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!