Shaka Pura Vida

This past month, I had the amazing opportunity to surf a phenomenal surf spot not only once, but twice. Where might that be you ask? I am tempted not to tell y’all since the secret code between surfers is to not reveal their coveted surf breaks…but since this cat is already out of the bag thanks to the surf film The Endless Summer II and by the simple detail that it takes a long boat ride to get to this spot, I might as well tell you; this perfect right point break is called Potrero Grande, or more commonly known Ollie’s Point.

For my non-surfer friends/readers out there, a point break is a surf break where waves wrap around a point of land sticking out of the coastline, creating perfectly lined up waves that peel off down toward the inside of the point. Ollie’s Point got its name from Oliver North, the American Colonel who used a “secret” airstrip nearby to land weapons for the Contra rebel groups in Nicaragua. Ollie’s needs a swell coming from the right direction to really break. I have heard reports numerous times of surfers going to Ollie’s and finding other spots 5ft. The beauty of Ollie’s is that even if it is big, the wave is not going to pound you and it is not hard to paddle back out.

Wave Perfection

Anyway, Ollie’s Point is a popular surf spot for surfers visiting Costa Rica and locals as well…ironically it only took me two surf vacations and five months of living in Costa Rica to actually surf this beautiful spot. Logically, one would wait at least a month in between boat trips to Ollie’s, but when you go, you might as well go big and do two trips within a three week span!

My first trip up to Ollie’s was almost a month ago with some good friends visiting for Robert August’s annual charity event, Surf n Turf. I had mixed emotions about going; I was super excited that I was finally going to surf the infamous break, but at the same time afraid that I was not going to be able to “handle” it. After a 4:30AM wake-up call, an hour drive and another hour panga boat  ride, we finally arrived. When I first got a look at the break, I seriously thought, “This is it?!” The wind was already onshore at 8AM and the waves did not look like much. Little did I know, I was about to experience the magic of Ollie’s.

My friends and I paddled out and I soon found myself experiencing what everyone who surfs Ollie’s says: wave perfection. The waves were ~5-6ft on the set and even though the wind was onshore, every wave you could drop in, make a couple turns, do your thing, and paddle back out for the next one. Then, just when I thought that it could not get any better, around 1PM the wind switched to offshore and it got even better. Bottom line, I surfed my brains out, forgot that going left on a wave actually happens, and really was able to improve as a result of the quality waves that I was able to practice on.

Juan Diego stylin

Juan Diego stylin

Spending some time in the green room

Billy spending some time in the green room

Sam representing Endless Summer

Sam representing Endless Summer

Silvia about to get covered up

Silvia about to get covered up

Practice makes perfect

Practice makes perfect

Waiting for the Next Set

Waiting for the next set

Onshore but awesome

Party wave

Party wave

Sporting the hat

Photos courtesy of Chris Castillo

Well, life surfing after experiencing the wave machine that is known as Ollie’s was just not the same. So when my awesome boss Mr. Robert August suggested that our crew should take a trip up to Ollie’s two weeks later, I started rounding up the troops. This time, instead of driving to Playa Coco and then taking a small panga boat, I called Robert’s friend Rick to arrange our trip on his boat, the Rhino Charger, directly from Tamarindo.

Chop Chop

Boat trip to Ollie'sA couple days later, we hopped on the boat and after a two hour choppy boat ride, we arrived at Ollie’s. It was a priceless moment seeing Robert’s face light up as he took a look over at the waves…he had first surfed this wave in The Endless Summer II almost 20 years ago. There already were four boats and one catamaran there with 15 people out. However, after about an hour, the crowd started to thin out. The wind was offshore all day and the waves were beautiful…the sets were 6-8ft, with some fun waves in between.  Everyone got some really nice rides and we were all cheering each other on. After surfing for almost 4 hours, my arms were noodles and I happily (but slowly) returned back to the boat for a much needed nap!

RA with the wave of the wave of the day

RA with the wave of the wave of the day

Getting some

Taking the high line

If I only was a little smaller...

If I only was a little smaller…

Trying to be small

Photos courtesy of Diego Mejias

Ollie love

Loving life

Perfection x2

Photos courtesy of Mayan Koren

All in all, I could not have asked for more with two amazing trips, especially since Ollie’s does not always break. A special thanks to Chris Castillo, Mayan Koren, and Diego Mejias for capturing great photos of two days that I will always remember.

Pura Vida,