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!