Costa Rica Calls for Government to Crack Down on Illegal Surf Instructors

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Surf schools all over the world are boosting local economies and offering surfers a way to make money doing something they love.

On Hawaii's Big Island, a few lucky business owners make a living in the niche market, while the legendary Raimana Van Bastolaer helps novices ride waves at Kelly Slater's Surf Ranch, and even virtual video surf coaching is a thing now.

The latest surf school news comes from the beaches of Tamarindo, Costa Rica, where an influx of illegal surf instructors has sparked trouble in paradise.

Related: Watch: Here is the Secret Behind This Popular Australian Surf Break

Costa Rican newspaper The Tico Times reported on the issue in the post above.

According to the story, members of the Association of Surf Instructors of Playa Tamarindo (AISPT) have issued a complaint to local authorities, claiming that approximately 50 foreigners are working as surf instructors without proper permits.

"This activity has a ripple effect, creating around 150 indirect employment opportunities in sectors such as transportation, food, lodging, and stores selling surfing-related items," The Tico Times reported.

"Action is needed to address unauthorized undercutting of legally operating surf schools," the paper captioned the post.

Furthermore, the illegal surf instructors "have led to a decrease of more than 50 percent in the cost of surfing lessons, which typically amount to $75 for a two-hour session."

In some cases, the unpermitted instructors are offering lessons "as low as $30, including additional perks such as meals," the paper reported.

According to the story, the AISPT is asking officials to enforce regulations requiring instructors to obtain proper work permits and immigration status "for all instructors to ensure a fair playing field."

The Ministry of Labor allows foreign residents to work legally "if they possess a residence card free of condition, a work permit, or legal refugee or asylum status."

"Any foreigner seeking paid work in Costa Rica can apply for a migratory category permitting such employment, whether through temporary residence or a special work permit," according to the paper.


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