The eternal quest for the perfect wave

What can we say is the definition of the perfect wave ?

Actually this definition is subject to our surfing level or ability. We might think, what kind of wave do I like? 4-5 feet off shore wind? 6-8 feet with good barrels? 2-4 foot waves and glassy-no wind?

The definition of the perfect wave is very personal but whatever our perfect wave is, you obviously need to look for it.

So what basic points should you keep in mind to find the wave that will serve you best?



Depending on the place we go, the tide can greatly influence whether it is good or bad. For example , usually the best time to surf Playa Jaco is 2 hours before high tide (When the tide is going down, the waves tend to close out  very fast), unlike Playa Hermosa, Playa Esterillos and Playa Bejuco where it can work possible with the tide rising or the tide falling.

Swell Direction:

There are several websites that you can check to determine which direction the wave comes such as, or (keep in mind that these sites are not 100% accurate but they do give us a good starting point).

For example Esterillos and Bejuco works well with 198-210 degrees, Jaco works well with 200 to 212 degrees, Roca Loca 210-220 degrees, Escondida 205-215 degrees, Barranca 195-205 degrees. Also keep in mind that there are exceptions to the rule and that the larger waves will have more influence on direction.


Experience of the Locals:

For me, this point is one of the most valuable in determining where to surf. I recommend that when you are going to a beach or any point, try talking to the locals of each place, especially with those who have spent a good amount of time surfing or fishing in the area.

In Costa Rica there are approximately 52 known places for surfing and some secret spots that you might have to be willing to walk, drive or paddle to a little more. I know some of you have come to the right place with the perfect timing: tide, wave size, wind and swell direction and we can say that when all the elements come together, there is no feeling like it.


Alvaro Solano
Vista Guapa Surf Camp

PS : The creations of God are there waiting to enjoy.

Photos taken by:



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