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Teiki Mathieu Baillan surfing a self-made Alaia surfboard in Lances Left, Mentawaï, Indonesia. Photo by C. Naslain, 2009.

Surf spot atlas made by surfers for surfers
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 Costa Rica

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By Alvaro , 12-12-2003

How far they swim - You are right, they usually stay close to the rivermouth and don't navigate too far into the ocean. They like to hang around in shallow waters where there are more turtles, crabs, fish, and surfers!! The place that I recommend the most caution is Witch's Rock. This is a national park and thus a breeding ground for crocs. They are very big and know that surfers crowd the lineups. Also, the rivermouth is very big compared to others in the area.

By Alvaro , 12-12-2003

When crocs attack!!! - When the tide is high, the crocs are more probable to show up in the lineup. When the tide is low, less probable. But then again, you never know. At Witch's Rock there was a croc that was living in the lineup in between some tree trunks and scared the hell out of me and my pals all the time. Crocodiles can still walk out there when the tide is low so don't be too confident on the tide. One thing I know is that when it's the dry season there is less food in the rivermouth/estuaries and they tend to go to the ocean searching for some tasting surf dudes. Bottom line, stay alert and don't mess with them...they are HUUUUGGGEEE!!!

By anonymous , 11-12-2003

no title - Are the crocs still going into the ocean if the rivermouth is dry? I would guess that they would stay in the estuary then, but if anyone could offer there input then it would be appreciated.

By anonymous , 11-12-2003

To Alvaro - Thanks for the advice again. Your the man for always helping out prospective visitors. Do you know how far away from the rivermouths the crocs will travel? I heard that they mainly stay close to the rivermouths, but I am sure that you would know. Thanks again.

By Alvaro , 11-12-2003

Attacks - There have been reports about attacks, but nothing recent and not to surfers. They are nothing to worry about, but if you are surfing near a rivermouth then keep your eyes open for some strange activity. I do know that there was a couple of recent shark attacks in Marbella and Playa Grande. THe one grande just bit the tail of the board and the one in Marbella almost took the guy's leg. Both attacks involved bull sharks.

By anonymous , 11-12-2003

attacks??? - Have there been any reported attacks??? I am very curious about this. Also does anyone know of any other Costa Rica surfing forums?

By Alvaro , 10-12-2003

Re: True Story - I forgot "Not Paul Hogan", crocodiles have special glands in their throats that allow them to live in fresh and saltwater environments. THey also swallow rocks to be able to dive deeper and sneak on their prey. They go into the ocean to search for food, not to catch waves!! You guys are the luckiest guys!!! Be careful man, don't want to be croc food!!

By Alvaro , 10-12-2003

Re: True Story - I'm a local and I have had SEVERAL experiences with crocodiles here. I wrote a message a few months ago warning turists about the dangers of them in rivermouths and estuaries. You guys are VERY lucky that you didn't get attacked cause crocodiles are always looking for food. They hang out in pretty much every rivermouth near the coast and they do like surfers. Somebody up in the sky must like your friend because the croc was after him and somehow got scared. Places where you might encounter crocs are: Barranca, Tulin, Tamarindo, Witch's Rock, Guacalillo, and Hermosa. Be careful and always be on the lookout for a couple of curious eyes popping up!!!

By not Paul Hogan , 09-12-2003

true story - I really don't mean to scare anyone but this is absolutely true. My friend and I were surfing in CR near a river mouth(I won't say where because I don't want to affect local business), and as my friend was paddling for a wave he hit something, fell off his board, and missed the wave. When he lifted his head out of the water he saw a scaly black tail scurrying away. We also later saw crocs just chilling out there with only their eyes above the water.
Later, we asked some local surfers about the crocs and they were kind of shy about it like, "yeah but they never really attack or anything". I don't know why they are in the ocean but I hope it's not because they're looking for food. I mean it seemed like the croc was more scared of the board but you never know what could happen. I think I'd rather get bitten by a shark than a croc because supposedly sharks bite you then let go. Has anyone else seen or heard about this?

By TDDPM@HOTMAIL.COM , 08-12-2003

I ENJOY C.RICA AND HAVE GOOD ADVICE - I caught Pavonnes the best it has been in 15 years. It was 10-15 ft with 1/4 mile lefts, if you could make the 1st section. Now it is too crowded. It is a point! People drop in on the shoulder and crusch youe wave. Friendly people, cheap, but only one point wave and out of the way.
DOMINICAL has many spots. (river mouth, A-frame, shorebreaks). TAMARINDO is the best. better food, hotels and more close spots. Must have a car.
Take a snake bite kit!!! and a 1st aid kit. Always make certain that all in you rparty know where the nearest hospital is! Should be a good experience for you.

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