Monthly Archives: November 2013

7 Things to Keep a Beginning Surfer from Looking Like a Greenie

It is a legendary sport for all ages.  But, just how do you break into surfing?  A little hesitant to try?

With December approaching and bringing the surfing season to Bocas del Toro, this is for those who want to learn to surf in the Caribbean this winter.  You can be a beginner surfer without standing out for the wrong reasons.

7 things to keep a beginner surfer from looking like a “greenie”

More than a dozen waves in Bocas del Toro, Panama challenge surfers of all levels

More than a dozen waves in Bocas del Toro, Panama challenge surfers of all levels

1.      Apprenticeship  Taking a lesson isn’t the same as the mentality of openly investing in the sport as an apprentice with a trustworthy, experienced tutor.  They will teach you that this sport is as much about culture as it is about technique, and will hopefully keep you just as much from getting in a fight with other surfers as from getting held in a riptide.

2.      Rashguard Don’t dress for the pool or a regular beach day.  Men and women wear rash guards with their swimsuits to protect their skin from rubbing on the board.  Sun protection is a secondary bonus.

3.      Study  This is homework you do from the beach.  Study the waves before you put your toes in.  Watch for patterns, get to know the wave tendencies and plan your route.

4.      Respect  Respect the locals, respect your realistic ability, and respect the right-of-way to the first person on the wave.  If you have a mentor, show respect for them too.

5.      Location  Call it a “spot.” Prepare with updated surf reports and your mentor, or advice from a local board shop, to find the right current and weather for your experience.  You’ll have more success, and fun, with beginner-friendly waves, a beach break, and a lot of space to yourself.

6.      Endurance  Surfing requires a lot of shoulder and arm strength, core strength and balance, plus the mental stamina to miss the wave or tumble and then paddle back out.  Have patient endurance learning to catch a wave before pushing out too far.  It’s easier to do this at a secluded beginner spot than getting in the way of other surfers already cruising the wave.

With the right waves and coach, you can learn how to surf in Panama

With the right waves and coach, you can learn how to surf in Panama

7.      Vocab  You probably understand a barrel or tube when it comes to describing a wave, but could you identify a cutback move or a duck dive?  While you could ask the locals to explain every other sentence, this is another reason to go with a knowledgeable surfer the first few times you hit the waves.

Enjoy the day, the water, and the company, regardless of how you are able to ride.  Everyone can have a good time and promote positive vibes on the water.

And for the rest of you who have to look out for the beginners on the water, any other tips that should be on this list? What do you recommend for the folks learning to surf?

Red Frog Beach Resort has surfing lessons and excursions available with experienced guides.  Access more than a dozen waves in breathtaking, untouched areas of the Caribbean in Bocas del Toro.

 

 

 

Holiday Month in Panama! 6 National Holidays in November

Panama is at Holiday for the Month of November

Or it can feel that way, at least.

Spend the holiday watching your soccer team with good food and drinks in Bocas del Toro

Spend the holiday watching your soccer team with good food and drinks in Bocas del Toro

If you’re doing business in, through, or about Panama, this is need-to-know information.  You have 11 months to accomplish what you need.  Panamanians are taking off in November.

While a lot of people in Panama are hard at work, with 6 national holidays, and several other provincial holidays, November is a notoriously slow month-to say the least.  Locals often escape the hubbub of Panama City and head to visit family and friends in country towns or make way to the beaches.  If you want parades, dancing in the streets, and lots of Panama’s red, white and blue, this is the time to come.

Plan ahead for ATM’s running out of money and some restrictions on alcohol sales 24-48 hours around the holiday.

Here is the November Holiday rundown:

November 2:   Dia de los Muertos  Celebrated in Panama with reverence for ancestors, this is opposite of the parades and fiestas in Mexico.  Panamanians typically visit cemeteries and are restrained from loud music or buying alcohol.

November 3: Separation Day  This is the beginning of the Fiestas Patrias in November.  Separation Day commemorates Panama’s Civil War and separation from Columbia in 1903

Panama Flag - Can't miss it on Flag Day

Panama Flag – Can’t miss it on Flag Day

November 4: Flag Day  National pride will be at its peak with flags, colors, and décor on about any place possible.

November 5:  Colon Day  Panamanians remember Christopher Columbus who traveled all down the Eastern coast of Panama on his fourth voyage (and rested near Red Frog Beach for a week).  It was also in Colon that Panama’s forces stood against the Columbian army to victory in the separation.

November 10: The Uprising in the Villa de Los Santos  When Panama was under rule of the Spanish Empire, villagers in Los Santos wrote a letter to activist Simon Bolivar for aid in a revolt against the Spanish. The holiday marks the first step towards independence.

November 28:  Independence Day  This is the anniversary from 1821 when Panama declared full independence from Spain and joined the Columbian government (Gran Columbia) for another 80 or so years.

Snorkeling in Panama for the holidays

Snorkeling in Panama for the holidays

This year Panama’s Independence Day falls on Thanksgiving Day as celebrated in the USA.  What are your plans for the November 28th holiday?