By: Joe Marino (11 trips and counting)
Since my first visit to Witch’s seven years ago, I’m not the same old guy sliding into the 60s, watching TV, eating ice cream (chocolate chip cookie dough if I’m lucky), and waiting for retirement. Here are some of the biggest changes:
1. I feel like a young whipper snapper.
I have lost 30 pounds since first time getting off the shuttle from Liberia. After the first surf lesson where J Luis would say “paddle hard, stand up!”, my arms felt like old rubber bands on fire. After a week of surfing, I found muscles that were never there before. So, I got a surf workout program and tried to get in a little better condition before the next visit to Witch’s. And now I’m in the best shape of my life.
2. “What?? You are from LA and you don’t speak Spanish?”
My friend, Irene, who worked at “Joe’s” asked me this one night at the bar. Now you don’t need to know Spanish in Costa Rica, but I had no good answer for her. So, I got some Spanish apps and a book and now I can have a basic conversation (I sound like a five-year-old, but it works).
3. Crazy Monkey wall flower no more
It was after my second trip and watching everyone in my surf class having a blast on Friday night dancing salsa and Merengue to a live band at Mono Loco as I stood by with my beer getting warm. I went home and popped the question every wife would love to hear, “How would you like to take some dance lessons with me?” We all know the answer to that inquiry, and now we can Salsa, Rumba, Cha-Cha, and Tango with the best of them. (For extra money, I’m thinking I could be one of those taxi dancers on the cruise ships.)
4. A real surfer
The biggest impact is now I am a surfer. Before my first trip to Witch’s I never really surfed. So, I was starting from zero. Now I have four boards, two wet suits, wax, and a rack on my car. It is all because Joe Walsh created Witch’s to meet every surfer’s needs and makes sure everyone has a great time. From the world class instructors, great eats, beers, drinks, Pirate Radio, Robert August, dancing, and most importantly, great surf trips. Every surfing lesson I learn something new. Now I’m in the intermediate group with the goal of surfing one day at “Witch’s Rock” break.
While all these changes are really great, what keeps me coming back to Witch’s are the wonderful people. J Luis, Maxi, Diego, Shawna, Ryan, Crista, Maria, Alonso, Jose, Melissa, Kathia and Elissa are all great. They make me feel part of the family.
Management Consultant and Start-up Guy
World traveler and Vlogger – See Tamarindo Review at Lost Luggage
Next Witch’s Rock Trip – March 10th to 20th for Fiesta Real Rodeo!