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.