Although it seemed like there were more surfers than ever visiting Costa Rica in 2006, tourism actually dropped by almost 50 percent. One of the major causes was the increase in airfare to and from Central America. In 2007, the airfare only drops a little, $380 from Miami and $465 from Orlando if you travel on Martin Air. Martin Air is also a great choice for surfers since you can reserve your boards to fly them for free. Carriers like Lacsa charge $25 per board and many U.S. airlines charge $80 each way to bring boards.
Keep your eyes open for specials by local travel agencies – Surf Express and Worldwide Adventures can get bulk rates and know the cheapest times to fly. Another trusted agency is Tico Travel in Fort Lauderdale – www.ticotravel.com.
When you’re in Costa Rica, you may get a chance to see the best local surfers compete for a chance to be on the National Surf Team. In 2006, the team competed in Huntington Beach, California are returned 8th in the world, 2nd in Latin America only to Brazil. The Circuito Nacional de Surf (CNS) has already hosted two contests and the third is scheduled for January 6th and 7th in Jaco. It’s amazing to see the number of grommets competing, girls and boys, enough that the CNS is putting on separate contests for the Juniors divisions. Go to www.crsurf.com to see the entire schedule for some contests are open to foreign competitors and offer some hefty cash prizes.
Most all of the surfers competing on the CNS tour do not have any sponsors. It’s expensive from them to travel to all six contests – food, lodging, entry fees, and transportation make it almost impossible to succeed. So I have been asked to help find sponsors for these surfers. If someone has a business that they wish to promote in Costa Rica – a great way to do that is to sponsor a local surfer. You’ll be recognized on many surfing websites as well as have your logo displayed on the board ridden by the competitor you choose. For a list of surfers to sponsor, send an email to email@example.com
If your passion is to help save lives on the beaches of Costa Rica, I am working with the lifeguard program in Dominical to raise funds for salaries and equipment. If we can find enough sponsors, we hope to expand the program to other beaches on both coasts.