Gratitude in Action: Surfsgiving Paddle Out

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Gratitude in Action: Surfsgiving Paddle Out

Three years ago, Pura Vida Adventures celebrated its 10th year, complete with a week-long fiesta that just happened to coincide with Thanksgiving.

We surfed till our arms ached, we laughed till our stomachs hurt, we drank sunset cocktails, we pool-partied with endless supplies of guacamole, we hugged new and old friends, and we reveled in the Costa Rican warmth.


Needless to say, it was pretty awesome. But the rad-ness didn’t end there.

In order to celebrate the momentous passing of time (10 years? Crazy! I remember coming to PVA as a 25 year-old fresh faced surf instructor!) AND in order to honor the American Thanksgiving, our leader Tierza decided to initiate a new tradition which we have at every Surfsgiving camp: The Paddle Out for Gratitude.


The plan for the Paddle Out was simple: the PVA “family” (instructors, students, and any one else who was a part of the camp) would head out into the waves, paddle past the break, and form a big circle.

There we’d sit on our boards, hold hands, say silent thanks for the good things in life, and invite that energy of gratitude to permeate our lives moving forward.


If all this sounds kind of hippie, well, I guess that’s because IT IS.

But if you think we paddled out there subdued and chanting OM, think again. Of course a bunch of surfers can’t just paddle out into the waves without frothing to catch some!


So we hooted and hollered at each other as we caught waves. 

laughgratitudeWe fell off our boards, diving with silly faces into the water. We egged each other on, racing to catch the next set coming on. We even dropped in on each other, laughing.



We were giddy with the joy of being together in such a magical place.



There was even kissing. (And pretending to be grossed out by kissing).


Finally, we formed our circle: splashing in a huge, overjoyed, rhythmic cry of deepest thanks to the world.

splashcircleSometimes, we forget that gratitude is not about doing something to get more later, or to explain why we have what we have now, it’s about being truly present in wherever moment we find ourselves: the joyful ones, the sorrowful ones, the painful ones, the exciting ones, the happy ones.

Gratitude is basking in the experience of your existence: the sheer magic of the fact that you get to be present in your body in a world full of wonder. 



You get the choice, every day, to join into many different circles of gratitude with the people around you.

You get to take in a deep breath, fill up your lungs, empty out your heart, and add your rhythmic cry of thanks to the world.

Pura Vida’s 4th Annual Paddle Out for Gratitude will happen at our Thanksgiving (Surfsgiving) Camp, November 19 – 25, 2018. Get more info HERE.


  1. Aaron Fry says:

    Breathe in the light, the peace, the love, the joy. Exhale GRATITUDE. So thankful to have you all in our lives, even when your thousands of miles away.

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