July was a great month for surf contests. The Adio Central American Championships were held July 14th and 15th in Esterillos and had surfers from Guatemala, El Salvador, Panama, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica participating. Conditions early were great, offshores and well overhead on the sets. Afternoons were challeging, with choppy closed out surf, which made wave selection crucial. In the end, Frederico Pilurzo from Tamarindo and Lisbeth Vindas from Jaco placed first in the Open and Women’s divisions respectively.
The second contest was held in Tamarindo on the 29th and 30th, hosted by Century 21 and the local business council. The money raised is going to be used to help pay for the lifeguard program and also help a Surfrider group started up by Lou Maresca, a Vero Beach semi-expat. Hopefully the event brings lot of sponsors and competitors and can grow next year. The results will be posted in next month’s news.
Waves were consistent for July, headhigh to overhead almost every day, but no grinding Southwest swells appeared. There were three or four days out of the month where it was double overhead, and another three when it was only chest high in Playa Hermosa.
Speaking of Playa Hermosa, a lot of traveling surfers often give it a bad rap. Dumping closeouts, boards broken, red tide, crowds from Florida and California, theivery, the list goes on. I am wondering if these stories are being circulated just to keep even more people from filling the lineup. All the stories are true, I’ve witnessed all of them at one time or another. But the good side cannot be forgotten either. Dawn patrols with no one out, rocks that make the wave break early if you know where to check and at what tide to surf, long stretches of empty beaches to the south, comfortable and affordable lodging right off the beach, and only 90 minutes from San Jose airport. It’s not too bad after all, and I’ll take it anyday over the June doldrums in Florida or the cold waters off California.
In order to help plan your next surf trip, I’ve added a section where you can write in a question and I’ll answer it. Send your question to info @crsurf.com with “The Resident Question” in the subject line. This month’s question –
“I am visiting Costa Rica for the first time this summer to study Spanish. I’ll be in the North Pacific coastal area, near Tamarindo, for about a month. I have a couple of surfing related questions that I hope you can answer. 1. Should I bring my own longboard or skip it and rent one in Tamarindo for a month? How much are rentals in Tamarindo? 2. Are there any Surf-Guide Services in Tamarindo you might recommend? 3. Where are the best longboarder friendly waves?”
And the answer – I would rent a longboard or buy one, then resell it when your done. Rentals go for an average of $15 per day. My friend Diana can help find you great spots to surf and gives lessons too. Her shop is Pura Mar Surf Shop (www.puramar.com) and her email is email@example.com . The best place to surf is right there in Tamarindo, around midtide coming in. Ollie’s Point is another great spot, with a long right breaking wave, but you’ll need to take a boat from Playa de Coco. Check www.costaricasurftravel.com for prices.