Mono Loco Surf School: The Real Surf Experience

Flying Into Mono Loco

mono loco melissa

Love birds live here in Bocas del Toro, Panama.  They choose a mate for life, and can be seen soaring in pairs between the clouds and bright beams of light.  They fly free, sharing the joy of gliding along through paradise.  I feel a connection to them as I soar, flying free down the face of a wave.  In these pure moments nothing matters as I glide over the surface of the sea and return to smiles and laughter of friends.My first day in Bocas began with an early morning surf at La Punta off of the tropical, jungle island Carenero where I lined up with a waterfall to catch the left.   After surfing with Joan and Juan David, I joined Juan David to train to teach surf lessons at the Mono Loco surf school.In Cocoa Beach, I work for the Ron Jon surf school and have also instructed at Chicabrava, which is an all-girls surf camp in Nicaragua.  At both schools, we use the same technique that involves taking clients to the beach and pushing them into waves.  The student focuses on popping up and riding the wave.  Learning to paddle usually does not occur unless the student learns to pop-up early in the lesson.  I quickly learned here at the Mono Loco surf school, learning to surf is taken to another level.

First, the students are taught theory which includes ocean safety, the international rules of surfing, board safety, and popping-up on the board.  Next, we take the students with their boards to a boat.  Then, we take the boat to a reef break called Black Rock.  At Black Rock, we situate the students into a channel where they wait as they take turns entering the line-up with an instructor.  One at a time, Juan David guided each student into wave, coached them on paddling, and rode the same wave next to the student.

melissa surfDuring my training, I could not stop smiling.  Instructing in this way is exciting and allows the instructor to see exactly what the student is doing while attempting to pop-up and ride the wave.  It also allows the instructor and student to fully share the joy and energy of the same wave.  Together they sail in a pair; free over the sea.

My new life in Bocas began less than a week ago and already the Caribbean has supplied the adventure I crave and its’ natural beauty captured my heart.

By: Melissa Diamond