super stoked and ready for my next session tomorrow and preparing myself for the weekend.

After surfing, me and Nancy were starving, so we went for our usual apres surf breakfast at Backyard Bar in Hermosa- a huge plate of gallo pinto – YUM! Backyard have a special surfer breakfast offer of pinto, eggs, sour cream, tortillas and coffee for only 1500 colones ($3)! So if you are living here and haven’t discovered this yet, then you should….it ROCKS!! Theres nothing better than having a huge plate of pinto after a surf; all protein and carbohydrates to re-energise you for your next session.

For those of you who don’t live in Costa Rica, or know the food, gallo pinto is a typical breakfast here. It’s made with rice, beans, onion, sweet red pepper, cilantro (coriander), salt, pepper and a splash of salsa lizano ;-). It’s normally accompanied with eggs and tortillas, and if you’re really lucky you get Tico cheese as well (my favourite!). It’s the perfect apres surf breaky!

LOVE IT!! Thanks Calavera

Calavera Swimwear

Calavera Swimwear

 

Womens Surf Style magazine feature, January 2012

Check out this months Women’s Style Magazine! It features a bunch of photos and surf shots from girls that surf in Costa Rica. Stoked!!!! Thanks guys x

Womens Surf Style Magazine feature

Morning sessions, La Curva, Playa Hermosa

Surfing Playa Hermosa

Surfing Playa Hermosa

More surf training this morning and super fun waves at La Curva, Playa Hermosa. We did one and a half hours of filming and video analysis, followed by eight 15 minute heats. I am SO SUNBURNT. Haha. I think we were down there for about 5 hours in the end this morning; I am defiantly feeling surfed out. Fortunately today is Saturday so tomorrow is my day off – phewwwww!! I’ll be able to have a nice chilled surf tomorrow morning and kick back for the afternoon, watching surf movies and replenishing my energy for next week.

Next weekend is the first contest of the Costa Rican National Circuit, so it’s going to be a big week for me. I was stoked to hear that it’s going to be in Playa Hermosa, my home beach :-). During this coming week I’ll be focussing on practice heats and fine tuning manoeuvres, as well as eating properly and getting myself focussed for the weekend.

Thanks to Brittany Castillo for the photos from this morning….yeaaaaaah girl….x

Surfing Playa Hermosa

Surfing Playa Hermosa

Surfing Playa Hermosa

After a playful weekend surfing in Santa Teresa, I am now back home in Playa Hermosa and back to training! Today we were running heats of 15 minutes, as opposed to 20 minute heats which we were practising last week. It’s funny how five minutes makes such a difference, and how the pressure can affect you. In my first heat this morning I didn’t even catch a wave, and in my second heat I didn’t catch a wave scoring more than two points – USELESS. My fault for not warming up properly and not concentrating! In these 15 minute heats it’s really important to catch a wave in the first five minutes, preferably a decent one, so you can remain calm and wait for a better scoring wave in the final 10 minutes, and hopefully catch a third in the final minutes. By the end of my eighth heat of the morning, I was doing much better, choosing better waves, and managing my time more effectively. I dread to think what’s going to happen when we start doing ten minute heats!

The advantages of running these shorter heats means that when you are competing in heats of 20 minutes, it suddenly feels like a really long time, so you are much more relaxed and patient in waiting for good waves. This is super important.

Tomorrow we are going to be doing video analysis, which I love and hate at the same time haha, but its killer for your surfing, so I’m excited….fingers crossed the waves are still good!

Thanks to Hotel Tortuga Del Mar for the photo 🙂

Weekend in Santa Teresa

Pizza Party with the Girlies

Pizza Party with the Girlies

Dreaming..Stand Up paddle boarding to wooden ship..Tambor

Dreaming..Stand Up paddle boarding to wooden ship..Tambor

Surfing Santa Teresa with the girls

Surfing Santa Teresa with the girls

Waiting for the ferry across the Nicoya peninsula

Waiting for the ferry across the Nicoya peninsula

Here are a couple of photos for everyone from my lovely surf weekend away in my favourite spot of Santa Teresa. I spent the first four days of this week training hard with my trainer in Playa Hermosa, Jaco, concentrating on contest surfing and practising heats. When Friday hit and I checked the surf report, I couldn’t resist but to jump on the ferry and get over to surf my favourite waves in Santa Teresa. A five foot swell at 20 seconds translates into perfection on this beach break. My friend Nancy and I packed up our board bags and jumped on the 2.30pm bus from Jaco to Puntarenas. From there we took the 5pm sunset ferry across the Peninsula which takes just over an hour, and it’s a beautiful journey. When we got to the other side, the bus was completely full and they couldn’t fit us on with our boards and the taxis wanted $70, so we managed to hitch hike the last 2 hour stretch in the back of a pick up truck, arriving at our destination by 8.30; just in time for dinner and beers!

The weekend brought us AMAZING waves, I mean really amazing. The beach break held the size perfectly, and we were blessed with no wind all of Saturday, which meant perfect glassy waves all day. We couldn’t have surfed more if we tried! Sunday brought similar conditions, and we enjoyed hanging out with all our girlfriends, eating pizza, drinking smoothies and surfing all the way through till dark. We cheekily stayed an extra night on Sunday so we could get another surf in Monday morning, and then managed to get ourselves a ride in the back of a van all the way back to Jaco on Monday afternoon – SCORE!

I’m so so stoked after the weekend and I feel like I learnt so much having had the chance to surf these long open waves. I’m really looking forward to training this week and can’t wait to get in back in the water in Hermosa! x