Learning to surf at any age is an incredible experience—but celebrating your 60th birthday with a mother-daughter surf trip to Costa Rica is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! We shared an unforgettable week with Susan and her daughter Sarah, who learned to surf together at Pura Vida Adventures, inspired us with their friendship, and showed us that in the ocean, everyone is young at heart.
“I am trying to find words that can truly express what this experience meant for me to learn to surf at 60,” Susan said. “First, what an amazing daughter to give this as a gift to me for my 60th birthday! To be able to experience something so wonderful, new, and exciting after turning 60 is one thing, but to be able to share it with my daughter, Sarah is beyond words.”
The week was filled with sunny morning surf sessions, candy-colored sunsets, starlit walks on the beach, and memorable dinners out with their new surfer pals (and of course, a birthday celebration!). For Susan, it was also a special time to strengthen her bond with Sarah.
“We were able to laugh, feel utter exhaustion and create new memories during our Pura Vida Adventure,” Susan said. “I have a very close bond with Sarah in the first place and this brought us even closer together, not just as mother and daughter, but as two very strong women with open hearts willing to take on a challenge of something very new.”
They surfed the warm waters of Santa Teresa each morning, learning the fundamentals of the sport from the enthusiastic Pura Vida Adventures team. Susan and Sarah’s instructor, David, supported them throughout the week with his characteristic kindness and smile.
“The Pura Vida Adventures family made me feel like I could do anything and were patient, kind, caring, and even gave a bit of a push to get me outside of my comfort/fear zone! Having David be right there cheering me on and making me pause and breathe—he is a gem and I am forever grateful to have had him as my coach,” Susan said.
While learning to catch a wave was a new physical challenge, Susan also felt that her experience in the ocean was a powerful internal journey that made a lasting impact on her life. The lessons of surfing taught her to see the world, and herself, in a new light.
“As a society, often we set parameters around ourselves—what we think we should, can, could, would do. I learned to trust myself, trust others, and challenge my soul and my mind beyond what I had thought I could do,” she said. “I could not have asked for a better way to turn 60! I actually felt young (well at least young at heart!). I also hope that perhaps I allowed others to view age differently and to realize that age is truly a state of mind.”
Susan and Sarah are already planning their next trip to Costa Rica, and this time they’ll have even more to celebrate. “Sarah turns 40, I turn 65, and my beautiful granddaughter will be almost 16 years old in 5 years,” Susan said. “It is about creating new memories now with the next generation and I can’t wait.”
We can’t wait either. Thank you, Susan and Sarah, for sharing your journey with us!