We recently connected with a new travel agency run by a young couple, Nadia and Mac, who personally craft individual and group surf trips around the world. They visited Florblanca and we had such a great time introducing them to our favorite surf spots as well as our yoga and Pilates classes, Spa Bambu, and Nectar Restaurant. We’re thrilled to announce that they’ve chosen us as a surf trip destination for Costa Rica.
We asked Nadia and Mac about their vision for a travel agency focusing on surfing, eco-travel, and exotic destinations around the world.
Florblanca: How long have you been surfing and what worldwide locations have you surfed in your lifetime?
Mac: I’ve been surfing for over 15 years. I’ve surfed up and down the east and west coast of the US, Mexico, Morocco, Spain, Portugal, The Canary Islands, South Africa, Bali, Sumatra, The Mentawais, Fiji, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica.
Nadia: I only started surfing 2 years ago but have already traveled and surfed in USA (Flordia, California) Mexico, Grand Canaries, Morocco, Bali, Sumatra, South Africa, Nicaragua, Costa Rica.
FB: When did you know that you wanted to make this love and this lifestyle into a career?
Mac: I don’t know if it was a specific time but an actual feeling or state of mind. That feeling when you’ve been in a job or a place too long and you have that pull to get out. Something inside is telling you to change it up, go on an adventure, take a risk. We all enter that state of mind at some point, but we suppress it. At least it did for us when this feeling would come up, we would make justifications, to stay in a safe place with a safe job. The feeling would go away for a while, but it would always come back. That is what made us look to starting a travel brand.
Nadia: I was lucky to grow up traveling and knew from a young age that I wanted to follow a career path that allowed me to continue following this passion. Whenever my parents could save a few dollars they’d pack up my sister, brother and I and go some place. Sometimes it was a 3 hour car trip to the beach, other times it was a plane ticket half way across the world and 2 years of being homeschooled. I think it was due to this type of childhood that I didn’t have an ordinary career path in front of me but more of a lifestyle that I’d turn into a career with Mac.
FB: How did the idea for World-Class Surf Trips come about?
Nadia: Mac and I decided to throw all caution to the wind and travel the world together, young, in love, carefree and full of adventure! I was 21 and Mac was 23, we had the most amazing trip. 10 months later we returned to the states from our travels and decided to “settle down” in Southern California. Within two months of returning from our trip we already had the travel bug again, instead of dropping everything and leaving for another wild adventure we decided to create a business that provided other people with amazing travel experiences. We are building the brand around surf, yoga, travel and exploring remote parts of the world while highlighting different cultures.
FB: What’s different about your trips from other travel agencies or surf retreats?
M & N: We only offer trips that we have personally experienced. This is to ensure trust and transparency with our clients. We are just a phone call or email away from an honest, unbiased first hand account of all of our venues, the surrounding area, and the surf. We, as a company never feel right promoting any service that we have not fully experienced prior to encouraging others to do so.
Mac: I think people make up the essence of travel. We have traveled and developed relationships with every place we represent. Just yesterday I was talking with our good friend in Sumatra, he manages our location there. We were catching up talking about surfing, his son and family. It is a silly thing to write here but in a nutshell it is that. We really love the places and people that we promote on our website, it’s authentic.
We have to deny venues all the time, whether they have no environmental component or you can’t walk to go surf.
FB: Are your trips only for experienced surfers? Or do you offer learn to surf trips?
M & N: Our trips are for all levels of surfers. A majority of the venues we list can accommodate any surfer. We do have some locations listed that are more for the advanced surfer, but we also list venues that will take you out on your first day and teach you to surf. A good example of this is Florblanca, their surf instructors and coaches can take you out on your first wave or teach an advanced surfer a new technique. When a client reaches out to us to book their next adventure we take their surfing level along with other criteria and match them with the best location.
FB: How did you hear about Florblanca? And what made you want to visit?
M & N: We heard about Florblanca through one of our clients, it was recommended to her by a friend. She reached out to us for our personal opinion. After doing some research we realized that this boutique hotel would make a perfect addition.
FB: Why did you pick Florblanca as the surf destination for Costa Rica?
WCST has 6 tiers of requirements before we work with a venue.
FB: Tell me about your experience at Florblanca. What were some of your favorite parts of the visit?
M & N: The best way to describe Florblanca is attention to detail. From the moment you arrive, you are well taken care of and treated with respect. The hotel is an interesting fusion between modern luxury and jungle hotel. The use of reclaimed water, locally sourced ingredients, sustainably caught fish, organic spa products,and bamboo straws in the restaurant makes for a luxurious experience as close to nature as you can get. We really enjoyed the staff, who often chatted with us about surf conditions, fun local events and made sure we were well taken care of. The entire experience was incredible and we are excited to work with them and bring clients to them!
We’re so excited to work with Nadia and Mac through World-Class Surf Trips. We encourage you to check them out and we hope to see you at Florblanca soon!
1. Sumba - Occys left - Indonesia
Gods left or Occy’s left is famous in some circles, like wealthy holiday surfers and professional surfers. The reason you may not of heard of it is because it is completely private, and you must stay at Nihiwatu in order to even have the chance to surf. If you want to surf you will have to pay extra and make a reservation at the time of your booking. So if you do plan on going to this remote Indonesian paradise make sure you’re booked in for a surfing slot daily. They limit them to 10 and are constantly at capacity.
2. Ujung Bocur - Indonesia
This 300-400 meter reeling point break is a goofy footers wet dream, with 2 barrel sections and a nice steep wall all the way to the inside. It is in a remote village in Southern Sumatra and getting there is half the fun and all the headache. Once you arrive in the small airport typically after 20-30+ hours of travel you will now hop in a car for a 6 hour journey through small towns and two mountainous jungle passes. It is all completely worth it, especially with consistent offshore winds and a generous amount of swell. There are a variety of accommodations on the break, but some have problems with items “disappearing” others are set on the land side of the road away from the sand. The best combination of value, comfort, and surf break proximity is Ujung Bocur Bungalows. There are a variety of other waves close by and there are also rumors Mick Fanning will make an appearance for next years QS event that is held here.
3. Secret spots in The Mentawais - Indonesia
A lot of surfers head to The Mentawais to surf the famous breaks, HTs, Macaronis, Lances Left, Playgrounds, and so on. That is great, but in the peak of the season you will be met with more crowded conditions at these spots. Our recommendation is to get on a boat with a highly experienced local guide. For example, Dedi who is the guide aboard The Saraina, grew up in the islands, is a good surfer and one of the best guides in all The Mentawais. He knows where every spot is, and the crew aboard The Saraina will journey day and night to get you out of the crowds and into epic empty barrels.
4. Lohi’s Left - The Maldives
This one some of you probably have heard of before, but maybe not with the current conditions that are in place. Lohi’s left is now completely private, with the hotel limiting the amount of surfers on the island to 45. This may sound like a lot, but with two complimentary boat trips per day, and all inclusive food and drink packages, there are multiple times of day with firing surf and no one out. Especially the Saturday morning after the fish barbecue, you will most likely have the wave to yourself as long and you stay away from the pina coladas. You must book through a surf agent, who will issue you your surf pass for your stay. The hotel is called Adaaran Select Hudhuranfushi, another tip; stay in the surf villas, walking from the other side of the island can be a bit of a hassle.
5. Yankee - Nicaragua
Yankee makes the list, not for being the longest wave, but it is one of the most fun. It barrels at the top wedging off of backwash from an adjacent rock formation, forming a perfect wedging barrel that can be tricky at times to read but is insanely fun to backdoor when you figure out the line up. The rest of the wave is nice and steep sometimes with a nice oncoming end section, good for airs or big finishing maneuvers. Costa Dulce is a 10-15 minute walk and has stellar food, staff and nice rooms. There are a number of other waves in the area too.
If you think a surf trip to the Mentawai Islands in Sumatra is strictly “Bro Boy Territory”, then read on: The female surf culture makes up 30% of the market and is still growing. Girls are frothing for the same epic waves as the boys and traveling to remote breaks to experience them. With their sun kissed hair and printed bikinis, these girls are turning heads and shredding just as hard as anyone else.
On WCS’s last trip to the Mentawais we were stoked to see girls in the line up. There are 100’s of wave options in the area allowing surfers to seek out the perfect wave, from beginner to advanced. Our advice to girls traveling to The Mentawais is to get a non-bro surf charter, like The Sarania and take full advantage of the luxuries being on a surf boat can provide.
There are many benefits of staying on a boat, these include having a local surf guide with you in the line up, being the first one on a break and the ability to travel to any type of wave you desire at any point in your trip. Not to mention, the security that comes with staying on your own boat with a squad of new or old friends. For all the female surfers shredding in the Mentawais is a must. So grab your boards, pack your zinc and go show the boys a thing or two about surfing in the islands.
1. Pick your flights based on the airlines surfboard bag policy. The cheapest airline out of LAX to South east asia with free boards is China Eastern, the rest of the airline is pretty average. Air china will charge per boar $150, so be super careful. Even if you see a cheap flight research the policies in depth before making your purchase. You can also shoot us an email.
2. Pack your boards well - pipe insulation for your rails, foam corners for the nose and tail. Pack your cloths as padding around the bottom and the deck. keep it under 40lbs, this will keep you within most airline weight restrictions. You can travel with just a small backpack if you dial in a solid board bag packing strategy.
3. Pack your fins and leash in your carry-on, i usually bring a a few sets of FCS/FCSII and futures. Incase your board bag doesn’t make the connection, having your favorite fins and leash will make hiring a board feel a bit more comfortable. Also you avoid getting scammed by any shady surf shop not tying the leash cord or screwing in the fins all the way. We have heard horror stories of places using these techniques to get an extra few bucks out of the tourists.
4. Bring sunblock, zink, suncure, wax, and a few fin keys.
5. Take care of your skin, eyes and get enough hydration. Wear a surf hat, if you have an old man one, thats ok. You don’t want to end up with a terrible sunburn, heatstroke or sunburned eyes. In tropical locations you can be sweating out in the water and not realize it. Drink enough water especially if you and your mates are knocking back a few at night.
Bonus tip: Kids all around the world love stickers, pack a few from your local surf shops, or favorite surf brands. They will be stoked.
Checkout the interview by Nuts and Bolts with our Co-Founder
By: Joe Cardoso
We all wish we could just pick a place to live pack up and go whatever happens next we would enjoy the ride and live with the results. Our latest dream chaser knew what she wanted to do made a plan and is living her best life. If we took a poll a ton of people from the New England area want to move to a tropical paradise and let the chips fall where they may. She began as a child studying Yoga in Lenox, Massachusetts before she really got into it and moved to Bali and then South Africa. As if that isn’t impressive enough she also surfs! Get to know Nadia Redel.
JC: Surfing isn’t just a sport it’s a lifestyle, how did you get into it?
NR: Surfing was always something I wanted to try. I grew up in the Berkshire Mountains in Massachusetts, hours from the ocean. Despite growing up in the country I was fascinated by the ocean. I tried surfing a couple times growing up but I didn’t get into it until I was backpacking in South Africa. I was living in a small surf town called Mossel Bay, and I was surrounded by the surf culture. I worked at a backpackers and had tons of down time to paddle out. I remember being super scared of the great white sharks, and telling myself not to fall because I didn’t know what was lurking under the waves! That helped teach me not to fall!
JC: The same can be said for Yoga how were you introduced to it and what was that first class like?
NR: Yoga and I have a cool relationship, again I dabbled with it growing up but didn’t find passion for it until I was traveling in Bali. Bali is an awesome place for both surfing and yoga, locals and tourists eat, sleep and breath it. I would wake up early and ride my scooter to Balagan beach were a Russian lady taught a popup class on the grass over looking the surf. This was when I first started enjoying yoga. I would watch the waves, breath slowly and stretch-out my sore muscles. The first class I ever took , I remember disliking it a lot! My mind couldn’t relax, my body was stiff and the hour crept by slowly!! However, now that I continue to practice I realize that this is the magic of yoga, you are always adapting, learning and progressing. No two classes are the same and it is fun to see your practice transform and to try challenging poses.
JC: What style of surfing do you prefer? Long board or short board and why?
NR: For my first 2 years of surfing my go to board was a 7/6 minimal that was shaped for me when I first started in South Africa, it had a pulled in tail so it would turn like a dream and cruise down the wave. However, I always knew that I wanted to short board, doing tricks, ripping down peaky waves and getting barreled is why I wanted to start surfing in the first place! I’m now riding an eggbeater 6/3 its a fun transition board.
JC: Being female did you feel any added pressure to prove yourself on the waves at all?
NR: Yes, YES YES….did I say yes? I was just in Sumatra and most of the surf tourism was male surfers, who surfed well. It is always a constant battle to prove yourself. It is easy to let others get inside your head and for me, when I allow this to happen, is when I start surfing poorly. If you can’t keep up, you’ll get dropped in on. In the beginning I had guys dropping in on me often, and it was unbelievably frustrating. This is part of my motivation to become a solid girl surfer, I want to change this mindset and help change the stereotype of girl surfers!
JC: If someone was just starting out in both areas yoga and surfing what advice would you give them?
NR: In Indonesian they say “coba lagi “ which means “ try again”, that is my mantra when I start something new. I would recommend not giving up on either. Both surfing and yoga are super challenging and believe me, you’ll want to give up. You might not find the “stoke” on day one or even day 30, but if you keep practicing, eventually you’ll get to a place where you can’t imagine your life without it. I would also highly recommend trying yoga and surfing around the same time. Both activities complement each other and it will help you get through the beginner funk way more quickly. When in doubt remember,“coba lagi”.
JC: World Class Surf looks AMAZING! How did you start it and how EPIC has the experience been so far?
NR: World-Class Surf has been an incredible journey and I am so excited to see it continue to grow. If you travel you can understand what I call “post travel depression” or PTD. It is when you get back from an amazing adventure and you find yourself sucked back into your old routine. It was during a stage of PTD that World-Class Surf was born. I was living in Venice California, I had just gotten back from a year long backpack journey that took me and my partner Mac, around the world. We had TONS of wild adventures, I learned to surf and was getting deeper into my yoga practice. Then reality hit us, we got back to the states, got an apartment and started to work 9-5 to cover our rent and bills. Every day was the same, and all we wanted to do was get back onto the open road an keep exploring. That is when we came up with the idea of WCS. We knew if we felt like this others did also. We wanted to create a place where like minded travelers could have access to amazing surf trips, some in remote parts of the world and others in luxury hotels.
During our own travels we also felt misguided in some tourism marketing. We have experienced it when you see a picture of a hotel online that looks beachfront only to find out that you are staying up the road and have to walk or drive to the nearest break. We wanted to negate the dishonest marketing schemes by experiencing the venues we list and giving our unbiased personal opinions. We only list venues we personally would want to stay at, which I think our clients appreciate.
JC: Where was the best wave you caught and why was it the best?
NR: As a surfer, thats a tricky question to answer. I obviously love a wave without a crowd but in general Some of my top countries I’ve surfed would have to be Sumatra including the Mentawai Islands. I also really enjoyed Kauai… To be honest they are all good! Waves are like toppings at an ice-cream bar, you might have your favorite but all the toppings are great!
JC: What sort of fitness routine and diet do you follow to stay in top shape?
NR: Surfing is a very demanding sport, you have to be sharp, both mentally and physically. Yoga allows you to become hyper aware of your body and what it needs/ how it feels. I think this is why they compliment each other so well. I try to workout 1 hour 5 times a week. I enjoy doing full body workouts, like power yoga, high intensity training, hiking and beach circuits. The most important thing for me is to keep my body strong yet flexible. In addition to my normal fitness routine, I love training MMA. It is so intense and keeps my body long and lean.
I am a totally health nut and I really enjoy cooking. When I’m not traveling, I follow a manly vegan diet. I eat allot of vegetables, fruits and get protein from foods like lentils and pea protein shakes. I’ve noticed the cleaner I eat the better I preform. Of my favorite pre-surf snacks is a brown rice cracker with almond butter, banana and dates. yum!
JC:Yoga is said to be spiritual has it affected how you live and view things?
NR: Absolutely, I feel like I have a better understanding of what “spiritual” actually means, since diving into my yoga practice. I got into both yoga and surfing at a time in my life when I needed some guidance. My spirituality is most represented by appreciation. I have a deeper appreciation for simple things in my every day life.
JC: Craziest moment so far during this journey for you has been________?
NR: Going to surf Taverna in Fiji with jet ski assist for just one day with a group of my best friends. That was an impromptu surf trip ill never forget. We all got SO many sick waves. It was also my first and only time using a jet ski, the whole experience was rad!
JC: Being a world traveler, I must ask name a food that looked/smelled gross but turned out to be awesome.
NR: The only thing coming to mind is Durian Fruit, but I still think it tastes disgusting.
JC: Where in the world has been the BEST trip so far and why.
NR: Truly hard to say, i’ve had some amazing adventures. One that stands out was the one I just got back from. In March World-Class Surf took a group of friends to Sumatra. Just getting there is an adventure, it takes about 36 hours from LA and includes multiple airplane flights and a 6 hour car ride through the Sumatran jungle and Tiger Reservation. It was so fun to share this epic trip with friends who had never been to Sumatra before. Everyone was vibeing off each others energy, which lead to so many jokes and laughter. The surf was insane, for 10 days we surfed all day somewhere. In-between surfing we’d go by motorbike through the jungle, exploring undiscovered surf breaks. We even went to a local carnival where our whole group was the main attraction. Everyone wanted to take pictures with the group of blonde haired surfers. It felt like we were the group from Endless Summer a bunch of surfers, friends and adventure seekers having the time of their life. Sumatra will always have a place in my heart. It isn’t just the waves that make it so special but the locals and culture that truly make it standout. I can’t wait to head back soon!
JC: What else do you have planned for 2018?
NR: Looking forward to a surf trip the end of August to Sumatra and exploring more of the Californian Coastline this year.
JC: Any close calls with wildlife? Sharks, seals, whales?
NR: I’ve been so fortunate to have had a ton of magical moments with marine life. There is a seal here in Malibu we see often, he’s been given the nick name “Jimmy.”
article came from: https://nutsandboltssports.com/dream-chasers-series-nadia-redel/