I started off my summer the right way by immediately jumping
on a plane to Liberia, Costa Rica. After landing around lunch time it was only a short drive away to my good 'ole reliable surf-cation spot at the Tierra Pacifica of Junquillal, Guanacaste. I stay in a bungalow apartment located inside what is known as Gordyville. My host is Steve Gordy and his amazing family. He had me surfing before sunset.
I generally don't rush things when I'm on tico time... mainly because I'll just be frustrated. I've learned to just accept whatever happens and go with the flow. I'm always trying to avoid crowds and stay off the beaten path, so if I check a spot and the economy doesn't look good, I might just pass. There will be another session, at another time, so there's no need to force things.
What do I mean by "economy" when it applies to a surf spot? Well, after looking at it for a while I will decide if the waves have enough quality and frequency to handle the amount of people trying to surf it. There are plenty of variables that come into play that are specific to each spot. So, there are no rules that apply to all. For example, If the spot has only one peak and there are thirty dudes sitting on it, that's way different than numerous peaks (spread up and down the beach) with that same thirty dudes. Make sense? A lot of geographical things can impact the way a wave breaks on a reef or sandy beach AND the access surfers have to surf that spot. Often the amount of people trying to access a surf break can cause problems in the line up that make surfing unenjoyable.
In general the surf economy is good in the New England states, but for my friends in California the economy can be frustrating. I'd say the surf value is much higher, for example, at Nantasket Beach in Hull, MA than let's say Scripps Pier in La Jolla, CA. I can catch about fifteen waves in an hour at Nantasket to about five waves at Scripps under similar wave conditions. Now this isn't real scientific, this is just me and my surf style/attitude. It's entirely possible that I don't hustle as much in California because I'm stressed out by the crowd. Now, Florida has its own scale too, mainly because the waves are pretty inconsistent... so the drive and demand is much higher. The crowd and tensions can be heavy in South Beach when the waves are thumping. Try enduring a four-month flat spell and you too would be out there, shoulder-to-shoulder, battling for three waves an hour.
But I don't come to Costa Rica to be stressed out. Some of the breaks that used to be empty twenty years ago are filled to the maximum now and I'd just assume pass. I mostly stick to the north in the Guanacaste Region. The surf economy in Northern Costa Rica is hit or miss because there still aren't great roads and places to stay. This is where I take advantage. I'm also using the free transportation of GreenGo Gardens - I tag along to whatever landscaping job Steve is doing for that day, and then I surf a beach close by. So far I've surfed Playa Avellanas, Playa Grande and Playa Marbella and scored pretty good sessions... but I've also passed on a few at Avellanas that were too crowded for my taste. The first swell had a lot of south in its direction, and the wind came up a bit, so I passed on two sloppy sessions that would not have earned much reward. Playa Junquillal has yet to show a real surfable wave despite my relentless checking. I still have seven days to go.
I posted a PHOTO ALBUM with all the pictures I've taken so far with my iPhone, I'll post more to that page as the trip progresses. Steve and I are headed south today, down a very bumpy road. I hate this road. But we're going to stop in Guiones to try and surf... if the wind isn't too bad. Nosara has good food and hot yoga chicas. But the goal is to surf somewhere south of where I've been surfing, provided the weather and waves cooperate. We probably won't make it all the way down to Santa Teresa, GreenGo has a job in Playa Islita. I'm not sure if Tom Brady is vacationing at his usual spot right now, but I'll send him a note and see if he wants to chill.
GreenGo Truck Soundtrack