I found out about David Salinas thanks to a commenter on wannasurf.com. What fantastic luck that was. There are tons of surf instructors in Puerto Escondido, and I have been in the water alongside many of them. But no instructor is quite like David.
Surfing is a difficult activity. It takes a healthy amount of time, practice, and repetition to get good at it. A lot of it is timing--and combining an ability to read incoming waves with proper positioning in the lineup. And etiquette! Not being a jerk in the water. Not dropping in on folks, staying out of trouble. Not going after waves that might hurt you... et cetera.
David's instruction allows a perfect newbie at surfing the ability to read, paddle for, and ride waves. He goes over all the major topics: wave-reading (sets, intervals, swells), paddling, lineup etiquette, trouble-avoidance, board selection, standing up in the fewest steps ("Cobra! Up! Up!" I can still hear him shouting.) His teaching technique is relentlessly positive, and those days when you totally feel like you're getting smoked... he's right there rooting you on, correcting your previous ineffective technique.
I'd recommend the week-long package if you're really serious about learning how to surf.
He's very flexible about letting you try different boards and going to different beaches. Just a very hassle-free existence with David. His house is very nice, and the attached rooms are quiet and clean. There is ample shade on the property, and if I'm not mistaken now there is a functioning kitchen out in the courtyard.
David and Swantje are just truly great people. I am very grateful to have met them, and wish them all the best.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- By creating a homey and quiet atmosphere set in a naturally beautiful area, we want you to experience surfing and relaxing in a new way. We are located at La Punta de Zicatela, 50m from the beach. La Punta is a left pointbreak and a gret spot for beginner and intermediate surfers. ... more less