Costa Rica has had a growing presence in the surf world as one of the top destinations on our globe. The best practitioners of this fun but challenging sport have returned time and time again to Costa Rica and have proved that although this country is small, it has a lot to offer in terms of waves. This powerful reputation was only fortified when it was announced that Costa Rica would host an official world qualifying surf event for the first time since the Billabong Pro tournaments in 2001 and 2002.
The World Surf League (WSL) announced that the Costa Rica Pro men’s and women’s qualifying series event will take place in October 2016 at one of the most popular beaches on the Central Pacific, Esterillos Este. Thanks to the hard work of surf legend Diego Naranjo and his surf company Orange Wave, after 10 months, the WSL agreed to hold the event in Costa Rican waters. Along with obtaining a license from the WSL, Naranjo says he also had to get approval from the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT). Working alongside the ICT is extremely beneficial, as the event will help promote Costa Rica to foreign surfers and fans from all around the world.
Brian Robbins, in charge of choosing WSL event sites, says Costa Rica stood out due to the year-round waves that don’t fluctuate too drastically between seasons or times of the day. “Costa Rica is unique because you can probably surf most beaches all the time,” he says, “ The beach we’re looking at in Costa Rica has a reputation for working at all tides, which allows you to surf all day. That means it’s a fair competitionthat doesn’t give disadvantages to surfers at different times of the day.”
About 200 world-class surfers can be expected to participate in the Costa Rica Pro this October, along with some of Costa Rica’s finest, such as Carlos “Cali” Muñoz, Noe Mar McGonagle, Anthony Fillingim, and Leilani McGonagle. For Muñoz, this event will be a homecoming, as he is from Esterillos. Due to this advantage, he is figured as one of the favorites to win!