San Juan del Sur Surfing – Beginners Guide

San Juan del Sur surfing paddle out

In San Juan Del Sur surfing is popular among both beginners as well as the more experienced. With several beaches and constant swells it is one of the most popular activities in the town. My partner Bailey and I are not the most experienced surfers so San Juan del Sur was a perfect place for us to work on our skills. The countless waves were perfect for beginners to build their confidence and skills. San Juan del Sur surfing is inexpensive and the large beaches give lots of room to learn without massive crowds. Here is our own experience and guide to San Juan del Sur surfing for beginners.

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San Juan del Sur Surfing – Preparation

Surfing is hard work and if you haven’t surfed before you are going to be sore. Of course making sure you are decently fit beforehand is a life saver. Imagine not preparing and you start your first day of surfing only to be too sore to surf for the next few days – not what anyone trying to learn needs on their first time. Stretching before and after helped us a lot and made sure we could surf every day.

Preparing the boards for San Juan del Sur Surfing
Preparing the boards!

When to go Surfing in San Juan del Sur

In San Juan del Sur surfing is best 2 hours before high tide until 2 hours after high tide. You can check any local surf report for the times. For beginners as the tide goes out the waves become less frequent making it easier to paddle out.

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San Juan del Sur Surfing

In San Juan there are several beaches that boast good surf. However the beach we found to be the best for learning not only for waves but less crowds was Hermosa. Hermosa is located about 20 minutes from San Juan del Sur and the long stretch of beach is rarely busy. The minimal crowds mean learning to surf can be done at your own pace. Remember that other beginners are also a danger as flying boards in the surf are common so having some space is really good!

Hermosa has an entry fee of $3 and includes use of the hammocks, lockers, chairs and tanning beds. Board rentals are available and a restaurant and bar for food and drinks.

Our San Juan del Sur Surf camp
Moving down to a smaller board makes things harder

San Juan del Sur Surf Camp

If you are reading this you’re likely new to surfing or want to increase your skill level. In my opinion when starting out it is important to learn from someone with a lot of experience. This not only helps you learn quickly but stops any bad habits before they stick, so the first thing I did was sign up for a San Juan del Sur surf camp.

The camps usually run for a week however we negotiated a shorter time that suited our travel plans. The good thing about the surf camps as opposed to just a lesson is the in depth classes before you even step foot in the water. Not only did this give us more confidence, it also meant we were catching waves in no time.

Now that is surfing in San Juan del sur
Bailey getting up on a big wave!
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The First Lesson

Our first lesson on the shore involved learning about reading a swell report, safety in the water and also practicing standing up. We then headed to the beach to catch some waves. With the help from our coach both me and Bailey where standing up on our first day! Over the next days we progressed a lot more and began heading out to catch the waves ourselves with constant tips from our coach. By the end we had both built up a strong core foundation and confidence that will help us a lot as we travel through Central America.

We did our surf camp through Coconut Surf Camp and had an amazing time. On our second day we were out catching waves up to 1 meter. Our coach Julio was awesome and went above and beyond to help us. I highly recommend this company!

Our first day of San Juan del Sur Surfing
Hermosa on our first day!

Overall our San Juan del Sun del Sur surfing experience was amazing, it was one of the first places we had been to that was perfect for learning. The locals in San Juan del Sur are very friendly and understanding. So for beginners this is the perfect place to learn how to surf. I hope this San Juan del Sur surfing guide helps you make the decision to give it a go!


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Our San Juan del Sur surf camp

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