A Look at Surfing in Costa Rica

Surfing is a popular past time in Costa Rica that has continued to gain momentum over the past 25 years. Locals and tourists alike are fascinated by the diverse Costa Rican beaches, and with less crowded surf breaks than Hawaii and California, they enjoy some of the best waves in the planet.

Costa Rica is a unique nation in that it has two oceans (the Pacific and the Atlantic) which are only an afternoon’s drive apart from each other. Both coasts have infinite potential for great waves making Costa Rica one of the top three sought out destination spots for surfing next to Hawaii and Indonesia.

Costa Rica which literally translates to “rich coast” was named by the early Spanish explorers who were in search for gold in the new world. It wasn’t until the 1960’s that renegade surfers from Southern California started to find out about how “rich” with waves the coastline really was.

Costa Rica Surfing
In the mid 1980’s a boom of expat surfers from around the world began relocating to Costa Rica in search of the perfect wave and laid back Pura Vida lifestyle. It wasn’t long before the local Ticos growing up in the beach communities started picking up the skills to surf and win international competitions. Many of these ticos today run their own surf camps while they train for the national circuit, which is inspiring the next generation of surfers.

This influx of surfers has continued to this day helping to create a surf culture that is unique to Costa Rica. From beginners to intermediate, expert to professional, Costa Rica attracts surfers of all different levels. Zorianna Kit, a travel writer for the Huffington Post shares her experience about learning how to surf in her article Surfing in Costa Rica: Riding the Wave of Life:

“If you want to learn to surf, choices abound, destinations where you can throw yourself in to the break and be forced to step up your game and master the wave. For me, that place turned out to be the Costa Rica’s Pacific coast: the waters are so warm that you don’t even need a wet suit. And there’s no shortage of clean waves. If Costa Rica was good enough for the 2009 ISA Billabong World Surfing Games, it was certainly was good enough for a novice like me to try and learn the sport of Hawaii’s kings.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/zorianna-kit/surfing-in-cosa-rica-ridi_b_2832170.html

Costa Rica is located at the crossroads of North and South America only nine degrees north of the equator. This small tropical nation boasts of having it all, from volcanoes to cloud forests to coral reefs, the country supports 5% of this world’s biodiversity. For beach enthusiasts there are white, tan, brown and black sand beached that compliment the countries rocky points, river-mouths, reefs and offshore islands. The coastline is basically covered with a playground of surf spots up and down its Caribbean and Pacific coasts. With sea temperatures in the mid 80’s all year around, Costa Rica has become a surf destination for those searching out warm tropical waves.

If you would like to learn to surf, enjoy a week long surf camp, or are looking for someone with local knowledge to help you explore Costa Rica’s waves contact Cesar Cepedes at Surfing Costa Rica Pura Vida.

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