Jul 19th, 2010
Every summer, after a good snowy season, I love to break off entirely from snowboarding and go live the Jungle-Ocean life. Sure, I have been snowboarding in the summer, and I of course loved it. I still do. I used to ride Blackcomb public pipe everyday of the summer, then Camp of Champions, or I would drive down to Mt Hood and ride at High Cascade or Windells snowboard camp.
I usually love to ride until May and then wait until August for the snow to cover the southern hemisphere mountain peaks. I then usually go ride in August, in NZ or Chile or Argentina. One summer I even made it down to Patagonia. The Southern Hemisphere winters have been more my style for the last few years.
As much as I love snowboarding in the winter, I love surfing in the summer. But it wasn’t always like this. I started surfing 10 years ago. I didn’t grow up near the ocean. I would go surf 2 weeks a year at first. But the last 3-4 years I try to get somewhere around 2-3 months of the year in the ocean.
The Ocean is where I recharge (similar to a long hike in the mountains) I love it because to me riding a wave is just like going through life. Good things come to those who wait. Like being patient for a set or maybe for an opportunity. Sometimes the waves are clean, glassy, perfect… they are smooth.
But sometimes, waves can be choppy, windblown, frustrating, closing out.
Just like life.
Sometimes you feel like just gliding and some other times, you feel more aggressive and just want to carve the shit out of the wave.
Just like life.
In many ways, surfing is very similar to snowboarding.
Eight years ago, former Burton pro Derek Heidt and myself partnered together and bought a little shack in Dominical Costa Rica. Shack it was, like not being able to touch the refrigerator when you were wet, or Jesus Christ lizards hissing at you when you tried to get boards out of the bodega. But it was our home while we visited. As well as friends and others passing through to surf or adventure here. We stepped up the Blue Shack last year and built a super sweet casa. The Blue Shack is now a jungle beach home for us all and best of all, the “office” overlooks Dominical beach.
My wife Megan and daughter Leighli also enjoy the summer at the beach and Jungle. Megs of course also loves to surf, and Leighli is learning to love the loud wild ocean. And you just can’t beat the fact that she has grown up with monkeys, iguanas, and toucans in her back yard, just like squirrels. We are fortunate to have found a beautiful community, with amazing people here in Dominical, Costa Rica. Leighli is stoked, as every time we get down here it seems to be “piñata season”. Every kid she knows (including herself!) has a birthday to celebrate.
Besides surfing and the obvious, the reason why I love Costa Rica so much is the biodiversity that exists here. Thousands of kinds of insects, birds, animals, trees and plants. We have these tropical storm downpours, where it rains for 5 minutes and the next moment it is totally sunny. The people are great, the sunsets and the sunrises, the wilderness, the wild side of central America, no-laws Costa, the ocean, the mountains, the jungle, the fruits, the local food, the monkeys.
There are a couple things here that have really touched my heart, and have encouraged me to become involved more with our little community here in Costa. Our friend Jenny Smith, founder of Community Carbon Trees Costa Rica, is responsible for planting hundreds of thousands of trees here in this region. One of her projects included re-foresting a farm with 21,000+ trees, 19,000 of which she harvested the seeds and growing them herself before planting. One important thing here is that she works with local Ticos and their farms, and every single one of those trees needs to be maintained and cared for up to 3 years before the trees can be set free in the jungle.
As well as planting many different species of trees, to bio-diversify all the areas she re-forests. She makes sure she has a variety of trees for the animals, fruit trees for bees, shade trees and hardwood trees. Jenny and her crew do everything possible to ensure that all of the trees are compatible and create a perfect harmony for the animals and for the creeks to start reappearing and honey bees to come back and pollinate. Planting trees in a tropical climate close to the equator is one of the major proven things that really helps to cool down our planet. (The farm that Jenny planted the 21,000 trees on has dropped six degrees in temperature over the last 3 years.) So by planting trees here you can actually contribute to your own carbon emission offset.
Scope the website and Sponsor a tree!
Or join the Facebook page to keep updated with the latest news:
With Spy Optic, I have a YES pro model goggle. Each goggle sold raises $6 towards replanting trees through Jenny’s organization. I believe this not only a legit cause but also an important one. Last season Spy and myself planted 356 trees. Get your Spy-Yes goggles and contribute to the Cause:
Here in Dominical, our local beach break is very heavy and intense. With a huge river mouth coming into play, especially each rainy season, this creates crazy currents, sand bars constantly changing, rip tides, and incredible undertows. Most of the time it can be pretty heavy, and this is why its known as one of the most consistent breaks in Costa Rica. Each year, our lifeguards save between 300 and 400 lives. But unfortunately sometimes they lose some.
These guys are pros from California to Jersey, and have brought local kids into the program and taught them some incredible skills to help this community. This is why, we need to support our local lifeguards, and are constantly looking for ways to spread the word on its importance! Check out their Facebook page:
This past 4th of July, my wife and her friends helped to organize a huge fundraiser for the Dominical Lifeguards and their cause. Silent auction, margarita bar, bake sale, raffles, bbqs, and live music. We had Spy Optic sent some Moto goggles down, The North Face contributed some dry bags, and most of the local business and artists here contributed amazing prizes for the raffle and auction. The day was super fun, and also a success. Nearly $10K was raised for these guys. If you feel like donating anything ever, please do! It’s a great cause, and if you ever get down here to visit, you will see what a fantastic community this is to support.