Surfing Republica's Saturday Night Lights Kicks Off Semana Santa Surf Spectacles April 16 2019

Carlos Muñoz ready for his semi final Saturday night, after winning the Backyard's Sunset Series Open earlier. (Courtesy Phillip Hall)

Semana Santa is the most popular week in Costa Rica for tourists and locals alike. Children are out of school and families flock to the coast to relax and enjoy the nation's beautiful beaches. The Central Pacific Coast is home to many of them and arguably some of the best waves. This past weekend was massive for both competitive surfers and fans as the coast ignited with excellent contests and venues to pick and choose.

Playa Hermosa, aptly nicknamed The Stadium of Surf, along with Esterillos Oeste and Playa Herradura drew a large number of the nation's finest professional surfers for the celebrated events. 

Saturday Night Lights 

The Backyard Bar hosted the first night surfing event of the year with Surfing Republica this past Saturday night. A surfer star -studded event attracted members of the area's surf community, business owners and surfing fans. 

Surfers head down to a semifinal heat right around high tide. (Photo Kate Hanley)

Gilbert Brown ready to launch. (Courtesy Phillip Hall)

The night time contest started promptly at 7 p.m. giving competitors from the weekly Backyard Sunset Series contest a little time to breathe and regroup. 

Roger Chun and Erika Valverde of Bowies Point Restaurant with Megwyn Saunders and friends (Photo Kate Hanley)

Bowies Point held the previous night time surfing event last June. The restaurant contracted the predominantly 90's cover band Crimson Fall to play during Saturday's contest, just a couple hundred yards away. 

Beto Muñoz greets a fan on his exit from Final heat. (Photo Kate Hanley)

The relaxed yet high energy event was a showcase for maneuvers and fast, long rides. An enthusiastic crowd cheered as surfers sped down the line on both rights and lefts, breaking meters from the shoreline. 

Freddy "La Voz de Costa Rica" Camacho emceed the event while Marco Monteroso and his staff of Surfing Republica did an outstanding job of covering everything from judges, lights, camera and action. 

La Voz de Costa RIca (Photo Kate Hanley )

Jaco's JJ "Jota Jota" Lopez took the first place honors, followed by NoeMar McGonagle, Alberto "Beto" Muñoz, Maykol Torres, Gilbert Brown and Anthony Segura. 

The Finalists (Courtesy Surfing Republica)

The next Surfing Nights event will be in May. (Photo of JJ Lopez Courtesy of Phillip Hall)

Above Sea Level Air Show Contest 

Carlos Muñoz, fins out! In his backyard at Oeste. Photo Courtesy of Bryan Gleason @bryan_surfcosta 

On Sunday morning, both Carlos Muñoz and JJ Lopez took first and second place respectively at the air show contest in Oeste. It was their third competition of the weekend. The event was held at Hotel Rancho Coral, complete with D.J., band and excellent food. 

Marco Monteroso of Surfing Republica with winner Cali Muñoz, runner up JJ Lopez, and Danny Bishko. (Photo Kate Hanley)

Hosted by Sea Level Surf Camp and Surfing Republica, the surfers managed to pull off snazzy airs in small but fun conditions at Muñoz's homebreak. Although mostly competing internationally on WQS events, currently ranked in 10th position, Carlos always enjoys surfing and competing at home. He grew up surfing the waves there with brother Beto and Ranch Coral's manager, surfer Danny Bishko. 

First Circuito National SUP Event 2019 

Meanwhile, in Playa Herradura the first 2019 national circuit event for SUP was taking place. The national circuits are run by the Federation of Surf Costa Rica for both surf and SUP. Categories included both 12' and 14' SUP boards for men and womens, women, and amateur. SUPHerr hosted the race. 

The following is the list of the finalists, as noted by the FSC: 

14 foot board Men

Marcel Oliveira, Gilo Soto and Maichael Gutierrez 

14 foot board Women 

Valeria Salustri, Eileen Pitti 

12 foot board Men

Rolando Herrera, Alvaro Solano, Jefferson Tascon 


Michelle Fuentes, Maja Magnusson, Lucia Castro 

Amateur, Men 

Mario Fernandez, Norman Fuentes, Gerardo Villalobos


Congratulations to all the participants and Finalists who competed in one or more of these community weekend surf spectacles. Hope to see you at the next one! 

Wishing everyone a very safe and blessed Semana Santa 

Author Kate Hanley, Pura Vida Board Gear. Follow us on Facebook and instagram @puravidaboardgear