Top 5 hotels to extend your stay in Costa Rica

At Kalon Surf, our weeks run from Saturday to Saturday – however, sometimes our guests stay a night or two more in Costa Rica and wonder what would be great places to stay at.

We have made a list of our top 5 Hotels in Costa Rica depending on the amount of night you would need or want of course. Kjeld & me (Silene) have visited them all ourselves, to make sure you will enjoy them and are at the level of Kalon or at least very close to!

Kalon Surf’s Top 5 hotels for a short stay pre or post Kalon Surf Week:

  • Marriott San Jose Belen
    • A beautiful hotel (not your typical Marriott), close to the airport making it great for one or 2 more nights in Costa Rica after your stay with us. It is very easy to do a day tour to Poas Volcano, or La Fortuna Arenal.
      The hotel is build in a old colonial style, very pretty, some great restaurants and the views are amazing (and due to the flight router…no airplanes!).
       

       

  • Sheraton San Jose (Escazu)
    • A new hotel, located in the ‘Beverly Hills’ of Costa Rica – close to a mall, it has a casino on side but the real reason is the amazing view over the city of San Jose. On the top floor you have a great restaurant (Octavo), to take in these stunning view with a cocktail or dinner – on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, its get busy and the pool next to restaurant is mixed in as well.
  • GaiaHR (Manuel Antonio)
    • Kalon overlooks the coastline of the ocean pacific, all the way to Manuel Antonio. And right there, about 30min away from Kalon Surf, is GaiaHR located.
      They have a great restaurant, beautiful rooms and little apartments, and a pool with a bar – a perfect setting to get some cocktails while in the refreshing pool. The hotel is close to one of the most beautiful National Parks in Costa Rica: Manuel Antonio, and the beaches around Manuel Antonio are stunning.
  • Nayara (Arenal La Fortuna)
    • They have won many prizes, and rightly so – an amazing hotel, with again great food (we love food…). The bungalows are very pretty, the grounds well kept, a relaxing spa and views directly on the Volcano.
      You would fly (30min) from Manuel Antonio to Arenal La Fortuna (with either Natureair or Flysansa) and to get back to San Jose, you can fly again from Arenal La Fortuna to San Jose.
  • Spring Resort (Arenal La Fortuna)
    • This hotel is located right where the thermal springs are – do we need to say more? An amazing experience, beautiful hotel, and close to all the great activities that surround Arenal La Fortuna: apart from the Volcano, they have tons of Eco Tourism activities (on the Lake: windsurfing), bridges through the Jungle etc. 


All of these locations are great options, would you like some more info or just book Kalon Surf – contact us!

Kelly Slater Designs’ Sci-Fi – Everything you need to know (and when to expect at Kalon Surf)

Kelly Slater Designs Surfboards : Sci-Fi 

If you follow the World Surf League (WSL) you will have undoubtedly heard of Stu Kennedy’s incredible performance in the first WSL comp of the year at Snapper. Needless to say, with Firewire Surfboards being our partner, and with that Kelly Slater Designs, we couldn’t be more proud to have his incredible talent finally recognized and for all of the well deserved attention it has gotten him. He is a hard worker, a fierce and level-headed competitor, dedicated family man and all around great human and we are stoked for him.

What is even more interesting, is that his performance has also shed a lot of (positive) light on his equipment to both the design prowess of Daniel Thomson and the technologies of Firewire/Slater Designs. We are then also very excited to have Kelly Slater Designs coming to Kalon Surf in May! (pre-ordered, first batch out).

The Sci-Fi:

Kelly Slates Designs describe their Sci-Fi models as follows: “The Sci-Fi is a mash up of classic curves and modern rocker served with a Futuristic twist of fluid dynamic principles likely found in the design archives of Bruce Wayne.
Expect seemingly unnatural acceleration. in­stantaneous response and an all around level performance that can only be described as Electric.
The Sci-Fi is a high performance all-rounder with impressive range (1-Sft ) with usability for intermediate to advanced surfers. Available in 5-fin setup.”

The guys of Stabmag noted that “The pocket rocket of the trio, this is the board KS rode in the now very famous unveiling of his wave pool. He rips it at 5’6”x 18 3/8”x 2 1/4” with 25.8L of volume. With its wings and double bat tail setup, if nothing else, it’s visually very futuristic. The magic is in the back end, which features a flatter rocker with lots of planning area to maximise speed while still retaining control. An additional carbon strip down the top deck gives it more strength and flex.”

Kelly Slater Designs’ The Banana – Everything you need to know (and when to expect at Kalon Surf) Part II

Kelly Slater Designs Surfboards : Banana

In the previous post we discussed the Kelly Slater Designs Sci-Fi model; let’s look into the Banana now (the one that Kelly surfed at his famous pool wave session!

None of these boards feature a conventional stringer, rather, they all have a strip of a 0.75” (18 mm) wide aerospace composite that runs down the centreline of the board. Like several other FireWire surfboards, they have used the Linear Flex Technology (LFT) and it’s pretty awesome (boards hardly break anymore at Kalon). And as Stabmag notes, another big part of the construction is the combo of EPS blanks and entropy bio-resins, which makes the boards certified “Ecoboards” by SustainableSurf.org.

Kelly Slater Designs coming to Kalon Surf in May, we will be among the first in the world (but definitely in Costa Rica) to have our guests test them out.

The Banana:

Kelly Slater Designs’ take on the Banana: “Inspired by the extreme rocker boards that Greg Webber and Shane Herring developed in the early 90’s. the BANANA is a far more us­er-friendly version that Kelly and Greg devel­oped for intermediate to advanced surfers. And meant to be ridden in better than average condi­tions. The BANANA has a smooth outline curve from nose to tail. a slight bump wing in front of the fins. as well as a generous single to double concave bottom contour. The end redult is an ex­tremely high performance surfboard that can be pushed hard through turns. while holding it’s own in deep barrels. In other words. the carving rail turns and extreme tube riding that Kelly was doing at Pipe on the smaller days during the 2015 Masters. “

The guys of Stabmag noted that “This is the board that Slater rode at the Pipe Masters and was everyone’s first look at Slater Designs. The champ rides it at 5’10”x 18 3/8”x 2 1/4” with 25.8L of volume and it’s his pick for good, hollow conditions. With a very pulled in tail and heaps of rocker, you better be tube hunting if you’re riding the Banana. Somewhat inspired by the work that Webber and Shane Herring did together back in the ‘90s, this is what Kelly’s riding at Pipe and Cloudbreak.”

Kelly Slater Designs’ The OMNI – Everything you need to know (and when to expect at Kalon Surf) Part III

Kelly Slater Designs Surfboards : Omni

The (for now) last (but not least) Kelly Slater Designs model is Omni, another LFT technology based board for your everyday surf. Or as Kelly Slater himself puts itt

“Where do you surf this board? The Omni. As the name implies, it’s an all-rounder for every kind of wave. I’ll ride this in basically any surf that’s not too big, but even then, I’ll try it if I can catch the wave. My personal favorite wave for this is a punchy, head-high (or slightly bigger) wave with a face to carve. What makes this board work well? This board is a collaboration of ideas with Tomo. It’s his basic dimensions with my more drawn-in tail and scaled more for my eye. This board looks like it would like a small wave but it’s surprisingly good in overhead waves, also. The drawn-in tail can handle a bit more speed and allows you to push the turns on the face. I’m a junkie for all fin setups, but for typical surfing on the face I go Tri Fin and for barrels I like the quads. Any other reasons you picked this board? This board plays into the less-is-more concept and allows you enough planing surface to do what you want without anything getting in the way”

Join Kalon Surf in May and you will be among the first in the world (but definitely in Costa Rica) to have test them out.

The Omni:

Kelly Slater Designs’ take on the Banana: “The Omni takes modern OMNI functional aesthetics to new places with a clean and minimalistic meeting of Kellys performance round tails and Tomo’s modern planing hull de-signs. The Omni will revel in smaller waves upto 5ft with smooth and ex-tremely radical perfor-mance capability. Suited to intermediate to ad-vanced riders. 5-fin setup”

The guys of Stabmag noted that “With its blunt nose, the Omni is Slater’s vision of an everyday, go-to board. He rides it at 5’3”x 18 3/4”x 2 5/16” with 24.8L of volume. The board is an updated version of the planing hull theory that Thomson’s been playing with over the last several years. With a more pulled in, rounded tail than in most of Thomson’s other boards, the Omni is built to Slater’s specifications and fits with his interest in the less-is-more concept.”


What Surfboard should I buy? Our Firewire guide Part 1

It is always dificult to find out what kind of your board you should buy, we always advise our guests on which board should be suitable for their level or area based on their desires and goals. However, if you are interested to compare some options and have an even more ‘objective’ advice – check out the FireWire / Kelly Slater Designs board and volume calculator here:

http://www.firewiresurfboards.com/volume-calculator-board-selector/

From Firewire directly: “The VOLUME CALCULATOR, developed in partnership with BoardFormula.com, generates your individual MINIMUM and MAXIMUM suggested volume. The lower volume indicates the MINIMUM flotation for your Performance shortboard, while the larger number indicates the suggested volume for an EVERYDAY or GROVELER model.

While there are other factors to consider such as the wave type and the water temp, we have cross-checked the VOLUME CALCULATOR against the preferences of a wide range of surfers and found the results to be remarkably accurate.

The VOLUME CALCULATOR then pulls together all the Firewire boards that fit your range into the COMPARE FUNCTION, allowing a numerical comparison between different models.

Top 5 Activities to add-on to your Kalon Surf Camp Week in Costa Rica

Kalon Surf Luxury Resort Costa Rica is all about offering a beautiful surf camp experience in Costa Rica for our guest that work hard and now want to play hard. Some guests really enjoy the day off on Wednesday to relax at the pool, enjoy their massage, take a nap, a beer, and maybe explore our small jungle trail – others like to take the opportunity to take one of the optional tours. Below we have our Top 5 of outdoor activities in Costa Rica Dominical area.

Kalon Surf’s Top 5 hotels for a short stay pre or post Kalon Surf Week:

  1. MANGROVES OF HATILLO (KAYAK OR SUP)Immerse yourself into a captivating forest of mangrove trees, hidden estuaries, exotic birds and animals.  You will get the opportunity to paddle down every hidden path in search of herons, hawks, osprey, sloths, monkeys, raccoons, crabs and many more.  This tour is relaxing and quiet, allowing you to really see what life is like inside this amazing ecosystem. Great for Bird watchers and Nature Lovers.  For all ages and abilities

     

  2. CANOPY (ZIPLINING) TOUR (BARU OR QUEPOS)

    Guest Favorite – you will not only enjoy a beautiful and famous canopy tour, but the local guides will also tell you everything you want to know about the exotic plants, trees, and any animals you see!
    We have 2 options: Baru (2h): “The canopy tour is a beautiful 2h tour through the jungle around Dominical, the guides of the canopy are not helping you to go through the zipline, but they will also tell you everything you want to know about the animals, trees, flowers and insects you will see during this tour”

    Or Quepos/Manuel antonio – it is about 6h, includes lunch, and you will be able to see everything that Costa Rica has to offer, including some very pretty waterfalls. Guests have been raving about this one.

  3. AMAZING WHALE WATCHING

    When it is the ‘whale’ season, you can book a beautiful boat trip to see whales from up close! Usually the tour take about 6 to 7 hours, and it is best to book upon arrival to understand the current situation.

  4. DOMINICAL VILLAGE

    Get to know the quaint town of Dominical: take a taxi ride down to town, get a beer at the bar at the beach or simply walk around for a bit (the town only has 500 people living there, so it is very small!). Don’t forget to visit Roberto’s mother who sells self-made Costa Rican jewelry!

  5. ATV Tours (Uvita) 

    From the ATV guys directly: “We assemble at 8:45 am at our location in Uvita for some quick ATV training, then at 9:00 am. we are riding through the jungle and into the mountains. Pressing that 4×4 button on our auto trans ATV will make the climb that much easier as we cross streams, ruts, rocks and mud on our way to visit small villages, coffee farms, and a huge 300′ waterfall. Your bi-lingual guide is sure to spot the local wildlife including monkeys, sloths, toucans, parrots, and yes, sometimes snakes! We’ll stop for a swim at one of the waterfalls on our way back, and should be returning to the shop at around 1:30 pm, just in time for lunch.”

New! Kelly Slater Designs Eco Traction Pads

We are happy to announce that Kalon Surf will be carrying the Slater Designs eco traction pads – in line with our ongoing commitment to sustainable business practices:

“In keeping with Kelly’s commitment to sustainability, Slater Designs collaborated with BLOOM Foam to develop the most eco-friendly traction pad on the market today.

BLOOM is a high-performance flexible foam made from algae biomass harvested from freshwater sources throughout the world. The BLOOM Foam process:

• Helps improve the quality of waterways by removing excess algae that harm plants, animals, and people who rely on the ecosystem for survival.

• Recirculates fresh water back into the habitat.

• Aids CO2 capture and sequestration. We’re literally scraping pond scum, solar drying, and pulverizing it before foaming the material to create a pad that helps rebalance the natural ecology, and reduces our dependence on non-renewable oil.

Through this patented algae-technology, we have created a product with increased durability, improved shock absorption and reduced weight over conventional foams.

By choosing this traction, you are helping make the world a cleaner place.”

Calculate Surfboard volume vs shape Firewire


As Interia.com stated: “Volume (width x length x depth) is now seen as a primary contribution in establishing the best board for a surfer. However, other factors, such as age, ability of the rider and the type of wave they regularly surf, are necessary factors to take into consideration when shaping and choosing the right board”

And the calculator of our partner Firewire states: “A 3-Tiered Approach: The VOLUME CALCULATOR will produce suggestions for Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced surfers. If a suggestion seems too big or small, make sure you have selected the calculator that best represents your ability.

Your Volume: The VOLUME CALCULATOR provides a MIN and MAX suggested volume. The lower volume indicates the MIN flotation for your Hi-Performance Shortboard, while the higher number indicates the optimum volume for a Hybrid or Pure Stoke model. Of course you will need to factor in your individual preferences before making a final selection.”

However, shape is equally important – the rocker will make or break situations where the wave is fast and hollow, or the other way around. The tail (squash or roundpin or fish), the rails – it will make big differences.

So what to do? You can always send us an email and ask for our opinion on the selection you have; however, we feel that the Firewire surfboard selector is an excellent tool that takes the shape, volume and your own characteristics and based on that finds the type of surfboards that would actually work very well for you.

“The VOLUME CALCULATOR, developed in partnership with BoardFormula.com, generates your individual MINIMUM and MAXIMUM suggested volume. The lower volume indicates the MINIMUM flotation for your Performance shortboard, while the larger number indicates the suggested volume for an EVERYDAY or GROVELER model.”

Or of course check out their Firewire Surfboard App

The Best Kalon Surf Review

We have had amazing reviews on TripAdvisor, google places and in our own internal system; we love to share them as they usually describe a very vivid picture of what a Kalon Surf week is like.

So when we received this amazing video of Mike and Lauren of Your View Productions of Kalon Hotel Takeover (group of friends), we were blown away – we could not have done a better way of showcasing our beautiful Luxury Surf Camp in Costa Rica. Thank you Mike and Lauren! See you soon!