How to break your surfboard in half (and how to fix it)

Yes, the unthinkable happened. The only bright side is that it prompted our dear friend Shaun to write another post…
I may not know surfing...but I think it's supposed to be in one piece.

I may not know surfing…but I think it’s supposed to be in one piece.

Well today is a day I would rather forget. I hardly got any sleep last night thinking about my surf the next morning. I was going to be all over the lefts and was so excited. Consequently I got a terrible sleep, but whatever, I checked the beach first thing and it looked good. Winds were even slightly offshore. I went out at low tide when it is supposed to be quite good at Santa Teresa.
It wasn’t all that crowded either and I was stoked. I got a couple smaller waves right away. It was a nice little warm up. It seemed the smaller ones had better shape to them and you had to be quite selective with the bigger waves as they would often close out.
I was sitting in a sparce line up as a set came in, and I wasn’t in the best spot. I tried to paddle over to the peak before it arrived, but ended up just teatering for awhile. I finally gave up as it seemed too late and about to close out. Unfortunately I dragged too far in I was in a bad spot for the other set waves. I paddled like mad and tried to get under the next wave. There was a guy dropping in, so I had to head towards the impact area to try and stay out of his way.My duck dive wasn’t so successful.


After a short bounce around, I feverishly tried to get back my tombstoning board to get under the next wave. Just as I got it, the next wave was about to break and I just dove under. I came up and quickly grabbed my board, or half my board. The other half caught the wave and made it to shore. It was devastating and so demoralizing. In a few weeks I’d grown attached to that board and was, although getting my ass kicked at times, loving the waves at Santa Teresa.

Its been big since the day I arrived and I have to paddle way more but its nice to surf decent waves… I’m from Canada so my expectations are low… Anyways, I slogged my way to the beach where a local kindly was holding the rest of my board with a huge grin. He apologetically gave it back and I did the big walk of pity back up the beach and to the hostel.
While walking back I kept thinking the board was a little too big anyways. It would have been good for the following week in Grande and Tamarindo though. I was less bummed thinking of the prospect of getting a smaller board.
When I got back the hostel owner had a look and figured I could easily

Walk of Shame

Walk of Shame

get it fixed. I checked out the used boards at almost all the shops in town, and it was slim pickings, Tamarindo had better options. However, it turns out there is a board shaper in town. Denis of Denga Surf Shop had a look and figured he could fix it since it was a clean break. He said it will be a lot stiffer afterwards but something tells me that with my surfing, I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. I figure I can use it in the upcoming weeks with the smaller surf. After that I can either sell it or keep it.

On a side note, Denga Surf Shop builds there own boards and has a lot to choose from. It’s a nice shop. I think its about 20 days to get a board custom made. The new boards that he has in stock are going for about $400 to $450 which is a wicked deal compared to the used boards here that people are trying sell for $250 plus. If you are in Santa Teresa and buying a board make sure you check out Denga. I don’t recommend buying a new board if you are travelling around because it will get thrashed (or snapped), but they have some good options if you’re here long term.
This day may have sucked, and I may have bought a case of beer and nearly have it downed, but I’m in Costa Rica surfing nearly every day, and I’m here with the love of my life. Things are pretty damn good. Pura f’in vida eh! and go nucks go… 7 straight.
So there you have it! We cut it pretty close with the board repair. We ended up heading a couple days after it broke, and left the board in Santa Teresa to be fixed. The board was going to be sent in a cab when it was done. We sat outside our hotel for hours waiting, Shaun’s knuckles getting whiter and whiter. We were leaving for the 5 hour drive back to Tamarindo early the next day so it was now or never. I watched Shaun got more and more stressed out, calling the board shop, and our previous hostel to try and track it down. Thankfully, around 7:45pm the cab pulled up. I think we both felt equal relief!
The finished product, and one happy camper!

The finished product, and one happy camper!


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Buying a Surfboard 101

Have you ever bought a surfboard?

Yea, me neither, but Shaun has! In fact, we spent the first week in Tamarindo on the hunt for the his 4 (9)

With amazing waves and a multitude of beaches, surfing is obviously big business here in Costa Rica. One of the main reasons we decided to start out our trip on the Pacific Coast was so that Shaun could surf his little heart out.

I could go on, about a subject I really know nothing about, but instead, I’ll pass it over to Shaun to give you the run down of his surfboard purchasing experience.

photo 2 (9)I had a couple surfboards at home, but figured it was going to be a couple hundred bucks to bring them on the plane. So instead I decided to buy one when I got down here. This backfired the day I got here and all I wanted to do was go surfing but I didn’t have a board. We arrived on a Tuesday and I wasn’t in the water until Thursday. I searched all the board shops, and checked the rentals to find something to use in the interim. However, on Wednesday afternoon I found a board that was for sale, but they would let me rent it by the day to try. I went back Thursday morning and picked it up to try it out.

photo 3 (2)It was a JS Industries Occy Bullseye 6’0 Model. It has some extra width to it and a round pin tail. I really liked it because it helped get my slow ass into these smaller waves. I surfed it for three days. The last day the conditions were quite good and I was pretty much sold on it. It was bigger than what I expected to get but it is almost new and I figure I could easily sell or trade it in later on if need be. 

I bought the board and grabbed a cheap travel bag a few days later. So far I still love it. I’ve had it over a week now and I’m pretty stoked with my decision. Plus it has a bulldozer on the front. I know that would at least make my dad happy.

The board! It needs a name don't you think?

The board! It needs a name don’t you think?

I probably could have gotten a cheaper board as there was decent mix of shortboards here in Tamarindo. Last time we were in Costa Rica, I bought a board in Jaco that I really liked and took back to Canada with me. Talking to the guys in the Tamarindo surf shops it seems like Jaco is the place to go to buy surfboards. It did seem like they had more to choose from. Tamarindo has a decent selection you just may end up paying a bit more than if in Jaco. If I had known this before, I probably would have just brought my board from home. That being said I’m fairly pleased with my board.

My surfing skills on the other hand need some work. Fortunately we have some time. And after Kate got her first wave a few days back I’m hoping to get her hooked on surfing. Then we can focus the trip on what really matters… surfing.

Thanks Manfriend, it turns out if you give him a subject he loves, he’s more then happy to guest post, and who knows…maybe I will turn into the glittery surfer girl!

Leave us some comments if you think Shaun should do more posts! What do you want to hear him talk about??

Pura Vida!