by Simon Coward
PHOTOS: Thanks to Jason Boutet
At Aquabatics we definitely have a pretty hectic time of it from April until the end of September. Between the crew helping people getting the right gear an info at the shop, to the website team keeping that ticking, the instructors on the water running whitewater, SUP and Rec/Touring programming most days it is a very 'go go go' kind of feel. So, when September rolls around and things slowly settle I always find myself looking forward to our annual instructional trip to Costa Rica. We have been coming down here for 7 years now and, of all the trips we run it is still one of my favorite. Fantastic paddling (great instructional rivers), sweet accommodations and fresh local food sets a great scene for this annual trip.
It has long been a popular one for us and, a trip that we keep having people return and take over and over again. This year is no exception.... Of the 10 people joining us, 8 of them have joined us down here between 2 and 6 times. It's a pretty rad feeling seeing the same faces down here, continually improving and enjoying the PURA VIDA lifestyle in Costa Rica.
IMAGE: Hotel Villa Florencia near Turrialba, Cartago, Costa Rica. Our home whilst in the Turrialba region (the pool is great for roll instruction!)
We are on day 3 (of paddling) on the trip now and have so far run the super classic Pejibaye river and the Sarapiqui and now, I am sitting waiting for breakfast listening to tropical rain fall on the tin roofs typical in this part of the world. Once I have finished this post, the team will crush a breakfast of fresh local fruists, juice, eggs, toast, rice and beans, then we will gear up and drive 15 minutes to the La Virgen put in on the Sarapiqui for another full day of warm water jungle paddling and instruction. It is a fantastic routine and one that is very easy to ease into, and I think, is a big part of what makes this trip so popular with our return paddlers.
IMAGE: Brandon on his way to put in on the Pejibaye River on Day 1
IMAGE: Walter sums up the vibe with a Shaka and a giant smile at the Pejibaye put in on day 1
The paddling and levels so far certainly have not disappointed. The Pejibaye on day one was a sporty medium with lots of fun rapids, and potential for pushy, challenging (low consequence) moves, the Sarapiqui was a great medum level (with the rain falling now, today might be a little higher!) and many of our paddlers had some great 'light bulb' moments where some new concepts clicked and really solid technique improvements started to lock in. Here si to much more of that in the coming days.
I will post again soon with more pictures and details. Thanks for checking this out and happy paddling
The Aquabatics Costa Rica Team,
Simon, Brandon and Jason