Dominical hosted the first contest on the Costa Rica national surf tour on January 25th-26th. There are seven events in 2020—Playa Cocles on the Caribbean coast, Playa Guiones, Santa Teresa, Playa Avellanas, Playa Hermosa, and Jaco. The champions in the Mens, Womens, and Juniors’ divisions may go on to represent Costa Rica in the ISA World Surfing Games to be held this year in El Salvador. And based on their performance they may even get to go to the Olympics in Japan.
The winner of the Open Division in the first contest was Oscar Urbina. He does not have a major sponsor, but with the support of the local businesses and the Caribe Surf Team, he was able to travel over all the way from Puerto Viejo and enter the event. Each event costs $45 US, and there is an annual membership of $45 to be a part of the Federation of Surf. This does not include the costs for lodging and food for the weekend, either. Coral Wiggins took first place for the women. Her main sponsor is the surf brand Hurley, but she also gets funding from J&J Fitness, a gym located in Tamarindo.
Surprisingly there were over 224 entries for the Dominical event. Some of them were the same kids entering multiple divisions, but in just the Open category there were 52 competitors. This means that there is a strong desire for many local surfers to compete for a chance to make names for themselves and possibly get a sponsor and travel the world.
Some surfers have a surfboard sponsor, which means they get boards for free. In Jaco, Carton Surfboards has sponsored dozens of kids and would give away a board to the winners at the end of the circuit. Other competitors have clothing sponsors who give them free clothes, watches, shoes, or sunglasses. However, only a handful of them receive any money for surfing.
For a local surfer to be able to compete for the whole season, it takes the support of the community. The cost can be over $1000 for one year on the national tour. Surf shops or restaurants that host fundraisers for their local team is one way they get help. Another is for a business to sponsor a surfer. They get their logo placed as stickers on the surfer’s board and that surfer wears their t-shirt and mentions them on their social media. And if you are a visitor you can help by shopping at those local businesses that support their surf team. Maybe the next champion surfer will come from Manuel Antonio? It can only happen with the help from the community.
Email [email protected] if you want to sponsor a local surfer or help organize a fundraiser for them.