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Learning to surf in Panama

Posted on2020-10-25



Have you ever felt in love at first sight?

I do,  And I remember very well.

It was more than 20 years ago.

I was sitting on the sand at Playa Teta Beach,  in Panama, watching 2 friends of mine going inside the water with their Body Boards.

That was the first time I saw someone catching a wave.


Suddenly, a big body of water rises where my friends were swimming, and transforms into a giant water slide! I saw how one of my friends catch it, and slide at full speed on the wave!


My heart started beating fast!


“WOW!” I screamed: "I have to do that too!".


One week later, I had my own Bodyboard and I was ready to meet the love of my life: THE WAVES!


I have My board, and now what?


Immediately I called my friend Aldo and said:


I have my board! Where can I have lessons?


Aldo said to me: “Lessons? Say what, come with us to the beach, we will teach you! ”


Of course they all wanted to go with me to the beach …… I had a Toyota Hi Lux 4x4 of the year!


Anyway, I learned to surf with my friends, swallowing water and giving myself wonderfuls wipe outs !

“Here  comes the wave” they scream at me,

Catch it!! Paddle! Look at the wave! Make the duckdive!!

“Oh my good, it is big”, I said paddle in, “Will it heat me?” I was horrified!

Yeah! said my friend… paddling faster…

 “Oh noooo , help”  I thought by myself,  “what am I doing here?!”

But, in the end, I learned.

Wanting is power, and love can do everything!

And from that day on I didn't stop going to the beach with my body board for a weekend.


I always loved the body board, I never thought about changing to a Surf board.


But one day, after 4 days on a row of surfing big waves, I had severe injuries in my ankles due to the fins.


I had already tried with protective socks, and different fins styles and models, but nothing helps.


And every time I was going for a long surf trip after the 3rd or 4th day, I could no longer surf because my ankles hurt.


So I decided to get a surfboard, to be able to continue surfing for the rest of the trip.


And that was it... I had a change of perspective.


I went from seeing the wave from below to seeing it from above.


And I liked the change.


I rode the surfboard in small waves and body board in big waves for several years, until one day I just started surfing big waves with the surfboard.


And it's not that I don't like the body board, If I have one I will enjoy it too.


But it was a beautiful experience that transported me from one to another, that vibrates better with me these days. The surfboard. 

Anyway, that's how it all started.


Maybe my introduction to the world of surf was not as didactic as I expected, but I can't deny that it was a lot of fun.


Fortunately today you can take surf lessons and learn safely.


And if you want to learn to surf and take a trip around the beaches of Panama, here are my recommendation to  you of my favorite 5 spots to learn to Surf:


1. El Palmar Beach: It is a large beach break with waves for beginners. It also has a point with a great right for more experienced surfers.

2. Punta Chame Beach: It is a very long beach break with waves for both beginners and experienced surfers.

3. Venao Beach: It is a large beach break,  with good waves to learn and for experienced surfers.

4. Rio Mar Beach: You have the beach break at the front good for beginners, and the point with a peak that breaks left and right for more experienced surfers.

5. Serena Beach: It is a beautiful right on a beach break. Very good for learning and longboarding. In big swells, it is spectacular for all kinds of surfers.


By the way, I have a friend in Panama who has her own surf school, and we have worked together several times doing yoga and surf retreats.


Here is the information in case you will like to plan a vacation to learn to surf in panama:

Wishing you all the best. 


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