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“Best Day on the Peninsula”

Montezuma Surf School with Chris Johnson
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Owner description: From the moment many people ride their first wave, they are hooked for life. Our mission at Montezuma Surf is to Introduce, Educated, and Train all levels of Surfers from the vast knowledge we have acquired during Decades of Surfing . We offer Friendly, Certified, Bilingual Instruction, while focusing on your Comfort, Safety, and Satisfaction. At Montezuma Surf we pride ourselves on the level of commitment we have towards creating great Surf Adventures. The Southern Nicoya Peninsula, of Costa Rica, is a region unlike any other place on earth. When you arrive in this area, your senses will be flooded with natural beauty, and positive energy. Near the tip of the Peninsula is the slightly funky, and always lively town of Montezuma, a magical and unique Surf Destination. Being on a Peninsula is a great advantage for Surfing, as we can surf a wide variety of waves. And if the Surf is too small, too big, or too windy on one side of the Peninsula, we can usually find Perfect Surf on the other side.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Reviewed 17 June 2012

As a Jamaican who has taken surfing lessons before, you wouldn't think that a single lesson would take my breath away and leave me completeley astounded, but Montezuma Surf did exactly that.

The first thing that any prospective surfers should know is that Chris, the teacher, is probably the most amazing teacher you will ever have. He is not only an incredible surfer who has travelled the world chasing waves, but he is also an patient instructor and inspiring person. Chris takes a huge amount of effort in prepping the students in small class sizes where you not only learn the fundamentals of surfing, but also the important safety guidelines. One of the girls in our group was terrified of waves, yet by the end of our quick prep, she was fearlessly marching into the rushing swells of Playa Hermosa.

The lesson was spectacular for several reasons: the first was the combination of Chris' outgoing personality yet professional approach to teaching. The second was his encouraging and non critical method - he instructed and was understanding of our individual demands and differences as students, waiting untill every single one of us could stand up and catch waves before allowing us to surf without his constant attention. The third was the beach he brought us to, although Chris is based in Montezuma, he is willing to travel all over the Nicoya Peninsula in order to find the best waves whether that is in Santa Teresa, Montezuma, Malpais, or Cabuya. We arrived at 2 pm on the edge of a never-ending white sand beach- a photodesritption of paradise. We surfed till sunset, and then joined a bonfire with other surfers. Chris knows all the surfers on the peninsula (many of them who he taught himself), and everyone welcomed us into the post surf celebrations.

I honestly believe that it would be a fruitless search if you tried to find a better surf school - my only regret is that I cannot surf with Chris every day.

Date of experience: June 2012
1  Thank sersha g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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8 - 12 of 41 reviews

Reviewed 17 June 2012

Chris Johnson, the founder of the Montezuma Surf School, has influenced me with his positivity and effortless way of guiding one through the simple and exhilarating experience of surfing the ocean. Chris is one of the most peaceful and fun-loving individuals I have met during my stay on the Nicoya Peninsula; I thank him for opening my eyes to "la pura vida" de Costa Rica and to some of the great options for exploration around Montezuma. During our surf lesson, we visited a breath-taking and expansive beach of bright blues and soft sands, called Playa Hermosa, in Santa Teresa. As beginners, he eased my friends and I through the process of catching a wave and despite some pretty funny falls, we each got up on our boards with the support and solid advice from Chris within the first hour! After some cool drinks and fresh piña, we all felt amazing and couldn't resist going back in for some more waves - I don't think the experience could have been any better than that... Good company, accomplished feelings, and topping it off with the beach bonfire capped off the day as perfection! After two full weeks of different activities in and out of Montezuma, I can confidently say that this was by far the best and most worthwhile experience I've had. Chris has become a great friend and I know that his optimism and abundant enthusiasm will influence many more to come!

Date of experience: June 2012
1  Thank Sandra B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 June 2012

As an active, well travelled woman over 40, I never thought i would be able to feel the excitement of the waves beneath me as I am not very coordinated and I usually just watch the surfers from the shore. Chris Johnson with Montezuma Surf School was able to teach me a few very useful and simple tricks/techniqures to "popping" up and maintaining my balance as the waves brought me and the board to shore. His professional teaching ability to break it down and get me up was wonderfully exhilirating and made the highlight of my whole trip. I travel to Costa Rica every year and I will certainly attend Montezuma Surf School again and again. The locations that he chose and took our group to are beautiful and make for an excellent adventure in and of itself. I surfed several days in places called Playa Grande, Playa Los Cedros, Mai Pais and also Santa Teresa. When you get to Montezuma ask for Chris Johnson, he truly is the best. See you next year Chris!

Date of experience: March 2012
Thank HelenDimitri
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 June 2012

When my babe & I were leaving for our annual trip to Costa Rica I decided this time to learn how to surf. This is huge for a person who swims like a rock. Wow did we get lucky with Chris who has to be the best & most fun instructor ever. We took off to the perfect spot, Playa Hermosa, north up the coast from Mai Pais for his Sunset Surf Safari. Are you kidding me, 1st time out and I'm up and riding a wave in to the shore. One of the most increadable feelings ever. Wish I was 20 years younger and had found this spot. Yes, tired fast. Now time to relax and dry out next to the fire and wait for an awesome sunset to start the night off. Cant wait til next year, will have to figure out how to get back for several more trips. Thank you so much Chris. Thaddeus@dabeach

Date of experience: May 2012
Thank thaddeus2dabeach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 15 June 2012

Luckily, my friends and I met Chris while hitchhiking to Montezuma. We could immediately sense he had great energy and were eager to sign up for his surfing lessons. It was undoubtedly one of my best days on the Nicoya Peninsula- Chris drove us to Playa Hermosa in Santa Teresa, rated one of the best beaches in Costa Rica. It was the perfect environment for a launch into surfing – the waves were gentle and there were few rocks. Wide range

Chris began with a concise introduction to surfing techniques, which were then practiced in the water. He definitely met the individual needs of all the students. Those who were more at ease in the water were given more advanced advice while others needed more basic assistance.

He made sure to allow us to be adventurous and independent students while ensuring our safety- he is enthusiastic, spirited, and one of the best teachers I’ve ever come across. Although sprightly, he gave us time to relax and enjoy the ambiance. Towards the end of the night, we watched an exquisite sunset and were invited to a bonfire by friends of Chris. He is not only a teacher, but a friend to his students and has great connections in the area. The entire experience was spectacular – I wish I could do it everyday!

Date of experience: June 2012
1  Thank adiagodfrey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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