For five years I have been listening to a friend of mine tell me about what an amazing point break Boca Barranca in Costa Rica is. I had listened to the stories of three minute rides on perfect, 8' bowls that peel perfectly for almost a half a mile. I have been there each of the last five years but never scored it on a solid south swell... Until two fridays ago.
After a brutal travel day that started at 2:30 in the morning we made it to Boca Barranca. My friends told me that the swell i had been watching for the past 10 days had indeed arrived. I drove our rental car a half mile down the road on the flat and had our tire patched and got back to the hotel and prepared for a surf.
When we paddled out the wind was onshore and the tide was on the full side and falling. The waves looked spotty with some nice peakes but nothing really peeling. As soon as we reached the outside, I noticed that the wind had shifted to a blustery 15 knots dead offshore. The waves started lining up like magic and I sat in the lineup smiling wide while i watched a group of Ticos shredding the 8' faces and hooting and hollering between sets.
After watching other guys getting amazing rides over and over, I paddled up to one of the Tico's ripping it up and asked in my piss poor spanish if it was possible for a Gringo to catch a wave at this break. He looked with surprise and then asked with surprise,"you haven't caught a wave yet?". After i answered, he looked outside and said "not this one, the next one.". As i was dropping down the face, he was hooting and hollering and it was on. 300 yard rides on 8' walls being held up by stiff off-shores.
After the first wave, I had some confidence and some positive interaction with my new Tico buddy and had a blast riding the perfect, crumbling walls that seemed to be endless. The next morning, a Saturday, the swell was a couple of feet bigger, offshores blowing hard and hundreds of guys out at 6:15 spread all across the 1/4 mile plus that these waves were peeling off. Needless to say, i found a spot near the outside peak and soon found myself flying down the line on these freight trains that ripped off for rides between 1:30 and two minutes! The paddle back was easy, in that it was around the break, but it was also endless.
If you are heading to CR and you like left-hand point breaks, check out Boca Barranca. If you want to stay for a day or two, i recommend staying with Diego and Katia at Hotel Boca Barranca. Their place is a little bit of a dive, but they treat you like family...can't bseat it.
Amen brother!!!! You know what the game's all about. Got a place in Jaco and have been travelling to Boca for the past 4 years. My nino Singuindo is the baddest old bro on the planet!!! Let us park there for 200 colones... and let us use his showers below his pad. "PIPA AGUA, COCA COLA, DOS MIL COLONES!" "IMPERIALS...TRES MIL COLONES!" Hit that place up for 3 days last June at 8 - 12 foot. If you past Caldera and its flat it's still fun. If you past the port at Caldera and its crashinin on the beach, it's firin!!! Headed to Pavones to catch the end of that swell...All I'm sayin is go south...you won't be disappointed by any means. Forget it's one of the best waves on the planet, Pavones is Heaven on Earth... the wave makes it that more magical. Plus, Pavones is WAY cleaner. Didn't have to dodge any dead cows at Boca, but there were some pretty big logs floating through out the line up. Saw Hermosa that morning and DAM...crap was HUGE!!!! No one out and da beach was shakin!!! Boca definately holds that big south swell. Goin back in July...PURA VIDA BROTHER!!!!
PS...You didn't win the lottery...you don't live in Costa Rica! You just got smart and went to a cool place...Boca is only the tip of the iceberg. Costa Rica has everything to offer...and some dam good food. Travel and check the place out. It's easy and if you know a little haspanol, it's even easier. This is only the beginning.....
Good lined up Boca is in my all time top five...naw... ten favorite waves. When its good it goes seemingly forever. Never done pavones... I hear good things about the wave and bad things about the area but hopefully check that one out some day. Glad you got to see Boca it in all its South swell beauty.... mmm imperial & Chi Frio...
Last edited by Stranded in Smithfield; Mar 24, 2012 at 01:27 PM.
@ Imperial... Yeah, I've heard Pavones is the ****, a dude up north in the Guanacaste told me about surfing Pavones with 20' faces, perhaps a slight exaggeration, but he broke two boards over a weekend. I've been north around the Guanacaste a fair bit and love it. You can be 4 miles from a crowded beach break with hundreds of people in the lineup and have a perfect river-mouth to yourself.
I'm dying to head south and hit Pavones and the Osa Penninsula, but with a little one on the way, my surfing time may be dwindling short-term. Definitely made my trip to hit Barranca firing... Pura Vida
Boca.....yeah that is def a world class wave. Caught it with two homies head high plus a couple years back. The rivermouth was dirty and a lil sketchy paddle out...esp seeing the size of the river crocs before paddling out. Still it is a goofyfoot paradise and easy to access. I wore a white 1 mil top and it was brown when i got out...years later and tons of washes and it is still tan....haha. Oh well the rides are worth it! Stoked
I've heard it can be really nasty water in the rainy season. I paddled out across the river a few years back and it was FUNKY! In 2011 we saw a big a** crock under the bridge from the road to Caldera. The water was actually as clean as I've seen it, probably because we were there towards the end of the dry season.