It started with a dream. It was a few days before Bill and Diane left their home in California for a tropical Hawaiian vacation when Bill awoke with an idea. He and his wife loved cruising around California in their old VW van and Bill had dreamed they were driving their van in Hawaii, having a blast. After he awoke, a quick online search turned up a van for rent in Maui, they quickly made arrangements with the owner to use the van during their vacation.
When they returned to California Diane and Bill thought about all the people coming to California for vacation that would love to rent a VW. Bill had owned a VW van pretty much all of his life, they were his favorite mode of transportation to and from the surf spots along the California Coast. Diane’s brother had owned a VW van when she was younger so she was fond of them as well. To test their hypothesis they started with just one VW camper van, and a website. Sure enough, before too long, the prospective customers started calling. 7 years, and 10 VW camper vans later, Bill and Diane are wanting to expand even more. They love sharing the VW experience with others and seeing the smile on their face when they return after a week surfari in one of their Volkswagen vans.
Renters can choose from ten totally unique vans ranging from a classic 1977 van named Taos, to a 1986 Vanagon named Kukui. Cute names aside, these vans mean business. The vans are equipped with pretty much everything you'll need for a self-sustained surf trip including; cooking items, flatware, coffee pot, paper towels, potable water, full size bed, stove, sink, ice box, dining table and more.
You may be wondering where you go once you’re in the van? Wherever you want. There are endless possibilities, but don't worry Bill loves to share his ideas with you about the best places to stay and the best ways to find good (and cheap) camping spots. When asked about some of the all time favorite stop-overs, Bill says the most popular surf spots for the vans are the campgrounds and beaches at:
- El Capitan State Beach - North of Santa Barbara & one of the most beautiful West Coast campgrounds
- San Onofre- One of California's most legendary longboard breaks and a primo spot to hang out all day
- San Elijo State Beach - Surf the famous Cardiff Reef
While the most popular non surf areas are:
- Big Sur Coastline - Dramatic ocean views and scenic forest
- Joshua Tree - Great camping, hiking and rock climbing
- Yosemite Park - America’s most impressive, hiking, waterfalls, and big wall climbing
When asked about the most unique experience with the business Bill tells of shipping the Vans to Austin, TX for the South by South West (SXSW) festival. Several bands from England wanted to follow up their SXSW performances with a tour through the US on Vintage VWs. After considering the options they concluded Bill's Vintage Surfari Wagons were the coolest to be found anywhere so they arranged for him and the vans to come to Austin to pick them up.
So if you're ready for a vacation that's unique, a surf trip that's a little funky, and a chance to slow down, step back in time, and enjoy the coastline. Go ahead and check out the VW Surfari Wagons in California. And when you do, be sure to give Bill a big thanks for turning his dream into a reality.
Looking for a cheap surf trip? Try a surf camp in Guatemala for $4 per night!
Swimming with a gentle giant - Four Seasons Explorer
Many of the world's great surf breaks are also located next to some of the best dive sites you could hope for. While you can't surf all day, and you can't dive all day, when you combine both activities you stand a good chance of logging plenty of water time. What makes this combination so great is you can dive when the waves are small or choppy and surf during your surface intervals or when visibility is bad. Here's a list of 5 great Wavecation rental properties and hotels that offer great diving and surf.
- Four Seasons Explorer - For those looking for the ultimate in luxury live aboard, the Four Seasons Explorer will not disappoint. Wake up each morning at a new surf break, a new dive spot, or both. Dive the numerous reefs or channels in the crystal clear water. For the adventurous, enjoy diving with manta rays and whale sharks or descend to the 110 meter long cargo ship dubbed the Victory. The price tag for this dream getaway is high but if you can afford the $1000+ per night you'll enjoy the best in solitude, privacy, adventure and luxury that the Maldives has to offer.
- Abaco Inn - Enjoy views of one of the Bahamas best surf breaks (aptly named "pools") from the hotel swimming pool. Take a short walk from your room to the hotel’s beach and you’ll be paddling out to a great reef break in clear blue water. If you want to do some diving when the waves are down, you can’t choose a much better place. Elboy Cay and the waters surrounding Abaco have some of the finest diving in the Bahamas, with dives ranging from shore dives, deep wall dives or wreck dives.
- Sebastian’s on the Beach - The Virgin Islands are often thought of for their luxury yacht culture, the gorgeous beaches and a jet set lifestyle. The diving here is fabulous as well as the surfing if you know where to go. Sebastian’s on the Beach offers an affordable yet upscale option for those who want to stay beachfront and be just a stone’s throw from the surf break at Apple Bay and a short distance from the famed Cane Garden Bay surf break. When it's time for diving be sure and try the world famous wreck dive that begins in 70 feet of water, the RMS Rhone.
- Villa Tropical in Puerto Rico is a shore diver's paradise. Directly offshore is a series of underwater tunnels, caverns and formations that provide stunning scenery and exciting dives. When the surf is up, this dive spot turns into a nice right reef break for more experienced surfers. The windsurf and kiteboard crews also name this as a favorite beach. Rent one of Villa Tropical's 8 houses and you’ll be right in the middle of the action, so even when you’re relaxing between dives or surf sessions, you can relax on the beach or your patio watching others enjoy the waters.
- Slick Rock Belize offers you the best chance of catching any surf in Belize. This total adventure private island has everything to keep an adventure junkie satisfied. Windsurf, snorkel, kayak, kitesurf, SUP, surf, scuba, fishing, and more await you at this Glover's Reef hideaway. The surf break is for intermediate and up with smallish waves breaking over reef rubble. Conditions aren't epic, but when you're surfing a private break in 80 degree crystal clear water, it's pretty easy to be stoked! When it comes to diving, right off shore discover Glover's Reef's 56 linear miles of wall diving at this remote atoll. The wall drops from 35 feet to 3000 feet in less than a mile, and with visibility averaging 100 feet or more you're sure to see plenty of underwater wonders.
These are just a taste of great Wavecation properties that offer incredible diving opportunities as well. Stay tuned for another Wavecation top 5 next week or to look for your own, feel free to peruse the site yourself.
Read about the top 5 vacation spots for SUP (stand up paddling boarding)
Check out the Wavecation trip to Manzanillo Bay Mexico
Screening of The Endless Summer presented by Robert August December 17, 2011, six o’clock at Hotel Florblanca
Surf Legend Robert August and Luxury Boutique Hotel Florblanca team up to host a live screening of the classic surf film, The Endless Summer. Hotel Florblanca is located in the small beach town of Santa Teresa, Costa Rica. Robert August, a long-time surfer and now resident in Costa Rica, will be at Florblanca on December 17, 2011 for a live screening and question and answer session of this well known surf movie. Nectar Restaurant at Florblanca will be serving a special beachside dinner during the film.
Wavecation Property Owners/Managers,
The embedded contact form is a great way to be contacted directly from your Wavecation page. Please take a moment and make sure that you're receiving the inquiries, we don't want anyone mission out on a booking.
First look at your profile page and make sure there is a contact form in place, if not it's because you've chosen to be contacted via phone only. This can be quickly changed on the edit page for your property. Send yourself an inquiry with the words "test" in the message. Did you receive the email? If not, check to see what email you have listed in your account info. You can change that email in the "my info" area.
Click "edit" to change any aspects of your property profile
Scorll down to the bottom of the property edit page and be sure to choose "by email" or "both"
Click "my info" to change the email address a which you'd like to receive your inquires
If you forgot your password or long in just use the "forgot password" feature. If any of this sounds way to confusing, just give us a call (512) 921-4020 or use our contact form to send a message and we'll take care of it for you.
Tanker Surfing in Galveston Bay
Recently I took the modern right of passage for a Texas surfer... I went Tanker Surfing. Ever since the surf film Step Into Liquid came out in 2003 Tanker surfing has been a favorite topic whenever someone meets a surfer from Texas. Tired of always saying, "No, I haven't tried it yet" I finally took the plunge.
Now without giving away any secret spots or angering any locals I will say that a couple years ago I did Tanker surf... sort of. There are some spots in Texas where no chase boat is necessary and you can catch a Tanker wave from shore, but let's leave it at that. The "real" Tanker surfing you most likely want to hear about is the kind that happens in Galveston Bay, the entrance to the Houston Ship Channel, and this definitely requires a chase boat. There is no one more experienced or knowledgeable in the art of finding and chasing these waves than Capt. James Fulbright of Tanker Surf Charters. James is the guy who takes the crew out in Step Into Liquid and has taken many notable surfers and surf legends out to try the sport.
STAY THREE NIGHTS GET TWO NIGHTS FREE at the Dunes Condos in Port Aransas, Texas. This popular special has been extended through June 15, 2012 so you have plenty of time to schedule a winter, spring and early summer surf vacation in Port A. If you're looking for warm water, a sandy bottom, long waves, and friendly locals, then a Texas surf trip may be just what you need. Bring the family down and take advantage of these great savings at one of Texas' best surf breaks.
Texas Surf Trip!
Villa Alegre offers 20% for "Wavecationers"
Need some R & R at a great beach front B & B? Villa Alegre in Langosta, Costa Rica (next to Tamarindo but much quieter) has a great 20% off deal going right now. Simply mention that you found them on Wavecation to get 20% off your stay. This is just the kind of spot where the ladies and the guys are equally happy, nice accommodations, and a wonderful river mouth to surf right down the beach! So grab your girl or guy and head on down. Need a little more incentive, check out their profile.
The Gilded Iguana all-inclusive package for only $475
...VIDEOS!!! Wavecation is proud to announce that you can now integrate Youtube or Vimeo videos directly into your property profile! This new features allow prospective guests to get an even more accurate view of your property before they make a decision. You can show off your fabulous location in relation to the surf. Just be sure and film on a day when the waves aren't flat! :)
It's simple to add your video today. Simply log in to your account and click "edit" next to your property profile. Scroll down right below the photos to the "video" section. Paste your video URL in the box. If you have more videos click "Add another video". Include up to 6 videos! Once you're done click "submit" at the bottom. Finally, sit back, relax, and watch your very own video on your Wavecation profile!
Hungry for surf here in Texas this summer, Surfing in Texas decided to head to the Pacific Ocean for a week long surf trip to see how Sayulita and Punta de Mita were faring during this red hot summer. With a relatively short flight (brief layover in Phoenix), it wasn’t long before we were looking out of the window of our plane down at the sweet Pacific swells and beaches …Read the Rest
Wavecation = Great Surf Vacation Location
We all know the number one rule with home buying is; LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION. We sometimes forget that a surf trip can be the same way. Staying right at the beach where a quick walk brings you to the waters edge can mean a lot more water time for you than if you have to load everything in the car to travel to the surf site.
Another added benefit besides more water time and a higher wave count is better conditions. Most surf spots around the world can have epic conditions one minute, and be blown out, bumpy, or sloppy 30 minutes later. Winds, tides, crowds, and other factors can significantly alter the enjoyability of a surf session. Whenever you just have to look out the window or peer over the balcony rail to check the surf, you are increasing the chances of scoring the waves at their best.
I remember a time we stayed in a wonderful little surf village in Mainland Mexico. We stayed right on the break and every morning around six I'd wake up and look out the window to check the surf. It was usually small but super clean and absolutely empty! I usually scored an hour all to myself. That week had some of the most memorable rides of my life, which I wouldn't have had if we weren't staying right on the break.
The fact is the majority of us have to drive a lot whenever we surf at home. Why spend your money and vacation time to do the same thing? Whenever you travel for surf, maximize your trip by choosing the best surf front location.
Tips for Marketing Your Beach Vacation Rental
Nothing sells your vacation rental like great photos. Think about it, most people invest 100's of thousands of dollars in a beachfront property but then neglect to spend a few hundred for a professional photographer. You're missing out on added rental revenue because of substandard images. Take a moment and look through the properties on Wavecation and ask yourself, "which images capture my attention?" There are many tangible and intangible qualities that make images interesting, arresting, informative and appealing. Here are some factors that should be considered when choosing which photos to include:
1) Fuzzy pictures do more harm than good, people feel like you're wasting their time. Also outdated images will quickly turn people off. If your pictures show the bedspreads from the 70's then it's time for new photos! If you still have bedspreads from the 70's... you'll need more than new photos :)
2) Images should be interesting. Show the rooms people want to see; bedrooms, living rooms, kitchens, even a nice bathroom. Most people don't really need to see the closets or utility areas of a property.
3) You are not selling real estate, you're selling a surf vacation! Display images of people having fun. That's the whole purpose of the trip to begin with. People know that the pool furniture won't always be immaculately placed with no one using it, go ahead and show a family having fun at the pool.
4) Lastly show the view of the waves from your property! That is what surfers want to know, how well they can check the surf from the house/hotel.
For many years innovative individuals have tried to find a way to create surf on demand. From amusement park wave pools to the Surf City Texas prototype, most ideas have fallen short of being viable long term. This latest creation in the fields of Spain looks to have incredible potential. Check it out at http://wave-garden.com/ or check out the surfline article at: http://www.surfline.com/surf-news/new-artificial-wave-prototype-launches...
Best of all, think how many more properties could become Wavecations!
Welcome to the Wavecation family,
We are excited to add your surf front property to our growing list of homes, condos, hotels, and more. You know what a unique place you have, and we want to make others aware of it also. Properties with surf breaks nearby are a valuable commodity to the growing number of surfers looking for surf vacations each year. As surfing enjoys another resurgence of popularity among women and men of all ages, surf travel is becoming ever more popular. We take our responsibility very seriously to get your listing noticed by potential guests. We will work diligently to market your property ensuring you are able to realize the maximum income potential for your vacation rental, hotel, or lodge.
Thanks again for partnering with Wavecation, we're already hard at work getting your property noticed. Please let us know any way we can serve you better. In the meantime check out some of our other posts written for property owners.
See you on the water,
The Wavecation Crew.