From Witch’s Rock and Ollie’s Point in the north to Guiones in the south, Guanacaste’s Pacific coast offers surfers a plethora of sweet spots to kick off and paddle out. What better experts than the surfers who live here to offer tips and guidelines about the region’s breaks and waves?
The Tico Times went straight to the source and asked the following local Guanacaste surfers to give up their sweet spots.
Erik Antonson, 29, is the founder and owner of Surfing Nosara, which provides daily surf reports and community information for Nosara. The Gainesville, Florida, native has lived in Nosara for three years and has been surfing since he first visited Costa Rica in 1996, at the age of 13.
“Guiones and Ostional are my favorite on the map breaks. Guiones always has surf, and can hold a big swell,” Antonson says, adding that March and April are Guiones’ big months.
“Ostional has some great tubes on the right swell,” he continues. “I also surf a lot of little, out-of-the-way spots with the local crew. The locals are such great surfers here, and all really mellow, good folks.”
Larry Graziano, 39, of Los Pargos near Playa Negra, between Tamarindo and Junquillal, is a seven-year Guanacaste resident.
Originally from Sanibel Island, Florida, he’s been surfing for 10 years, “plus two years when I was 6 to 8 years old.”
Graziano says that the region’s abundance of great surf spots makes it impossible to identify a favorite.
“My favorite breaks are the ones I am surfing on that particular day,” Graziano says. “Obviously, because I am a resident of Los Pargos, I like to surf at Playa Negra, as long as the crowd factor is okay. I also like to surf Lefty Left, Sandy Beach, a secret north swell spot we have in the area, Skatepark, La Boca del Estero, Palo Seco and La Pileta (all surf spots around Playa Negra).”
“There are so many places to surf here, and each one has its own perfect day. One could never say this one in particular is my favorite. Each one offers a particular challenge; each one is different and special.”
Steve Broyles, 35, owner of Bratton, Broyles and Associates real estate firm in Tamarindo, moved to Guanacaste about seven years and ago and started surfing shortly thereafter.
The California native’s favorite spots are Langosta, “because it’s nearby, with fun rights (it’s a low/hightide break)” and Ollie’s Point, “because it is perfect and beautiful.”Julie Javelle, 17, has lived in Guanacaste since she was 10 and started surfing at 12.
The French-bornCountryDay School student says her favorite breaks are Marbella, between Junquillal and Nosara, “because I love to feel the adrenaline every time I take a wave there” and “the waves are always good to surf ”; and Avellanas, just south of Tamarindo, “because they are fun waves. I love the blue water and the landscape there. It makes you realize how lucky we are to be in Costa Rica. They are perfect rights and lefts.”
Rolando López, 27, a Nosara native, has been surfing for nine years and is a staffer at the SafariSurfSchool. His favorite breaks are Playa Guiones, “because it’s a very consistent break – there is always surf there,” and Playa Ostional, “because it’s very powerful and there are nice barrels.”
Kim McGovern, 36, is also a staffer at Nosara’s SafariSurfSchool. The Long Island, New York, native has been surfing for 15 years.
His favorite breaks are Playa Camaronal, south of Carrillo, and Playa Ostional. “Both waves are super fun, fast and challenging,” he says. “There aren’t too many people around as far as crowds go, so that always makes it a better surf session too.”
Joe Walsh, owner of Witch’s Rock Surf Camp in Tamarindo, has been surfing for 15 of his 31 years. The San Diego, California, native drove down in his school bus in 2001 and has lived here ever since.
His favorite breaks?
“I really like the Tamarindo river mouth, because it can be going off with nobody out. Living on the break means watching it all day long and getting it when it is just firing,” Walsh says.
“I love Witch’s Rock – if you don’t know why, then that’s a good thing!” he adds. “There are a few local reefs that are my other favorite surf spots.
“I’m pretty stoked that there are still secret spots all over Guanacaste, and I try to keep it that way.”