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info@costaricatravelsurf.com 

 

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The Best Traveling & Surfing Guide Costa Rica

 

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History Surf Kayak

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Legends; Buck Mackhuegh of Scotland / Dennis Hudson of USA California / Malcom Deanney of England / Alvaro ” Toca ” Gonzalez of COSTA RICA

By Álvaro “Toca” González Gómez born on August 26, 1952.

 

Around 1992 a “Gringo” arrived in Costa Rica, who wanted to set up a Sea Kayaking business in Manuel Antonio.

 

Steven or Steve and his family partnered with the friends of ¨Rios Tropicales¨, and brought to the country a flotilla of “SIT ON TOP” kayaks. These Ocean Kayak brand kayaks were new to the market and designed by someone who later became a friend- TIM NIEMIER. Made from plastic in rotating molds, these were the first kayaks that were user friendly – they revolutionized the market and oar sports worldwide. Before these kayaks there were the typical river kayaks made for long-distance rowing in lakes and seas, in which a person sat inside them with a “petticoat” that covered the hole where the rower sat.

 

 

The new ability to sit on top of the kayak gave a feeling of mobility and freedom, with much easier navigation capacity. I can not describe how it felt the first time I sat on one of these devices. It was something sensational- I could catch waves …and ACHIEVE SURF!!!!! All this happened in the same all day session, experimenting and having fun, but getting WET!!!!


Since I was the owner and the one who managed ¨El Centro de Aventura¨ in the group of friends, I decided to import these kayaks to Costa Rica and to thus promote this new sport that had so many taboos. ¨The Adventure Center¨ was a store that sold equipment for adventure sports. The owners were: Juan Carlos Crespo, Víctor Gallo and the Ríos Tropicales group, Fernando Esquivel, Rafael Gallo, and Jimmy Nixon. We started the trend of “organized” adventure sports in our country. In the process of figuring out how to import the Ocean Kayak brand, I met Mark Olson, who was the company sales representative for Southern California and Central America.


I got Mark to come to Costa Rica with the first order and went to wait for him at the airport with a cooler full of beers – from there we went to Guanacaste to sell kayaks. Mark taught us everything there was to know about the kayaks including sales techniques and recommended accessories. We started by importing the ¨SCRAMBLER¨ a good beginner kayak model for ALL types of paddling and waters. It was like a ferry, carrying passengers safely through the practicing and learning stages of kayak surf. An added bonus to these Sit on Tops is that they float, and thus they serve as a lifesaving device when overturned.

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