The water is the color of green sea glass and the sand several shades of gold. These are the first things I notice as we pull up to Playa La Pared beach in Luquillo, Puerto Rico.
My 15 year old daughter is about to take her first ever surfing lesson, and she is, in surfer lingo, stoked.
For several years she’d been bugging me to take a surfing lesson. We often travel to Ogunquit, Maine in the summer months, just a short hour and a half from our home. If New Englanders know one thing for certain, it’s that the Atlantic Ocean is COLD.
My daughter doesn’t like the frigid coastal waters. A wetsuit might help matters, but she was assuredly going to reemerge from the icy waters, blue. What better introduction to the warm Caribbean sea than her first ever surfing lesson?
Puerto Rico is known for producing some of the best surfers in the world. Rinćon, located in the Northwest, is known as Surf Town. It’s the GO TO location where Puerto Ricans and tourists alike venture to ride the waves.
So when I found the surf company Surfing Puerto Rico, located in Luquillo, on the Northeast coast of the island, I was admittedly perplexed.
La Pared, known as “the wall,” is one of the only sandy bottom surfing beaches found in all of Puerto Rico. The water, always lukewarm and about waist deep, produces consistent 3-5 foot waves, perfect for beginning surfers.
You know you’ve found the Surfing Puerto Rico location when you see the utility truck emblazoned with surfers catching waves and smiling ear to ear. You’ll also find Brian Ramos, the 2008 Puerto Rico National Surfing Champion, pulling boards down to the beach.
Brian is the quintessential surfer dude, bronzed skin from a lifetime in the sun and curly shoulder length hair. The most striking thing about Brian, though, is his smile. I’ve never seen a more disarming smile. AND he’s FRIENDLY. Warm. Truly kindhearted and obviously very passionate about his homeland and about surfing.
The surf lesson is 2 hours total, with the first 1/2 hour being land instruction. Before you even hit the water, you get a brief lesson about surf technique and safety. Brian keeps it interesting as well as educational.
A rash guard is highly recommended. It’s either a long or short sleeved shirt which offers protection from the sun, warmth if necessary in cooler waters, and rash protection as your body moves about in the current.
Once the introduction to surfing was done, it’s grab your board and head down to the water! An hour and a half is spent in the ocean. Brian coaches you all the way with his positive instruction. He’s also your own personal cheerleader. Clearly, he’s not only extremely passionate about surfing but of sharing his love and enthusiasm for the sport. A small break is taken to give the surfers a chance to rehydrate, have a healthy snack, and catch their breath.
I know that my daughter appreciated the break. She’s an athlete, and in fantastic shape. But surfing is a challenging workout, requiring physical strength and a decent sense of balance. By the time she was done, she was completely wiped out. She shared afterwards, “Fighting the waves with your board to get out there was hard! The waves were forceful and somewhat tall and it was challenging sometimes to get through them.”
If you’re looking for an AMAZING surfing experience, whether you’re a beginner or intermediate surfer, I wholeheartedly recommend the top-notch operation that www.surfingpuertorico.com offers. From your initial call to inquire about surfing, to the reservations, you will get nothing but kind, helpful service. They only accept credit cards, so have yours handy when ready to reserve your truly once in a lifetime surf lesson.
DISCLOSURE: I was not paid or reimbursed in any way for writing about our Surfing Puerto Rico experience. This was an outfit that I found on my own, paid for, and thoroughly loved! That’s why I’m sharing the experience with you here.