Kayak Surfing Costa Rica: Playa Pavones & Hermosa

Page 1 - Ray in true form

Page 1 - Ray in true form

Page 2 - Surf Bag Dilemma

Page 2 - Surf Bag Dilemma

The Michelin Man is ready to travel.

The Michelin Man is ready to travel.

Page 3 - Thank you Delta

Page 3 - Thank you Delta

In case the rule slips your mind... Don't smoke on the plane when changing your baby, just before riding your wheelchair.

In case the rule slips your mind... Don't smoke on the plane when changing your baby behind the guy in the wheelchair.

Page 4 - Fear of Flying

Page 4 - Fear of Flying

Enjoying a moment of freedom, away from it all.

And off we go to find some waves.

Page 5 - We just call him Drew

Page 5 - We just call him Drew

First meal together in the country. - photo Drew Hayes

First meal together in the country. - photo Drew Hayes

Gallo Pinto, breakfast of hungry guy in Costa Rica

Gallo Pinto, breakfast of hungry guy in Costa Rica

Finally, I found a food that made me grow, but maybe too much.  Photo Drew Hayes

After Gallo Pinto I am a giant among picnic tables - Photo Drew Hayes

Part of a typical day of driving in Central America.

Part of a typical day of driving in Central America.

Page 6 - We arrive at Playa Pavones

Page 6 - We arrive at Playa Pavones

Tight squeeze on the road to Pavones.  Lucky or us we were not on the school bus headed the other direction.

Tight squeeze on the road to Pavones. Lucky or us we were not on the school bus headed the other direction.

Sleep was more than welcome and I was awarded with the honorary Star Wars sheets.

Sleep was more than welcome and I was awarded with the honorary Star Wars sheets.

Page 7 - The ground is alive

Page 7 - The ground is alive

Pavones and Golfo Dolce from a nearby hill.

Pavones and Golfo Dolce from a nearby hill.

The domestic barnyard life should not go unnoticed.

The domestic barnyard life should not go unnoticed.

Page 8 - Hermit crabs rule this land.

Page 8 - Hermit crabs rule this land.

Page 9 - Small surf, time for some reading.

Page 9 - Small surf, time for some reading.

Gearing up for a session at Pavones - photo Drew Hayes

Gearing up for a session at Pavones - photo Drew Hayes

Page 10 - Bro, Vulture, same thing.

Page 10 - Bro, Vulture, same thing.

Page 11 - Puke your money away

Page 11 - Go ahead, puke your money away

According to Raymond, who has lost his right shoe before in Costa Rica, there are plenty of lefts to be found on just about any beach, but no rights.

According to Raymond, who has lost his right shoe before in Costa Rica, there are plenty of lefts to be found on just about any beach, but no rights. According to my survey he is correct.

The guys are worn out after an attempt at paddleboarding in very windy conditions.

The guys are worn out after an attempt at paddleboarding in very windy conditions.

Page 12 - Crap in the water, watch out for king steamers!

Page 12 - Crap in the water, watch out for king steamers!

We ate plenty of these fruits, locally referred to as Momon Chinos.  I called them man testicles.

We ate plenty of these fruits, locally referred to as Momon Chinos, and even more locally (in our car) referred to as man testicles.

Page 13 - Don't panic, Raymond is a test driver for Michelin

Page 13 - Don't panic, Raymond is a test driver for Michelin

Drew rides a peeling left during our first session at Playa Hermosa

Drew rides a peeling left during our first session at Playa Hermosa

Page 14 - Playa Hermosa is steep

Page 14 - Playa Hermosa is steep

Someone commandeered the scanner while I was scanning the journal pages.

Page 15 - A little donkey commandeered the scanner while I was scanning the journal.

Page 16 - A swim and a swarm.

Page 16 - A swim and a swarm.

She's a real looker

Iguana alongside Hermosa beah. She's a real looker.

Page 17 - Police and thieves in the street

Page 17 - Police and thieves in the street

Bottom turn at Playa Hermosa

Bottom turn in my Ninja 6'8" at Playa Hermosa

Ray pulls a camera shift while guarding the car

Ray pulls a camera shift while guarding the car - Photo Drew Hayes

Page 18 - The waves that made the trip

Page 18 - The waves that made the trip

Birds of prey - We noticed three distinctly different hawks or ravens.

Birds of prey - We noticed three distinctly different hawks or ravens while on walks and drives between surf sessions.

Page 19 - Bug attack from hell

Page 19 - Bug attack from hell

Birrrrd Maaaaaannnn!  This was another one of the hawks.

Birrrrd Maaaaaannnn! This was another one of the hawks.

Page 20 - Did we deserve this torture?

Page 20 - Did we deserve this torture?

Black Hawk up... on a fence post

Black Hawk up... on a fence post

Page 21 - Gordy just bit the bag and stepped out the door.

Page 21 - Gordy just bit the bag and stepped out the door.

Page 22 - Gold Bond comes highly recommended apparently

Page 22 - Gold Bond comes highly recommended apparently

This was the size of the surf during our last couple sessions.  Large.

This was the size of the surf during our last couple sessions. Large.

Paddling out at Hermosa - Photo Drew Hayes

Paddling out at Hermosa - Photo Drew Hayes

Page 23 - A theme of waxing swell

Page 23 - A theme of waxing swell

Hermosa was not nice to some people.

Hermosa, beautiful to some, not so much to others.

Page 24 - The Gringo Tax

Page 24 - The Gringo Tax

Which ingredient do you want the least? - Photo Drew Hayes

Which ingredient do you want the least? - Photo Drew Hayes

Page 25 - Was a fun trip, glad I didn't hurl.

Page 25 - Was a fun trip, glad I didn't hurl.

Palm lined road, Playa Hermosa - Photo Drew Hayes

Palm lined road, Playa Hermosa - Photo Drew Hayes

Page 26 - Going home is fun too.

Page 26 - Going home is fun too.

Thanks to Astral Buoyancy for helping me so much with my surf bag and for my Willis PFD, thanks to IR for my Shorty Competition Drydeck, and thanks to Shred Ready for my Full-Cut Standard helmet.

* Thanks to Astral Buoyancy for helping customize my surf kayak bag and for my Willis PFD * Thanks to IR for my Shorty Competition Drydeck * Thanks to Shred Ready for my Full-Cut Standard helmet * These companies make all my kayaking trips far more comfortable and successful *

We did shoot some video too…

12 Responses to “Kayak Surfing Costa Rica: Playa Pavones & Hermosa

  • Sounds like you had a great trip with your buddies to Pavones y Hermosa. Really like your notebook diaries. Give you lots of credit for traveling with the surf kayaks. You guys have manon chinos.

  • Great post. Really enjoyed reading up on the antics of you three in CR.

  • hey dudes cool trip. I will be in CR 2nd week of feb.would love to ask you a few questions. Thanks Lance.

    • Hi Lance, please fire away with any questions and we’ll do our best to answer.

  • How long was the drive from pavones to hermosa? I will be staying in hermosa and would like to go down there.was it worth it? I live in va beach so anything over 3 feet is fun to me.now these banditos,will be in a rental car with just me and a buddy.should I cancel and go somewhere else?Where did you get/make rack system for kayaks.sorry for all the ?s.this is my first time to Costa Thanks lance

    • As for the drive from Pavones to Hermosa… Well, honestly Drew and Ray would remember better because they did most (all?) of the driving. I was the dum-dum in the back seat who kept asking if we were there yet. Though, I think it was around four-five hours driving up the coast. Pretty long drive. If you are there when Pavones is actually working you probably won’t want to go anywhere else based on the footage that I saw of Ray and Drew from last year. Looks basically like the perfect, long, peeling, beautiful wave.

      Hermosa was totally worth it for me and has been worth it on past trips as well. My recommendation is to drive way down to the south end of the beach until you get to where the palm trees line the road. That spot still has steep waves but nowhere near as pounding as Hermosa proper. It’s basically the difference between makable and non-makable waves. Further north on the beach you will get crunched way harder than down south. I’d also recommend an incoming tide for that beach. Lower tide can be more punishing probably at any swell size, but especially if it’s large. Lastly, be ready to punch over some big foam piles or at least a lot of them when a set comes in. If you time it right you can probably paddle out in totally flat water between sets. I’m making it sound bad but it’s really not. The rides there are amazingly fun if you can catch a good swell. You’ll be able to tell from the beach if the waves are makable or not. Seems like it’s either working or totally closing out at Hermosa.

      The bandito thing could be an issue. We’ve had a couple close calls but luckily never a breakin. However, you are fine to leave your car on the beach as long as it’s locked and there is absolutely nothing inside of it worth stealing. Leave everything in a secure hotel room and you are going to be fairly safe.

      Drew brings “insta-rack” or “rack-tastic” which is nothing but two long pieces of 4×4″ minicel foam. Those have served us well for several trips and fit nicely in his boat for air travel. Together with a good set of cam straps and you are set to go. If you leave your boat in it’s bag on top of the car you are less likely to damage the roof of your rental car and more likely to keep the load secure.

  • hey what did you tell delta was in the surf bags?
    thanks

    • Lance, we always say surfboard or surf ski. Surf ski usually throws them for a loop and they’ll most likely just end up charging you the surfboard rate.

  • surf ski, yea I like that idea!
    thanks again for all the great info you have given.
    got a direct flight on delta out of atlanta on 04/24
    wish us luck.

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