Land of Lefts Vol. II

At this point, traveling to Costa Rica to find waves just seems too obvious. Yet, like all two-week trips, you’re always leaving some decisions up to chance: Like the possibility of sacrificing waves at home for the unknown. Fortunately, when the “unknown” is one of the longest left point breaks in the world, there’s a bit more comfort there…

Basically, our friend Pat aka Party P, aka Father Pat, aka Ex-Pat was heading back down to the Rich Coast after a Winter home in Jersey. All offseason, Pat talked with the boys about some of his favorite sessions the Summer beforehand in Costa. Another friend Dinno, aka Johnny Calamari, aka DC, aka DeenCunt caught wind of Pat’s stories, and heard them parroted by myself and Andy after visiting Party P in Costa Rica just two years prior. Dinno was dead-set on a Summer siesta down in the land of lefts–it was hard to resist. One day hungover on the couch, Dinno called me and we bought a cheap one way to San Jose. In a similar stupor, Lukey Beans, aka El-B also copped up on a ticket… One way or another the three of us were making it down to see Pat and ride lefts.

After a hop, skip, jump, and a bunch of planning, we were soon getting picked up by Pat in his brand-new (2002) Jeep Cherokee (basically rich). Immediately, we met Pat’s chica Caro’s brother, Carlos. He was good vibes, and as a native Tico, showed the fellas how to crack open a fresh coconut.

We made it to our destination (missing some surfboards) in one piece. And it immediately started to rain… For weeks prior, the region had been hot, sunny, and mostly flat. In our past experience, the rain meant that swell was coming.

And that it did… Luckily, we were staying steps away from waves, and our normal life issues melted away. The only thing we were worried about was our ice cream staying cold. We got to share time with friends, saw faces we’d seen years prior in Costa, and also met some amazing new companions. Hanging around the hostel, we made new friends who were good at making gnocci, pizza, spreading cheer, and surfing to boot.

Back in Jersey, Dinno and Luke have caught a few fish over the years. So, they were immediately infatuated with the thought of going fishing along the plentiful Pacific Coast. I already understood that the Costa Rican wildlife was some of the most abundant and diverse on the planet. So, it made sense to book a charter and see if we could feed ourselves for the remainder of the trip.

We hooked up with Captain Christian by way of Alex Thompson who was a mutual friend, and photographer we worked with on the Rambler Surf Magazine. We joined Alex, Captain Christian, and his mate to go fishing off the Osa Peninsula. This day would forever be known as “dia del dorado.”

So, for the rest of the trip we ate the freshest Mahi known to man…

Mahi sashimi, mahi ceviche, mahi burgahs, mahi and eggs, mahi and potatoes… You get the drift–it was awesome.

Photo: Caro Solis

Having initially scored some swell, we looked on to the long range report. Something else was on the way–to Jersey. Would our worst fears be realized? Missing a hurricane on the East Coast makes one feel like a dunce, an idiot, a moron, a big fat piece of shit… So, instead of feel like that, we went surfing some more (thanks to Caro for documenting one special session).

Wednesday morning… I watched Lukey B roll away on a tardy Tico bus–he was headed home and the end of my trip neared too. At 6am, the waves were small, and I started to type away on my keyboard. Soon after, waves from Hurricane Franklin made all the way down to Costa, and onto my Instagram feed. The boys at home were getting barreled: Fuck.

Thursday morning! The forecast had been calling for swell to start filling into the point. Since we were on the 5-9 schedule, I rose early to check the surf. Unexpectedly, it was righteously clean and cranking. Shoulder high sets quickly turned to overhead, and bigger. For seemingly no rhyme or reason, one of the most memorable sessions was bestowed. And in classic fashion: No cameras.

My arms, my back, my neck, and my crack… It was hammock time. The rest of the trip continued in this fashion until it was time to follow Luke home. Dinno stayed back, and the swell picked up (again). I was drinking coffee in the San Jose airport looking at pictures from Pavones 🙁

In the end, both our worst nightmares and best dreams were realized. Even cooler, shit happened that we never expected–good stuff, weird stuff, bad stuff that didn’t end up being that bad. Everyone involved kept the stoke high by documenting the trip, offering their skills to the greater good of the group, and did well to not piss off any locals. Ahhh, all in a good trip. Thanks for following along–now go home and quit surfing!