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!


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