Day 4 in Costa Rica: Reef Dodging and Partying at The Crazy Monkey

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Today was our last day at Playa Negra, and we could tell it was going to be a good day because all the storm clouds had passed and the air was back to its usual 85 degrees.

As we walked out the house, our host said he checked the waves earlier this morning and it was glassy and pumping today! The only downside was that it was more crowded than the last couple days, but the line-up usually thinned out by the time the tide dropped.

We rush over to the beach and this was for sure the biggest we’d seen it break since we’d been here. Michael and I paddle out and coincidentally see our friends Hicardo and Italo again. They said the waves have been good all morning, but all the locals were a little more agro today.

It took a while for us to get a good wave because the locals tended to be in the right spot pretty much every time. We patiently waited, strategically picking the “sweet spot” and ended up getting some good rides. The low tide made the waves super fast and powerful, making it a great session. Once you drop in, you gain so much speed then the wave opened up for big turns on the open wall. From the start of your bottom turn to the end of your top turn, you can feel the wave just pushing back at you. If you weren’t pushing back hard enough, you’d probably bog a rail and ruin a perfectly good ride. If you stayed on long enough, you would probably get three good turns in, and as the reef got closer, you’d have to kick out or else you’d dry dock and everyone on the beach would see.

Nonetheless, there were a lot of playful walls to work with. This was probably classic Playa Negra.  There were outside bombs that seemed impossible to make, but you could always expect the locals to take off on them, even if it’s a close out.

On my last wave, I took the first wave of the set. It was slow at the start, so I carve and fade toward the white water to set up for when the wave would get shallow, but… I didn’t expect it to get shallow so fast. The wave hits the inside reef and hollows out and I could see the reef right under me through the crystal clear wall in front of me. It was beginning to close out so I straightened my board toward the beach so I wouldn’t get swallowed, but I did it too late that when the wave broke behind me, it launched me up from the water and my fin slammed against my leg.

When I surfaced, I saw just a small cut on my leg. My fins were still fine and I didn’t hit the reef, so all was good! I decided it was time to call it and paddle in.

Our last great session here was over, so we packed up and headed to Tamarindo. We check in at our hostel and met our host, Taylor, who is from San Diego, so instantly we got along. We talked about surfing in California and Taylor gave us tips about the other spots in Costa Rica. He said he surfed Langosta almost everyday and it was one of his favorite waves. That solidified our session there at the beginning of our trip.   

We also met two girls from Germany, a couple, and two other girls from Canada making it a total of three groups of people we’d meet from Canada. All in all, we knew we had a good group of people to hangout with. After talking, we tried to surf Langosta again, but it was messy and there was no clean shape to the waves.

Instead of going out for dinner, we went back to our hostel. Taylor was hanging out in the lounge area drinking Jaeggermeister. I commented on his alcohol choice and he was so stoked that I pointed it out as there we're very few Americans that crossed our path. He offered us shots and we drank is fatigued delight. Later at night, we played drinking games with our new friends then checked out a local roof top bar in the trees called The Crazy Monkey. It came to no surprise that Hicardo and Italo were hanging out there too since we always seemed to run in to them. Seeing familiar faces made it all the more fun. We drank, we danced, and had a good time in the town!