Monday, October 29, 2012

Brrr. Cool Vid. Cold Waves.

Badass video for the new Phantom Project jackets from Hurley. Makes you glad that the water temps in CR are around 80F!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Checkin' your credentials - stay calm folks.


There it is… that wipeout. It's usually nothing painful, just a normal slip. It takes some time to get used to a board, and us as surfers expect that we can automatically hop on any board and go out there and rip it up. So what do you do? You've spent the past few hours telling your friends or traveling companions about how much you love surfing, and that it's your favorite hobby. They're all sitting back on the beach watching you, and have been watching you for the 20 minutes it took you to paddle out. You're assuming that they're thinking "he must not be that good, and this isn't what surfing looks like in the movies"! The worst part is that cute girl that you promised you would teach how to surf, you just know that she's diverted her attention from you to the tall, dark and handsome dudes playing soccer on the beach. 

This has happened to the best of us, and will continue to happen. It's been said that it takes over 3,000 hours of a certain activity to command a mastery of it, and unless you've been surfing that long, you probably fall off your board or catch a wave wrong every once and a while. Morale of the story : RELAX! Surfing isn't a spectators sport, it's for your own personal enjoyment. Don't let your mind run crazy wondering who's watching or judging your moves when your in the water. If anyone gives you a hard time, laugh it off, and tell them the waves "are super mushy out there". Or grab a longer board and have some fun helping your friends catch some waves, they'll thank you for it and forget all about your wipeouts in the line up. As stated earlier, we as surfers sometimes forget the golden rule; surfing is meant to be fun, so never take it too seriously.

Keep shredding those barrels my friends, keep shredding


Sunday, August 5, 2012

Tico Talk

Tico Talk

If you ever happen to find yourself down in the beautiful paradise known as Costa Rica, you obviously will want to know enough spanish to get by. Some key phrases consist of: "Donde esta el bano?" or maybe even "cuanto por una cerveza?" Those might come in handy, but as a surfer, there's a totally different lingo.

No matter where you travel all over the world, surfers have their own verbal and non verbal languages. Most people have heard of stereotypical Southern California speak- "What's up brah?" or "dude these waves are wicked!". For those of us who are considered gringos (Americans), that can easily be replicated, and also mocked. When traveling to Costa Rica, you'll need to adjust your colloquialisms a bit. 

Ticos incorporate a bit of english and spanish in to their surf exclamations. For example, the word you'll hear the most out in the water is "mae" (pronounced like "my" in english). This means dude, and the typical way to say hello to a surfer is "que mae?". Say this and you'll definitely have the phrase reciprocated to you. Here's a list of the some jargon you'll hear on a regular basis out in the water:
  • "Que Grande" - How big!
  • "Psycho!" - Yes, somehow the english word is incorporated into their dialect
  • " Tuanis" (Too-WAH-Nees)- Cool or Awesome
  • "mal viento or buen viento" - Good or bad wind
  • "Corrientes fuertes" - Strong currents 
  • And the one you hope you'll never hear: TIBURON!!!! - Shark (just kidding)

Most of these are common words in spanish, but it's not like you're going to learn them in grammar class. Most Tico surfers have a constant smile, and love chatting with other surfers, so give it a shot. The most important phrase of all, of course, still is PURA VIDA!


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Capitan Suizo

Capitan Suizo, Tamarindo, Costa Rica

About dead center in between Playa Langosta and Tamarindo sits a little boutique hotel by the name of Capitan Suizo (Swiss), which isn't actual the focus of this article. The name somehow attached itself to a small stretch of beach on the southern side of Tamarindo bay. The waves break much differently than they do on the north side, so obviously someone saw it fit to give this section it's own identity, and it's stuck ever since.
Capitan Suizo has primarily been reserved for beginners, because of the less powerful waves and smaller sizes, in comparison to the Tamarindo rivermouth. But remember my friends, your grandma always told you that big things can come in small packages… or something like that. Anyways, Suizo isn't just a flat swimming pool with kiddie waves breaking, sometimes it goes off. 6 footers have definitely happened here during the wet season, sounds great right?
Because of the rocky floor about 150 meters out from the shore at high tide, the waves are somewhat consistent regardless of the tides, winds, and sharks (totally joking, there are NO sharks there as far as I know). What's great about Suizo is that it's a fun beach to bring the whole family to; sections of the beach are great for swimming, then obviously there's the surf zone. The break offers a bit of everything. For you big wave chargers, if the winds right, go check out the Capitans corner. For the rest of you beginners, go ride some white water in to the beach, your time for hit some barrels at the rivermouth will come. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Casitas, Tamarindo, Costa Rica

Casitas, Tamarindo, Guanacaste

            A quick stroll north up the beach from the Estuary in Playa Tamarindo, Costa Rica, sit’s a small beach break called Casitas, or “small houses” in the literal English translation. This spot is not known for particular big waves or cleaner swells, but has one claim to fame; there’s rarely anyone there. Those who’ve been to Playa Tamarindo knows that escaping the crowds is virtually impossible, so why is Casitas usually empty? Some say it’s the fact that you have to cross “El Estero”, which is known to have spectacled Cayman swimming in it. Other’s say it’s the fact that it’s not much better than the breaks directly on Tamarindo beach. Regardless, it’s your best bet for surfing a break that your not elbow to elbow with other surfers competing for a clean tube.
            The wave itself is what the surfing community refers to as an “A-frame”, meaning it breaks so that a left and right oriented wave is created. This hybrid barrel is perfect for both goofy and regular riders,(right foot forward= goofy, left foot forward= regular) making it a very desirable swell to beginners and experts alike. Being a part of Marino Las Baulas National Park also keeps the crowds at bay, because the entire beach (which is known as Playa Grande) is a nesting site for leather-back turtles. So technically, you don’t have the waves to yourself, you’re splitting them with all kinds of different sea creatures!
            My recommendation: go check it out. For those scared of the crocodiles, you’re in luck. There’s water taxis at the river mouth that will zip you across the estuary for a cool 4 bucks, quick and easy. Once across, you’ll feel like you’re in an entire different world from the swarming streets of Tamarindo. So forget your iPhone, purse, or any other things you’re tempted to bring to the beach (Don’t forget sunscreen though!) and go have fun. Who knows, maybe you’ll make Casitas your new home!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Shredder Shyness

By, Scott Fellows

Everyone knows the feeling- it might start before you even get in to the water. The look you can get from the local boys hanging around the surf shop you’re about to rent a board from can be bone chilling. You get your board, walk to the beach, and scan the sets breaking. I’m talking about surfing a beach that you ain’t a local at, you don’t have to be a well-traveled soul surfer to know the feeling. This could be the difference between Mission beach to Pacific beach in San Diego, USA, or Playa Langosta to Playa Tamarindo in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. At the end of the day, a few kilometers south and you’re no longer at your beach; you’re in someone else’s waves.

Shredder shyness affects 1 out of ever 3 surfers internationally, rest assured that you’re not alone. There’s support groups for people like you… wait, no there isn’t. The fact of the matter is, it’s always a little nerve racking paddling out in to a break you don’t know. There are a lot of intangibles you can’t control, especially if you have no real prior knowledge on what the waves or what the bottom is like. So if you feel like the entire line up of surfers is watching you, relax- but they are, so surf your tail off and don’t be a sissy. Remember, surfing is fun, that’s the reason you take a pounding when you’re paddling back out after a sweet ride. So have fun with it, and don’t be shredder shy!


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Pico Pequeño Surf Break: Tamarindo

Scott Fellows

Not 100 meters north of The Diria Hotel in Tamarindo, Costa Rica, sits a small but powerful point break called “Pico Pequeno”, or the little peak. Situated basically in the dead center of the Tamarindo bay beach as a whole, this place looks gentle, but will rip you up and spit you out on the beach without mercy. 

Inhabited by locals (literally, I think these guys have planned out around-the-clock-shifts to make sure no “gringos” catch any waves), Pico Pequeno is created by a large rock formation somewhere offshore, and is easily seen by one huge rock that sticks out of the water even at the highest of tides. At certain times of the month, you can watch daring young local “ticos” literally climb up on to this rock, and jump belly first with their boards into the waves, and ride this epic right –oriented break all the way in to the beach.

If I were to give any advice to those who plan on trying to get “barreled” in Pico, make sure you abide by my commandments:

• Thou shall not taketh thy waves from thee locals (okay, that’s the only one I’ll write in archaic diction)

• If you do get so lucky as to catch a wave quickly in the line- up, it better be the best wave of your day. If you fall, get right out of the water and head to a different break, because you don’t know it but they’re watching you like a hawk. 

• Stay just barely south of the huge rock point that sticks out, because no more than 100 meters to the south of there is a deceivingly shallow batch of rocks waiting to turn you in to pico de gallo

• This wave is a double break- meaning it breaks once first off a rock then reshapes again. Try first to catch the first swell, which is a little further out, by not infested by blood thirsty young Tico shredders

• Longboarders are welcome… but be prepared to be spoken about with profoundly harsh vocabulary in Spanish, so in this case, it might be better to not know the language very well. Stick with a short board if you want to command some respect.

Most importantly, go out and have fun. Melodramatics can make a description of a point-break like this more interesting to read, but you won’t know until you go out and try it for yourself! 

How to Deal With Being Away From Surfing

Scott Fellows

How to deal with being away from surf:

  • Don’t be away from surf.  I’ve heard the withdrawals are comparable to high-grade Vietnamese heroin.

  • Get a skateboard. Skateboarding became popular in southern California in the late 60s, on days when the surf went flat. The activity was known as “street surfing”, and the only reason kids tore up the sidewalk was to practice their bottom turns for their next surf session.

  • Find a woman (or man).  That one speaks for itself.

  • If you’re at the fine age of 21 (or 18 in EVERY other country besides the US), crack open a cold one and reminisce of your very first cutback on a wave.

  • If possible, take up snowboarding. It’s a whole different kind of wave! The temperatures are far from balmy, and the sunburn really only affects you on your nose. Just don’t catch and edge; even though snow seems calming and gentle in a snow globe, that stuff hurts a when you fall!

  • DO NOT- Look at surf magazines, watch surf videos, or check the Huntington pier wave cam, that’s not doing anything but making you reconsider why you chose a desk job over beach bumming the rest of your life away off the college graduation money your parents and extended family gave you.

  • Most importantly- Get back to the beach as soon as possible, who knows what perfect A-frames are waiting for you!


Friday, April 27, 2012

Surf terms defined: What is a point break?

Sure you've seen the movie starring the late, great Pat Swayze, but what exactly is a point break?

A point break is any break formed when waves hit a rock(s) or formation of land jutting out from the coast line.  This generally forms a nice, peeling wave that is very surfable.  See some images of famous point breaks below:

See more surf terms and slang defined in CRSI's ultimate surf dictionary.
Ollie's point Costa Rica.

Malibu, probably the most famous point break of all.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Kelly Slater now has a place in National Museum of American History

Kelly Slater, the world's most accomplished surfer, now has a place in the National Museum of American History, or at least his board does.

The museum will house the board Slater used en route to his 2010 world title.  The board was custom designed by Channel Islands.  Scope it below.

Full article here:

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Friday, March 16, 2012

Surf terms defined: offshore vs onshore wind

These are two of the terms you will hear the most during the rest of your life as a surfer. They can mean the difference between an epic day and a horrible one. You can probably guess what they mean, but how do they affect surf conditions?
If you can remember one thing, it would be onshore = bad, offshore = good. Why is that?

Well, if the wind is blowing on-shore (that is from out in the ocean and towards the beach), you can think of it as pressing down on the back of the wave and causing it to crumble early. This can give the waves that nasty look of a washing machine at full tilt.

On the other hand, an off-shore wind (blowing from the beach side and out towards the ocean) will tend to 'hold up' waves as it blows up the front of them. This helps give waves that pretty, smooth, blue face that is ideal for riding (as opposed to the messy whitewater mentioned above.)