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July 2013




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4 | (506) 2682-5508 50 meters south and 50 meters south-west from the Beach Dog Cafe, Playa Guiones, Nosara, Costa Rica.



So why make a magazine? Well, we wanted to get out of the habit of posting hundreds of photos weekly on our websites and put a little more intimacy back into photography. Photography back in its day was special and had meaning. It was a true moment captured in time. With the new world of blogging it seems anything we do is simply replaced the next day with the new best thing. Nothing seems to have as much meaning and is quickly forgotten thanks to the oversaturation of social networks. We live in a world where everything is so easy and busy that our hard work loses its value in a matter of minutes and for what reason? While we will continue to run our websites, blogging, and ranting about whatever, we felt the need to put our special works to a greater cause while offering our community what it lacks, a surf magazine. Nosara Shack Magazine features articles and photography from all over Costa Rica. We welcome area artist, photographers, writers, and surfers to be a part of it. Magazine submissions can be sent to Graham Swindell

Photo: Graham Swindell





Photo: Matt Vaughan


Editor in chief Graham Swindell Contributing writers Jessica Sheffield Zamora, Anna Rita Pergolizzi, Marcelina Craig, Luis Soto, Graham Swindell Graphic design Aminah Juni Cittadella Jacobsen Sales officer Graham Swindell Photographers Matt Vaughan, Alfredo Barquero, Graham Swindell, Luis Soto

Any bright Ideas?

P 16 - Wanna Be a Surf Photographer? P 20 - Ostional Wildlife Refuge P 26 - FOOD Costa Rican Casado Pre-Gallo Pinto P 30 - Wave Masters - Jair Perez Quiros P 40 - Raising Tarzan: Growing Up In Nosara P 44 - “ The Surfer The Meteorologist� P 50 - Portfolios P 60 - Nosara Recycling and Education Center P 66 - Local Sessions 12

Photo: Matt Vaughan



Photo: Graham Swindell


By Graham Swindell

There are lots of things to consider when taking a surf photo but it might not be as confusing you think. I have compiled a list of things you will need and how to use them to get started in your new hobby. This tutorial will provide information for surf photography from the land.

INGREDIENTS: DSLR/Digital Camera Monopod/Trip od


m / ap L i g htro o


e r tu r e


DSLR/Digital Camera Any digital SLR camera will work. Don’t buy into the hype that you have to have a top of the line model to take a good photo. Budget your camera choice with a good lens in mind. I recommend Nikon or Canon.


Zoom lens Anywhere between 200-500mm lens are what I would recommend using from your local beach break. A 400 or 500mm 4.5 Sigma is fairly priced and offers images with great quality. You can buy that 2.8-300mm when you become pro, but for now start with some average, yet good quality glass. The further outside your break the longer the lens you will need. Your photos do not have to be super zoomed in. If you have scenic backdrops and nice foregrounds you can make a beautiful photo with a 200mm. These days surf

magazine seem to really want shots which show both the surfing and the surroundings.


Monopod/Tripod A must if you plan on taking surf photos. For video you will need a tripod with a nice fluid head to keep footage from being shaky. If you only take surf photos a monopod allows freedom to move and to find that perfect spot.


Computer/Mac with Lightroom – unless you are ready to spend years learning Adobe Photoshop we recommend starting with something much simpler and more effective when dealing with a large amount of photos. Lightroom is perfect for batching, post processing, and bringing your photos to life. A full 30 day working trail is available from . 17

Now that you have your gear we need to learn the setting for the camera. The most important part of photography is the light and settings. Check the time of the day and the position of the sun. Rule of light with photography is to keep the subject in front of you and the sun behind you to get that perfect color. If the sun is above your head I would recommend coming back another morning or evening when you can see color. If the sky is not blue your photos are going to require more work because they will be over or under-exposed. There are exceptions, but unless you’re ready to shoot artsy silhouettes start with the basics. Once you have the sun positioned behind you and can clearly see the lineup, you are ready to adjust the camera’s settings. The shutter (S) is the most important setting in stopping action. Shutter speeds for surfing work best at 800-1600 for most. If it is below 800 it starts to get blurry because the subject is in motion. If it is above 1600 it starts to get dark because not enough light enters the camera. Start on 1000 and adjust accordingly. For aperture (A or F-stop) I recommend anywhere from f7 to f9. It al-

lows great detail to the photo and captures the blue sky. The aperture tells the camera how much light to let in while the shutter tells it how long to stay open. The final setting is the ISO. The ISO sets the gain of the amplifier that’s between the CCD output and the analogue-todigital converter that generates the digital data. On really bright days I recommend using a 100-200 ISO but if it is a little cloudy you can go as high as 400 before the photo start to become grainy. In a nut shell, these are the settings I use for surf photography in Costa Rica. It is up to you to learn how to set them in your camera’s Manual settings

PLAYA GUIONES SETUP: Sunny Day 7-10am Shutter 1000-1250/Aperture f7-9 ISO 100-200

Cloudy Day Shutter 800 Aperture f8 ISO 300

Really Bright day Shutter 1200 Aperture F9 ISO 100

These are very basic settings for capturing a surfer in motion while keeping the surroundings from being over/ under-exposed. Every camera will shoot just a little different. Take a few sample photos to see if your subject is visible, the sky is blue and adjust accordingly. If the photo is too dark, lower your shutter and aperture one drop and vice versa if it’s too bright. Always follow the surfer before snapping the photo. The more you get familiar with surfing the more you’ll learn when to take the photo. Snaps, laybacks, airs, tubes, and any other trick captured with a camera require timing and knowledge of surfing. If you rely on sequences to get your photos you will be sitting on a large workload of edits. Some sequences are 8 frames in one second, meaning if you take a full turn you’re stuck with 16 photos or more. While looking through the viewfinder, always try to keep your horizon level and the subject somewhat centered. If your horizons are not level in the actual photo, post processing programs will allow you to quickly crop and rotate it.

your photos into your editing program so you can start to develop them. Only choose the best of the sequence adding them to a quick gallery. The more you learn your program the more you’ll be able to do but let’s start this tutorial with a couple of basics. Crop the photo so as to not leave a bunch of empty space on the outsides of the subject. If you have mountains in the horizons and beach in the foreground try to use a little of both while keeping your surfer the main subject. If you have a horizon Rotate the image to level it. Sharpen your image 25 percent. You don’t want it to look so sharp it becomes pixelated or fake looking add a little black or contrast to pop your shadows out and make it come to life. Export and done! You are now ready to photograph any surfer from the land. Our next tutorial will talk about our water settings.

Once you’ve got a couple hundred photos of your friends shredding, it is time to bring them to life. Import



REFUGE Text and photos by Luis Soto



“sand temperature could determine the baby turtles sex”

Located in Santa Cruz Guanacaste, the Ostional Wildlife Refuge was created in the 80´s to protect the mass nesting of Olive Ridley turtles. The black sand and tropical waters hatch millions of baby turtles a year. Away from the tourist, Playa Ostional remains a rural destination. A small dirt road and lack of bridges has kept the town isolated for many years. The situation is currently being improved by the use of bailey bridges.

Olive Ridley Turtles come to Ostional Beach to nest in large numbers in an event called “The Arribada”. The turtles gather together in the ocean usually around the third quarter of a full moon. By the thousands they come to the shore to lay their eggs during the night. The bigger arribadas can stretch for miles along the beach of Ostional and can sometimes last for as long as a week. Turtles may also nest alone at any night of the year. The number of turtles increases as the rainy season peaks. The bigger arribadas occur on the coolest months 22

between May and October with a 40-45 day hatching period. During these hatchings the sand temperature can determine the sex of a baby turtle. The October arribadas can have more than seven hundred thousand turtles laying from ninety to one hundred and twenty eggs each. The hatching for Olive Riley turtles can last as long as two weeks in the month of December. It is strongly recommended having a tour guide during arribadas and the hatchings but you are free to walk the beach any other night of the year. November to March is Leatherback season. The Leatherback turtles also nest along the same beach but in smaller numbers. There are volunteer programs for both the Olive Ridley and the Leatherback Turtles in Ostional. The University of Costa Rica has a station as well as the MINAET. They, in cooperation with tourist police, regulate the only legal turtle egg harvest project in the world. The community of Ostional works though their association (ADIO) and under the biologist supervision on a conservational plan that has progressively increased the number of turtles to nest and hatch here. The plan allows for the extraction of eggs during the first three days of Arribada

in an eight hundred meter stretch of beach. These eggs may be damaged by turtles digging to lay their own eggs on later days. They calculate extraction to be 3% total taking into account that all eggs layed between January and April will never hatch due to the high temperatures during our dry season. The big Arribadas (August to November) will cover eight kilometers of beach.

Earnings of egg sales will pay for the cost of keeping the beach clean from trash that the rain cumulates during the rainy season during flooding and runoffs. Massive hatchings are protected from vultures and predators. The baby turtles will come back to Ostional to lay their own eggs twelve years later. Completing this cycle has turned Ostional into the biggest nesting spots for Olive Ridley in the world.

Things to know: • Make sure to pack dark clothes and a red flash light. • Find a local guide before walking down the beach. • Never walk in front of a turtle leaving the water. • Walk behind all nesting turtles. • Photos with flash are prohibited. • Cover flashlights with red screen, white light is harmful to turtles! • During massive hatchings never handle baby turtles, racing for the water develops muscle and lung capacity.


Luis Vindas - Photo: Alfredo Barquero 25



The casado is a typical Costa Rican lunch or dinner dish that is very filling and perfect for starving surfers. Casado actually translates into “married” because it is a 3 course dinner all on one plate. The appetizer is your cabbage salad, the main course is your protein with rice and beans, and the dessert is the sweet plantains.

DIRECTIONS: 1. Soak two cups of beans with four cups of water over night. In a big

cooking pot heat up 1 cup of cooking oil. Chop a small onion, garlic clove, and half of a bell pepper. Sauté for 1 min. Add beans with the water, cover, and boil until tender (about an hour). Add more water if necessary and salt and pepper to taste.

2. Rinse 2 cups of rice until water is clear. In a cooking pot bring the

rice, with 2 1/2 cups of water, to a boil and reduce heat to let the rice simmer for about 25mins. When all of the water has cooked out, turn of the heat and let the rice steam for another 20mins.

3. Take a small size cabbage and shred very thin. Do the same with

one carrot. In a bowl, mix all together with the juice of 1 lime and a pinch of salt. Set aside.

4. Clean your chicken, fish, steak, or tofu and season well with salt

and pepper on both sides. Grill or sauté your protein on each side for about 4-5 mins.

5. Slice the Tico Cheese about 1/2 inch thick into 2 inch squares. Peel your plantain and cut into stripes. Heat up oil in a frying pan and fry cheese and plantain for 1 min on each side. Set aside to cool.



By Marcelina Craig




Photo: Matt Vaughan




Jair Perez Quiros

Age: 22


Playa Jaco, Costa Rica

What age did you start Surfing?: 9 years old


Hawaii, Brazil, France , Portugal, Perú, Chile, Ecuador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panamá, El Salvador, Ecuador, US.

Favorite Wave in Costa Rica? Playa Hermosa

Surfing Achievements?

20th ISA World surfing GAMES Portugal .. Champion Central America Open Guatemala 5th Place Panamerican Brazil

Goals in Surfing?

Compete in WQS , and surf my whole life

All photos: Photo: Graham Matt Vaughan Swindell








Photo: Graham Swindell

(Op. Ed. piece) By Anna Rita Pergolizzi-Wentworth, Ed.M.

Raising Tarzan: Growing Up In Nosara

It is no secret that the decision to live somewhere depends on a number of complicated factors – and if you have children, even more factors must be considered as you decide where to call home. Where will my children go to school? Who will they play with? What opportunities will they have in one place versus another? These are tough questions that do not have simple answers, especially in an age where many more parents have the option to work from anywhere in the world or will change their career at least once thus creating endless possibilities of where to establish roots.1 As you sit down and weigh your options, think what it would be like to raise your child in the jungles of Nosara. To aid you through this process, here are just a few of the many reasons why parents have chosen Nosara as the home to their children: - Children of Nosara are learning how to become stewards of the earth. The children of Nosara have the opportunity to coexist in an ecosystem that remains much more intact than in other parts of the world. They have a clearer understanding of how important it is to maintain the harmony of life. With this knowledge of how the world once was before modern man’s technologies changed the landscape, they grow prepared to tackle issues that impact the livelihood of us all. - Children of Nosara are family and community-centered. While children of Nosara have access to pop culture and social media, it is easier to encourage them to partake in other forms of entertainment: The community’s emphasis on environmentalism and appreciation of its surroundings helps focus our children’s attention on activities that can be enjoyed as a family and community rather than on solitary activities that are usually promoted by social networks and video games. - Children of Nosara are active and healthy. Many children in Nosara prefer the outdoors to an indoor and sedentary lifestyle. In Nosara, children are encouraged to participate in a myriad of activities including swimming, hiking, surfing, and just playing in and discovering the jungle that is their home. All of this helps keep them fit and strong in mind and body. - Children of Nosara are accepting and tolerant of differences. Nosara is becoming an increasingly diverse place. Families are moving here from all around the world and bring pieces of their culture and heritage to this small town.

1According to the Future Workplace “Multiple Generations @ Work” survey of 1,189 employees and 150 managers, ninety-one percent of Millennials (born between 1977-1997) will stay in a job for less than three years. Retrieved from

Our children are witnessing these differences first hand and are learning tolerance, understanding, and acceptance along the way. The environment and the people make Nosara a unique place for children. Whether you decide to make Nosara your home for a year or make it your permanent residence, your children’s experiences here will be meaningful and will provide them with invaluable opportunities.



High Season Playa Guiones. Photo: Matt Vaughan



By Graham Swindell

North swell, south swell, offshore wind, onshore wind, high tide, low tide, and even the moon’s cycle are the things that run through every full time surfer’s head. Growing up on the East Coast of the United States meteorology was a tool every surfer needed. Days and nights were spent tracking and chasing swell. Often we fell short of perfect conditions but realized it was usually about the chase anyways. Every surfer is a weatherman in some sort of way and being a surfer in Costa Rica is no different.

These days I don’t spend as much time glued to the television’s The Weather Channel checking wind direction and praying for storms, but I still use various websites daily to track swell direction in Costa Rica. You see, although we’ve got pretty consistent conditions, it varies in size, shape and form and it’s all due to swell, wind, and the tides. If you ever want to venture away from your home break and surf something a little different, not knowing swell direction, tides and winds can make worse that 2hour bumpy ride up and down the coast.


Swell Direction

Why does swell direction matter in surfing? Swells travel for thousands of miles created from ocean storms before hitting a beach creating the waves we ride. The angle or direction of the swell determines the shape and form of the wave. Because of where Playa Guiones sits geographically, our main break is able to collect swell from many directions. This makes it a very consistent surf spot. Ever wonder why it is closing out really bad on some days and long lines on others? Probably has a lot of South Swell in it causing the closeout conditions. Up and down the Coast of Guanacaste are many spots that might go 300 days out of the year without a ride-able wave but as soon as a big North Swell fills it can become a surfer’s dream. I have found a handful of breaks like this within 30 minutes of our main beach here in Playa Guiones and probably many more to be found for the surf explorers out there. General rule for swells in Central America can be summed up in two sentences. North Swells are fun. South Swells are big. If you live in this area, or if you are planning to visit, take note of swell directions because it’s the main element in surf predicting.

South Swell


What effects does a tide have on waves? Tides too can determine a wave’s shape, size and form making it another one of the most crucial weather factors to watch out for. If your morning surf session seemed fast but the evening session slow and mellow, it’s because of the tide. Low tides have less water which makes for a racy wave with a nice barreling section. Higher tides are gentler and normally require a longer paddle out because more water has filled in. There are 6 hours in between every tidal change. In between these changes you get a mid-tide. A mid tide is usually a good bet for any spot. It provides the best of both worlds. Not too fast and closing out, not too slow and mushy. A mid tide rising means the water is coming in and the tide is getting high. A mid tide falling means the water is moving back out to sea and the tide is going towards low. Search hard enough and you will find that Costa Rica is still full of empty lineups and secret spots. Lots of these spots are only going to break on one tide so don’t depend on other’s to tell you when the tide is high or low. Become a part time meteorologist and learn them for yourself. It’s a necessity for the avid surfer. You can also check the lunar charts to see when full moons are. Low tides on full moons are generally bigger and heavier. Some surfers base their travels around full moons but scientifically this really hasn’t been proven to be a factor in quality swell but it does make sense.


Full moon

High tide

Offshore versus Onshore wind

In general every surfer loves an offshore wind. That is unless it’s blowing over 20mph. Winds that blow offshore, are ones that blow out to sea. This grooms the waves clean and slows the breaking part down. Offshore winds create longer faces on the waves giving a surfer more room to play. Plenty of good barrels to be had in our offshore wind season (NovMarch), but when the winds start to blow too hard it can make surfing unpleasant. A hard offshore wind blows the surfer out of the wave, chills the water temp, and makes it difficult to do regular maneuvers. During our dry season we sometimes can have hard offshore winds for weeks with gust over 40mph. It feels like being in a hurricane without the rain. Onshore winds chop up the clean waves and make for faster sections. An onshore wind typically starts around 10am when the land heats up. No one really prays for onshore winds, but a light onshore wind is great for advanced surfers wanting to launch big airs and do other tricks. Wind direction is the game breaker for most surf safaris. I can think of dozens of surf trips where 30 minutes after being in great conditions the winds went onshore at about 15 knots quickly ending what could have been an epic session. In short 6-8:30am is your best bet for calm winds here in Guanacaste during our rainy season.

Low tide

Best Board for the Conditions

Knowing these key weather elements can help you score great conditions and also gives you the heads up on what kind of gear to use. Higher tides are more fun on fish or boards with wider tails, whereas lower tides could be best ridden with a small squash or a rounded pin.

So next time you’re planning on getting up early and charging, maybe take a second to check your swell direction, tides and winds. Many sessions have been wasted because of waking up too late, too early, or choosing the wrong board. You should always try to get the most out of you session. A few great sites on swell direction are , magicseaweed. com, and Do your research and decide what sites work best for your predictions. There is nothing more rewarding then tracking a swell for a week and finding it hitting that secret spot absolutely firing!

Offshore wind

Onshore wind


PORTFOLIO Graham Swindell



PORTFOLIO Matt Vaughan

Nosara Recycling and Education Center By M.S. Jessica Sheffield Zamora Nosara Waste and Recycling Association

All photos: Graham Swindell


Every community around the world is faced with environmental and social challenges and our beautiful coastal town of Nosara is no exception. What makes Nosara distinct are it’s residents. Over the past few decades “Nosareños” have taken on such challenges as crime, insulating power lines to protect wildlife, providing shelter for homeless pets, improving the public schools, building an amazing local library, rebuilding houses for the poor, among many other efforts. 61

As a community, we are once again pulling together for perhaps one of our largest challenges: proper waste management for the Nosara area and neighboring communities. This challenge requires action from everyone from the largest hotel to the smallest home. This effort is being led by the Nosara Recycling and Waste Association, a legal Costa Rican non-profit entity made up of concerned Nosara residents. For the past year, the Recycling Association, with the support from the entire community, has worked toward a dream of having a communal Recycling and Education Center for the benefit of our district and neighboring communities. This Center will provide multiple benefits to our area. Among them are: 1. to collect, compact and sell all types of recyclable material, 2. showcase different affordable and simple techniques to treat organic waste at home, 3. educate children, youth and adults to practice actions such as rejecting, reducing, reusing and recycling waste, 4. empower women and young people by teaching them how to create accessories and craftwork from waste, 5. to reduce by 80% the amount of garbage deposited at our dump, 6. to position Nosara as a model for the rest of Costa Rica by demonstrating that through community involvement and working together we are able to achieve great things. What is really inspiring about this project is that instead of waiting for governmental support, our community at large has embraced this challenge, and within the past year has raised more than $70,000 from members of our community and local businesses to make this project possible. We are in the final stages and hope to have the center fully operational by May of this year. We are working on many other tasks that complement this project, particularly environmental education campaigns in local schools, churches and homes. The potential for our recycling project to become a model for communities throughout Costa Rica is within reach. We hope to safeguard our dry forest ecosystem, our rivers and our beaches from pollution and increasing waste. Our goal is to inspire, educate and motivate people so that everyone understands that their actions at home and in the community will make a big difference. It is possible to reduce, by more than half, the garbage produced in our everyday lives.


If you would like to be involved or learn more about our projects please visit:

We hope to safeguard our dry forest ecosystem, our rivers and our beaches from pollution and increasing waste.


Local Sessions




Nosara Shack magazine Vo 1 No 1  

Three surf photographers got together and made a magazine. Serving Nosara , Guanacaste and beyond.