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My Surfing Trips
Jaco, Costa Rica.
That's me against a beautiful backdrop of mountains at the cove of Jaco, Costa Rica.

My first opportunity to surf quality waves was in Costa Rica. I first traveled there for a week in March 2001. I went to visit my boyfriend, and we traveled all along the west coast of the country from Tamarindo in the north to Playa Hermosa, near Jaco. The waves in Costa Rica are excellent for learning and, though I was only there for 10 short days, I was able to improve a lot. In Florida, good surf only comes along every couple months and the best waves are during hurricane season, but in Costa Rica the waves are very consistent. They roll in somewhat slowly, rather than dumping on the beach like a lot of breaks on Florida's coasts.

My second trip to Costa Rica was during Spring Break 2002. A group of 13 of us flew over together, rented three small SUVs and traveled all over the country including the Carribean Coast and the rainforest, which runs down Costa Rica's center. In the rainforest we took a canopy tour, which involves gliding from tree to tree in a harness 100 or so feet above the ground.

Katie and I sit with Robert August
Katie and I share a board with Surf Legend Robert August at Ollie's Point, Costa Rica.

As thrilling as that was, nothing could beat the rush I got rising in the morning from my tent in Puerto Viejo and diving into some of best waves of my life. That was on our first day of the trip, and it only got better from there. The highlight was when a local Costa Rican, a "tico", took us in a small speed boat to an island called Isla Uvita, which boasts an impressive reef break. I mostly just watched, because reef breaks can be extremely dangerous if you wipe out, but it was still one of the best days of my life. We also traveled to a point break called Ollie's Point and had a chance encounter with Robert August, a surf legend, reknowned surfboard shaper and star of the popular Endless Summer surfing movies.

Walking out of the water after a surf session
That's me at Cocoa Beach, Fla., after a surf session. The break at Cocoa Beach pier, behind me, gets very crowded when the surf is up.

When I'm not jetting to Costa Rica, I have to settle for Florida's waves, but they can definitely be underestimated. I love to travel to St. Augustine, stay in a tent in Anastasia State Park and rise early in the morning to catch some waves. When there's a hurricane swell, they can be six to eight feet, but I usually stick to the two-to-three-footers. I mean I'm not that good!

Copyright 2003 Laura J. Davis
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