Nicaragua is one of the places you’d go to surf, right along with, for some surfers at least, Hawaii and Australia. Located in Central America, Nicaragua is an awesome and fun place to surf, with waves ranging from foot high to double over head, even for my Dad. Now, as I am writing this, I am pretty sure we have surfed three beaches, but for my Dad and brother make that four. These four beaches are better than most of my entire surfing life in Dubai put together (and, yes, I just said there is surfing in the city of Dubai). Dubai is actually where I learned most of my better surfing skills, and to say that these four beaches in this far off place south of Mexico is better surfing than most of my entire surfing life in Dubai says a lot about how good this ‘far off place south of Mexico’ really is.
The first stop in our surfing tour of Nicaragua was a beach called Playa Maderas (pronounced Ply-a Ma-deh-ras). By the way, ‘playa’ is the Spanish word for beach, so in English, this would actually mean ‘Beach Maderas'. Playa Maderas was an awesome place to start surfing again for me, when it was still small, not, say, about 12 feet and barreling. Located about a 30 minute slow drive away from San Juan del Sur, the place we were staying, Playa Maderas is a beach break with outside sets that would probably be about 8-10 feet tall. The outside set is something we call a ‘clean-up set’, meaning that if you’re inside it’s breaking point it’ll wipe you off your board. That meant that most of the regular sets were about 4-6 feet, pretty nice for us to get surfing again and having lots of fun
Our second beach we went to (we’d given up surfing at Maderas for now), was called Playa Hermosa We’d gotten there after looking at six inch waves at another beach, called Playa Remanso, on the way to the playa called Hermosa. The road to Hermosa was so bumpy, it should’ve won the Bumpiest Road Award from Guiness World Records, (in fact, the whole of Nicaragua should win that award) but that fact was completely made up by the wave I saw while getting out of the taxi car. It was one of the best waves I’d ever seen: a perfect left and a perfect right, right about over twelve feet (which is about the size of a nice wave for Kelly Slater). But then, I was quickly -and very sadly- brought back to reality by sand so hot that I wouldn’t be surprised if some mystical Fire Lord (who was probably in cahoots with the mystical Sea Lord), was having a great bonfire right below the surface. Glad to get off the fire sand, but sad to leave one of the most perfect waves I saw, I hurried back to help Mom, Dad, and Grant get our stuff to the beach. After about a couple minutes, I quickly unloaded my stuff then brought it to our place, now a big wooden board raised above the sand.
After I (none to late) decided not to surf my dream wave, or its shoulder for that matter, I was left to watch and realize, yet again, that the darn Sea Lord wasn’t done yet. I saw wave after huge wave come through, each looking the about 3 times bigger than the biggest Dubai clean-up sets I had ever seen. But my family wasn’t gonna let the Sea Lord beat them with his waves. With skills made and sharpened in Dubai’s warm water, my family was killing it on the waves, not letting their surfing skills get smashed by the waves like the waves were smashing them.
And as soon as I went out, I started catching some of the best waves of my entire surfing career! I was carving on the face and pumping it across the whitewash, and when we came back to our surf shack sunburned and sun-tired, I was still ready for more. On our second part of the day at Remanso, we met a really nice man named Bob who was currently taking an adventure from Colorado to Argentina on two wheels, and I created a surf idea called Pelican Patrol. The theory behind Pelican Patrol was that since pelicans sat on the water, they would have to fly when the water got to critical an angle, so if you saw two or more pelicans taking off at the same spot at once, then go out as fast as your darn body and board allowed you. Which is exactly what I did multiple times.
But besides the pelican patrol or the extremely nice people, or the fantastically fun family waves, I finally felt like I was for once, completely at peace with the waves and the ocean and its mystical sea lord, as were they with me.