SUVs for surfers

Feb 16th, 2007, 11:36 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 720
SUVs for surfers

Hi again,

I've been reading about the various car rental companies and have noted the recommendations. Thanks, so much. But I'm curious if anyone has experience renting and needing surf board racks.

We're three couples and there will be 6 long boards. Other than the boards, we pack light. We'll be getting 2 vehicles. We were thinking a larger one for 2 of the couples and 4 boards and perhaps a smaller one for the other couple and 2 boards.

I'd appreciate any feedback regarding various companies and specific vehicles from those who've transported their boards.

Any other hints from surfers are also more than welcome.

Floridafran is offline  
Feb 16th, 2007, 12:08 PM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 208
My rental 4wd - Daihatsu Terrios (pretty small but there were 2 of us) - had a roof rack. A generic Thule type. I rented boards at the beaches I went to, but would still use the rack to drive to other areas w/ the board. Most of the rental shops had tie downs that they let me borrow.

Anyway, I would bring your own tie downs (the nylon rope w/ a metal thingy that you pull the rope through) and just request a roof rack.

Where are you going?
Naplo999 is offline  
Feb 16th, 2007, 02:01 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 720
Hi Naplo999,

Thanks for the quick reply and the heads-up about the tie downs. That's one of those things it would be so easy to forget.

We're 3 "somewhat past middle-age" couples and the guys are the surfers, all long boarders. This trip is really for them, especially the two who've been friends and surfing together since the early 60s.

We're going first to Pavones for 3 nights. Where we go from there will depend on where the surf is up. The three spots they prefer are Dominical, Mal Pais area, and Nosara. If you have any thoughts on any of then, or anywhere else, please feel free to share.

We live in the Florida panhandle and the never great surf, has been even worse than usual this winter. The guys are so ready for May to get here so they can head south. I'm really looking forward to it, too, even though I don't surf. But we get our final few nights in the Arenal area and I love beachcombing. So I'm good to go.

Floridafran is offline  
Feb 19th, 2007, 05:08 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 208
Those spots all sound great. I have not been to Pavones though. Since you are down there I would go to the Osa peninsula, its supposed to be outstanding...not sure about the surf really but I believe there is some in the Matapalo area. Not sure.

There MUST be places between the Osa area and Dominical that you can ask about. It's a very unpopulated area.

Other then that your plan sounds great. Mal Pais is the best. I assume you are going for about 2 weeks? You'll have a lot of driving.

What is the surf in the Panhandle like when its good? Just curious, I'm from NJ.
Naplo999 is offline  
Feb 19th, 2007, 09:45 AM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 91
Hi there- Sounds like a great trip. We are heading back to CR in May also. My husband is a surfer and we've made a couple trips down there before. We really like using Mapache (via for our rental car. They have always been friendly, punctual, and affordable. For the two of us we have always rented a RAV 4 and fit the two of us, our luggage and our boards in the car. My husband has had bad luck with surf racks and prefers to keep the board in the car. I'm sure with 2 vehicles (I'm assuming 4 x 4's) you'll be fine.

We have never been down to the Osa, so can't help you with any info on Pavones area, though Cabo Matapalo is on my list and one day I hope to get down there. We have spent a few nights in Dominical and loved the area. Hubby didn't surf as it was too big and stormy, but have always heard great things about the surf. We stayed at Hotel Villas Rio Mar and LOVED it. Nice pool to hang out by for the non-surfers, great little "resort", not too far from town, but we did have to drive to get to the beach. Nosara is also a wonderful area. It's very quiet, the beach is beautiful and was empty when we were there. It will be much drier up north. We stayed at the Gilded Iguana in Nosara and it was ok. Very close to the beach, good food. Only complaint was that the bar area got a bit loud at night. Casa Romantica looked nice and is right on the beach. Have not been to Mal Pais, though we are heading there in May also. I'm excited to explore, have heard nothing but great things about the area and I think the surf is pretty consistent. Our personal favorite surf spot and beach area is Playa Grande, just north of Tamarindo. It's quiet, great beach, good consistent surf and a sweet little hotel called Hotel las Tortugas.

Hope this helps. Have a wonderful trip.
ardie514 is offline  
Mar 4th, 2007, 01:27 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 720
I knew I'd been really busy with work but didn't realize just how much so until I went looking for this post and saw how long it had been since I replied to anyone.


Yes we have right at 2 weeks, 13 nights to be exact and don't have to spend either the first or last night just outside the airport due to our flight times. Basically gives us 13 days as well, just broken into a half day at the start and another half day at the end.

As for our surf. Winter is usually best and it can be anywhere from a couple of feet to head-high. Summer is often flat unless there's a tropical storm or hurricane brewing close enough to kick things up. Then it can get really big, well over head high. Unfortunately, if the storm is too close they close the Island and no one can get out here. Second bad thing (first to me) is that I live out here and really don't want to see another hurricane for a very long time. Much less expensive for us to travel to the surf than have to repair after a storm. Ivan was over 2 years ago and we're still not fully recovered.

Thanks for the surf spot info and the comments on Villas Rio Mar. I'd heard good things about them. Also for the advice about Mapache. They're one of the companies I've gotten quotes from.

Right now I'm trying to decipher the various insurance coverages available. We're going to use our AMEX platinum card and have printed out what it covers. says it doesn't cover us on unpaved roads. And as we all know, there are a lot of those in CR and they aren't considered back roads there as they are here. I'm tempted to just pay for every type of coverage we can get just to be on the safe side.


Floridafran is offline  
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