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MARIO CHAVERRI SANCHEZ
- BEGIN SURFING 1971 -
The best Traveling & Surfing Guide in Costa Rica
Born in Puntarenas, San Rafael Hospital, July 2, 1955. Lives in Fertica, El Roble, Puntarenas, known in Surfing as “El Doc” for being a Doctor and Surgeon. He begin surfing at age 16 in 1971 in Boca de Barranca. My medical studies cut surfing short but I came back in Pavones 7 years later after graduating; that’s where I became one with the tube. I was active in Surfing for 22 years, the fever left about 15 years ago…I began surfing when a friend from Puerto (the port) wanted to go to Boca de Barranca to see some friends surf. I brought her and I loved it, we were in our 4th year of high school. Back then I was one of the few that had a car, there were no police so it did not matter that I did not have a license. My first board, well I should differentiate three “first” times, at 16, Secundino (1971) loaned me his board of balsa wood, hollow and hard like a trunk, one that a North American left, at 24, Frank Mora (1980), in Pavones loaned me a long board, 8.2”, “lightynbold” brand or something like that, red, stable, obedient, it taught me to enjoy the Pavones tubes, they were bigger than the board, we were an awesome trio! I should say that later my first real board was one of two fins (1982), “culo” squared. It lived in the Boca de Barranca cabins, it was really jealous, Sunset brand, vibrant in the second point of Doña Ana.
That is where we rode waves back then. The board let me be explosive in the wall and in the tubes when there were tubes, which was almost always. I rode lateral inside, like the 2nd point demanded in Doña Ana. My surfing style is Goofy. ¡!!, part of the tube, if no no ¡! Any stories…many good ones!! One unforgettable story was in Pavones, with a gigantic board, but still smaller than the waves…and incredible set surprised me. It was so big that the waves broke like 50 meters back from where we thought. I stayed back by myself. The set had carried everyone present back. There were 5 – Frank, El Oso, Marco, Hernán. So it would not wipe me out I swam like crazy, with everything I had and I went for a wave that was in front of me. I was able to get it, the board descended easily, the “lip” began to caress my hair and that kind mother, the powerful wave taught me for the first time IN MY PRACTICE OF THE SPORT, the tube…THE MAGNIFICENT, I bent down so it would not throw me out and wow.
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The tube! Each time a little further in, further in, I swear I could see the opening of the tube 3 meters away…bent down further…further in, crouched down…further in… hallucinating!…the mother enveloped me, the lip got to me, it did not matter, it was the tube…the majestic!!! From that first time it stayed with me forever…I did not go back surfing that day…I did not want another image, another memory…everything had been over and above. One bad story was coming back from Playa Avellanas to Golfito, vía Pavones, with the whole in the streets; they are not new, took out the shock of the front left tire, it got buried against the motor. I could not go on. I stayed there fixing it on the road in Villa Nelly. We were broken down a good while, goodbye waves, for like 2 weeks…!!! The best was when I spent a night by myself in Roca Bruja, looking at the stars, while my friends went to Liberia to bring back supplies.
It was a great night, with the stars, the waves, nature, like a natural ‘ecstasy,’ without drugs! The waves in Costa Rica have notably gotten smaller, although it is a phenomenon the world lover and we are still one of the best in the area, for the sport and tourism. Surfers back then practiced more with their soul. Since there were less people, we got more waves. There was less competition, more respect and brotherhood. The surfing attitude of today has been impregnated with the material, just like everything, and it has become more important to “watch me,” than to enjoy it for what it is – the beauty of whichever sport. This has happened with everything, take soccer. I have surfed many places in our country like Roca Bruja, Avellanas, Tamarindo, Langosta, Mal país, LA BOCA de Barranca, Doña Ana, Caldera, Escondida, Tivives, right and left, Jaco, Hermosa, Tulin, Pavones, Bonita, and Puerto Viejo…and some others. I went to California, Miami, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Israel. One time in Miami, being crazy we went to the point and I could not see the waves. It was choppy, no real waves. I also participated as a judge and I competed. I got 2nd place in Hermosa. But I preferred to not participate and truly enjoy the waves. Today I am an Emergency Room Doctor at Hospital Monseñor Sanabria in Puntarenas. I would tell a young surfer to enjoy and study. Surfing is not a means for living, your objective of a better life.