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MANUEL FRANCISCO OREAMUNO ECHEVERRÍA

- Begin Surfing 1969

 

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Born January 2, 1952 in San José, Costa Rica. Lives in San Ramón, La Unión de Cartago. Known in surfing as “Pancho.” Begin surfing at age 17 in 1969. Surfed for about 15 years. I began surfing when I was at Boca de Barranca one weekend. I saw this North American family surfing and I was impressed. I got my first board the following week after I saw that family and I went back to Boca and was able to buy a board from a North American. When I went to buy the board, the idea was to stay for the weekend, but I stayed and lived in Boca de Barranca until the middle of 1973 (the weekend turned into 4 years). The best from that time were the perfect 7 and 8 feet waves at Doña Ana. We called them Zippers and the sets came in every 2 weeks like clockwork. We were a small group of friends so we shared the waves without problems.

 

In my time there were such good waves that people like Gary López, a Hawaiian world champion, came to surf them. The best ones were in Doña Ana and in Pavones. Today everything has changed. There are so many people surfing and the fight to get a wave is hard, to the point that it is difficult to surf a wave without a bunch of surfers in front of you and another bunch behind you. My feeling as a surfer is that it is the best experience of my life and Surfing is a wonderful sport, the contact with nature is really big in that atmosphere. Surfers from back then were really good and mystic, we were naturalists and very spiritual. Surfers today, the reality is that I have not stayed in contact with them but I would guess the atmosphere is a positive influence. The other day I was at a small beach with really good waves near the Caldera port that we used to visit during my time. I saw basically all of Costa Rica. I went with Hernán (Negro) Barquero to San Salvador and with Javier Palacios to Panama. They were good surfers from the first or the beginnings of the second generation. In San Salvador there was a guy that was the nephew of a cop from the Puerto La Libertad police station. He was going out with a gringa that became friends with us “tiquillos” (as they called us). Because of jealousy, the cops started to accuse FRANCISCO “PANCHO” OREAMUNO us and asked for money and they told us that our tourist cards had expired and they also robbed us.

 

 

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That was a bad deal, but the good part was that the gringa came with us to Costa Rica. When I surfed there were still no tournaments. I retired at age 33 when I had a back operation. I studied Electrical Engineering at the University of Costa Rica and I have been working for ICE(the Costa Rican electrical company) for 28 years. I would tell a young surfer to look for good tides at sunrise so that the wind is blowing offshore and it makes for good tubes. Also, the surface is more level and the glide is much better. Always be faithful to surfing because it is the best sport there is. Be careful with the reef, sharks and stingrays. If the tide is really low, avoid combing the Point walking, because you can get stung by a stingray. It happened to me and I assure you it is not pleasurable. After I had been in Boca de Barranca for 4 years, one day I wondered what “fully realized” meant. I came to the conclusion that it means to use all the potential that life or God gave you, both the physical and intellectual potential. I felt I was being ‘realized’ very well physically, but not so much intellectually. So I decided to go to university and take surfing and studying simultaneously. Today I thank God for having made that decision. I am economically independent and my work allows me to live humbly but with all the basics for a happy life. Warm greeting to all surfers.

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