Kyllian Guerin searching for swells and Costa Rica’s perfect waves
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 11 May, 2015 - We know summer is just around the corner, but let’s rewind to winter - Christmas season to be exact and what’s it like for a grom spending the Santa Season embedded deep in the tropical rain forests of Costa Rica.
EQ ambassador Kyllian Guérin tells us about his winter adventures in Costa Rica, his second home. Through his diary, Kyllian, young surfer and globetrotter, gives us his impressions of the beautiful country that is Costa Rica and his definition of “la Pura Vida!”
What’s it like to spend Christmas abroad?
Christmas in the sun is really strange. No real Christmas tree this year, but a really pretty plastic one – at least we didn’t have pine needles all over the floor! It didn’t stop Santa Claus from spoiling my brother and I, we got loads of presents!
Another difference from France, the Tamales! It’s a Costa Rican culinary speciality for the holidays. It’s cooked in a banana leaf, and in the middle there are lots of tasty things, like meat, vegetables and semolina. It’s a bit strange but still, it’s really good!
But my mum hadn’t forgotten to make us a Christmas log in spite of everything! It was also better than last year because I didn’t have a football match on the 1st of January, so my knee remained intact this time. No doubt, I had a better start to the year than 2014!
Have you been able to travel a bit in the country?
After my mum and my brother went back to France I was alone with my dad. At the beginning, I stayed at Santa Teresa-Mal Pais to make the most of my friend Sam Piter’s arrival and enjoy some amazing sessions together. Then I went on several swell-hunting trips.
Did you discover any new surfing spots?
We went to my Costa Rican coach, Diego Naranjo’s house for a few days, and he took me to surf a little-known wave. It was an amazing wave, going left, that started at one point and finished on a sand bank. It was an amazing session, but we were a bit tense and often looking in the water because it’s at one of the mouths of the river Rio and crocodiles like to hang out there…
What were the most memorable moments from your stay?
I participated in an event on the national circuit of Costa Rica, Puerto Viejo, which took place on Cocles beach. I won in my category and came third in the under 14s. I was so happy. We had good waves and I got to surf Salsa Brava for two days, one of my favourite spots.
Then my dad and I saw that there was a swell with a lot of off shore wind that was going to hit the north of the country, near Tamarindo/Playa Negra. And one of my good friends from Seignosse, Eymeo, had just arrived from France for the holidays.
After 10 hours on the road across the whole country, we finally arrived and I was able to surf in beautiful conditions the next day. Unfortunately the atmosphere in the water wasn’t great at Playa Negra, despite a couple of cool locals. I preferred to go along a bit further to Marbella Beach, which is a bit more relaxed, and has incredible tubes.
With the fresh off shore wind, the waves were amazingly hollow - true happiness!
Costa Rica is very up on renewable energy, can you tell us about your eco-friendly experience?
When I got back to to Santa Teresa at the end of my trip, I joined in a little local competition for the children of the village. By way of introduction, we had brought loads of notebooks and pens. It’s good to help them, so we do as often as we can. They love surfing, but it’s so important for them to be able to go to school.
The day before I left I came across a whole family of monkeys. It was incredible to see them up close! It’s moments like that that you realise how lucky we are to see so many wild animals here. It also makes you understand the effort that the country has been putting in for a long time now to preserve nature, and that’s an important lesson!
I think Costa Rica is also the first country to ever run for over two months purely on renewable energy!
Hard to come back to France?
My return to France was different! Less surfing, apart from a couple of good sessions, lots of time at school. Especially my board shorts tucked away at the back of the wardrobe and all of the winter wetsuits to put on (5/4/3 socks, balaclava and gloves…) whenever I wanted to go surfing. That’s the transition from water at 29 degrees to water at 12 degrees! But it was cool to surf some big powerful waves at home, and to see my mum and little brother, and to be there for his birthday.
Just enough time to rest up before leaving again, this time for the Canary Islands, then Australia and Indonesia.