Day 3 on Costa Rica: Thunderstorm Surfing in Costa Rica

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We woke up around 8:30 as usual, ate breakfast and headed out. The sky was covered with clouds today, and temps dropped about 5 degrees. The previous night we experienced light showers with thunder and lightning, so we expected it to be cloudy all day.

As we were walking to Playa Negra, we meet a family from Ontario who were also on their way to the beach. We find out that Mike and his family have been traveling all over Central America for the past ten months. It was cool to hear their stories while we walked to the shoreline.

We finally get to the beach and see the water was bumpy, winds were high, but there was still size and decent shape with a couple surfers out. We paddled out and saw lightning strike far out in the deep ocean directly in front of us. As we drifted in the lineup, we watched the thunderclouds to make sure they didn’t get any closer.

Out in the distance, I see this local paddle for a wave and as he stands up, I see lightning strike again. Hit the water with vigorous impact. It kind of spooked me, but it probably would’ve made for a cool photo.  We surf a couple waves, but they were hard to read due to the stormy conditions.

After surfing for around an hour we decide to grab lunch and check out a beach break called Avellanas that some locals had been telling us about. They said there was a river mouth about 500 meters north of the main break that tends to be uncrowded and good with an oncoming tide, so that’s what we searched for. After driving for an hour on intense roads, we get to the main break and walk up to the river mouth.


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The walk wasn’t worth it. We walk back to the main break, which was in front of a resort.  From the beach it looked like how Zuma Beach in California would break, so we felt comfortable and paddled out. Right away the waves reminded me of a 3-4ft day at Zuma, with 6ft closeout sets that would randomly come every half hour.

The open shoulders provided a fun, fast, short ride. After surfing for a little, we see Mike out in the water with his family. We paddled over to greet him and exchanged how our days went. I saw him take off on a wave and was actually impressed on how he surfed considering that he learned how to surf during the start of his trip. He dropped in and attempted to hit the lip and everything. I guess that happens when you travel Central America for 10 months and surf almost everyday. The tide began to fill up to the point that it was killing the waves, so he drove back to our place.

This was our last night in Los Pargos, so the plan for tomorrow morning is to surf Negra one more time, then head to Tamarindo, enjoy the town and bars, and of course, surf more spots!