At Pura Vida Adventures, we’re all about letting our freak flag fly. And we own it! The fact that we can embrace each other for being strong women, while also calling ourselves out on various antics, makes our clients who are learning to surf feel like they’re just one of the crew. Whether it’s a clumsy wipeout, a wardrobe malfunction, or a late-night laugh that turns into a snort, bring it on ‘cause we’re right there with ya.
In the next few blogs, you will meet our team. They are what makes Pura Vida Adventures truly special. It isn’t the beautiful oceanfront accommodations, the gorgeous beach, the yummy food, or even the coolest surf town, it’s the connections you make during this trip.
… And while you’re learning to surf, our instructors have got your back.
Occasionally you see a female surfer who combines sexiness with strength, and fearless style with effortless grace. Helen is not that surfer. Helen grew up in the UK, while learning to surf in freezing, mainly flat waters. She quickly became the best surfer in her neighborhood (she was also the only surfer in her neighborhood). And after ditching her overworked job at the BBC, she moved to Costa Rica and landed a job as a surf instructor at Pura Vida Adventures. Her love of surfing and travel has taken her to many far-flung corners of the world.
For Helen, the best part of working at Pura Vida Adventures is the opportunity to meet and share a laugh with other kickass women. Helen likes telling jokes (some are of the knock-knock variety). Sometimes her students laugh. Sometimes they pity her. But she also has a serious side …
As a self-professed “surf nerd,” Helen gets off on the nitty-gritty of surf technique. She especially enjoys surf video analysis (an instructional tool for clients learning to surf) because it allows her OCD to come out. Helen is currently making fitness videos for women surfers, and she writes an informative and mildly amusing blog about surfing called Kookbitches.
According to her Tinder profile, Helen also enjoys cooking healthy food. So if she’s not out surfing, she’s massaging kale, spiralizing zucchinis, or making delicious desserts from avocados. Her main ambition in life, however, is to be a crazy cat lady. While she currently owns only one cat, she aims to have five once she settles down.
Ale should come with a warning attached to her. Because she’s so funny and quirky that you just might hurt yourself laughing. Her mother is from El Salvador and her father is from Costa Rica, making her true Central American native. And it shows in her surfing!
Ale grew up learning to surf in El Salvador at a time when there were very few ladies in the water. Her initial forays were unsuccessful (due to poor instruction from her surfer friends), but at least she became an excellent paddler! When she finally received proper instruction, she realized that standing up on a surfboard was even more fun than constantly wiping out.
Before joining Pura Vida Adventures, Ale worked as a children’s clown and was later promoted to the role of “a piece of broccoli” to encourage vegetable consumption for kids. She has worked for surf camps all around the world, but now calls Santa Teresa home, where the ocean is her office.
Ale loves to see the way that learning to surf can change people’s lives. She is 50 percent surf instructor and 50 percent surf whisperer, as she ignites a passion for surfing in anyone she encounters. Ale is also a certified yoga instructor and CrossFit trainer who loves watching movies in bed, eating cookies, and getting crumbs all over the sheets.