Surf Spot: Jaco Beach, Costa Rica
Jaco Beach Surfline: 3-4 ft. Light and variable west-northwest winds with smooth seas. Small long period swell from the southwest. 3ft @ 13s from SW (218). 1ft @ 6s from S (173). 1ft @ 11s from S (183). 1ft @ 5s from SSW (208).
Board: 8’6″ NSP surfboard.
Getting waves, paddling out, wiping out and experiencing the washing machine is all part of surfing. While anything other than getting waves have less appeal, they have their benefits – whether it is waking you up while you’re out at an early morning surf or toning your upper body with constant paddle outs. Today’s waves were particularly heavier than the last few days, with more sets and larger waves. While I’ve always prided myself in being a relatively good swimmer, it’s a question of how long you can hold your breathe under water and hop back on your board as soon as the waves mellow out. But while you’re out in the water, depending on where you are, you have two options to try to get past the washing machine.
The most important thing about always watching the ocean behind you is you never know when a wave is coming. Especially when it looks like it’s going to break farther back than you expect it to, so you paddle out as fast as you can to get over the wave before it breaks on you and takes you on a whirlwind of a washing machine ride.
Sometimes you never get to paddle out or realize that the waves are coming at you faster than you can paddle out, so you the next best thing to do is getting your body and your board under the momentum of the wave above the water as fast and as deep under as you can. By staying on top and letting the wave take you and your board back, can take you twice the effort and time to get back out to the break line. There are several ways to duck under with your board that I’ll talk about once I learn them all
While I got hit in the head with the surfboard today, the only sensation you truly feel after your session is the one where you catch the perfect wave. Today, I rode my longest wave in and could care less about the pain of the impact. Tomorrow, there is a swell coming in and a contest happening right on Jaco Beach where I can watch all the local Costa Rican surfers do their thing. Del Mar Surf Camp’s surf instructor, Josymar Fuentes is taking part and has been for the last few years – here’s to hoping he brings it home.