California Dreamin' With Olivia Barger January 31 2018

Olivia Barger was born and grew up in Costa Rica. She learned to surf her first waves here and attended school through eighth grade, growing up bilingual. Recently she and her family moved to San Diego, California where she celebrated her 15th birthday. Olivia is the oldest of four children, Taylor, 13, Zac, 11 and Alexis, 8. She competes in the NSSA (National Scholastic Surfing Association) events and also the SSS (Scholastic Surf Series) for her high school team. This easy going but hard working teenager took time after her first semester exams to answer some questions about her new life, what she misses most about Costa RIca, and how she stays positive.
How would you describe the adjustment from CR to Orange County. What was the hardest change to get used to ?

Olivia: The move was easy because a lot of people here were so nice and helped me get used to stuff easily. I don’t think I will ever get used to the cold water because I have been surfing in warm water for so long!

What are some of the breaks that you compete on for the NSSA surfing circuit? Do you have a favorite break?

Olivia: I have competed in Oceanside, Cardiff, Seaside, and Huntington Beach  I think I liked competing in Cardiff the most because the waves were fun and big.

Olivia at last year's Super Girl Pro in Huntington Beach, greeting Leilani McGonagle

How did competing in CR on the Circuito Nacional help you competitively as a surfer?

Olivia: Surfing on the Costa Rican circuit (CNS, Circuito Nacional de Surf) helped me a lot because I learned about priority, competing in bigger waves, and using my time wisely in the water.

How does being bilingual help you?

Olivia: Being bilingual is good because there are people here that I can talk to in Spanish, and I also get good grades in my Spanish class!

Name a proud moment and accomplishment you've had this past year.

Olivia:  A proud moment I have had this year was last week when I finished my first semester here with all A’s

Besides your friends, what is something you miss most about Costa Rica ?

Olivia with fellow surf competitor and friend, Emily Anderson, in Playa Behuco, CR   Photo: Fabian Sanchez 

Olivia: I really miss everything in Costa Rica. I mostly miss surfing big waves, warm water, Costa Rican food, all the nice people there, and the really pretty beaches

Something you like best about living in Southern California?

Olivia: I really like how everyone here is so nice and helpful. I also like the beach that I always go to. There is a grass hill and if you walk down it, it leads right onto the sand. The waves are always really fun here.

What helps you to stay positive? Any advice for girls your age or younger to deal with "life?"

Olivia: Surfing helps me stay positive. I also take time in my day to study and do homework so my grades are good.

I feel like everyone should find good friends, try hard in school and be grateful. 

What are two qualities of a good friend?

Olivia:  Trustworthy and fun. Good friends are people you know you can trust and count on. It’s also great to be friends with someone who you will always have fun with no matter what you are doing.

What are one or two goals you have for 2018?

Olivia: To improve my surfing and have better performance during the comps. 

What do you love most about surfing, even when it's in cold water?

Olivia: My favorite thing about surfing is that I’m always having fun. Even if the waves aren’t big or I’m alone, it’s so pretty and it’s amazing when I get to see dolphins swimming right next to me.

Olivia's parents surprised her with a national board sock after a recent visit to Costa RIca.  Tica pride! 

Olivia's next NSSA event will be in Dana Point, CA on Feb 24-25th, We wish her the best of waves and a good time!

All photos courtesy of Olivia. 

Author: Kate Hanley

Pura Vida Board Gear is based in Jaco, Costa Rica and specializes in custom boardsocks and limited edition lifestyle gear. Promoting national surf since 2013. 

Follow us on instagram @puravidaboardgear


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