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HERNAN BARQUERO RAMIREZ
- BEGIN SURFING 1971 -
Born July 5, 1953, in Grecia de Alajuela, lives in Guachipelin, Escazú, known in Surfing as “Negro Barquero”, begin surfing at age 18 in 1971. I actively surfed for 20 years, practically dedicated to riding waves. I began surfing because I played basketball and got beat up a lot. My friends were already riding waves and I went camping with them. That is when I started to check it out, when they loaned me a board. I bought my first board from a gringo who was leaving, it was like an ironing board and it was tough to stand up on it but when I was able to do it, it opened up a liquid world for me and I was in it for 20 years. Leashes did not exist; you had to have good form and not lose the board…very tiring.
The best was to ride waves at the 3rd point of Doña Ana during Hurricane Fifí with Roy Quirós. When we went back to cross the Barranca River, it carried trees, pigs, houses and me with it. But Toño Arias and Cundido who had a small boat for tourist rides in Doña Ana rescued me at Boca de Barranca with huge waves and a gigantic set. He risked his life and saved mine. Costa Rica is very special in many ways, with the time and financial means necessary you can ride waves all year, in the Pacific and the Atlantic. There are fantastic, cheap places with great people and good food everywhere. My feeling as a surfer is that in my time it was a way of living and growing up. You could camp for weeks, make a family and later enjoy your children in nature, full of “Peace and Love.”
There were lots of big waves and only 2 or 3 friends with you in the water for days…the maximum expression of freedom and harmony with the cosmos. I like to surf by myself, and I liked tubes, the “late take off” with my one finned gun and pin tail, big and long waves so I could take it to the max with my two finned, swallow tail fish. There were all types of Surfers back then, but most of all people who were really laid back, less people in the ocean, relaxed and lovers of the life at the beach. Surfers now, in reality everything has changed a lot. I do not know the depth of the mentality of an actual surfer, but I think it is really competitive and commercial, in a good sense.
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I went to various countries, and I always rode the waves. I know Central America and had the luck to be in the water with people like Rory Russel, Bud Llamas, Buttons Kalukalani, Tom Curren and his father Pat in Pavones, and once with Gerry Lopez in Tamarindo and twice over head. I was with many others, not so famous but excellent. Once I was with my man, Francisco “Pancho” Oreamuno riding waves in El Salvador for several weeks and when we were leaving our racks and boards fell. We spent three days repairing boards. As a surfer I never participated in any tournaments. I was not interested in competing, I did not ride waves to be the best, I rode them because it was good for me. However I was a judge in the first championship along with Francisco “Pancho” Oreamuno and Oscar “Maguata” Aguilar. It was organized by Frank Mora, a real pioneer for surfing competitions in Costa Rica with his Costar Rican Surf Association (Acos). I retired from surfing more or less at age 40. I rode waves for 22 years. Today I am an agricultural businessman. I would tell a young surfer, to enjoy the ocean intensely, but do not abandon your studies for it, few have the opportunity and the technical conditions to live on Surfing professionally. One story is when I was at la Esquina del Mar (a bar in Pavones) after some really good waves, when this Hawaiian named Buttons, literally chewed up my Gordon and Smith board. He took it down and gave me a new one. Such good times, waves, camping, so many good memories. Three of my kids grew up in that atmosphere, in a Costa Rica different from the one today.