Day 2 in Costa Rica: Surfing Playa Negra
We slept in until 8:00am. Woke up, ate left over dinner, and realized how sunburnt we were. Our backs and calves were completely roasted. We sunscreened up (excessively) and drove out to Playa Negra. The report said it was breaking at 3-4ft and the tide would be at an all time low by the time we’d be out in the lineup, so we weren’t sure how the surf would actually be.
We stepped onto the beach and saw these fast, clean rights breaking nicely on the reef with about 6 surfers out. It looked really fun! We watched the waves for a good 15 minutes to find a good spot to paddle out, which we later decided was right between the dry reef and an exposed rock. We decide to go out and as we were paddling, a two-wave set rolled in and these perfect rights are just staring straight at us. The water was crystal clear and nott has hot as the day before, so it was more bearable to be out today. We sat in the lineup for a little and notice that as the waves came in, they rolled over this big rock about the size of two coffee tables.
It’s just shallow enough right over the rock when the wave comes that it serves as the perfect take off zone to position yourself pretty well at the peak. It almost reminded me of the rocks back home at Leo Carrillo. This wave wasn’t as straight forward because it was shallow at the takeoff, then it would get deep and slow down. When you let this wave build, it breaks over the reef and the wave gets really fast and hollow. This seemed to happen only for the bigger set waves, while the insiders were fast, small, and drivey the whole way.
After about an hour and a half, the other surfers paddled back in and we were the only ones left in the line-up. It was me, Michael, and another surfer from Brazil, Hicardo, who we became friends with. As the three of us traded waves back and forth, he told us how he’d been to Costa Rica three times so far. He told us about other spots that we might want to check out and mentioned how he and his friend were planning to rent out a boat to surf the well known Witche’s Rock in two days, which is a world class right hander that’s only accessible by boat, but doesn’t break all the time.
Michael and I had talked about going to Witche’s Rock while we were planning the trip, but decided to save money. Grinning ear-to-ear, Hicardo invited us to join him and his friend on the boating escapade if we agreed to split the cost. We told him we might join them depending on how we felt on Friday, since we’d be going back to Tamarindo and Langosta that day. We continued to surf and noticed that the waves were getting heavier and more hollow. Finally, when we paddled back in, we exchanged numbers with Hicardo so we would stay in touch.
Michael and I went back to town to grab lunch at the local cafe where we had their coffee, fish with rice, beans, salad, and plantains. It was delicious! The coffee was rich, a little sweet and just slightly bitter, but very smooth and tasty. I probably enjoyed the coffee more than the food, even though I was starving before eating.
After lunch we drove back to our Airbnb to get more sunscreen, but mainly to offload the GoPro footage from our second session. We got back to the beach and the winds were higher, onshore, the tide was up, the water was a little messy, but there were still waves and fun to be had.
We paddled out and straight away we could feel the fatigue from this morning. We would be sitting out in the lineup and because the tide was high, we weren’t expecting the big set waves that would break outside. So we ended up taking a couple waves on the head for the first 15 minutes of the session. We finally got to the lineup and Michael and I split the peak on a wave, him going right and I went left. The left was slow and chunky, not worth the next 15 minutes of straight paddling. Out of nowhere, another 4-wave set charges in our direction. At this point, we were dead. All the nonstop paddling and diving made us so exhausted that by the time we made it to the lineup, we decide we’d take one more and call it.
A 3-wave set came in, with the 2nd and 3rd being bigger, but I opted for the smaller 1st wave because I had good positioning on it and was over all the paddling. It was just big and fast enough to let me do one carve at the lip and that was satisfying enough to end the session. We agreed that tomorrow we’ll hit it hard in the morning until lunch when the conditions are clean, then find some other activity to do during the day instead of go out in messy Playa Negra.