Eva Luna Woodland Honored To Represent Costa Rica November 05 2017

Eva Luna Woodland is a 15 (soon to be 16) year old goofy foot surfer from Melbourne Beach, Florida. Recently she competed at the ISA World Junior Surfing Games in Hyuga, Japan, Eva was chosen to represent as a member of the Costa Rica National Select Junior Surf Team. 

National Junior Surf Team Unites For Three Day Training In Playa Jaco September 05 2017

In less than three weeks, the National Junior Surf Team (La Sele de Surf Junior) will be competing in the ISA World Junior Surfing Championship in Hyuga, Japan. This past Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the majority of the team came together for an intensive training session with Coach Jim Hogan. The Select Team, along with members of the Training Team, spent mornings warming up and surfing waves in Playa Hermosa in front of Bowies Point. Afternoons consisted of doing relays and technique work in Playa Jaco in front of Beach Break Resort. Federation of Surf Costa Rica (FSC) President Randall Chaves was present for the entire training and will lead the team with Coach Hogan in Japan. 

Pura Vida Board Gear

Coral Wiggins hitting the lip. Coral will represent for Sub 16 Girls. Photo: Surfing Republica

Pura Vida Board Gear

Coach Jim Hogan advising the Junior surfers at Beach Break Resort 

Jim Hogan, form San Clemente, California is a former professional surfer with years of experience on the World Tour. He has been running surf camps in Playa Hermosa for years ; he also works as a private coach for both professional surfers and those competing in the Qualifying Series (QS) events. He has coached Costa Rica's Carlos Muñoz in many events, including the recent prestigious U.S.Open event in which Carlos (Cali) reached the quarter finals. Jim is excited to work with surfers of all levels and the Federation is excited to have his experience and coaching talent on board. 

Jim Hogan

Photo of Jim Hogan by Surfing Republica

Oscar Urbina from Puerto Viejo will represent Sub 16 Boys. Photo Surfing Republica  

Here are the members of the National Select Junior Surf Team, chosen by Coach Jim Hogan:

Sub 18 Boys

Andre Chacon

Francisco Coronado

Joseph Mendez

Aldo Chirinos 

Sub 18 Girls 

Leilani McGonagle

Zulay Martinez

Sub 16 Boys  

Malakai Martinez 

Oscar Urbina 

Gabriel Cordoba 

Sub 16 Girls 

Coral Wiggins 

Eva Woodland 

Eva Woodland at training this past weekend. She will represent in Sub 16 Girls. 

FSC President Randall Chaves making sure the team stays hydrated during training

The Team has plans to leave for Japan from Costa Rica on September 18th. All competitors consist of former champions/ sub-champions on The National Surfing Circuit (CNS) or have finished in the top four in their respective categories consistently. Leilani McGonagle will lead the girls; Leilani has been actively competing in QS all year and recently returned from Spain where she competed in the Pantin Bull and Bear Classic. Just this past May, Leilani finished second place in the ISA World Championship in France. 

The competition will run from September 23 through October 1st. We wish the National Select Surfing Juniors a very safe and successful run in Hyuga, Japan. Here in Costa Rica we will be cheering the team on. Vamos Ticos! 

Photo Credits given to Surfing Republic (gracias Nestor Rago).

Other photos by Pura Vida Board Gear








Seeds of Hope Yields A Continual Harvest In Costa Rican Communities August 25 2017 1 Comment

Most people would agree that it's hard enough being a teenager; imagine growing up in areas where there is high risk for drugs, violence and sexual exploitation. Many people may not want to acknowledge or address these topics but that is not the case for the volunteers and staff that comprise the team of Seeds of Hope. They go to the communities where help is most needed and work at educating youth in order to lower risks. Prevention is a key factor and achieved through education. Seeds of Hope works nationally with three task forces: CONATT; CONACOES and The United Nations Blue Hearts. On the local level, volunteers and staff run five clubhouses located in Parrita, Tarcoles, Esterillos and two in our Jaco community. Seeds of Hope was started by President Penny Williams and has been in operation now for five years. 

Prevention Through Education 

Classes in English, Bible study, Vocational areas, Healthy Relationships and Personal Growth are the core of the teaching curriculum for youth ages 12 - 17. In addition to classes, various programs are offered, one of which is the popular Jewelry program. Single moms arrive at the Parrita clubhouse to learn a new jewelry design for bracelets each week. They are given the materials and return with the finished product the next week. In return, they receive two full bags of non-perishable groceries. 

Other programs include Break the Chain, Children's Program, and Leaders Program among others. As part of the Break the Chain campaign, youth are educated about sexual molestation, exploitation, prostitution and human trafficking. They are encouraged to start a moral revolution and break the chain of abuse. Students are currently involved in doing presentations at high schools throughout Costa Rica. 

Family Connections 

Amy Huerta, volunteer teacher at Parrita Clubhouse, explains that a strong asset of the program is that the workers make connections with the families. Amy has been a volunteer for the past two years and her committment is noteworthy. She speaks passionately about the program, her eyes lighting up when she explains that many of the neighborhood kids are waiting on their bikes for the Clubhouse to open on days that classes are scheduled. She believes that the program's success is due to the efforts made in getting to know the families of the students. Staff makes it a priority. 

Running on Faith. Teachers Amy Huerta and Paula with government appointed staff member Vicky, at the Parrita Clubhouse

Amy Huerta with Paula and Vicky at the Parrita Clubhouse. Running on Fè

English classes are taught in the El Rio neighborhood in South Jaco. 

In Parrita alone there are about thirty students that come regularly to the Clubhouse. On Wednesdays, children from 8 - 12 years old have anEnglish class followed by a Bible Study. Then one of the local mothers brings rice and beans, sometimes with natilla, to feed the children, a service which she is paid for. On Thursdays is the Jewelry for Food program and Fridays are Free days during which students can play board games and talk with teachers. Saturdays are full days of classes from 9 - 4 and field trips are generally planned for Sundays. 

Seeds of Hope staff use Esterillos Oeste as their home base. 

Because Seeds of Hope is a member of CONACOES, it is required to show videos provided by the government. These presentations are usually held on Saturdays and parents are encouraged to attend. 

We look forward to working with Seeds of Hope and finding ways to donate time and resources in the future. Stay tuned for more personal updates as we stay connected moving forward. 

 A special thanks to Curriculum Director Sara and Jaco Director Josh for taking the time to share information and also for the tour of  El Rio Clubhouse. Josh teaches English classes, as well as classes in Moral Revolution and also some vocational ones. We will share more of his story soon.

A big thank you to Amy for talking about her experiences and the program at the Parrita Cluhouse and the invitation to have lunch with the staff and kids. 

Director Diego Zuniga with the Boy Leaders 

For more information visit the Seeds of Hope facebook page and website. Follow them on instagram @seedsofhopehome and @seedsofhopejewelry. If you want to reach out, your support and help is and always will be appreciated as the work continues to educate and elevate the youth in Jaco and surrounding communities. 









El Swell LLega A Tiempo Para El Torneo Roca Loca Pro 2017 July 07 2017

Mañana arranca el Torneo Roca Loca Pro. Serìa la segunda fecha del PRO SURFING TOUR CR para el evento, pero el cuarto año verdadero del torneo a este punto. Hablamos con Carla Gallardo de ACOS SURFING para informarles a Uds.sobre unos detalles de este torneo muy anticipado. Los organizadores estaban esperando las condiciònes ideales y creen que mañana las olas estaràn perfectas para el punto conocido, Roca Loca està ubicado entre Playa Jacò y Playa Hermosa. Los surfistas tienen que bajar una montaña para meterse en el mar y remar en el canal hasta "la roca loca," Alli, esperan la derecha ràpida y tubular que llega con el swell apropiado. 

PVBG:   Esta confirmado la fecha del torneo?

Carla:  Confirmado el día sábado 8 de julio, veremos las condiciones que se presentan para el domingo y lunes.

PVBG:   Cual es distinto del Torneo Ola Grande este año?

Éste año el swell, por su curso proveniente de Chile, al atravesar las Islas Galápagos se divide en dos. Por esto, llegará a nuestras costas una parte primero y la otra después. Éste fenómeno ocasiona que nuestra organización tenga que amoldarse a las características que se vayan presentando.

Victor y Carla de ACOS Surfing con niña Victoria a Roca Loca 

PVBG:    Quienes son algunos de surfos (chicos y chicas ) que CONFIRMARON que van a participar?

Carla:   Las chicas casi siempre brillan por su ausencia en éste excepcional evento, ya que se pone muy grande y son pocas, por no decir que ninguna, la que se arriesga a oleajes tan fuertes y en éste point que es algo imponente. Tenemos a los profesionales del surf Jason Torres, Jefferson Tascón para Open -  Roberto Vargas, Álvaro Solano para la Master entre otras figuras.

"Me gusta mucho el punto Roca Loca, Es bonito a ver una ola grande. Sube la adrenalina al maximo, La ola, cuando esta perfecta para las maniobras y los tubos, es especial."  - Jason Torres, La Sele Naciònal de Surf; Competitor Roca Loca Pro 

PVBG:    Cual direccion de swell y tamaño funciona lo mejor para Roca Loca?

Carla:     La dirección 210 grados SW Suroeste es perfecto para Roca Loca

PVBG:   Quienes son los patrocinadores?

Carla:    El campeonato es presentado por Adrenaline Rush y Globalvia Ruta 27 pone el premio en efectivo. Patrocinadores oficiales son Backyard, ANSA Xtreme Team, Los 40 CR,  Bluetech and Fastness Clothing.  

Copatrocina: Hurley- Pura Vida Board Gear – Bikinis Awa de Sal – The Pizza Shop – Vital Balanceboard- Restaurante Vida Hermosa – Pyzel Surfboards –TECSIS –Marketing TV –Calambre Films –Boletines de Surf

Torneo Roca Loca Pro arranca mañana July 8th


"Me gusta este evento con el tipo de ola que es exigente y su perfeccion. Es un evento lleno de mucha adrenalina por parte de todos los organizadores." - Jefferson Tacson Prado, Competitor, Roca Loca Pro 

NOVEDAD PARA EL TORNEO: Tenemos todo listo para poder transmitir en vivo desde el torneo por medio de un canal de youtube.

Inscripciònes quedaràn abiertas hasta el dia del evento. Contacten a Carlos por ACOS a 8569.9706 o por la pagina de facebook

Todas las fotos de surfing por Johan Pacheco. 


Selina Jaco Settles With A Splash In New Location June 28 2017

Pura Vida Board Gear

Hostels can be the perfect places and settings for international travellers to experience other cultures and connect with others. In our last article we reported on Room2Board hostel located on the beachfront south end of Playa Jaco. A few months ago, another exceptional hostel with quite a different style but equally good vibes opened in central Jaco, right on the beach. Selina Jaco is the sixth and newest in a chain of Selina hostels found throughout Costa Rica. The new location has an inviting feel with colorfully designed areas and  a 360 degree view of the waves.

We had the chance to meet with Carla Lesano Belmonte and Ehab Rashid. Carla arrived from Selena Manual Antonio location to serve as the Community/Marketing/Events Manager at Selina Jaco. Ehab Rashid is the Location Manager who previously worked at both Selina Manual Antonio and Selina Tamarindo. We saw the range of rooms at Selina Jaco, all colorfully decorated in contemporary design, and some of the other features at the hostel, including a small but well stocked library, "workcation," and mini movie theater. 

PVBG:  What do you love about working for Selina Jaco?

Carla:    We have a beautiful beach-front location at one of the best surf spots in Jaco, an ocean-view restaurant and 360 degree beach bar which serve as the venue for many musical events. Our staff is friendly and fun, with a strong customer-service mentality..

PUra VIda Board Gear  

Yor Ureña: Explore Manager,Carla Lesano: Marketing&Community Manager
Jacqueline Diaz de Villegas: Food&Beverage Manager
Ehab Rasshid:  Location Manager
Lucia Duchynka: Bar Supervisor

PVBG:  Does Selina Jaco offer surf instruction or just board rental? What is the Selina Surf Club? What other activities can guests enjoy on the premises?

Ehab:  The Selina Surf Club offers private and group surf and SUP lessons and tours, daily surf trips in and around Jaco and well-known spots along the Central Pacific coast, We have surfboard, boogie board, SUP, snorkelling gear and bicycle rentals as well as weekly surf camps and packages.

Selina Surf Club is the hub for all surf related activities. 

We also offer yoga classes, with one free each week. We just had our first free salsa class last Friday.  In the future we would like to add aerial yoga, MMA volleyball tournaments on the beach and other social activities. 

PVBG:  What are the most popular tours Selina Jaco offers, other than surf-related?

Ehab:    The most popular tours are Jose’s Crocodile tour on the Tarcoles river, sunset horseback-riding to the Mirador,  Vista los Sueño Canopy Zipline, Waterfall canyoning and 3-pools waterfall tour, Rainmaker rainforest & Canopy Bridge tour and ATV tours.

We also offer transportation to all major destinations in Costa Rica (shuttles, boat taxi etc.)

PVBG:  Explain the concept of Selina´s "workcations." 

Carla::   We have a co-working space (business center) within each of our locations. It is a space that you can use while you are travelling and need a quiet space to work. It is open to our guests and to the public for a fee.  

PVBG:  What are some examples of the sustainable activities that are mentioned?

Carla:   Selina hostels has founded a company-wide project called Selina Gives Back which focuses on Environment, Education, Entrepreneurship and Culture.

Through this program we want to engage the community and our guests to be involved in activities, workshops and events that will make a difference on their stay as well as the community that they are visiting.  

These would include activities like beach cleanups, recycling workshops, reforestation, sustainability and mentorship programs We recently participated in a beach clean-up with Karma Tribe. 

A private room, shared dorm room and the shared kitchen space at Selina Jaco

Selina Jaco has 31 rooms in total, including 12 dorm rooms and 19 private rooms. The prices range from $13 per night for a 10-18 bed dorm to $130 nightly for a Unique room. Standard rooms are $59 a night. All private rooms can be shared by two people at no extra charge. At the moment, there are no hammocks or camping space/tents available to rent. 

PVBG:  Tell us something about the nightlife at Selina Jaco. You have live music? 

Carla:    Yes. Our restaurant and nightlife events are open to the public, We try to have live music for sunset as well as DJ's on the weekends when we are able to. Our happy hour is from 5 pm - 8 pm. 

We have our big event coming soon July 14th to July 16th. Feel free to visit our Facebook page for events and activities updates


 Selina Life

Guests and staff enjoying Selina Jaco's beachfront area

"Selina Jaco wants to give back and make a positive impact on the Jaco community as well as significantly improve the image of Jaco in the eyes of the global traveler."

- Ehab Rashid, Location Manager, Selina Jaco

Thank you so much for your time and energy, Carla and Ehab! Welcome to our Jacò community. Best wishes to you and your staff for an enjoyable stay and success at Selina Jacò. 

Interested travellers can make reservations online with Trip Advisor, Hostel World and Booking, or through the main website


All photos by Phillip Hall and courtesy of Carla Lesano. 










Room2Board Hostel Earns Its Wings June 19 2017

State of the art architecture. Photo: Philip Hall

Two years in a row, the fashionable, state -of -the- art  Room2Board has been awarded Best Hostel in Costa Rica on Trip Advisor. It is also recognized as one of the Best Surf Hostels in the World by Hostel World.  A new building was recently finished to add more dorm and private rooms. In all, there are 15 private rooms, 12 dorm rooms, both being equally popular. Brian Billing is the main owner in a group of nine. You can find him blending in with guests and staffs as he supervises in his laid back, friendly manner.

We recently visited with Carolina Barrientos, native Costa Rican and General Manager, to learn more about why this beach front hostel stands out, both literally and physically, on the south end of Jaco Beach. 

Carolina Barriientos loves her job as General Manager at Room2Board

PVBG: The architecture is so impressionable and distinct from other hostels. Who Is responsible?

Carolina: Lory Laera is the architect and also the designer of the entire place. 

PVBG:  What are some of the tours that clients can sign up for through your surf shop? 

Carolina: The most popular activities are the surf classes .They run $50 for a private, 2-3 people for $35 each  and more than 4 people is $30. each Usually there are more than 2 instructors depending on the size of the group. If you take a surf class you can use the board for the rest of the day, Our Waterfall Rappelling and Canopy Tours are also favorable with guests.

The popular surf shop run by Nate is always ready to accommodate your wishes. PC: Phillip Hall

 PVBG:     Your bar area is very popular. What are some of the specials at Room2Board that clients can enjoy? 

Carolina:  We have a weekly calendar of activities each night in the bar area. For example on Fridays and Saturdays we always have a DJ. Every day there is a happy hour from 5 to 9 pm and also from 1 .2 in the afternoon on the weekend. 

Dining and recreation area. Photo: Phillip Hal

PVBG:  For visiting hostellers that would like a more quiet atmosphere...?

Carolina: We have a quiet area on our terraza on the top floor with hammocks for those who prefer the chill zone.

PVBG: Room2Board always has a lot of volunteers Can you explain how the volunteer process works?

Carolina: We have a volunteer facebook page and Susan Shonk,one of the owners,is in charge of the program. Basically most of the volunteers are referrals, Susan interviews them and then sends us all the contracts. All volunteers assist us for three months. In exchange they receive free lodging in a shared dorm.. Also free breakfast every day. 

Photo; Phillip Hall 

PVBG: Who should interested applicants speak to? 

Carolina:  They should email Susan at  We  have a separate facebook page, Room 2 Board Volunteers Old & New, where some of our past and present volunteers post. We have up to six volunteers at a time who have backgrounds from all over the world. 

PVBG: Do you offer anything free for travellers staying at Room2Board? 

Carolina: Yes. We have free yoga classes every Sunday at 9 a.m. Daily yoga classes are also offered, but not for free. Guests can enjoy free wifi, we use the strongest internet service in the country, American Data. 

Also, we have free parking for our guests and there is a security guard at night. All dorm rooms come with secured lockers and locks are available at reception.

PVBG:  What keeps the good vibes going at Room2Board?

Carolina:  It is a combination of happy staff, great facilities and cool atmosphere. 

Beto is Carolina`s "wing man" helping with  Bar & Surf shop Operations. Wings by Mark Vose and Artify Jaco art program

"I like the relaxed atmosphere. We´re working and get to meet meet new people all the time. You can still chill 'cause it´s outside, working by the pool all day. Waking up on the beach is great. It´s cool, it´s right there."  - Janelle, former volunteer, currently bartending at Room2Board. 

Chris, volunteer in his first month, first time travelling abroad alone.  PC: PVBG 

"I love the people, everyone is super friendly. The guests are fun to talk to; I like meeting other travellers. You can surf every day. I´m learning to surf right now and it´s so much fun. The vibes here in Costa Rica, the culture, is great. I´m very happy here. Pura Vida! .- Chris, volunteer at front desk, from San Diego, CA. 

Thank you for your time, Carolina! Many blessings to you, your staff and the guests that cross your paths. 

Consider booking at Room2Board when you are visiting or backpacking through Playa Jaco. You can make reservations through Trip Advisor, Hostel World and Booking, or through their website

 If they are full, they have inflatable mattresses and hammocks available for rent. Staff is bilingual in English and some Spanish. They are ready to make you feel at home.

Look for some of our Pura Vida Board Gear products at the Surf Shop at Room2Board along with some other national brands. 

All photos by Phillip Hall, Carolina Barrientos and Kate Hanley 



Merary Jimenez y Como Mantiene El Balance: Esposa, Mamà y Surfista February 20 2017

Merary en uno de sus punto favoritos: La Curva en Playa Hermosa

No es siempre facil ser surfista cuando tiene las prioridades de ser esposa y mamà tambien. Pero Merary Jimenez encontrò la manera que mejor funciona no solo para ella sino para su familia. Bueno, es un gran ayuda que su esposo, Jason Torres, es un campeon nacional que le inspira mucho. Y Jaziel, su hijo de cuatro años, le encanta surfear!

Pura Vida Board Gear team rider Merary Jimenez

Merary tiene 27 años, 11 años de esos surfeando. Surfea "regular" asi que le gustan las derechas como "frontside" pero igual le gustan las izquierdas. La tabla preferida es una Tule de 5`5. Este año de 2017 marca el tercero año enseguida que està compitiendo en el Circuito Naciònal de Surf, despues una pausa. Recientemente, nuestra team rider Merary tomò tiempo para hablar un ratito de su historia. Ella explica como mantiene el balance de ser esposa, mamà y competidora de surf.

Pura Vida Board Gear:     Describe los retos de ser esposa, mama y tambien surfista.

Merary:     El reto de ser mamà, lo mas grande, es que haces todo por su hijo, El reto de ser esposa es que siempre hay que esta pendiente con mucho amor asi a tu pareja. Y el reto de ser surfista es levantarse con todo el animo todas las mañanas.

Pura Vida Board Gear:   Describe la rutina de ustedes cuando estan por la playa a surfear, entrenar y estan alli con Jaziel.

Merary:    Cuando llegamos a la playa, depende como esta la marea, si esta en la mañana lleno a las siete de la mañana, yo surfeo media hora,una hora y Jason cuida el bebè. Luego yo salgo y èl entra. Entonces hacemos cambio.

Pura Vida Board Gear:  Es eso lo que yo he visto. Y si Jaziel quiere surfear? 

Merary:     El tiene que esperar que terminamos los dos o si èl lo pide el papà, el papà lo llevo a surfear mientras yo estoy surfeando. Igual, hoy yo no surfeè porque hice ejercicios entonces èl me dijo "Mamà quiero surfear" entonces fuimos y Jaziel surfeò un rato.

Familia Torres disfrutando por la playa

La Famila Torres, una familia de surf

Pura Vida Board Gear:   Describe la importancia de la fè para tu vida.

Merary:  La fè es lo mas importante para mi vida. Creo plenamente en Dios, El es el principal en mi vida, en mi familia, es el fundamento. Y con la fè yo he podido alcanzar muchas cosas que no creì que podia. Eso me ha ayudado a llegar muy lejos y sè que voy a lograr mucho màs cosas.

Pura Vida Board Gear:     ¿Que le gusta hacer como familia cuando ustedes no estàn surfeando?

Merary:  Nos gusta mucho pescar. Entonces nos vamos a buscar los mejores lugares para pescar.  Depende la hora que vamos. Comemos, descansamos un poco, tal vez una siesta. Si hay tiempo por la tarde vamos a surfear, o patinar o quedamos en casa jugando con Jaziel.

Pura Vida Board Gear:  ¿Qùe aprendes de Jason sobre la competencia (de surf), y tambien de su entrenamiento?

Merary:  Me ha ayudado un montòn. Es uno de los mejores para mi, como surfista, como profesional tambien, y como compite. El es muy buen competidor. Tiene el caracter para poder ser fuerte, y tener las emociones y la adrenalina controlada y poder usarla en una ola en un heat.

Pura Vida Board Gear: Como surfista, cùal es una de tus metas para este año?

Merary:  Gracias a Dios estoy tratando a poder competir todo el Circuito Nacional, y poder lograr estar entre las cinco o seis mejores (en Open Women). Ahora hay muchas chicas compitiendo, entonces ahora es muy dificil estar en el top. Gracias a Dios en la primera fecha logrè a llegar a la final y ahora estoy en cuarto lugar.

Merary a la primera fecha del Circuito Nacional del Surf, Playa Dominical, CR

Pura Vida Board Gear:  ¿Cùal es la cosa mas linda ser mamà?

Merary:  Que tu hijo te mire en tus ojos todo el tiempo con sinceridad y te dija "Mama, te amo. Eres una princesa."


Gracias, Merary, para compartir estes detalles bonitos y por ser un ejemplo para otras madres surfistas. Tu fè es un ejemplo a los demàs! Que sigas disfrutando la vida y el surfing!

Photos courtesy of Jalil El Harrar, Surfing Republica, Merary Jimenez and Pura Vida Board Gear


Siga Merary por Instagram @merajimenez. Contactarle por facebook para lecciones de surf, asi que tambien podria ayudarle con sus inscripciones para competir en las fechas del Circuito Nacional. Su perfil de surf instructor, encuentras aqui por Wendy Solano.


Second ALAS Tour Contest This Weekend In Playa Cocles January 27 2017

Association of Latin American Surfing Professionals, known as ALAS, is having their second contest date of 2017 this weekend, the 27th and 28th of January, in Playa Cocles. This will be the first time ALAS visits the waves of the well known beach break on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. Cocles hosts many contests throughout the year due to its impressive waves. Surfers seeking good tube riding and getting barrelled can appreciate this break. Both lefts and rights break close to the pretty white-sand beach. $10,000 total in cash prizes is on the table for this professional event. ALAS is considered to be the ultimate professional surfing tour in Latin America and, consequently, many elite surfers are expected. The first contest was held at Playa Viña del Mar in Chile two weeks ago.

Epic Conditions Expected in Playa Cocles

Called the Latin Pro Puerto Viejo, presented by Atlántida Lodge, the event is already stirring excitement. Organizers and surfers are stoked for a big swell this weekend. Alberto Torres, the local organizer, expects “epic conditions” due to both the weather and surf reports. This time of year is the high season for waves in this part of the country. Surfers will travel from all parts of Costa Rica to attend. In addition, visiting surfers from other Latin American countries are already arriving.

photo by Pura Vida Board Gear

National Champion Leilani McGonagle enjoyed a win at Cocles, CNS 2014

Puerto Viejo is one of the most unique parts about Costa Rica. It draws people there for it’s Caribbean vibes, African influence, good waves and beautiful beaches. It’s neighbor, Playa Cocles, shares thoses characteristics. The town is a very small village with just two stores, a school and a soccer field. The locals are very friendly and welcoming. You can find them sitting outside together laughing and enjoying life. In order to keep the beach a safe place to swim and enjoy, the community has come together and contributed to pay for lifeguard services. You can feel safer paddling out or going for a swim knowing that help is at hand. The current can get pretty strong in this area.

Wave watching and surfing are both enjoyed at this beautiful beach break 

Where to Stay

If you are planning to visit Playa Cocles during a surf contest, book a hotel or hostel ahead of time. The area gets packed on contest weekends and you don’t want to be stuck looking for a room at the last minute. There are several hotels in Cocles and dozens more in nearby Puerto Viejo. Check with Tripadvisor for recommendations and reviews; there are options for all budgets. You will find peaceful, pleasing accomodations in Playa Cocles if there is availability. If you are going to surf, this is the best choice. The town is charming and has a sweet vibration that will lure you to want to stay longer.

More About ALAS

To find out more about ALAS Tour and The Latin American Surfing Association, click here. The website is in Spanish. You can find the tour dates under the Calendar dates. If you are interested in inscribing for an event you are sure to have an incredible experience. With tour dates at some of the best beaches in Latin America, how could you not? The Latin Pro Puerto Viejo in Playa Cocles promises to be an exceptional show. Good luck to our national competitors. Hope you get barrelled! Pura Vida Board Gear has two team riders representing in the Open Women category, Camila and Paulina Summers of Puerto Viejo. Playa Cocles is their homebreak; best of luck competing "in your backyard," chicas. 


Photos of Leilani McGonagle and sun bather by Kate Hanley at Playa Cocles, CNS segunda fecha, 2014 




Sally Vindas: Trabajando Con "Frutas & Tablas" En Su Patio January 16 2017

Sally Diaz and husband Luis

Mucha gente conoce la jacobeña Lisbeth Vindas pues debe conocer a su hermanita. Sally Vindas, quien crecía con ella desde su niñez en Playa Jacó. Sally es la dueña, creadora y administradora de la tienda Frutas & Tablas, ubicado por Calle Bohio en el centro de este pueblo. Lo abrió en 2013 con Luis Jimenez, su esposo de dos años. El objetivo es "vender salud 100% natural a nuestros clientes." Ofrecen Nativo Açai bowls y Açai batidos, batidos 100% naturales, ensaladas de frutas. Tambien patrocinan a Lisbeth.

Sally Diaz with sister Lisbeth Vindas Diaz

Las hermanas Diaz: Sally y Lisbeth 

El lugar ha llegado a ser tan popular que hay dias durante el cúal la fila no para! Entre los tiempos mas ocupados, Sally compartió unos detalles de su historía y la importancia de la familia a su vida. 

Kate: Describe tu conexión familiar con Jacó

Sally:  Es todo: mi vida, mi infancía, mi salud, mi familia. 

Kate:  ¿Qúe amas acerca de Jacó? 

Sally:   Los atardeceres, los muchos deportes que puedes practicar.

Kate:    ¿Como fue crecer aqui?

Sally:   Creci en un ambiente familiar muy grande, lleno de amor y unión, con mucha libertad, siempre comiendo mangos, marañones, mamones y trepada en los árboles de guayaba, además amaba andar siempre a pata pelada, como dicen.

Sally and Luis con miembros de Team USA el año pasado durante ISA Mundial.

Kate:    "Frutas & Tablas" esta conocido mas que todo por los Acai bowls. Qúe mas ofrece? 

Sally:    Ademas de açai organico en bowls y batidos, tenemos ensaladas de frutas, paninis, cafes frios, waffles, batidos naturales. Siempre con el tema organico, vegano y natural al 100%.

Kate:    Tu acai bowl favorito? Cual es el mas popular? 

Sally:    Mi favorito es el açai surfer que lleva piña, banano, papaya con granola, chispas de chocolate y coco. El mas popular es el tradiciónal açai good day con piña, banano, fresas, granola y miel de abeja

Maddie Peterson de Team USA disfrutando a Frutas y Tablas durante ISA Mundial 2016

Kate:    ¿De donde provienen todos los ingredientes?

Sally:    El açai lo obtengo directamente de la compañia Amazon Nativo Açai, y las frutas y verduras vienen del mercado principal del pais CENADA en Heredia, 3 veces por semana.

Kate:   ¿Quienes son algunos de los surfistas profesionales que conociste el año pasado? 

Sally:   Tia Blanco (USA) Campeona Mundial ISASilvana Lima (Brasil), Anali Gomez (Peru), Matt Mcgillivray (South Africa), Mahina Maeda (Hawaii) and Brett Simpson (USA) entre otros. 

Tia Blanco y Colt Ward de Team USA dando el sigño "Thumbs up!"

Frutas & Tablas es un lugar especial y le gusta mucho a los surfos! Aqui muchos competidores del ISA Mundial 2016 comparten las buenas vibras.

Kate:  ¿Como usted y Betty se inspiran la una a la otra y están conectadas? 

Sally:   Nos ayudamos la una a la otra a crecer, el amor familiar, nos apoyamos en las actividades diarias de nuestros hijos y ademas ella es la imagen de mi negocio! 

Kate:  ¿Hay un recuerdo especial que le gustaria contar?

Sally:  Cuando mi hija Iriany iba a nacer, Betty (Lisbeth) me acompaño al hospital y el dia que mi hija nació, ella solicitó permiso para dormir ahí conmigo para cuidar a mi bebe mientras yo me recuperaba.

En cuestion de momentos ella montó como un tipo de campamento dentro del cuarto del hospital. Tenia una sección de comidas, otra de las cosas de bebe, otra de mis cosas y otra de cosas de ella. Y una silla de playa enorme para dormir cerca de mi cama!

Sally Diaz with older sister, surfer LIsbeth Vindas Diaz

Le daba leche a Iriany de un vasito y la bañaba y la cambiaba durante el dia. Gracias a ella yo me pude mejorar y salir pronto del hospital. Siempre voy a recordar ese dia con mucho amor y agradecimiento.

Kate:    Has probado a surfear? 

Sally:    Sí, eso es otro recuerdo. Cuando cumpli 14 años Lisbeth me dijo ok ya es hora que aprendas a surfear y nos fuimos para playa Hermosa. Las olas estaban gigantes y ella me decia "reme reme tirese en esa!" Y yo me echaba para atras porque tenia miedo, en una de esas ella me empujó y empece a remar fuerte. La tabla se me fue de punta y me cai. Estaba ahogando. Cuando logré salir ella se estaba riendo mucho ..y yo estaba tan enojada que sali del agua y no entre mas.

Despues de un año surfeando entendi que no era el deporte para mi. Pero siempre apoyo a Lisbeth en su carrera de surf. 

Kate:     Su abuelo fue una persona muy especial en su vida. Qúe quieres decir sobre él?

Sally:    Mi abuelo Ubaldo Diaz Diaz fue mi mejor momento y es mi mejor recuerdo en mi vida para siempre. Es mi inspiración de trabajo y amor a la vida. 

El nos enseña a nadar a todos, cuando estabamos pequeñitos como edad de tres años, a mis hermanos y primos el nos tiraba monedas de 20 colones en la piscina, en la parte honda, y nos decida "tirese a traer la moneda" y todos nos tirabamos y las recogiamos..asi desde pequeños gracias a él ya sabiamos nadar.

La sobrina de Sally, Genesis Vindas con Grande Abuelo 

Sally Vindas con Abuelo 

Kate:    ¿Que te gusta hacer cuando no estas trabajando?

Sally:    Me gusta pasar tiempo con Dios primeramente, luego con mi hija y esposo, finalmente me gusta mucho comer, creo que ese es mi mayor vicio la "buena comida" jeje.

Tambien me gusta pasar con mis animales, tres perros y una oveja; me encanta estar con ellos!

Sally disfrutando por la playa con su oveja Jacinto y el sobrino Elian, el hijo de su hermano, surfo y shaper, Luis Vindas 

Familia. Sally, Luis and Iriany Vindas

No se olvide a visitarles a Sally y Luis a Frutas & Tablas cuanda viene a Jacó! Esta abierto todos los dias de las 8 - 5. Es un lindo lugar con un sentido especial y comida saludable y rica! 










Ubaldo Diaz Diaz

En Memoria de Ubaldo Diaz Diaz 19 de Abril 1918 a 15 de Julio 2013

Siga Sally Vindas @frutasytablas por instagram

English Version:

A lot of people know Lisbeth Vindas. Well you should know her younger sister, Sally Vindas, who grew up with Lisbeth from childhood in Playa Jacó. Sally is the owner, creator and administrator of Frutas & Tablas located on Bohio Street in the center of town. It was opened in 2013 with Luis Jimenez, her husband of two years. The objective is "to sell 100% natural health to our clients," They offer Nativo Acai bowls and Acai milkshakes, 100% natural milkshakes and fruit salads. They also sponsor Lisbeth. 

The place has become so popular that there are days during which the line doesn't end! Between the busiest times, Sally shared some details of her history and the importance of family to her life. 

Kate:     Describe your family connection with Jacó. 

Sally:     It's everything: my life, my childhood, my health, my family. 

Kate:     What do you love about Jacó?

Sally:     The sunsets, all of the sports that you can practice. 

Kate:      What was it like growing up here? 

Sally:    I grew up in a very large family environment, filled with love and union, with a lot of freedom, always eating mangos, marañones, mamones and climbed guayaba trees. Besides that, I always loved to walk barefoot. 

Kate:    "Fruits & Tablas" is known more than anything for its Acai bowls. What else do you have? 

Sally:    Besides organic acai bowls and milkshakes, we have fruit salads, paninis, cold coffees, waffles, and natural fruit drinks. Always with the organic, vegan and natural theme 100%. 

Kate:    Your favorite Acai bowl? What is the most popular? 

Sally:    My favorite is the Acai Surfer that comes with pineapple, banana, papaya with granola, chocolate chips and coconut. The most popular is the traditional Acai Good Day with pineapple, banana, strawberries, granola and honey. 

Kate:    Where do all the ingredients come from ? 

Sally:    The acai I get directly from the company Amazon Nativo Acai and the fruits and vegetables come from the main market of the country, CENADA in Heredia. Three times a week. 

Kate:     Who are some of the professional surfers that you you met last year? 

Sally:   Tia Blanco (USA) Campeona Mundial ISASilvana Lima (Brasil), Anali Gomez (Peru), Matt Mcgillivray (South Africa), Mahina Maeda (Hawaii) and Brett Simpson (USA) 

Kate:   How do you and Betty (Lisbeth) inspire each other and stay connected?

Sally:   We help each other to grow, the family love, we support each other in daily activities of our children, and besides she is the image of my business! 

Kate:   Is there a special memory that you would like to share? 

Sally:  When my daughter Iriany was about to be born, Betty came with me to the hospital and the day my daughter was born, she asked permission to sleep there with me to take care of my baby while I was recovering. 

Within moments, She set up a kind of campsite inside the hospital room She had a section for food, another for the baby's things, another for my things and one section for her. And an enormous beach chair to sleep near my bed!

She gave milk from a little glass to Iriany, bathed and changed her during the day. Thanks to her I could get better and leave quickly from the hospital. I am always going to remember that day with a lot of love and appreciation.

Kate:    Have you tried surfing? 

Sally:    Yes, that is another memory. When I turned 14 years old Lisbeth told me, Ok it's time you learned to surf and we went to Playa Hermosa. The waves were giant and she was telling me "Paddle, paddle, take that one!" And I was freaking out because I was afraid. In one of those waves, she pushed me and I began to paddle hard. I did a nosedive and fell. I was drowning. When I succeeded in getting out, she was laughing a lot and I was so mad that I left the ocean and didn't go back. 

After a year of surfing I understood that it wasn't the sport for me. But I support Lisbeth in her surfing career.  

Kate:    Your grandfather was a very special person in your family's life. What do you want to say about him? 

Sally:    My grandfather Ubaldo Diaz Diaz was the best moment and is my best memory in my life always. He is my inspiration for my work and love for life. 

He taught us how to swim, when we were little like three years old, my brothers and sisters, cousins.. He threw coins of 20 colones in the pool, the deep part, and we decided to go down and get the money. All of us went down to pick up the coins... and like that from the time we were little, thanks to him, we all knew how to swim. 

Kate:   What do you like to do when you are not working? 

Sally:   I like to spend time with God first, then with my daughter and my husband, finally I like to eat a lot, I think that is my greatest vice -- "good food" haha. 

Also I like to spend time with my pets, three dogs and a sheep; I love to be with them!

In Loving Memory of Ubaldo Diaz Diaz 19 of April 1918 to July 15 2013 


Don't forget to visit Sally and Luis at Frutas & Tablas when you come to Jacó! It's open every day from 8 - 5. It's a sweet place with a special vibe and healthy, good food!

Follow Sally on instagram @frutasytablas


Running On Faith And Banking On Skate: Lady Jean Meek Finds Balance Outside Of Surfing December 20 2016 3 Comments

"Only a surfer knows the feeling," and only a surfer knows the feeling of having to stay out of the water for a prolonged period of time. It can be maddening, the most trying test of our patience as we wait for the opportunity to get back into the water. Lady Jean Meek is 15 years old and already an expert at dealing with the pain and suffering of being sidelined from an activity she loves. Over the past two years she has been dealing with inner and outer ear infections which forced Lady to drop out of the National Surfing Circuit after the third contest of 2016.

Originally from Texas where she first stood up on a wave at age 11, Lady's family moved to Playa Dominical that same year. "I discovered that the waves in Costa Rica are way better than the ones in Texas!" she smiles. " I fell in love with the sport."  After finishing third in a local lifeguard benefit contest, Lady knew she wanted to compete regularly.

 "I had so much fun.. the waves were perfect, I didn't feel any pressure to win. I just surfed. I've always been into competitive sports, but surfing is definitely the best." 

In 2015, Lady Jean Meek ranked in 7th and 8th place respectively for the Junior Women and Open Women categories on the National Surfing Circuit. Not bad for a girl from Texas. 

Lady shares the love of surfing with sister and fellow competitor, Charli Jo

Last year Lady experienced a lot of pain in her ear after surfing and swimming with some friends. Two surgeries and three months later, she got back in the water. Her ear perforated again and it was discovered that the perforations were due to allergies. Now a full nine months out of the water, the Meek family is currently in Texas where Lady is seeing an allergy specialist.

Pura Vida Board Gear:    What are some of the coping methods you use to stay positive while out of the water?

Lady Jean:      Honestly, it was really hard to cope with it. I was still going to the surf contests because Charli was competing in them, so it was really hard watching it all. But I did figure out how to handle it. I got into running and skating.

My family has really been supportive through it all. But most of all I know that God has a plan for me.

Pura Vida Board Gear:       Describe the support of your family.

Lady:    My sisters are my best friends (Charli is 18, Chace is 14). We just get each other so well. They kept me laughing and we do things together all the time. My parents have been so supportive. When we were living in Guanacaste they would drive me 30 minutes each way to the skatepark. They knew that it was the closest thing to surfing.

They helped me find the best doctor in San Jose, Costa Rica. For a while, we were going about once every 2 weeks. Once they realized that they should get a second opinion about my ear, we decided to go all the way back to Texas! I couldn't go by plane ( because of the pressure in my ears) so they went with me by ship to Florida and then we drove all the way to Texas. If that isn't supportive, I don't know what is. I am thankful every day. 

PVBG:  How has skateboarding been therapeutic for you?

Lady:    Skateboarding for me feels like the closest thing to surfing. It’s like you’re flying over the ramps instead of the waves. The rush of going fast or landing a new trick is such a thrill. When I am skating, I put everything out of my mind and enjoy living. I don’t know what I would do without the sport!

PVBG:  How long have you been skating?

Lady:     About a year and a half.

PVBG:    Favorite skatepark in Costa Rica? 

Lady:      Mutante Skatepark in Playa Negra.

PVBG:    In Texas?

Lady:      Kerrville or Victoria.

PVBG:    Favorite trick?

Lady:      Pop-shove-it or front side 50-50 stall. ( A pop-shove-it is a trick where the board is popped in the air and rotates along its vertical axis).

PVBG:    Two goals for 2017

Lady:      To stay positive and continue loving my life, surfing or not. No matter what happens.

PVBG:    Words to live by?

Lady:      Isaiah 40:31

Those who hope in the Lord

   will renew their strength.

They will soar on wings like eagles;

   they will run and not grow weary,

   they will walk and not be faint.

We wish this role-model young Lady all the best and are excited to see what 2017 has in store for her. 

All photos courtesy of Lady Jean. Professional photo by Taylar Munn, Kook World Productions 

If you've enjoyed this article please sign up to our email list here to receive future blog posts. 



Surfista Ariel Gutierrez Roque: Realizando Un Sueño "3 X 1" December 12 2016

Ariel Gutierrez es un surfista costarricense conocido por el país y támbien localmente por Playa Hermosa. Es un competidor en el CNS (Circuito Naciónal de Surf), tiene su propio negocio Hermosa Riders Surf School y es un estudiante. Falta ocho meses para cumplir sus estudios de Terapia Física y Rehabilitación a la Universitaria Americana. Este fin de semana pasado, Ariel realizó un curso de entrenamiento funcional para Surf de 16 horas con un programa práctica y teórico.

Ariel con Allan Menache, entrenador de surfistas profesiónales

El entrenador fue nada más ni menos que Allan Menache de Core 360, el mismo entrenador que ha ayudado a los surfistas profesionales de WSL Gabriel Medina y Adriano Souza entre otros. A la edad de 24 años, Ariel está muy enfocado en sus metas y tiene un buen camino en frente de él a realizarlas.

"Me gustaría combinar mis experiencias de ser un competidor e instructor de con mis estudios. Quiero ayudar y entrenar surfistas al maximo. Además de entrenarles, podría crear un programa de rehabilitación para los surfistas lesionados."

Photo: Jonathan Reynar, Bowies Point, Playa Hermosa 

Pura Vida Board Gear:   ¿Aprendiste surfear acá en Playa Hermosa? 

Ariel:    Sí, mi mamá trabajaba en un hotel aquí, lo que ahora se llama restaurante Vida Hermosa. Se llama Surfside. Era administradora, recepcionista, limpiaba todos los cuartos, entonces ella siempre estaba ahí. Cuando yo venía de la escuela me quedaba ahi todo el día -- y yo siempre estaba en la playa.  

Pura Vida Board Gear:   ¿Porque crees que Playa Hermosa es un lugar tan bueno para surfear?

Ariel:      Para mi es exelente porque tiene olas todo el año y la ola es muy fuerte, no se necesita hacer mucho esfuerzo para hacer una maniobra. Ya que es una playa de olas fuertes.

Pura Vida Board Gear:  Tu negocio, Hermosa Riders Surf School, esta abierto desde 2012. ¿Das clases individual o con grupos, principiantes solamente.. como es?

Ariel:    Trabajamos con todos níveles, con mucha gente de Costa Rica -- de San Jose, Heredia, pero tambien extranjeros de Estados Unidos, Canada, Brazil. Normalmente las clases con los grupos, las clases grupales son de máximo 2 estudiantes por instructor. Si las condiciones están muy suaves (el mar) tal vez, tres. Clases privadas siempre son uno a uno. 

Photo: Jorge Russell, Playa Jacó

Pura Vida Board Gear:   ¿Cúales son unos de los beneficios mentales y sociales de hacer surfing?

Ariel: Te ayuda porque te mantiene tranquillo, aprendes a respetar a la naturaleza, mantenerse en comunicación con las personas en el mar tambien afuera, conoces muchas personas.

Pura Vida Board Gear:  Ariel, cúal fue uno de tus momentos favoritos de un torneo?

Ariel:    Cuando corrí una ola de 10 puntos aquí en Playa Hermosa en la última fecha del Circuito Naciónal de 2014. Hubo uno de los swells mas grandes en competencias de surf de Costa Rica. La gente me conoció por un surfista de buenos tubos. Tambien, me ayudo a tener más trabajo por eso.

Mucha suerte y muchos bendiciones Ariel en tu camino. 

Ariel con su funda de Pura Vida Board Gear que ha tenido mas que un año.

Hay un dicho que "No elegimos nuestros sueños; ellos nos eligen." Tal vez Ariel es un buen ejemplo de eso. Para clases de surf, contacten Ariel por la pagina de facebook Hermosa Riders Surf School. Tambien hay una tienda de surf en Playa Hermosa con accesorios de surf, chancletas, camisetas y alquiler de tablas.


Follow Ariel on instagram @ariel_gut  Follow Pura Vida Board Gear @puravidaboardgear

Surfer Ariel Gutierrez Roque: Realizing A Dream "3 X 1"

Ariel Gutierrez is a well-known surfer both nationally and locally throughout Playa Hermosa. He is a competitor on the National Circuit of Surfing, has his own business Hermosa Riders Surf School and is a student. He only has eight months left to complete his studies of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation at the Universitaria Americana. Last weekend, Ariel completed a 16 hour functional training course for surfing with a practical and theoretical program. 

The coach/traniner was none other than Allan Menache of Core 360, the same coach that has helped World Surf League professional surfers Gabriel Medina and Adriano Souza, among others.  At 24 years old, Ariel is very focused on his goals and has a good path in front of him to realize them. 

"I would like to combine my experiences of being a competitor and instructor with my studies. I want to help and train surfers to the maximum. Besides training them, I could create a rehabilitation program for injured surfers."

Pura Vida Board Gear:   Did you learn to surf here in Playa Hermosa?

Ariel:    Yes, my Mom worked at a hotel here, the same place that is now called Vida Hermosa. It was called Surfside. She was administrator, receptionist, cleaned all the rooms, so she was always there. When I'd come back from school I would stay there all day -- and I was always on the beach. 

Pura Vida Board Gear:  Why do you think Playa Hermosa is such a good place for surfing?  

Ariel:      For me it is excellent because it has waves all year and the wave is very strong, it doesn't need a lot of force in order for you to do a manuever. It's a beach of strong waves.  

Pura Vida Board Gear:  Your business, Hermosa Riders Surf School, has been open since 2012. Do you give individual or group classes, just beginners... ?

Ariel:    We work with all levels, with a lot of people from Costa Rica -- from San Jose, Heredia, but also with foreigners from the U.S.A., Canada, Brazil. Normally the group classes have a maximum of two students per instructor. If the ocean conditions are really light, then maybe three. Private classes are always one on one. 

Pura Vida Board Gear:   What are some of the mental and social benefits of surfing? 

Ariel:   It helps you to stay calm, you learn to respect nature, it keeps you in touch with the people in the ocean and also with meeting a lot of people outside of the ocean as well. 

Pura Vida Board Gear:  Ariel, what was one of your favorite moments from a surf contest? 

Ariel:    When I caught a ten point wave here in Playa Hermosa on the last contest date of the CNS (National Circuit) in 2014. It was during one of the biggest swells in surf competitions in Costa Rica. People knew me afterwards as a "good tube (barrell) surfer." Also, it has helped by giving me more work.  

Good luck and many blessing on your path, Ariel. 

There is a saying that "We don't choose our dreams; our dreams choose us." Maybe Ariel is a good example of that. For surf classes contact Ariel through facebook page Hermosa RIders Surf School. There is also a surf shop in Playa Hermosa with surf accessories, flip-flops, t-shirts and to rent surfboards.

Follow Ariel on instagram @ariel_gut  Follow Pura Vida Board Gear @puravidaboardgear





7 Tips All Surfer Girls Should Know for Healthier Hair December 05 2016

All surfer girls deal with hair issues. You know the drill: Surf ( hair is baking in the sun), duck dive (hair is absorbing salt water) after surf, hair is drying out from the salt... Then repeat, for hours at a time, weeks in a row.... Ahhhh, hair issues. The result  often leaves us with hair that is tangled and dehydrated. While we wouldn't trade time in the water for well, almost anything, our hair doesn't have to take the abuse if we treat it right. Pura Vida Board Gear consulted Surf Girl Magazine and also talked to local surfer girls in Playa Jacó and Hermosa to share some tips.

Follow the seven tricks below for healthier hair, even after hours of salt water, duck-diving and sunshine. Surf on! 

1.    Wet your hair and apply conditioner before you go in the water.

By having your hair absorb regular water first, it will absorb less salt water in the ocean. Think of conditioner as sunscreen for your hair. Both Merary Jimenez of Playa Jacó and Erika Valverde of Playa Hermosa stress the importance of using a good conditioner before and after surf sessions. Make sure the conditioner is ocean-friendly. Rememer that some ingredients are toxic to corals.  Avoid parabens, oxybenzone (benzophenone derivatives), propylene glycol if possible. Also, use conditioners that have UV (ultra-violet) protection. If you live somewhere that coconuts are plentiful, fresh coconut milk is a great choice.

2. Braid your hair before surfing

If you have long hair, braiding it will help keep the conditioner in. It will also protect your hair from too much sun exposure and keep it out of your face on a big air drop!

Surfer Girl Merary Jimenez takes good care to have healthy hair

3. Give your hair a good rinse after surfing

A good rinse will remove the salt that dries out your hair after a surf session. Merary says " I always rinse my hair when I get home from surfing; then I put in more conditioner." 

4. Coconut oil Hair Mask 

The amazing benefits of coconut oil also include making a great hair mask for dry hair. After shampooing, rub a teaspoon of coconut oil between your palms and apply to the ends of your hair first, then the rest of your head. Wait ten minutes then rinse thoroughly. Surfer Katia Caparella of Playa Jacó likes to use a mixture of one teaspoon coconut oil with one teaspoon of olive oil once a month as a hair mask. She applies at night "mostly to the ends" and covers her hair with a shower cap. In the morning, she rinses her hair well for silky shiny results. 

Photo: Katia on the way to Pavones where she loves to catch a good swell. 

5.  Don't "Over" Shampoo

Many surfer girls actually use conditioner as their shampoo. Shampooing once a week is great, to clean build up and start fresh. More than that is not really necessary.

6. Eat healthy

Surfer Allison Talbird of Playa Jacó knows it's important to "eat healthy always, with natural good fats, nuts, avocados, olive and coconut oil for cooking." Get your vitamin B's and B-12 through foods like whole grain cereals, almonds, eggs, yogurt, chicken, fruits and green leafy vegetables. Healthy eating means healthier hair. 

Surfer Allison Talbird enjoys her home break in Playa Jacó 

Fresh coconut milk and coconut oil have great benefits for your hair 

7. Whenever possible, let your hair dry naturally

Blow drying or straightening hair with a flat iron will dry it out and make it more susceptible to damage. Erika says, "I never use a dryer or flat iron. I let my hair dry naturally and also trim the ends regularly."  Erika says she uses a lot of conditioner to keep her hair well protected when surfing. 

Surfer Erika Valverde, healthy shiny hair means taking care to protect it and let it dry naturally. Playa Hermosa 

Thank you Merary, Erika, Katia and Allison for sharing some tips for healthy hair! 

See you girls in the water. :) 

Article by Kate Hanley, Pura Vida Board Gear @puravidaboardgear 

Photos by Merary Jimenez, Erika Valverde, Katia Caparella and Allison Talbird

If you enjoyed this article please sign up for our newsletter. We'll be sure to send you new blog posts and special offers on our products. Happy Surfing -- and happy hair! 








La Surfista y Empresaria, Sharon Vargas de Happy Almond November 27 2016

Sharon Vargas inició su negocio Happy Almond en el 2012 aquí en Playa Hermosa de Jacó.

Recientemente, Pura Vida Boad Gear visitó la empresaría y surfista. Reunimos en la cocina de Happy Almond donde Sharon las hace sus meriendas populares de varios nueces 100% naturales. Es muy trabajadora, profesiónal y tiene las buenas vibras que están transmitidas por su manera de vivir.

PVBG:  Hola Sharon! Gracias por tu tiempo hoy en la cocina de Happy Almond. De dónde eres originalmente?

Sharon: Viví toda mi infancia en Siquirres un pueblo en el Caribe, luego pasé 7 años en Alajuela  y finalmente me mudé a Playa Hermosa en el 2011.

PVBG:  Cómo y cúando nació la idea de Happy Almond?

Sharon: Happy Almond nació en el 2012. Yo quería tener mi negocio propio. Un día mientras trabajaba en Vida Hermosa mi novio Nico me hizo unas almendras garrapiñadas -- me quería sorprender con un postre. Mis compañeras de trabajo y mi jefa querían probarlas y cuando lo hicieron quedaron encantadas! Me dijeron que era una delicia y que debería patentarlas. Entonces, fue Nico que me dió una idea y yo hice un negocio.

PVBG:   Que variedades de nueces ofreces?

Sharon:  Almendras crudas y garrapiñadas, semillas de girasol, arándanos secos, mani salado, esas las uso para el Nut mix. Son deliciosas con yogurt, en batidos o para acompañar una tacita de café. Hasta ahora tenemos 3 productos diferentes: Nut Mix, almendras garrapiñadas (las originales), 
maní garrapiñado. 

PVBG: Describe un día típico en tu vida?

Sharon:   Surf, yoga, si no hago ninguna de las anteriores me voy a hacer bici en la montaña, luego trabajo mínimo 5 horas todos los días con mis Happy Almond, ya sea empacando, cocinando, entregando, tratando con clientes etc.

PVBG:   Sueña súper!  Hace cuanto tiempo surfeas?

Sharon:  Desde el 2012. Empecé a surfear en Playa Jacó y fue allí donde conocia mi novio Nico. Estuvo dando un lección de surf.

PVBG:   Qué tamaño de tabla usas?

Sharon:  Casi siempre uso mi 5'9, aunque tengo un 5'5 que me gusta para cuando las olas están pequeñas. Y un 6'0 para los días grandes. Esa última fue una gran sorpresa el día de mi cumpleaños. Nico shapea mis tablas. Hace 17 años es un "shaper." 

PVBG:   Te gusta competir?

Sharon:  Bueno, para mi surfear significa libertad, poder, diversion pura, pero cuando compito me siento bloqueada y la verdad no disfruto ese sentimiento.

PVBG:   Yo entiendo perfectamente. Qúe lindo que vives en un lugar donde puedes disfrutar el surf como parte de la rutina..  además de tener támbien tu negocio. Gracias por compartir un poco de tu historia.. y para las almendres garrapiñados ;) 

La gente puede encontrar Happy Almond en las pulperias, fruterías, restaurantes, heladerías y macrobióticas en Playa Hermosa y Playa Jacó. Sharon se vende en cantidad al restaurante Green Room Cafe en Playa Jacó y la cafeteria Milk 506 usa los nueces de HA en acai bowls. 

Puede contactar Sharon directamente por su pagina de facebook Happy Almond. Ponganse los ordenes para la Navidad! 

Le encuentra Sharon por instagram @sharisurf 

Entrevista por Kate Hanley, Pura Vida Board Gear, @puravidaboardgear

Todas las fotos cortesía de Sharon Vargas

Surfer and Business Woman, Sharon Vargas of Happy Almond

Sharon Vargas started her business Happy Almond in 2012. Recently Pura Vida Board Gear met with the local business woman and surfer in Playa Hermosa. We met in the Happy Almond kitchen where Sharon makes her popular snacks from various 100% natural nuts.

PVBG:    Hi Sharon! Thanks for your time today. Where are you originally from?

Sharon: I lived all of my childhood in Siquirres, a town in the Caribbean, then I spent 7 years in Alajuela. Finally, I moved to Playa Hermosa in 2011. 

PVBG:  How and when was the idea for Happy Almond born? 

Sharon: Happy Almond was born in 2012. I wanted to have my own business. One day while I was working at Vida Hermosa my boyfriend Nico made me some sugar coated almonds -- he wanted to surprise me with a dessert. My friends at work and my boss wanted to try them. When they did, they loved them so much they told me that I should patent them!

So, Nico gave me the idea and I made it into a business. 

PVBG:   What are the different variety of nuts that Happy Almond offers?

Sharon: Raw almonds and sugar coated almonds, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, and peanuts are the ingredientes of Happy Almond's Nut Mix. The original Happy Almond snack is sugar coated almonds. The Nut Mix is perfect with yogurt or a cup of coffee. 

PVBG:     Describe a typical day. 

Sharon:   Surf, do yoga, mountain biking and work at least 5 hours a day with Happy Almond, doing quality checks, cooking, packing, deliveries, talking to vendors, filling orders.

PVBG:    Sounds great!  How long have you been surfing?

Sharon:  Since 2012. I started surfing in Playa Jacó. That's where I met Nico. He was giving a surf lesson.

PVBG:   What size board do you ride? 

Sharon:  I almost always use my 5 '9 although I have a 5' 5 that I prefer when the waves are small. And a 6'0 for the very big days. The 6'0 was a great surprise for my birthday. Niko shapes my surfboards; he has been a shaper for 17 years.

PVBG:    Do you like to compete (in surf contests)? 

Sharon:  Well, for me surfing represents freedom, power and pure fun. When i compete I feel blocked and, honestly, I don't enjoy that feeling.

PVBG:   I understand perfectly.  How cool that you live in a place where you can enjoy the surf as part of your routine.. besides having your business here as well. Thanks for sharing some of your story .. and for the delicious sugar coated almonds ;)  

Interview by Kate Hanley, Pura Vida Board Gear, @puravidaboardgear

All photos courtesy of Sharon Vargas.

You can find Happy Almond at fruit stands, small stores, restaurants, icecream shops and health food stores in Playa Hermosa and Playa Jacó. Sharon sells in bulk to The Green Room Cafe in Playa Jacó. Milk 506 in central Jacó uses the HA Nut Mix in acai bowls. 

Contact Sharon directly through her facebook page Happy Almond. Place your orders for Christmas!

Find Sharon on instagram @sharisurf
















Empoderando Las Niñas: Chicas Con Propósito November 22 2016

CCP Instructors Maite Onochie, far left, with Jeanine Haddad (center) with volunteer Leilani McGonagle and a couple of the girls that participate in the program.
Pura Vida Board Gear : Quienes son las encargadas y instructoras surtistas del programa Chicas Con Propósito?

CCP:    La idea del proyecto empezó con Claudia Schulz, surfista local, y Debbie Zec de Dominical Surf School. Jeanine Haddad de Domincal Waverider Surf School empezó a liderar el proyecto con las demás en el segundo mes. La idea es mantener una rotación de mujeres surfistas y empoderadas que quieren hacer una diferencia en la comunidad empezando con su salud.
Ahora Jeanine Haddad y Maite Onochie, instructora de yoga y consultora de UNICEF son las dos encargadas. En el futuro nos gustariamos tener las mismas chicas que se han dedicado al proyecto liderarlo en el futuro, cerrando así un circulo completo.
PVBG:   Describe una sesíon tipica con las chicas.
CCP:      Llegamos a pueblo, recogemos al Nivel 1 (a las chicas más principiantes) caminamos para la playa siempre juntas, estiramos o hacemos yoga con la instructora Maite , ponemos bloqueador de Jungle Mama (nuestro más fiel  colaborador desde del primero dia), y ponen sus licras. Antes de entrar al agua,  hacemos un círculo y discutimos el tema de la clase anterior y proponemos otro tema para discutir. Hablamos siempre de algo que está conectado al surf tambien: técnicas, "reglas en el agua" y seguridad. 
Por Fin, entramos al agua! 
Cuando ya pasa una hora, comemos un poco de fruta y tomamos agua. Vamos regresando y recogemos Nivel 2 (las chicas del nivel intermedio) del pueblo para su sesión adentro del mar.

PVBG:  Cuantas veces se encuentra el grupo y dónde? 
CCP:     Intentamos reunirnos dos veces por mes, y casi siempre es un sábado para no interferir ni con la escuela o la iglesia. Es muy importante que las chicas entiendan que la diversión de surfing no reemplaza el tiempo con su familia o sus estudios. Las clases del surf están siempre a Playa Dominicalito. 
PVBG:  ¿Este grupo está siempre abierto aceptar más participantes?
CCP:      Siempre estamos abierto para más, pero más chicas, implica más voluntarios, sin las voluntarias y las personas que apoyan Chicas con Propósito, este proyecto no existiría. A medida que la chicas más mayores mejoran en el surf, ellas nos están empezando a ayudar con la chicas mas principiantes que necesitan atención extra. Sin duda eso es un orgullo y éxito para nosotras! Vemos a las chicas más empoderadas y asumiendo mayor responsabilidad. Ésto son habilidades que les van a servir para otros aspectos de sus vidas. 
 PVBG:   Cómo podria ayudar la gente con el programa por donaciónes?
CCP:      Todo lo que tenemos en el proyecto fue donado por gente local y que cree en las chicas y en el Proyecto.  A veces también hemos tenido la dicha de recibir apoyo de turistas que nos ven en la playa o escuchen hablar de CCP en las redes. Usamos tablas de las escuelas locales de surf y poco a poco nos han empezado a donar tablas, licras, wax y leashes. Todas las chicas que nos ayudan durante las sesiones de surf lo hacen voluntariamente.  
PVBG:   Cúal es el proceso para seleccionar cada chica para participar en el programa? Hay unos requisitos?
CCP:      La verdad, no hay ninguna selección especifica, pero el requisito más importante es que los padres den su permiso. La edad también es importante, no deben tener menos de 6 años y es mejor que sepan nadar un poco y tengan seguridad en el agua y confianza en su nivel para nadar. Pero en realidad, es nuestra misión dar posibilidad de participar a cuantas más niñas y chicas mejor. Es por ello que hemos empezado a dar clases de natación en el mar también.

 PVBG:   Cúales son unos retos de CCP para empoderar las chicas jovenes en nuestras comunidades hoy dia?

CCP:      El reto más grande es poder transmitir a la chicas buenos valores para su vida, en cuanto a su salud, a usar el deporte del surf como una manera de canalizar buena energía, tener más disciplina y respeto entre las chicas y cuidar y proteger  su comunidad. Están aprendiendo rápido a cómo ser más responsables. 

PVBG:  ¿Kolbi es el patrocino de Chicas con Proposito? Como les ayuda?
CCP:    No, Kolbi no es el patrocinador del projecto, mas Seria genial!!! Kolbi es el patrocinador de Leilani Mcgongle, que felizmente apoya nuestro proyecto. Una vez por año Kolbi patrocina un evento con la visita de Leilani a CCP. Leila cree en nosotras y con ese evento ella nos demuestra que el proyecto tiene valor para la comunidad. También, ella muestra el valor que tiene dedicar tiempo a apoyar el desarrollo de niñas y mujeres jóvenes. Cuando su horario lo permite, nos ayuda y acompaña en las sesiones de surf. Las chicas la admiran mucho.
**Toda donación es siempre bienvenida, principalmente en forma del dinero para comprar el refrigerio para las niñas durante las sesiones de surf. Si alguien sabe como surfear y tiene libre uno u otro sábado, está siempre invitada a ayudarnos, pero "mujeres solamente"como el proyecto es especificamente para las chicas.
Contacten Chicas Con Proposito por su pagina de facebook.  
Gracias a CCP por su tiempo a participar en la entrevista y por la grande iniciativa para empoderar las chicas de la comunidad! 
Todas las fotos cortesía de Chicas Con Propósito
Traducción español por Maite Onochie
Entrevista por Kate Hanley, Pura Vida Board Gear @puravidaboardgear 


Pura Vida Board Gear: Who are surf instructors in charge of the program Chicas Con Propósito?

CCP:   The ideas of the project began with local surfers Claudia Schulz and Debbie Zec de Dominical Surf School. Jeanine Haddad of Dommincal Waverider Surf School began to lead the project with the others in the second month. The ideas is to maintain a rotacion of woman surfers and empowerers that want to make a difference in the community starting with health. 
Now Jeanine Haddad y Maite Onochie, yoga instructor and UNICEF consultant are the two in charge. In the future we would like to have the same girls that are dedicated to the program lead it, thus completing the circle.
PVBG:    Describe a typical session with the girls. 
CCP:       We arrive in town, pickup Level 1 ( the most beginner girls), walk together to the beach, stretch and do yoga with the instructor, Maite. We put Jungle Mama sun block (our most faithful collaborator since day one) and rashguards. Before getting in the water, we make a circle and disuss the theme of the last class and propose another theme. We always talk about something that is connected to surf: techniques, surf etiquette, safety. Finally we get in the water! 
When an hour has gone by, we eat some fruit and drink water. We return to town and get the Level 2 girls (intermediate level) to get in their turn in the ocean. 
PVBG:  How many times does the group meet and where? 
CCP:     We try to meet two times a month, an almost always on a Saturday so as not to interfere with school or church. It's very important that the girls understand that the joy of surfing doesn't replace time with family or their studies. The surf lessons are always at Playa Dominicalito. 
PVBG:   Is the group always open to accept more participants?
CCP:      We are always open to more, but more girls means more volunteers; without volunteers and the people that support Chicas con Propósito, this project wouldn't exist. As the older girls get better at surfing, they are beginning to help with the beginners that need extra attention. Without a doubt this is a success for us! We see more empowered girls taking on greater responsibility. This will help them in other aspects of their lives. 
PVBG:  How can people help the program through donations, etc.?
CCP:     Everything that we have in Chicas Con Proposito was donated by local people who believe in the girls and the project. Sometimes, we've also had the luck of receiving help from tourists that see us on the beach or have heard of CCP through social media. We use surf boards from local surf schools and little by little they are starting to donate the boards, rashguards, wax and leashes. All the girls that help us with surf session do so voluntarily. 
PVBG:   What is the process for selecting each girl to participate in the program? Are there requirements?
CCP:      Honestly, there isn't a specific selection process, but the most important requirement is that the parents give their permission. Age is also important, the girls can't be less than 6  years old. It's best if they know how to swim and confidence for their level of swimming. In reality, it's our mission to give the possibility of participating to as many girls as possible. It's because of this that we have begun to give classes of swimming in the ocean as well. 

PVBG:   What are some of the challenges of CCP in empowering young girls in our communities today? 

CCP:    The greatest challenge is to transmit good life values to the girls, in terms of their health, to use the sport of surf as a way of channelling good energy, to promote more discipline and respect between them. Also, to teach the girls how to take care of and protect their community. They are learning quickly how to be more responsible. 

PVBG: Is Kolbi the sponsor of CCP? How does Kolbi help? 
CCP:   No Kolbi is not the sponsor of our project, that would be great!! Kolbi is the sponsor of Leilani McGonagle, who happily helps our project. Once a year Kolbi sponsors an event. Leila believes in us and with this event she shows us that the project has value for the community. She also demonstrates the value of dedicating time to support the development of young girls and young women. When her schedule permits, she help us and comes to the surf sessions. The girls admire her very much. 
** All donations are always welcome, mostly in the form of money to buy the snacks for the girls during the surf sessions. If anyone knowing how to surf has a free Saturday, she is always invited to help us. "Women only" as the project is specifically for girls. 
Contact Chicas Con Proposito por su pagina de facebook. 
Thanks you to CCP for taking the time for this interview and for the grand iniciative to empower the community's girls. 
All photos courtesy of Chicas Con Propósito
Interview by Kate Hanley, Pura Vida Board Gear, @puravidaboardgear


La Sensibilidad y Buena Vibra de Paulina Summers November 19 2016

Paulina Summers, del Puerto Viejo, El Caribe tuvo dos experiencias distintas este año en su carrera de surfing. Con 13 años de edad y sólo dos años de competir, Paulina compitió en su primero evento del WQS: el Esencial Costa Rica Open Pro 3000 en Esterillos Este el octubre pasado. Y el fin de la semana pasado, ella compitió en la categoría de Girls en los CentroAmerica Surfing Games en Playa Jacó. Fue escogida por la Federación de Surf Costa Rica a ser parte de "La Sele," el Equipo Naciónal. Terminó en segundo lugar para las Chicas, ganando puntos para ayudarle el equipo a terminar el evento en primero lugar. Eso fue el unidécimo año en seguida para La Sele lograr este honor! 

Photo: Jorge Russell, CentroAmerica Surfing Games

Pura Vida Board Gear:      Fue tu primera oportunidad a representar a Costa Rica en un evento internaciónal de surf. Puede ser difícil a competir en un deporte que es tan individual. Describe el sentido a tenerlo el apoyo de La Sele durante la competencia.

Paulina:   Me dio más inspiración pero también tienes más presión porque sabes que tienes que hacer bien,no solo para uno pero para los puntos de tu equipo.

Pura Vida Board Gear: :     Cómo te ayudó crecer como deportista, esa experiencia de ser parte del equipo naciónal?
Paulina:    El entrenamiento antes del heat. Me enseñaron como preparar mi mente antes del heat. Me hicieron visualizar mis maniobras por las dos lados. (frontside and backside) Ahora ya estoy poniendo en práctica durante mi entrenimiento y me ayuda surfear mejor.
Paulina escuchando el entrenedor para Team Costa Rica, Gilberth Brown
Foto: Pura Vida Board Gear
Pura Vida Board Gear:   Cómo lo hacía la competencia mas divertido, tu compañera de la Sele y tambien competidora para las chicas, Lia Diaz?
Paulina:  Nos quedamos en el mismo cuarto y tuve la oportunidad de conocerla mejor. Surfeabamos juntas en las mañanas y ella me apoyaba en mis heats y yo a ella.Cuando teníamos heats juntas,nos apoyabamos a la dos y queríamos que las dos hicieramos bien

Paulina y Lia, las dos costarricenses de la Sele en categoria Chicas. Foto: Fabian Sanchez, Surfing Nation
Pura Vida Board Gear :     El mes pasado, tuvo la oportunidad a competir en el evento WQS 3000 con tu hermana, Camila. Fue la primera vez a competir en eso nível, con surfistas de todos lados. Que aprendiste de la experiencia? 
Paulina esperando su heat Ronda 1 en el WQS 3000 Esencial Open Pro CR
Foto:  Pura Vida Board Gear
Paulina:  Cuando me metí en mi heat, me sentí igual como la primera vez que competí en el Circuito Naciónal. Todo fue nuevo! 
Pura Vida Board Gear:   Qúe aprendiste de eso nível de competencia, para ayudarte en el futuro? 
Paulina:  Noté que tenía que mejorar mi selección de olas porque ví como los demás competidores estaban siempre agarrando las buenas olas
Foto: Fabian Sanchez, Surfing Nation 
PVBG:       Cuando llegan las condiciónes "flatazo" en el Caribe qúe haces?
Paulina:    Me adelanto en la escuela y patino mucha al igual que ejercicios en la casa. (Paulina estudia "online" con un programa de los EEUU y mantiene un GPA arriba de 3.0)
PVBG:       Cómo quedan conectadas a la comunidad donde vives?
Paulina:      La semana antes que me fuera a los juegos CentroAmericanos, Camila y yo tuvimos una actividad con ADSEL y UCR a limpiar la playas reciclando la basura que podía terminar en el mar con los animales. Hacemos actividades así. También practicamos ballet. 

The Summers Sisters: Camila, Paulina and Rahel

PVBG:       Cúal es lo que te encanta ser una hermana mayor?   (Paulina tiene dos hermanitos, Rahel y Arnel, los dos tienen menos que dos años)
Paulina:      Cami ya no me llama bebé, jaja. Nunca estoy aburrida siempre tengo algo que hacer y es muy interesante. Me cambio la vida :) 

Gracias por tu tiempo Paulina. Buena suerte con las metas, un paso a la vez!
Paulina compitirá el próximo año a partir del enero 2017 en el Circuito Nacional del Surf. 
Entrevista por Kate Hanley @puravidaboardgear
Muchas Gracias a Jorge Russell y Fabian Sanchez de Surfing Nation Magazine por el permiso usar sus fotos.

The Sensibility and Good Vibes of Paulina Summers 

 PVBG: It can be difficult to compete in a sport that is so individual. Describe the feeling of having the support of the National Team during last weekend's CentroAmerica Surfing Games in Playa Jacó. 
Paulina:    It gave more inspiration but also pressure because you know that you have to do well, not only for you but to add points for the team.
PVBG:      How did the experience of being part of a team help you grow as an athlete?
Paulina:    The training before the event. They taught me how to help prepare my mind before the heat. They had me visualize my turns both backside and frontside. I've been able to add this technique to my regular training and it's helping me to surf better.
PVBG:       How did your teammate Lia Diaz, also competing in the same category, make the competition more fun?
Paulina:    We stayed in the same room, so I got to know her better. We would surf together in the morning. She would come support me in my heats and I would support her in hers. If we had heats together, we supported one another and wanted each other to do well. 
PVBG:      Last October you had the opportunity to compete in the WSL QS 3000 event in Esterillos with Camila. What was your favorite part of that experience?
Paulina:    It was the first time of competing on that level with such great surfers from all around the world. When I went out in my heat, it felt like the first time I ever competed in the National Circuit. Everything was new!

PVBG:      What did you learn from that level of competition to help in future competitions?

Paulina:    I noticed that I need to improve my wave selection, because I saw how the other competetors were always catching the best waves.

PVBG:     How do you handle "flat spells" in the Caribe? 

Paulina:   I spend my time getting ahead in school, skating and indoor workout.(Paulina is in the eighth grade and studies online with a U.S. program. She maintains a GPA above 3.0) 

PVBG:     How do you and Camila stay connected to the community where you live?

Paulina:  The weekend before we left for the Central American Games we did an activity with ASEL and UCR designed to use art to promote keeping the ocean clean, by making sculptures out of garbage found on the beach. We do activities like that. Also we practice ballet. 

PVBG:    What do you love about being an older sister? (Paulina has a younger sister Rahel and little brother Arnel, both under 2 years old).

Paulina:   Cami doesn't call me a baby anymore, haha. I'm never bored because there is always interesting stuff to do. It's changed my life :)

Thank for your time, Paulina! Good luck with your goals, one step at a time. 

Paulina will compete next year starting in January 2017 on the National Surfing Circuit. 

Interview by Kate Hanley. @puravidaboardgear 

Special thanks to Jorge Russell and Fabian Sanchez of Surfing Nation for permission to use photos :) 









The 15th Annual Pura Vida No Pro: Sharing the Love of Surf and Serving Others November 05 2016 1 Comment

On Saturday, November 12th, the 15th annual charity event Pura Vida No Pro will take place at Hotel Pelican in Playa Esterillos Este. Fifty children of all ages will take a bus from the Hospicio de Huérfanos in San José early in the morning to spend a fun filled day at the beach. Greeted by a crowd of locals and visitors, they will participate in numerous activities like learning how to surf, creating art, playing soccer and riding horses.  John O'Toole, Event Director since it's inception in 2002, talks about how it all came about and the way it impacts the children's lives. He is no stranger to Costa Rica or serving others. Here is our interview with John. 

PVBG:  John, how did you first get involved with the Pura Vida No Pro? 

John:    Steve Sanchez and I started the event in 2002. The first year we did the Pura Vida No Pro (PVNP) at the Hotel Arenal Pacifico in Jacó and I have been the Event Director ever since. I am also in charge of a group of local and international volunteers that help the children of the Hospicio de Huérfanos de San José and their main facility where the children live called Albuerge Vista del Mar in Coronado (San José). We organize projects that improve the Albuerge including sponsoring a Physical Education teacher to give weekly P.E. classes to the kids. 

PVBG:  How did your connection come about with the Hospicio in San Jose? 

John:    In the 1990's and early 2000's I  owned Cabinas Las Olas, a  beachfront hotel in Playa Hermosa. In 2002, Giannina Coto Aviles was working for me as a manager. Her mother Marta was an educator for a private school in San José, and her students had done volunteer work with the Hospicio de Huérfanos de San José orphanage. Marta connected me with the director of the orphanage and the Pura Vida No Pro was born!!

PVBG:  What makes the day so fulfilling for the children? 

John:   They get a chance to surf the waves of the Pacific Ocean, an experience that maybe they never would've had the chance to do! They also get to enjoy a lot of love directed at them as volunteers play interactive games and activities all day between surf sessions. This is a chance for them to get out of their normal routine in San José and enjoy the sun and the sand.

PVBG:  What kind of connections do you see form throughout the day between a sponsor and the child he or she is paired with? 

John:    The child must completely trust a volunteer and, when that trust is established, there is a special bond because this may be the first time the child has ever gotten to be in the ocean. The volunteers get a lot out of the event because they may have never had the chance to help at risk youth before or do charity work.

PVBG: How can people sponsor a child?

John:    Sponsoring a child is a $50 donation per child and can be made through pay pal  at Hearts of Stone's website . Hearts of Stone is the 501 (c) 3 charity organization in the U.S. that is our main sponsor. This donation is tax deductible in the U.S. To donate in Costa Rica anyone may contact me by email at 

PVBG:  Have you always had a heart for helping less fortunate youth and, more specifically orphans?

 John:    I went to a Jesuit (Catholic) high school and a Jesuit university, and part of the Jesuit education is doing charity work for the less fortunate.  I have done volunteer work with at-risk youth in Phoenix, traveled to Mexico and interacted in poor communities and worked with Vietnamese refugees in Northern California near Santa Clara University where I went to school.

In 1997 some members of the Playa Hermosa community and I organized the Ola de Esperanza (Wave of Hope) which benefitted a local boy named Ricardo who suffered from birth defects. The connection between the positive energy of the sport of surfing and bringing that to kids that otherwise may never see the ocean, is a strong one and opens doors to kids looking up to the volunteers who can become mentors and inspirations.  

 PVBG:   Besides sponsoring a child, what are some other ways people can help the PVNP and some other projects you are involved with? 

John: People can join the Pura Vida No Pro Group Page on Facebook or send me an email to get on the data base. We are continually doing projects at the Albergue Vista del Mar in San José, and need volunteers to go there for the day to help with these improvements of the facility (we have remodeled the library, repaired the gym and painted the houses).    

We also bring groups of volunteers to the Albergue to interact with the kids with games and activities. Additionaly, we support the children of the Hogar Montserrat, a day care and educational facility in Puntarenas run by the amazing Sister Daisy, organizing projects to improve their lives. We have a wheel chair donation drive going where we bring used wheel chairs from the U.S. with the help of Ocean Healing Group (based in L.A.) and give them to the Hospital de Niños in San José. Contact me for any information, as well as to make donation to the children. 

Event Directors Steve Sanchez and John O'Toole with local pro surfer Gilbert Brown at the 2003 PVNP

There you have it: there are many ways to help serve others when you have a servant's heart. We hope to see you at this year's Pura Vida No Pro! If you can't make it, you can still help a child with a donation or choose any of the other projects to contribute to. Thanks, John, for everything you have done and continue to do to create opportunities to better the lives of children here in Costa Rica. 

John would like to thank all the volunteers, the people who come to support the event, and also all the local businesses who donate prizes every year for the PVNP raffle. The event could not exist without the support of the community. 

Pura Vida :)  

 All photos provided courtesy of John O'Toole and Kate Hanley. 

Article by Kate Hanley @puravidaboardgear 



Entrevista con John O'Toole, Director del evento Pura Vida No

PVBG:    Cúal año empezó el evento de Pura Vida No Pro y estuviste alli desde el prinicipio?

John:      Comenzé el evento con Steve Sánchez en 2002, el primer año que hicimos el PVNP en el Hotel Arenal Pacífico de Jacó. He sido Director del Evento desde entonces y también estoy a cargo de un grupo de voluntarios locales e internacionales que ayudan a los niños del Hospicio de Huérfanos de San José y su principal instalación donde viven los niños, el Albuerge Vista del Mar en Coronado José). Organizamos proyectos que mejoran el Albuerge, incluyendo el patrocinio de un profesor de Educación Física que aparece allí semanalmente para impartir clases de educación física a los niños en el Salón Multi Uso.

PVBG:   Comó conociste (la primera vez) al Hospicio de Huérfanos de San Jose?    

John:    En los años 90 y principios de los años 2000 yo era dueño de Cabinas Las Olas, un hotel para surfers en Playa Hermosa.  En 2002 Giannina Coto Aviles trabajaba para mí como gerente. Su madre, Marta Aviles, fue educadora de una escuela privada en San José, y sus alumnos habían trabajado como voluntarios en el orfanato Hospicio de Huérfanos de San José. Marta me conectó con el director del orfanato y el Pura Vida No Pro nació! 

PVBG:   Por qúe es tan importante y satisfecho este dia a la playa para los niños y jovenes? 

John:      Tienen la oportunidad de experimentar una actividad que tal vez nunca hubiera tenido la oportunidad de hacer - jugar en las olas del Océano Pacífico. También pueden disfrutar de mucho amor dirigido a ellos como voluntarios hacen juegos interactivos y actividades con ellos durante todo el día entre sesiones de surf. Esta es una oportunidad para salir de su rutina normal en San José y disfrutar del sol y la arena.  Al final del día les presentamos bolsas de regalos para que vuelven a San José con unos recuerdos bonitos.

PVBG:  Siempre tenías un corazón para ayudar los jovenes desafortunados y los huérfanos?

John:    Fui a un colegio jesuita (católica) y una universidad jesuita, y parte de la educación jesuita está haciendo trabajo de caridad para los menos afortunados. He hecho trabajos voluntarios con jóvenes en riesgo en Phoenix y en Mazatlan México donde interactué en comunidades pobres, además trabajé con refugiados vietnamitas en el norte de California cerca de la Universidad de Santa Clara.

En 1997 unos locales de Playa Hermosa y yo organizamos un concurso de surf de caridad llamado "La Ola de Esperanza" (Wave of Hope), que benefició a un chico local se llama Ricardo, que sufría de defectos de nacimiento. La conexión entre la energía positiva del deporte de surf y llevar eso a los niños que de otra manera nunca puede ver el océano, es fuerte y abre las puertas a los niños mirando a los voluntarios que pueden convertirse en mentores e inspiraciones.

PVBG:   Además a patrocinar o "sponsor" uno de los niños, cuales son algunas otras maneras que la gente podria ayudar?

John:      La gente puede unirse a la página de Pura Vida No Pro Group en Facebook o enviarme un correo electrónico para obtener la base de datos ( Estamos continuamente haciendo proyectos en el Albergue Vista del Mar en San José y necesitamos voluntarios para ir al Albergue para el día para ayudar con estas mejoras de la instalación (hemos remodelado la biblioteca, reparado el gimnasio y pintado las casas). También hacemos días voluntarios allí cuando traemos grupos de voluntarios al Albergue para interactuar con los niños con juegos y actividades.

Apoyamos a los niños del Hogar Montserrat, una guardería y centro educativo en Puntarenas dirigido por la sorprendente hermana Daisy, organizando proyectos para mejorar sus vidas.   

Además contamos con una unidad de donación de sillas de rueda donde traemos sillas de ruedas usadas de los Estados Unidos con la ayuda de Ocean Healing Group (con sede en L.A.) y las damos al Hospital de Niños de San José.

Póngase en contacto conmigo para cualquier información, así como para hacer donación a los niños.

Gracias a todos los voluntarios, los sponsors, los negocios que donan premios cada año para la rifa --- sin todos de ustedes el evento no puede existir! 





Diego Naranjo: Surfista Apasionado con un Visión Mundial October 22 2016

Diego Naranjo tiene 35 años con 26 años de surfear. Nacido y crecido en Playa Jacó, Diego pasó 25 años de competir.  
Recientemente, Diego fue el productor general del evento profesiónal WQS 3.000 Esencial Costa Rica Open Pro que corria en Playa Esterillos Este el 5 hasta el 9 del octubre. Tomó tiempo para hablar sobre este evento masivo, unos detalles de su experiencia profesiónal, y tambien el problema de los cocodriles en él mar. Diego Naranjo es un surfista apasionado por el crecimiento y progreso del surfing en Costa Rica, con un visión mundial. 

PVBG: Describe uno o dos momentos inolvidables en su carrera de surf?

Diego: Creo que de los momentos más inolvidables de mi carrera, son la primera vez que gané un torneo en la categoría junior con tan solo 15 años y cuando me di cuenta que ya era profesional, por qúe estaba viviendo 100% del surf .

Tambien cuando gané mi primera competencia internaciónal contra un montón de pro, el Quiksilver Pro Costa Rica, 2004.        

PVBG: Explica lo que haces ahora....

Diego: Bueno, ahora tengo varios sombreros en mi vida, gracias a Dios todavía me pagan por surfear!! Soy el presidente de la companía Orange Wave que es una productora de eventos especializados en surf. Fui principalmente el contest director del QS 3000 aquí en Costa Rica. 
También soy el único Surf Coach 100% profesiónal de centroamérica, capacitado en El Centro de alto rendimiento de Red Bull en Los Angeles, California y tengo una escuela de surf que se llama Costa Azul. 
Dandole consejo durante un sesión como Surf Instructor
PVBG: Quienes son unos de los surfistas naciónales que has entrenado? 
Diego: Entre los surfistas con los que he trabajado son: Magnum Martinez, Noemar Mcgonagle, Leilani Mcgonagle, Sebastian Williams, Paola Duarte
(Rodriguez), Joseph Mendez, Aldito Chirinos y Axel Castro entre otros.
PVBG: Hablamos sobre el evento WQS 3.000. Comó consiguió permiso para producir un evento de este nível aquí en Costa Rica? 
Surfista profesional de Australia, Ethan Ewing. Photo: Johan Pacheco
Diego: Orange Wave es una empresa con Walter Brenes y fue la empresa que compró la licencia de la WSL para poder producir el evento. La principal idea de realizar eventos aquí era para poder darle la oportunidad a los chicos de que puedan competir aquí mismo en su país, con sus olas y su público. Así ellos puedan ir haciendo puntos.
PVBG: Porque fue elegido Playa Esterillos Este para el evento? 
PVBG:  El evento fue interrumpido por uno o más cocodrilos....
Diego:  El tema de los cocodrilos es una problemática de Costa Rica que se viene dando desde hace ya más de 15 años. Hay estudios que indican que hay una sobre población de este animal.
Teníamos un grupo de salvataje acuático De la Cruz roja nacional y ellos hicieron un excelente trabajo, poniendo en práctica el protocolo de seguridad establecido por nosotros como organizadores y ellos como especialistas.
 PVBG:  El co-founder del evento, Walter Brenes presentó una demanda contra el gobierno (MINAE?)
Diego: En mis primeros 10 años de surfing nunca vi cocodrilos en el mar. Este no es el habitad natural del cocodrilo como mucha gente cree.Nosotros no queremos que acaben con la especie, pero si que la mantengan controlada.
En dos ocasiones estuvimos muy cerca de tener ataques a los competidores y eso hubiera muy mal visto en un evento marca país!
La demanda que va a realizar mi socio Walter es para que hagamos conciencia y entre todos busquemos una solución. 
Silvana Lima de Brasil, "fins out". Photo: Johan Pacheco
PVBG: Un momento del evento Essential Costa Rica Open Pro que fue especial para vos? 
Diego: Bueno creo que el momento más especial para mí fue cuando vi a la mayoría de los medios de comunicación especializados en surf trabajando juntos por una misma causa. Y eso me demostró que si podemos todos trabajar juntos y sacar adelante este deporte!! 
PVBG: Conocia nuevos surfistas?
DiegoHay muchos surfistas nuevos de todas partes del mundo, pero me impresionó mucho Ethan Ewing y muchas chicas sobre todo ahora tienen mucho nivel.
Ethan Ewing, con la sonrisa de victoria. Abajo: Los dos campeones.

PVBG:  Hay planes para otros eventos de clasificación WQS aquí en Costa Rica? 
DiegoLa idea es seguir trabajando para que ese evento se pueda seguir dando. 
Un evento es exitoso si llegan los mejores atletas del mundo, si tenemos buenas olas y sobre todo si hay buena cobertura de la prensa. 
Y creo que en ese sentido nuestro evento ha sido el más exitoso en la historia de nuestro país.
PVBG: Gracias por todo tu tiempo, Diego y Díos te bendiga y todo lo que estás haciendo para siempre mejorar el surf de Costa Rica. 
Diego: Agradecerte por la entrevista y que viva el surf y que viva Costa Rica!
Diego Naranjo, todavia disfrute surfear en casa en su tiempo libre. :)

Todas las fotos cortesía de Diego Naranjo; Surfing Photos por Johan "Blackie" Pacheco @johanpacheco
Follow Diego @mrnaranjjj on instagram. Orange Wave @orange_wave 
Entrevista por Kate Hanley @puravidaboardgear 


Kiwi in Flight: Paige Hareb's Impressive Run at Costa Rica's WQS Open Pro October 11 2016

New Zealander Paige Hareb is no novice to professional surfing. If you hadn't seen her surf before, it was evident this past week at the World Qualifying Series Essential Open Pro in Playa Esterillos Este. Twenty six year old Paige, a natural goofy footed surfer with an impressive backside snap finished fifth overall at the WQS 3000 event. She soared through the early rounds with seemingly effortless high scoring waves to land a spot in the quarter finals. As fate would have it, Paige was matched against former ASP competitor and rival spanning several years, Silvana Lima in an exciting heat. Although the 6 plus wave Paige needed with minutes remaining alluded her, Paige's overall performance was eye-catching. As the two surfers rode waves in at the buzzer, the low key, classy kiwi put out her hand to congratulate Silvana, who eventually went on to win the final against Pauline Ado of France. Paige stayed to watch the semi's and the finals from under the competitor's tent.

Paige is a kiwi through and through, from Oakura, New Zealand, a little town by the sea with "lots of good surf." Originally encouraged by her father, Paige began surfing at six year's old but also participated in other sports like soccer, basketball and skiing when she was older. Eventually her love of surf surpassed the rest and after capturing a spot on the World Surf Tour at 18 in 2008, there was no turning back. Paige said YES to the opportunity to travel all over the world, surf internationally acclaimed breaks while competing against the world's best surfers.

After six years on the tour, Paige is vying for a comeback spot for 2017 and has worked her way into a good position to accomplish that. 

Paige in Playa Esterillos Este after securing a spot in the women's quarter finals.

It's Sunday night, the event is over. After a run on the beach with her Mom riding beside her on a cruiser, Paige hit the surf for a sunset session. It has been a full day. Now Paige and her Mom, Fiona, are relaxing over dinner at the Hotel Pelican in Esterillos Este. We have a chance to chat in an atmosphere charged with good vibes and energy from some of the other surfers, WSL judges and guests. I am impressed by Paige's laid back personality and disposition and ask her about it. Her Mom and her share a smile. "I think she has always been kind of like that."  Paige says she prefers to stay low key. 

Used to accompanying Paige on her tour events since the beginning, her parents are an integral part of her support team. "She was so young," her Mom explains, " when she first started; she couldn't rent a car." When both parents can't go, at least one will be present. It's obvious there is a good bond there. Fiona and Paige share a dessert. 

PVBGWhat do you miss about New Zealand when you’re on the road?

Paige: Friends and family for sure. And the breaks; there is never more than ten people.  (Her Mom thinks she is going to say the coffee, but Paige says that the coffee is actually pretty good in San Clemente, CA.)

Paige has had a base in San Clemente during the last four or five months while being on the road so much.  "It’s a good base."  She stays with friends and has a coach there. They keep in touch during contests.

PVBG: Something you love about Costa Rica? Favorite food? 

Paige: I like the people and the pura vida vibe. Mahi mahi casado.

PVBG: Have you been here before? 

Paige: Actually several years ago (2012) I was invited to do a surf video called 3 Killas y un Kiwi; it was a lot of fun, filmed in Playa Negra with Sofia Mulanovich and some other girls. ( Ornella Pellizzari, Simone Zea)

Photo credit: Volt Surfwear (2012)

PVBG: What do you like to do on lay days?

Paige: Ride bikes on the beach with my Mom... it depends where I am really and who I'm with. I like to travel with the other girls. At the Pantin Classic in September (Paige finished third overall) I went to Norway to go surfing with another girl, and also to London. I like to explore. Also, I started studying online to be a personal fitness trainer so I spend time on that as well.

Enjoying a visit to Cuba recently with her parents, Paige shares some stoke with this potential grom. 

PVBG: Favorite contest moment for you on Tour? 

Paige: Definitely Margart River Pro 2008. (Paige won the women's final that year)

PVBG: What do you think about this break, Este?

Paige: It's a bit of a tricky break. It was nice; we had waves the whole time.

PVBG: A surfer that inspires you and why?

Paige:  Steph Gillmore and Carissa, Steph because she's so well rounded and balanced;Carissa, her surfing is amazing and she's the nicest person ever. 

Paige flashes a winning smile.

Next stop on the WQS tour will be the White Buffalo Women's Pro in Kamogawa, Chiba, Japan. 

**The kiwi is the national bird of New Zealand and also the name that is used internationally for people from there. It is a flightless bird. Paige is a kiwi continually mastering her flight skills, enjoying the ride along the way. 

Thanks for your time and good vibes, Paige! Wishing you the best. 

Follow her on Instagram @paigehareb 

Article by Kate Hanley @puravidaboardgear

Surfing photos provided by Paige Hareb, Photo credit to @rickyrkphoto taken at Lowers, Trestles, San Clemente, CA









Twenty Three Years Young, Two Surfer Girls Pursuing Their Dreams October 07 2016

Costa Rica is the host of this week's WQS 3,000 point event, Playa Esterillos Este is the site. Already in its third day, both national and international surfers are competing for points to eventually gain a berth on the World Surfing Tour. The peaceful, laid back vibes of the Costa Rican south pacific town combined with a moody but powerful beach break is proving to be the perfect atmosphere for a surfing event of this level. The event was, however, cut a little short today due to the sighting of a crocodile in the mid-break, according to Bill Seitz, one of the WSL judges here. "It was handled really well," says Jeremy Saukel, another judge. "The best water patrol I've ever seen." 

Recently we caught up with two surfers staying up the street from the contest at Hotel Pelicano, host of the World Surf League judges, their families and some of the competitors. Both surf girls are twenty three, goofy foot, with college degrees and both pursuing the same dream. 

Brooke Daigneault of Huntington Beach, California and Kayla Durden of Jacksonville Beach, shared some time with us on a rainy lay day to talk about their year, the challenges of competing at a professional level, and what they love about Costa Rica. 

Brooke and Kayla understand the healthy balance of competition and fun.

PVBG: Who are you here with and what do you think of the break? 

Brooke: My Dad. I like it, it’s really fun. It’s a lot like home. I like it out front of Pelicans, actually. 

Kayla:  My Mom. I love it, it's a lot like home, just bigger. A brutal paddle out, fast and dumpy beach break. 

PVBG: Is this your first time in Costa RIca?

Brooke: I came when I was 13 with my family. We went to Tamarindo, Ollies Point, Witches Rock. I was new to surfing then; my Dad and I were looking forward to coming back down.This is our first time in this part of Costa Rica. 

Kayla: I've been to Nosara and Tambor multiple times for fun. This is my first time for an event in CR.

Brooke, charging this Este left. 

 PVBG: This is the first year competing in QS events. How is that going for you? 

Brooke: Tough year. Frustrating because of the losses but amazing experienes and I’m working hard at following my dream. The whole pro tour is more heavy than people realize. Being in different environments, adjusting, you want to do well 'cause you travelled so far so you put pressure on yourself. I feel like I’m starting to get used to it and each trip helps. I’ve been most comfortable here so far because the wave reminds me of home. I love staying right on the beach.

PVBG: What is a break you haven't surfed that you would love to if you could? 

Brooke: Oahu, North Shore. 

Kayla: Restaurants in Fiji 

PVBG: How do you handle the pressure of competition? 

Brooke: Don’t overthink it.  Stay calm. Show people you know how to surf.

Kayla:  I always pray. Take super deep breaths.

Photo courtesy of World Surf League: Kayla Durden

PVBG: What helps you to relax before a heat?

Brooke: Stay a little more quiet. Take time to get in the zone. Visualize my heat.

Kayla: I like to watch, see where the waves are and put on some music and then go do it. Not think about it too much.

PVBG: Role model or person that inspires you? 

Brooke: (Surfer) Sage Erickson, she’s a friend. We met a year and a half ago. She’s come a long way to prove herself, she’s humble and super down to earth. She handles her schedule well, she’s really driven and her dedication is inspiring. She’s passionate and I connect to that.

Kayla: My Dad first got me into surfing and loves that I’m doing this. My coach/family friend back at home Mitch that has been coachiing me since I was nine.

PVBG: :What was a particularly proud surfing moment for you this year?

Brooke:  Going out in El Salvador, Punto Roca (WQS event). It was really heavy and I was really scared before my heat, It felt good to overcome that fear. 

Kayla: Making the quarter finals at the first (QS) event of the year. The Shoe City Pro. That was my goal and I achieved it. 

PVBG: Favorite local food? 

Brooke and Kayla: The plantains!! 

PVBG: How do you feel about this event and being here to compete in Costa Rica?

Brooke: I’ve been most comfortable here so far because the wave reminds me of home. I love staying right on the beach. It always feels like an honor to compete in another country. Its so gorgeous and everyone at Hotel Pelican, the staff and guests are super nice and friendly. And the waves are fun too!

Kayla:  I love the culture and getting to practice my Spanish! (Kayla has a minor in Spanish from University of North Florida). I love hearing different languages;there are surfers competing from all over the world and we're all here for the same passion. I'm impressed by how the event is being run. 

Brooke enjoying a beautiful sunset after surfing Este.

PVBG: Favorite quote or words to live by?

Brooke: Don’t let anything stand in the way of pursuing your dream or passion.

Kayla: Those who stand for nothing fall for anything.

Kayla will be moving on to Round 2 where she will compete against national champion Leilani McGonagle. Although she didn't pass to Round 2, Brooke will be cheering on Kayla, and for herself is looking ahead to January 2017's WQS event The Shoe City Pro, at her home break in Huntington Beach.

Good luck to all the girls and guys competing and a lot of Pura Vida vibes to all the competitors!! 

All photos provided by the families of both Brooke and Kayla; surf photo of Kayla by WSL. 









Romina Cejas, Artista Argentina con Corazón Pura Vida August 11 2016

Romina Cejas vió su primero desfile del Mundial ISA el viernes pasado en Jacó, el dia de Opening Ceremony. Fue un dia de mucho emoción y sentimientos estar en Costa Rica y ver tantos surfistas representando sus paises, llenos del sueños a ser campeones en "el pais de los campeones 2015!"

Esta artista Argentina talentosa y personable tiene un entusiasmo para la vida que brilla por sus ojos y la sonrisa cuando habla de sus pasiones. Su nombre completo es Paula Romina Cejas, pero "me llaman Romina" dice.  Encontró la felicidad que siempre habia buscado aqui en Costa Rica. Compartió un poco de su historia y su conexión a la tierra y mar que la inspiran. 

Cuanto tiempo tienes de vivir aqui en Costa Rica?

Hace 11 años visito Costa Rica, siempre por unos cuantos meses pero al fin del 2015, mi familia y yo decidimos mudarnos para cumplir el sueño del verano eterno....

Hace ya 11 meses que estamos viviendo en Playa Hermos de Jacó, mi marido, Santiago, nuestro bebe Noah, y yo.

De donde es? Soy de Argentina de San Fernando Provincia de Buenos Aires.

Como describes estar aquí en el momento que esta pasando el ISA Mundial de Surf en Costa Rica? 

Estar aquí en Costa Rica con el Mundial de fijo es una experiencia distinta ya que surfistas de todo el globo llegan para cumplir un sueño de ser campeones de su pais! 
Soy una surfista que no miro muchos campeonatos; me gusta el "soul surfing" pero a sido muy emotivo ver la bandera de Argentina en el desfile con el equipo de mi patria. Voy a ir a ver el Mundial; es posible que algún dia vaya a ver para mostrarle a mi bebé como juegan los grandes. 

Explica la forma de arte que hace.

El estilo del arte según yo creo realista y impresionista, la tecnica preferida mia es el oleo; es la que me enseño mi abuela que es profesora de pintura. Tambien uso las fibras para pintar tablas y pintura para tela para las gorras.

Hace cuanto tiempo empezó a pintar?

Me dedico a pintar hace ya por 13 años al igual que el surf! Pero cuando tenia seis años tenia el deseo a pintar. 

Cual es tu punto de surf favorito?

Mi ola favorita es Terrazas (en Playa Hermosa.)

Como te inspiras esta región y Costa Rica en general? 
Lo que mas me inspira es ser feliz y siempre le decia a mi marido que en Costa Rica me siento tan feliz como viva, respirar el aire de aqui, correr estas olas calidas con fuerza del pacifico que llena de energía y nutre el alma. 
Me inspira mucho el mar y la naturaleza de Costa RIca, siempre digo que los tonos de colores aqui son tan luminosos! 
Cual es tu comida típica favorita?
La comida de Costa Rica me encanta, el casado de pescado con sus platanitos y arroz con frijoles. 
 Cuando no estas pintando ....? 

Cuando no pinto me gusta surfear pero tambien sacar fotos que luego uso para inspirarme. Sin duda, ahora uno de mis pasatiempos preferidos es jugar con mi hijo Noah que, gracias a Dios, mi trabajo me da la posibilidad de pasar tiempo con él. 

Explica lo que hace su esposo y el sentido a trabajar juntos. 
Mi marido es un shaper de su propia fabrica de tablas, SBSurfboards por hace ya 14 años. Hoy está trabajando aqui en la fabrica de Michael Price. Gracias a él , puede seguir haciendo lo que mas le gusta aparte de surfear -- shape boards! Gracias a Santiango yo puedo pintar tablas de surf antes de la laminación y despúes tambien tener la posibilidad de trabajar directamente con el shaper. Es bueno porque podemos personalizar cada una de las tablas. 
Romina, que te quisieras decir sobre este paraiso y a su linda gente? 
Gracias Costa Rica por tanto. Gracias y a seguir fluyendo con el ritmo del mar. Mucho salud, amor y paz para todos los seres.

Gracias Romina por tu tiempo y las buenas vibras. Nos vemos por El Mundial, por la playa y por todos los lugares que te inspiran. 

Para pedidos de "custom" tablas o pinturas contacta Romina por facebook en su pagina de Romina Cejas surf art.

Encuentra sus gorras en varios puntos de ventas por Jacó y sus pinturas al Green Room Cafe. 

Al Mundial, puedes encontrar su arte al toldo de Bombers Eyewear encima sus gorras. Pasa por alli para verlas y para sentir un sabor del talento de Romina :) 

English Version ~   by Kate Hanley

Romina Cejas is an artist living in Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica. Her complete name is Paula Romina Cejas, but "they call me Romina," she says. She is talented and personable with an enthusiasm for life that shines through her eyes and smile. She shared a little of her story during a recent visit, and her connection to Costa Rica.   

PVBG: How long have you been living here in Costa Rica? Where are you from? 

Its been 11 years since I visited Costa Rica, always coming for many months at a time, but at the end of 2015, my family and I decided to move here to fulfull the dream of an endless summer...

It's already been 11 months that my husband Santiago, our baby Noah, and I are living in Playa Hermosa of Jacó. 

I am from the San Fernando Province of Buenos Aires in Argentina. 

Describe being here in the moment that the World Surfing Games are happening in Costa Rica? How did the parade and Opening Ceremony impress you?
 To be in Costa Rica at the same time as the World Surfing Games, is a distinct experience; surfers from all over the world have arrived to fulfill a dream of being the World champions from their country! 
I am not a surfer who watched a lot of championships; I like soul surfing but   was very emotional to see the Argentinian flag in the parade with my country's team. I am going to watch the Games; it's possible that some day I'll go to see in order to teach my child "how the greats play."

Explain the type of art that you do.

I believe the style of art would be considered both realist and impressionist, my favorite medium is oil, it's what my grandmother who is a painting instructor taught me. I also use fibers for painting surfboards and fabric paint for hats. 

How long ago did you start painting? 

I dedicated myself to painting 13 years ago, equal to when I started surfing! But when I was six years old I had the desire to paint. 

 Which is your favorite surf break? 

My favorite wave is Terrazas (in Playa Hermosa).

How does this place Playa Hermosa and Costa Rica in general inspire you?
What inspires me the most is to be happy and I always said to my husband that in Costa Rica I feel so happy, like alive, to breathe the air here, chase these quality waves with the strength of the Pacific that are full of energy and nurture the soul. 
The ocean and nature of Costa Rica inspire me a lot, I always say that the tones of colors here are so bright! 
What is your favorite typical (Costa Rican) dish?
I love the food of Costa Rica, the "casado" of fish with its plantains and rice with beans.
When you're not painting.....?

I like to surf but also to take photos that later I use to inspire me. Without a doubt, now one of my favorite things to do is play with my son Noah which, thanks be to God, my job gives me the possibility of spending time with him.  

Explain what your husband does and the feeling of working together. 

My husband is a shaper of his own factory of surfboards, SBSurfboards for already 14 years. He is working here in Michael Prices' factory. Thanks to him, Santiago can continue doing what he loves to do the most apart from surfing - shape boards! Thanks to Santiago, I can paint surf boards before the lamination and after have the possibility of working directly with the shaper. Its great because we can personalize each one of the boards. 

Romina, what would you like to say about this paradise and to its beautiful people?

Thank you for so much, Costa Rica. Thank you, and keep flowing with the rhythm of the ocean. Much health, love and peace for all human beings. 











Meet Charli Jo Meek July 04 2016 2 Comments

Charli Jo Meek is an 18 year old competitive surfer from Texas who has spent the last four years living in Playa Dominical. Enthusiastic and personable, this young lady is currently ranked sixth by the Federación de Surf Costa Rica in the Open Women's category on the National Surfing Circuit (Circuito Naciónal de Surf - CNS). Aiming to become an international professional surfer, she has set the bar high for herself. Recently Charli shared some of the challenges and struggles of being a student and athlete, her love of Costa Rica, her faith, and how instrumental her family has been on this incredible journey. 

Q: Describe your first moment surfing: where were you, the wave, the feeling…..

I was 12 years old and living on the island of Port Aransas, TX at the time. One day the next door neighbor’s kids invited me to go surfing with them. I paddled out on an eight foot soft top board. The waves were barely 1 foot high so it was perfect day for surfing the first time!  When I caught my first wave, I stood up with my feet together, my arms straight up in the air, squealing with joy, and eventually rode the fins into the sand and fell off. I was doing it completely wrong and the wave was a foam ball that was barely 1 foot high, but I will never forget the feeling. I felt the whole world had stopped and It was just me and the wave in that exciting moment and I never wanted it to end... To this day, that is the feeling I still get every time I ride a wave.

Q. Regular or goofy? 


Q. What are the biggest challenges you face as a student and an athlete?

My biggest challenge as a student is not getting distracted when I am supposed to be studying. I find myself thinking about the waves, or my next contest, or what’s for lunch, when I should really be focusing on my studies!

My biggest challenge as an athlete is that almost all of my other competitors started surfing between 3 and 8 years old. When I was living in Texas, I was always moving round to different towns and ranches so surfing was never much of an option until I moved to Costa Rica. I've had to try to cram 10 to 15 years of surfing experience into about 4 years to catch up with the other girls. It has been a lot of hard core training in and out of the water, but it has been worth every minute of it.  

Q. When you’re not surfing, you love to….. ?

Setting training aside, I enjoy spending time with my friends and family and playing with my dog, Minnow. I also love playing guitar, skating, wake boarding, cooking and, when I am in Texas, I do a lot of recreational archery.

Q. Your sister (Lady Meek)  also surfs and competes. What is that like?

Having my sister as my competitor has it's ups and downs. But mostly ups haha. It can be frustrating when we get matched up together in a heat, and we have to battle it out against each other. There are times when we argue over where we should go surf, or who caught the better wave but over all I wouldn't trade it for the world. I love having my sister there in the water with me. Surfing has formed a closer bond between us than we ever would have had without it. Whether it's the pressure of competing, getting pounded by a huge set, or an extreme adrenaline high, she always knows exactly what I'm going through.

Q. How has competitive surfing become a family affair? What does that family support mean to you?

When they see me succeed, they tell me they feel like the whole family is succeeding. We are a team; we always travel together, they come to almost every contest and cheer me on in every heat. It means the world to me.There is no way I would be able to do this without them. It has definitely made us closer as a family. 

(Family includes Dad, Joel Meek, Mom Christina Ballard Meek, and sisters Lady, 15, and Chace, 13)


Q. Favorite break?

My favorite break is Little Hawaii in Avellanas, the waves are super fun there when they are big.

Q. Most inspirational surfer?

My sister, Lady. She has had some severe health issues that have caused her to spend several months at a time out of the water. But she never gives up. She keeps cross training on the land and always keeps her spirits up about everything. My sister’s attitude and her constant determination to get back in the water is a true inspiration. I feel like I can conquer anything the surf throws at me because of her.

Q. If you could be surfing any wave anywhere in the world right now, it would be…?

Skeleton Bay. Barrelzzzz 

Q. One of your proudest surfing moments?

When I made my first final in the national circuit. It was in Santa Teresa in 2015. 

Q. One of your goals is to be a professional surfer in a few years. What are some steps you are taking to accomplish that?

I am training very hard everyday. I am putting a 100% effort into everything I do each day to make myself the best athlete I can be. My immediate goal is to be one of the top 3 ranked surfers in the Open Women's category in the national circuit next year. Eventually I am striving to compete in QS tournaments around the world. I am dreaming of one day making it on the world tour and eventually the big wave world tour as well.

Q. Who are some of your favorite surfing buds?

My favorite surfing buds are my Papa, Lady(my sister), my girl friends from Pavones, Shrimpy, and all the Domi locals.


Q. What do you absolutely love about Costa Rica being your home?

I love pretty much everything about Costa Rica and feel very proud to be able to be a part of this incredible country.  My favorite thing here is the variety of different waves; there are beach breaks, reef breaks, point breaks, river breaks, and just about any other break you can think of. Big, small, soft, heavy, crowded, not crowded, and perfect barrels.

Q. Favorite typical Costa Rican food? Favorite local restaurant?

Casado with chuleta y cebolla. My favorite restaurant is Café en Sueños in Playa Dominical! I eat there all the time after surf.

Q. Have there been any challenges in being accepted here, not being a native of Costa Rica?

At first, it was a little difficult to make friends here because when I first moved to Costa Rica, I didn't speak any Spanish. But now that I speak Spanish, I feel that I fit in here great! I love the locals and the Pura Vida vibes here in Costa Rica. I feel very accepted and the local surfers are some of my closest friends!


 Q. Costa Rica has given you so much opportunity in the way of contests, some of the best waves in the world,   how do you give back to your community, to this country that makes you proud to represent?

I have done some missionary work here. A few times each year, mission teams come down from the states to share the word of God, and I am their English/Spanish translator. When there are no mission teams here, I try my best to be a good Christian example and share the love of God in and out of the water. In the future, I am hoping to have the opportunity to get more involved in missionary work here in Costa Rica. I am very excited about this and there is no telling where He will lead me next. 


All photos courtesy of Charli Jo's family.

Surfing Nation Photo at Playa Negra by Fabian Sanchez. Bottom surfing photo by Joel Meek at Playa Santa Teresa. 

Munn Productions photo by Taylar Munn. 


Brittany Marie: Chasing Big Waves and Dreams on Hawaii's North Shore April 02 2016

Brittany Marie (Brittany Gomulka) is a twenty nine year old big wave professional surfer and our new team rider/ambassador living on the North Shore of Hawaii. Originally from New Jersey, she grew up surfing the cold stormy waves of the Jersey Shore and, wanting to push her limitations and craving bigger surf, she made the decision to surf the more powerful waves in Hawaii.

This decision was realized after meeting native Hawaiian Sturmar Ahsing who believed in her abilities, sense of awareness, and began to train her on the outer reefs of Oahu.

"Once I began surfing in this way, I fell in love with surfing all over again."  

She began to work hard at building a community that supports more coverage of women surfing big waves and future competitions to offer other talented professionals the opportunity to perform, earn sponsorship, prize money, and recognition for this exciting genre in women's surfing.


Photo: Bob Foster @foster_and_sons

Photo: Larry Haynes @fluid_vision

Favorite Hangout - My house! Or on a secluded beach away from everybody hahahahahaha

When im not training...  I work very hard waiting tables and bartending (a job i love) which keeps me fit and active. I'm constantly surrounded by many people on a daily basis at work so i enjoy finding solace at a quiet place outdoors such as the beach.

Big wave training tips...  I meditate, play in the ocean like going moonlight surfing!!! I do timed breathing drills, stretch on a daily basis, take long walks and surf or swim regularly to stay in shape.

Favorite Hawaiin food -  Fresh pounded poi and poke. Also lau lau is amazing too (pulled pork steamed in taro leaves).

Recently Brittany was chosen as one of seven female big wave riders to compete in "The Womens Expression Session" on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii. It was the first ever of its kind and held in heavy conditions with waves with twenty foot plus faces on March 6, 2016.  Competitors arrived at Haleiwa Harbor to be part of The Go Big Project 's television show.

The contest footage will all be included in the television production "Chasing Monsters," with plans to be broadcast around the world. To the surprise of the production crew, the competitors decided unaminously to split the prize money evenly. All the girls caught great rides, handled heavy wipeouts, hold downs and clean up sets. There were no injuries reported and no broken boards. :) 


Photo by Betty Depolito @bonzaibetty - Womens Expression Session surfers for The Go Big Project's up and coming TV show "Chasing Monsters" @thegobigproject

 Left to right: Brittany Marie, Polly Ralda, Silvia Nabuco, Raquel Heckert, Carly Wilson, Wrenna Delgado, Emi Erickson


"The Go Big Project isn't just a company, it's a force of nature, just like the storms that we follow. I couldn't be more proud of this team and I can't wait to show the world what we've been working on." says Miranda Winters, Partner and President of the Go Big Project, an award winning production company based in Los Angeles, CA.


Photo: @surfshooterhawaii Terry Reis. Brittany, holding her own.



Brittany teaching youth through the Borough of Seaside Park, New Jersey


Currently, Brittany and a group of professionals are organizing a campaign to hold an all women’s surfing competition at Waimea Bay, Oahu.

Recently they received the great news that the World Surf League is going to fund the event.

She says, "If you are interested in competing in this event, endorsing women’s big wave surfing, or becoming a sponsor in the future, please send a written statement to Please address  it “To Whom It May Concern” and include your full name and  hand written signature" Include any photos."


We are honored to have Britt representing Costa Rica's Pura Vida Board Gear on the North Shore; we love her passion and stoke!

You can follow her on instagram @surfgirlbrit. Also please like her facebook athlete page Brittany Gomulka to show your support. A big Aloha and Mahalo, Brittany!

Special thanks to @shannonreporting for providing some of the info about The Womens Expression Session and The Go Big Project. 

Brittany with Coach and life partner, Sturmar Ahsing 


All photos courtesy of Brittany Marie and the photographers mentioned above @surfshooterhawaii Terry Reis, @bonzaibetty Betty Depolito @fluid_visions Larry Hayne and @foster_and_sons Bob Foster. 

















Sharing the Gift of Transformation through Yoga: Melisa Cuetara and Silvina Cámara February 12 2016

Miami resident Melisa Cuetara was raised in Costa Rica and is Spanish by heritage. Ten years ago, she began to study and practice yoga; in 2010, she became a certified instructor. Her primary practice is Ashtanga inspired Vinyasa flow, featuring Power Yoga and Pilates. She is also a Reiki master and certified in Thai Yoga Body Work/Assisted Yoga. Four years ago, she began to do yoga retreats in beautiful international locations. Her most recent one was here in Costa Rica, returning to the country where she grew up to do a four day retreat "Connect With Nature" which included two yoga classes a day, meditation, silent walks and time for beach and sun.


Joining her in leading this retreat was Argentina born Silvina Cámara, who arrived in Miami, Florida in 1995 to pursue a singing career and record music for Disney World Studios. In 2001, after a life changing event, yoga became her greatest passion and new way of life. She became a power yoga instructor in 2007.

 We recently had the opportunity to talk on their last morning, sitting beachfront at the Backyard Bar and Restaurant in Playa Hermosa, CR. Here are some excerpts from the conversation.

PVBG: How did you two meet?

Melisa: Actually, the way we met was after I had broken up with my ex boyfriend and was super heartbroken. I've always been healthy without going to doctors; my brother told me, "You are going to heal through this girl that's amazing. She's a yoga instructor and you girls will become best friends."

 I went twice every day for nine months to cry and to do yoga. And I was healing. It was such a good transformation, and I let go with so much love. She was my inspiration to help others. I was doing real estate in Miami at that moment. I thought if yoga is a way to heal others I want to help others the way that I healed. So then I became a yoga instructor and we became friends.

PVBG: Silvina, your first passion was music and that led you to Miami...What genres do you prefer? 

Silvina: Pop, rock, mantras. I do originals: I like to sing covers, that's how I started --  in a little band, I was singing  covers.

PVBG: That's awesome. Do you watch the Voice and American Idol?

Silvina: Yes (smiling) Actually, I went to the Voice;  Usher is one of my clients…He took me to the Voice because he is one of the judges there,

I was dying to sing that day.. I realized I want to do this again

When I opened my yoga studio I stopped singing professionally, I miss it so much. But now as part of our yoga retreats we are considering to add sound healing because I sing mantras and I like to work with the voice. 

Melisa: She has a beautiful voice. 

Silvina: And Melisa is great at Thai body work. 

Melisa:  Thai body work is a deep stretch, it's assisted yoga. I'm not a massage therapist. So that's what I usually do in my private sessions and when I work with athletes of the NBA, professional tennis and soccer players. That's what they really want, they don't want a yoga class. It's a very good healing practice because you heal through touch. It's very important to have touch. In Thailand, Bali and all these places the people don't go to doctors. They go to get Thai body work.

 Our food arrives, typical Costa Rican breakfast of eggs and gallo pinto, along with toast and fresh local fruit. Silvina then gave thanks for the blessing of the food, nature, friendship, thanking the people who prepared the food, the farmers, the beautiful blessing of our meeting. She then says with emotion, "I love this place, I don't want to go!"

PVBG: Miami's a different world, verdad? You girls live in a different world in Miami. 

Melisa: My life is very healthy in Miami. I live in front of the beach and I go to yoga on my bike. I try to make my life as organic as I can. I appreciate Costa Rica, I love it; I lived here most of my life, for me Costa Rica is normal. It's my background, my nature.

Silvina: When I was younger, I used to have a lot of ambiton, like I need to be doing stuff like this and that continuously., I recorded my first album when I was 17, but I was doing too much too fast. But then something happened and I'm really happy being able to chill without getting anxious now. I really feel like I don't need anything more than I have. I really like it here…

 Melisa: The path is being able to enjoy everything and to have a balance. You can not go to extremes.

Silvina: We just live. People live like they are going to live forever.. We are lucky to be living the amount of years that we have lived…

Melisa: I don't feel my age, Silivina doesn't feel her age. …

Silvina: The moment you take life too seriously you get old. The way you feel inside is the way you look outside. The important thing is to keep playing. Keep singing, keep dancing… The things that create the anxiey and fear are the expectations… when people expect things to go a certain way; sometimes life has bigger things for us and we are just limiting ourselves. You know,, maybe your path is bigger, and you're not allowing it to manifest itself. You have to relax and then life happens. It comes to you.. You don't  pursue it like crazy.

Melisa:  When you make that silence with yourself is when you get all the answers. Because we are very used to listening to everyone and not to ourselves.  You have to be okay to be alone and make time for yourself.

Silvina: And I'm afraid for the new generations, the kids are on the phones and ipads continuously..  We need the eye contact, the sharing of the energy, the hug, the human contact, cultivating relationships.

Melisa: That's why I loved growing up in Costa Rica, because we would say "let's go play in the mango tree and let's get jocotes." And even our snacks were healthy-- mango with limon and sal, or papaya. If we wanted something sweet, we would have papaya with leche condensada. 

We depend on social media too much. You have to be aware of what are your weaknesses. I find even with myself I have to leave my phone, if not I will  have it in my hand, and be constantly checking with facebook, instagram, my email.. 

Silvina: We need to surf more (laughing) Everybody should surf and do yoga.

We couldn't agree more!

To find out more about classes with Melisa or Silvina, or how you can sign up for their next yoga retreat, check out Melisa's website at Follow her on instagram @melicuetara and @aleggingaday.

Silvina can be reached through her facebook page: Follow her on instagram @silvina_yoga.

Thank you, girls, for an amazing visit together and fellowship. We hope to see you next time in Costa Rica or perhaps in Miami :) 

All Photos provided by Melisa Cuetara, (Meli Yoga) and Kate Hanley of Pura Vida Board Gear




Paying it Forward: Carla Gallardo of ACOS Surfing Costa Rica January 17 2016 1 Comment

Nine years ago, at the age of twenty five, Carla Gallardo found herself praying for a different life. She talks about it candidly; softspoken and petite, Carla has an intensity you can feel when talking with her, she gives you her total attention.

"Estaba buscando algo y no sabia que era; I was looking for something and I didn't know what it was. I didn't love myself, I had low self-esteem," Carla explains.She was caught up in the "party lifestyle."

 "I went to a private school in San Jose with very priviledged peers. I never really felt like I fit in. After high school, I turned to a way of life that would eventually leave me feeling empty inside."

 "I was always mad, angry," she says. "I wanted to turn those feeling into good will, to change my way of thinking. I wanted to be clean, happy, cheerful."

She began a different lifestyle, one that included travel, surf and a move out of the city. It would take two years for the changes to take root and produce results Carla couldn't have imagined.  Through faith, a renewed love for surfing, and positive decisions Carla has risen to become a driving force behind  ACOS Surfing (the Costa Rican Association of Surf), an organization that seeks to give back to the communities it serves, while promoting professional surfing and inspiring young surfers.

We chatted recently at Bowies Point Restaurant, overlooking a well known break in Playa Hermosa where surfers and beachgoers enjoy the waves, "la vista" y "buena vibra"/good vibe.  

 PVBG:    Where are you from originally?

 Carla:     Tibas, San Jose. But I have lived near Playa Guacalillo for the past seven years with Victor. (Victor Arce, her partner of thirteen years.)

 PVBG:     How long have you been surfing?

 Carla:      I started surfing when I was twenty years old, but not consistently. I would surf Jaco and Hermosa; Victor and I would travel to different places, Tamarindo, Playa Potrero.

 PVBG:    Home Break?

 Carla:     Playa Guacalillo.

 PVBG:    Favorites international surfers that inspire you?

 Carla:      I admire Mick Fanning very much and Carissa Moore.

 PVBG:     What inspired you to pursue certification to become a surf contest judge?

 Carla:      I wanted and needed to know more about surfing. It has completely changed my surfing.

 PVBG:     What is the most difficult challenge of being a judge?

 Carla:      To overcome the barrier between being a judge and being a friend to surfers; it's called ethics.

 PVBG:     If you could surf anywhere in the world, where would that be?

Carla:     (smiling) Indonesia!

Torneo Campeonato Infantil 2015 at Pavones

 This past year ACOS Surfing teamed up with ALAS (The Latin American Surf Association) to be part of the Professional Latin Tour of 2015. They also started the Pro Surfing Tour 2015, with the second annual Ola Grande contest at the well known Roca Loca, a crazy right point break located between the beaches of Playa Jaco and Playa Hermosa. The second professional contest was the Billabong Fest, held in Playa Jaco in front of Morgan's Cove , which included a concert on the beach. The third and final contest of 2015 will actually be held in Isla Uvita in the Caribe on the 27th and 28th of February.

The Pro Tour series offers cash prizes to winners and draws an elite field of surfers. This year's 2016 Pro Tour will officially start in April or May with the Big Wave (Ola Grande) contest at Roca Loca; it will be the third annual and is a great venue for some spectacular wave riding.

Jason Torres at last year's Torneo Ola Grande at Roca Loca/Photo Kook World Productions

  ACOS also finished up their Campeonato Infantil series in 2015, a series of contests at various surf breaks throughout Costa Rica. This series is for kids up to and inluding 16 years of age. The last contest was held in Playa Jaco; competitors paid their inscription fee but were invited to a free Christmas party where they received gifts. On December 22, ACOS ended the year with a party for 65 kids from the neighborhoods of Bajamar, Cuarros and Guacalillo. The 2016 Kids Tour will start around the time the National Surf Circuit (CNS) ends, to avoid scheduling interference.

 Carla's passion is a driving force behind the success of ACOS Surfing, alongside her partner of thirteen years, Victor Arce.  It is an association with roots originally dating back to 1978. They rely on sponsors to keep going forward with their goals and to be able to give back not only to surfers but to the communities.

Carla Gallardo with partner Victor Arce

To find out more about the schedule for 2016 you can check the website at  

 Contact Carla directly with any questions or to find out about sponsorship opportunities at She will be glad to hear from you!

Thanks for your time and sharing a part of your "historia" with us! We wish both you and ACOS Surfing much success in 2016 and look forward to seeing you!! :) 

 Carla in front of Bowies Point Restaurant, Playa Hermosa, CR.

Photos courtesy of Carla Gallardo and Taylar Marie/Kook World Productions.