Costa Rica Surf – Is that Photo Shop or Suck Rock breaking HUGE?

Suck Rock Santa Teresa Costa Rica Surf spot

Photo Shop or Real Deal?

Look at this photo, what do you think, Photo Shop or Suck Rock HUGE and going off?

I was there for that swell, May 2007. I was standing at one point on the beach in front Costa Rica Resort Red Palm Villas, it sits directly in front of that wave, I was with buddies Tom and Peter. They had just wrapped up an epic session, they arrived 7 am it was double over head and it just kept getting bigger and bigger. By 11am it was HUGE, the waves were stacking as far as the eye could see. Earlier we were in our tree stand, 40 feet above the beach where we could get good vantage of the surfers when they went below the lips of the waves.

Costa Rica surf at Red Palm Villas

Playful right at Suck Rock

At that moment I was asking if anyone had ever seen it bigger. Tom and Peter had been in Santa Teresa for over 15 years, surfed about 200 days a year minimally, no one would know better then these two, the idea was being tossed around when in the corner of my eye, about 700 meters out I thought I saw someone smack the lips of a wave…we all stopped talking, who the hell was that I asked, we waited what seemed an eternity, I finally broke the silence and said, if it was anyone, they never made that bottom turn, there were nods, still silence, all of a sudden, about 100 meters closer another top turn, some little maniac on a short board was riding this 8 meter Hawaiian giant…silence.

Slap, slap, slap, all the way from Outer Reef into Mimms, finally into Suck Rock, through the trough at rocket speed, 10 more turns later at 7 Trees. That was the wildest ride I had ever witnessed in front of Red Palm Villas.

We all waited wondering who the hell that was, for sure one of the boys, just who…finally, in what appeared to be miles of heavy thick white wash, stepping onto the beach, head hung low and solemn, absolutely a man in a deep moment of retrospection, Gene, known by the locals as Rosti Pollo (obviously a guy who had spent a lot of time in the water and his skin showed the signs) emerged from the sea with his short board in hand.

If the expression “mad props” means anything to you, this guy earned it teresa-surf-services.html”>Santa Teresa that day, the paddle out alone could easily have been more than an hour.

It was finally decided by all, there was only one day and one man to ever ride a Santa Teresa giant greater than that ride of Rosti Pollo in May 2007, Macana, another local, definitely a legend, no longer with us but definitely a man missed by anyone who was ever lucky enough to have had a beer with him, and heard his story. In short, three words would best describe this man we all loved, “Mom, friends, dog!” He would without hesitation put his life on the line for anyone of the three.  Anyway, apparently, a few years before a swell equal or greater than this one rolled through and the one wave everyone saw and remembers is “that wave Macana rode in from Outer Reef”.

Another story, another time, for now, back to my original question, Photo Shop or Suck Rock?    It’s sort of a huge dispute in town. I know the answer. For me what matters is this, I know it gets that big and bigger, I’ve laid in bed and felt the ground tremble like an aftershock when one of these giants breaks right out front on the reef, and I’ve seen it while sitting in front of my home with a cup of coffee. If you want to surf big beautiful Hawaiian style barrels, when it’s on, Suck Rock is one of the best waves in all of Costa Rica and is home to that wave.

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