Surfnica Magazine & Travel Guide April - June 2014

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World Class Surfing in Managua San Diego left slab

Discovering Southern Nicaragua

The secret of Mukul revealed Playa Jiquelite: best waves of the region

Nombre de la Foto Photo: Name

Copa Pacífico de Surf 2014

Area Títulos Playa San Diego, CHACHFILES

3 days, 7 divisions, 140 surfers

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Surfnica Magazine & Travel Guide

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Publisher César Medina


Editor at Large Jake Howard Staff Photographer Tony Roberts


Art Director Luis Arriola Business Developer Adolfo Mejia Business Developer Adolfo Mejia



APR-JUN 2014 10 Nica Knowledge 14-19 Copa Paccifíco de Surf 2014 26-31 Nica Hot Spots 34-35 Nica Spotlight

Cover Photo: San Diego, (CHACH FILES)

39 Directory Digital Version Avalible at: Follow us: SurfnicaMag


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Marketing Coordinator Maria Gabriela Gómez Legal Adviser Maria Medina Contributing Photographers Jerson Barboza Rick Briggs Renato Cardoso Ryan Craig Michael Dennison Miguel Espinoza Roberto Garcia John Matthews Brian Scott Donald Stone Printed In


Surfer: Oscar Espinoza, Colorado Photo: Brian Scott (Nica Surf Shots)

“Everyone knows good surfing ALWAYS starts with a proper bottom turn... Oscar Espinoza laying it down Tommy Curren Style! Surfnica Magazine & Travel Guide



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NICA KNOWLEDGE Presented by:

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El Gueguense Theatrical play fusioned with dance and music, which describes miscegenation between Spanish and Indigenous races in Nicaragua.

Vaho (or Baho) is a Nicaraguan dish consisting of beef, green and ripe plantains, and yucca, pressure-cooked in banana leaves.

Obra de teatro fusionada con danza y música, que describe el mestizaje entre las razas española e indígena en Nicaragua.

Es un platillo nicaragüense que consiste en una mezcla de carne de res, plátano verde y maduro, y yuca, cocinado a presión en hojas de plátano.

Ruben Dario Father of Modernism, he is the most prominent Nicaraguan poet and one of the most influential in the Hispanic World in the 21st century. Padre del Modernismo, es el poeta más destacado de Nicaragua y uno de los más influyentes en el ámbito hispánico del Siglo XX. Augusto C. Sandino National Heroe who fought for the sovereignty and freedom of Nicaragua expelled the invaders in 1933. Héroe Nacional que luchó por la soberanía y libertad de Nicaragua hasta lograr, la expulsión de los invasores en 1933. Palo de Mayo It is a dance that represents a celebration to receive rain, production and new life, and includes a maypole, which is a high wooden pole, decorated with several long colored ribbons. Es una danza que representa una celebración de bienvenida a la lluvia y la producción; e incluye un palo alto de madera decorado con varias cintas largas y de colores.

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Vigorón is a traditional Nicaraguan dish consisting of salad (chopped cabbage, tomatoes, onions, and chili pepper), boiled yucca and pork rind. It is served in banana leaf and often eaten without silverware. Es un platillo tradicional nicaragüense que contiene ensalada (repollo, tomates, cebollas y chile jalapeño), yuca cocida y chicharrón (piel de cerdo frita). Se sirve en hojas de plátano y usualmente se come sin cubiertos. Nacatamal is a typical dish made up of corn, lard, with some seasonings such as salt and annatto; and filled with seasoned pork meat, rice, a slice of potato, pepper, tomato, onion and cilantro. Es un platillo típico hecho de maíz y manteca de cerdo con algunos sazonadores como sal y achiote; rellenado con carne de cerdo, arroz, una rebanada de papa, pimiento, tomate, cebolla y cilantro.

ECO-TOURISM Natural Reserve Datanlí – El Diablo. It is a huge mountain range with infinite valleys and streams. It’s an area with wide biodiversity area with one of the highest amounts of endemic species in Nicaragua. You will find birds: Quetzal and Bellbird; and mammals: Puma and several species of monkeys. Es una cordillera de montañas con infinitos valles y ríos. Es un área de amplia biodiversidad con una de las cantidades más altas de especies endémicas en Nicaragua. Aquí encontrarás aves como el Quetzal y Pájaro Campana; y mamíferos como el Puma y varias especies de monos. Apanás Lake. This lake is an art work of modern engineering (for hydro-energy production), but also grants us one of the most beautiful landscape treasures of Nicaragua. You can go swimming, kayaking and fishing while hearing the songs of the Guardabarrancos, Quetzales and thousands of other birds, coming from the emerald abyss of forest. Este lago es una obra de arte de la ingeniería moderna (producción hidro-energía), pero también nos otorga uno de los paisajes más hermosos de Nicaragua. En este lago puedes nadar, remar en Kayak y pescar, mientras escuchas los cantos de los Guarbarrancos, Quetzales y miles de otras aves provenientes del bosque. For more information and tours, contact the Ministerio de Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (M.A.R.E.N.A.): +505.8920.0081 / Office hours: 8:00am to 5:00 pm, Monday – Friday.

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de Surf 2014 11-13 Abril 2014


Playa Sardinas, Tola Finca Popoyo


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C ategoría: F inca Popoyo is a residential planned comC ategories: U-14, U-16, U-18, National Open, International munity with a conscious vision dedicated to faU-14, U-16, U-18, National Open, International Open, Women, and Longboard.

Open, Women, and Longboard.

Special activities & events Environmental workshop by Paso Pacífico Nicaragua; and Relay Competition.

Actividades y eventos especiales Environmental workshop by Paso Pacífico Nicaragua; and Relay Competition.

Highlights Biggest national competition in terms of competitors, divisions and duration

Aspectos relevantes: Competencia nacional mas grande en cuanto a cantidad de competidores, divisiones y duración.

•The last competition in Playa Sardinas was in 2006.

•Surfers from Managua participated in the competition for the first time.

•La ultima competición en Playa Sardinas habia sido en el año 2006.

•Surfistas de Managua participaron por primera vez en una competencia.

in the

•El equipo de surf de Las Peñitas compitió en su

•Juan Lopez, local surfer from Sardinas, won

•Juan Lopez, surfista local de Sardinas, ganó

•Las Peñitas Surf Team took part their national event for the second time.

the U-18 division and 2nd place in National Open.

•Sean Pearson won both the National and International Divisions

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segundo evento nacional

la división Sub-18 y obtuvo segundo lugar en el Abierto Nacional

•Sean Pearson obtuvo el primer lugar las categorías Abierto Nacional e Internacional.

milies and individuals who seek to carve out just a bit of paradise for a gourmet life on a sustainable diet.

We hope to live with and among our Nicaraguan hosts, to celebrate the beauty and passion of all things Nicaraguan, to create a model for others to follow. We have patiently waited for our moment and after nine years of planning are launching our project this surf season, 2014 with a handful of initial lot sales. We are located at Bahia Punta Sardina, directly in front of the “pipeline of Central America” - Popoyo. With nearly 1500 meters of beachfront and stunning ocean front hills and meadows along the entire expanse a community of gracefully designed homes is our vision. Join Us! Grow with Us!’, expresses the owner of the community, Philip Christopher. See more at:

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1er Lugar

2do Lugar

3er Lugar

Sub – 14

Erick Cruz

Valentina Resano

Andy Cortez

Sub – 16

Jackson Obando

Oscar Espinoza

Erick Cruz

Sub – 18

Juan López

Yuber Martínez

Kevin Cortez

Abierto Nacional

Sean Pearson

Juan López

Augusto Chamorro

Abierto Internacional

Sean Pearson

Austin Bungert

Manuel Resano


Norwin Estrella

Pedro Flores

Morrie McBride


Valentina Resano

Eloísa Gonzales

Candelaria Resano

Tag Team

San Juan del Sur


1. Frank Gonzalez 2. Augusto Chamorro 3. César Amador 4. Rex Calderón 5. Jackson Obando 6. Kevin Espinoza 7. John Lopez 8. Isaac Rodriguez 9. U-14 Finalists /Finalistas Sub-14 10. Valentina Resano 11. Norwin Estrella

Photo Captions

12. Mario Martínez 13. Oscar Espinoza 14. Sean Pearson 15. Juan Lopez 16. Andy Cortez 17. U-16 Finalists /Finalistas Sub-16 18. Luis Chamorro 19. Yuber Martínez 20. L to R/ Izq a Der. Austin Bungert, Lance Moss, Manuel Resano and/ y Sean Pearson


/Subtítulos de Fotografías

27. L to R, Morrie Mc Bride, Norwin 31. Sean Pearson, National and 21. Alex Alvarado Estrella and/y International Open Champion 22. Joel Chavez Pedro Flores / Sean Pearson, Campeón del 23. Candelaria Resano 28. Juan Lopez, U-18 Abierto 24. Oliver Solís Champion/Campeón Sub-18 Nacional e Internacional 25. L to R/Izq a Der, Erick Cruz, 29. L to R/Izq a Der, Jackson Obando, 32. L to R/Izq a Der, Manuel ReAndy Cortez, Valentina Resano Erick Cruz, Oscar Espinoza and/y Walter sano and daughters (Valentina and/y Candelaria Resano Reyes and Candelaria), Karen Lacayo, 30. Jackson Obando receives U-16 26. Valentina Resano, Women’s Claudia Silva, Dexter Ramirez, 1st place trophy from Maritza RiveMaritza Rivera, Jackson ObanDivision Champion/Valentina ra, ELLAS-PP-BID-FOMIN Project do, Harvey Gonzalez, Sean Resano, Campeona de la Coordinator/Jackson Obando recibe su Pearson, and Juan Lopez. Division Mujeres trofeo de primer lugar de Maritza Rivera, 33. Relay Competition Teams Coordinadora Proyecto ELLAS-PP-BID- / Equipos en Competencia de FOMIN Relevo Surfnica Magazine & Travel Guide


FROM YOUR LUXURY SUITE TO WORLD-CLASS WAVES! THE SECRET OF MUKUL REVEALED! O ne of the secrets of Mukul was a surprise!” said Federico, General Manager of Mukul. “We discovered we are located on a world-class hotspot for surfing.” In addition to being only minutes away from epic breaks by our private boat, guests of Guacalito de la Isla have the privy opportunity to go from their luxury accommodations to Mukul´s secluded beaches… and surf world-class waves of a lifetime. With our “best of the best” award winning spas, unparalleled golf course, pools, pristine shorelines and unending customized activities, it´s the ultimate final fantasy touting a luxury twist as a surfing paradise. Mukul´s special lifestyle with “Bed to Surf” amenities recently attracted Tropicsurf, an international company renown for luxury surfing trips. From Africa to Fiji, to secret hideaways by seaplane, this Australian based company selected Guacalito de la Isla in their worldwide family of 5-star, custom surfing destinations. International surf groups and families having vacations at Mukul´s upscale resort, as well as Guacalito de la Isla´s homeowners, landowners and guests; can have private surf coaching sessions with highly prepared experts, integrating concepts of nutrition, fitness training and a complete cross-training specially targeted to the sport of surfing. One of the amazing values of these coach sessions is the use of individual performance videos that are integrally matched with a skill progression master plan. Gemma Yates is TropicSurf professional coach, and she has the abilities and tools to guide the development of high performance surf athletes, including sponsored surfers for junior competitions. “Diagnostic feedback is the secret to catching more waves and unlocking your skills faster”, she confides. In Mukul, there is something for everyone, ranging from easy breaks along Manzanillo´s sandy-bottom beach, to more advanced reef and point break challenges. Some of the most famous nearby breaks are Playa Colorado and Popoyo, which have an impressive outer break and an area to tow-in with jet skis for world- class waves surfers. “This area is unique; it has a 180 degree swell window which makes it one of the most consistent surf destinations in the world.” The surf is exceptional practically every day of the year! Being here is like taking a step back in time. Nostalgic and simple! Mother Nature provides everything you need. Nicaragua and Playa Manzanillo might be the next destination in your Surf-paradise list.

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U no de los secretos de Mukul.. ¡fue una sorpresa!, dijo Federico, Gerente General de Mukul. “Descubrimos que estamos ubicados en un punto estra-

tégico para el surf de clase mundial. Además de estar a sólo unos minutos de olas épicas con nuestro barco privado, nuestros huéspedes tienen la exclusiva oportunidad de pasar de su alojamiento de lujo, a las playas privadas y olas de clase mundial que ofrece Mukul. Con nuestro Spa, galardonado como el “Mejor de los Mejores”, un inigualable campo de golf, piscinas, costas vírgenes y actividades personalizadas; la fantasía familiar se completa con un toque de lujo: encontrarse en un paraíso del surf. El estilo de vida especial de Mukul “de la cama al Surf?”, recientemente atrajo a Tropicsurf, una compañía internacional reconocida para viajes de surf de lujo. De África a Fiji, pasando por escondites privados en hidroavión, esta compañía australiana seleccionó a Guacalito de la Isla como parte de la familia de destinos personalizados de surf de 5 estrellas. Grupos internacionales de surf y familias que vacacionan en Mukul, así como los huéspedes y propietarios de residencias y terrenos en Guacalito de la Isla; pueden optar por sesiones de entrenamiento profesional a través de expertos altamente calificados, integrando conceptos de nutrición, entrenamiento físico y un programa de crecimiento y desarrollo integral diseñado especialmente para el deporte del surf. Uno de los valores interesantes es el uso de videos de desempeño individual que son contrastados con un plan maestro de avance. Gemma Yates es la entrenadora profesional de Tropicsurf, y dispone de las habilidades y herramientas para guiar el desarrollo de atletas de alto desempeño, incluyendo surfistas patrocinados para competiciones juveniles. “La retroalimentación del diagnóstico es el secreto para atrapar más olas y liberar sus habilidades más rápidamente”, mencionó. En Mukul, hay algo para todos, desde olas suaves y fáciles con fondo arenoso en Playa Manzanillo, a desafíos en arrecifes y rompientes de picos.. Algunos de los más famosos y cercanos lugares para surfear son Playa Colorado, y Popoyo, que tiene una impresionante rompiente mar adentro, y un área para surfear usando motos de agua, para surfistas de olas de clase mundial. “Esta área es única; tiene un oleaje de 180 grados que la convierte en uno de los destinos de surf más atractivos del mundo”. El surf es excepcional prácticamente todos los días del año. Estar aquí es como dar un paso atrás en el tiempo.. ¡Nostálgico y simple! La madre naturaleza provee todo lo que uno necesita. Nicaragua y Playa Manzanillo puede ser tu próximo destino en tu lista de paraísos del surf.

Kul Waves: Lean to Surf Package… Valid dates: May 1-Oct 31, 2014 Accommodation Type: Golf & Mountain View Bohio $506.00 usd Ocean View Bohio $536.00 usd Ocean Front Bohio $578.00 usd 1 Bd Ocean Villa Villa $822.00 usd 1 Bd Beachfront Villa $982.00 usd Rates based on double occupancy and per night Offer includes luxury accommodations, breakfast for two daily in La Terraza restaurant and round trip transfers to and from Managua airport and Flor de Caña Rum welcome amenity / Two days use of two surfboards / 90 minutes shared lesson for up to four people Subject to availability at time of booking Offer cannot be combined with any other promotion and requires a minimum stay of 4 nights. Book or enquire about your surf trip at: reservations@mukulresort. com / (505) 2563-7161 or visit: for further information. Surfnica Magazine & Travel Guide


Photo: Michael Tweddle / ISA

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urante la segunda quincena de febrero, Mukul Beach, Golf & Spa recibió un grupo de casi 50 toleños para lanzar Tola Conecta, una plataforma social comunitaria que pretende promover un turismo responsable en el municipio de Tola, Rivas. Entre los asistentes estaban miembros de la Alcaldía de Tola (Rivas), estudiantes, grupos de mujeres, artistas, y pequeños empresarios, junto con un primer grupo de Amigos de Tola desde Argentina, Brasil, Colombia, República Dominicana, Finlandia, Francia, España y Estados Unidos. Tola Conecta servirá como un anfitrión de turistas invitados a Tola. “Los visitantes vienen a Mukul buscando experiencias positivas,” mencionó Claudia Silva, Directora de Relaciones Públicas y Mercadotecnia en Mukul Beach, Golf & Spa. Tola Conecta debe aprovechar esta tendencia para impulsar un modelo donde la comunidad puede elegir el tipo de turista que quiere en Tola tal como se seleccionan los invitados a la casa. “Pero hay que tener valentía para decirle a un turista que no me conviene,” añadió Claudia. Tola Conecta también apoyará la creación de un ecosistema emprendedor para impulsar negocios sociales. La Iniciativa Sociopreneur, una alianza entre Mukul y UNICEF, está trabajando con cerca de 30 emprendedores locales en temas tan diversos como una academia de inglés para niñas y niños en

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condiciones de vulnerabilidad, hasta a la creación de una ruta turística de “la Novia de Tola”. Sin embargo, para llevar a cabo estas iniciativas de forma sostenible, “es necesaria una red de soporte en la propia comunidad, porque muchos emprendimientos sociales fracasan por falta de apoyo y no por falta de dinero,” explicó Natalia Adler, Jefa de Políticas Sociales de UNICEF. Como parte del proceso, los participantes crearon una página en Facebook llamada Amigos de Tola, para construir enlaces entre los emprendedores locales y el resto del mundo.

IGolf n the second week of February, Mukul Beach, & Spa welcomed a group of 50 Toleños to

launch Tola Conecta, a social and community-based platform that seeks to promote a responsible tourism in the municipality of Tola, Rivas. Amongst the participants were members from the mayor´s office, students, women´s groups, artists and small business owners, along with the first group of Amigos de Tola (Friends of Tola) from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republican, Finland, France, Spain and the US. Tola Conecta will host of tourists “invited” to Tola. “Guests come to Mukul looking for positive

experiences,” mentioned Claudia Silva, Public Relations and Sales Director at Mukul Beach, Golf & Spa. Tola Conecta will take advantage of this trend to promote a tourism model where the community selects the kind of tourist it wants, in the same way one invites guests to their homes. “But you have to have the courage to tell a particular tourist you´re not welcomed,” added Claudia. Tola Conecta will also support the development of an entrepreneurial ecosystem to foster social businesses. The Sociopreneur Initiative, an alliance between Mukul and UNICEF, is working with about 30 social entrepreneurs with diverse enterprises: from an English Academy for children in vulnerable situations to the creation of a Tour of the Bride of Tola, based on a local legend. To accelerate this ecosystem in a sustainable manner, “we need a support network inside the community because many social enterprises fail for lack of support – and not for lack of funds,” explained Natalia Adler, Chief of Social Policy at UNICEF. As part of the process, a facebook page (“Amigos de Tola”) was created to build bridges between local social entrepreneurs and the rest of the world.

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S urfing along the Pacific coast of Nicaragua gets rave reviews from riders who now come

from across the world to try out waves deemed world class by major publications. The yearround consistency of local surfing is renowned, thanks to steady winds from Lake Nicaragua that generally blow over 250 days a year. What was just a few years ago an undiscovered surfing paradise is now home of Milagro del Mar and the 65th best wave in the world. The development of Milagro del Mar involves residential complexes, resort and golf courses, catching the attention of tourists and renowned surfers that are constantly looking vto practice sports and unwind in the beaches of the Pacific coast of Nicaragua. Milagro del Mar is fortunate to have a worldclass break considered one of the best in the world. Situated on three and a half miles of breathtaking Pacific coast and located less than an hour away from downtown Managua, this resort is located in Playa San Diego nearby Asuchillo Beach.

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The combination of high quality service and exotic beaches has made of Milagro del Mar an ideal destination for surfers around the world. Whether you are a beginner or an expert, Milagro del Mar has the perfect wave for you. With two beaches on location, surfers can enjoy of an array of waves, from high speed, fast breaking points to smooth sand, almond-shaped barrels, which are great for beginners.Our resort at Milagro del Mar has become a favored destination for surfers, with lodging just steps from the waves paired with other forms of entertainment. Our Milagro Surf Shop is one of the most completely stocked facilities in the country, with a wide variety of surf and boogie board rentals for beginners and pros. Custom “stay and surf” packages are available, and the shop’s knowledgeable staff can help plan and book your vacation, including stops at many of the best surf spots along the Nicaraguan coast.

The luxury condos at Milagro are located directly on the ocean, giving every unit an impressive view of the Pacific. Each balcony overlooks the oceanfront infinity pool. Floor plans range from one to three bedrooms, with fiber-optic Internet access throughout the building. Colonial Village offers a variety of homes for vacation rental, ideal for families and groups. Located just a short walk from the beach, these homes provide privacy and convenience for their guests. Both condos and homes are completely equipped with air conditioning, fans, hot water, wireless Internet, cable TV, washer/dryers, DVD players, and fully equipped kitchen. Guests can sit and relax in the lounge chairs surrounding the infinity pool or lay in the hammocks under the ranchitos to escape the heat. Tasca! Restaurant and Bar, provides poolside bar and dining service open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We invite you to discover and enjoy Playa San Diego and Asuchillo with us at Milagro del Mar and stay for a day, a week or a lifetime!

Playa San Diego, Milagro del Mar Photo: CHACHFILES

Bookings / +505 8354-1104 (Nicaragua) /+505 886-0004 Surfnica(US) Magazine & Travel Guide /


Photo: Roberto Garcia/NSR

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Playa Jiquelite Santana

L ocated on a beautiful strip of land between the Pacific Ocean and Lake Nicaragua lies

Rancho Santana. A unique geographic location, the coast experiences off shore winds almost year round. Landing on the map as a coveted destination for the active and adventurous traveller, especially surfers, Rancho Santana boasts two miles of shoreline that includes five unique beaches. Playa Jiquelite, probably the most popular of the five, holds some of the best waves in the region.

This intermediate to advanced wave is a really fun, consistent beach break that works best on higher tides and mid-period southwest swells. Playa Jiquelite offers a series of peaks, due to swells that bounce off the lava shelf on the south end of the beach, right below the main clubhouse. The first two peaks are usually always best and offer fast, barreling waves. The Rancho Santana’s main clubhouse is perched right on Playa Jiquelite, giving surfers easy access to the wave and making it a great

spot to watch the action, take photos, and most importantly, relax. Offering all-inclusive surf retreats for all levels of surfers, Playa Jiquelite is just one of many beaches in the area with world-class waves for you to experience. Retreats can be customized and are the perfect way to experience surfing in southwest Nicaragua.

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for Surfers G race is a passionate yoga teacher and plant-based nutritionist who teaches vaY oga is an ancient healing technique that is so much more than just stretching and

touching your toes. The right style of yoga will improve your surf AND improve your life!

1.Yoga helps to relax and release tension in

the muscles helping the body move with ease, fluidity, and less pain.

present moment, you bring that focus to the water and the big waves.

5.Yoga helps you sleep better. Quality sleep

means more energy in the water and faster muscle recovery and repair.

6.Yoga helps you breathe better and more effi-

overall flexibility resulting in better balance, more strength, and more power.

ciently. Proper breathing strengthens the heart and lungs, trains the diaphragm, increases circulation and detoxification, and minimizes lactic acid buildup.

3.Yoga helps to improve range of motion.

7.Yoga helps to detoxify internal organs and bal-

4.Yoga helps to centre the mind.When you

The better you feel, the more time and energy you have on the water. The more time on the water, the better you get.

2.Yoga helps to increase core strength and

Better range of motion means less soreness and less injuries. It also means more agility, and more ability to synch your movements with the waves. learn to focus your mind and stay in the

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ance metabolism. Stretching, twisting, and compressing the internal organs from yoga stretches, combined wvth proper breathing, facilitates faster toxin removal in the body to help you feel better.

rious yoga and nutrition retreats and workshops in Nicaragua. She works with surfers and athletes around the world and is passionate about the benefits of yoga and proper food for increased performance in sports, and in life. Grace is opening an eco-friendly yoga surf resort with plant-based raw, vegan cafe and organic farm on the beaches of Nicaragua next year. For more on Grace, and awesome free recipes, check out her site


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MANUEL RESANO Photo: Curt Myers / Eric Nelson (Powerlines Production)

“It was the biggest day of the season at Mav’s yesterday with only a handful of guys out and some 25 ft sets.Ryan Seelbach put on a clinic out there! What a great way to say goodbye to the Northern Hemi winter....”, Twiggy.

It all starts a couple of weeks earlier, your head

starts spinning and your feelings are all out in the open. It is sweet to get carried away: emotion, fear, fortitude, concern, humility, tears and joy. Driving in the morning before getting in the water, you are a ghost. To picture yourself dead makes you feel alive, and you can’t stop the conversation with yourself. Positive thoughts help: statistics say it is very unlikely you will be eaten by a white shark, and drowning is not an option. The other you refutes it, showing you an image of your guru defeated in the battlefield; actually, in the shower. You answer hi m with a line by Twiggy and Greg Long shows up, drowned. If I wipeout , I will be happy too. The fog is thick, you can’t see a thing and the conversation goes back to the beginning. In the end, it’s a waste of time, but you feel alive and it feels good.

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Suddenly, a truck with a Pearson Arrow gun sticking out passes you by and you know that he is going through the same as you are. You feel empathy. You get to the beach and recognize your people, but you talk to no one. If I ride an awesome wave I will make a dream come true, but you remember also that Ken Bradshaw, after riding a 30 foot wave, said he got up next morning feeling nothing special. The first sessions were in 2010, three nice swells. After that, many parking lot sessions, checking buoys, reports, cameras; never getting the right moment. It would be easy if a friend could tip you off about when to go, but that just doesn’t happen. Each one of us has to go through his own experience, because when the set comes in... nobody can save you. There are good signs this time, the parking lot is full and some people are getting changed. I

watch the waves from the cliff. Waves are 15 feet hawaiian and the tide is a bit high. The forecast predicts the swell will get bigger, and in low tide some bombs are guaranteed. I go back to the car to get changed and I run into Twiggy. I shake his hand and he asks me about the waves. I tell him there are already some 15 footers with water, he looks happy and tells me it will be big in the afternoon, “It’s on, I’ll see you outside”. I am so overwhelmed that I can only say “thank you”. He probably doesn’t understand, nor do I at the moment, why I felt grateful. It’s just that I use his phrases a lot as a guide and inspiration. It’s on, suddenly I feel happy and relaxed. Now I need to focus on what’s important, no bullshit, paddle hard, stay low. Dorian might be the only one to know how far to wax the 10’10, or there may be a calculation by Renneker. Calculated madness begins, you have to

paddle out for 30 minutes and you can feel the presence of the big white; the two attacks were in the channel, it’s better to get to the peak fast. The sets are 15-18 footers, the buoys are reading 13 feet at 18 seconds. The period is large and there is a lot of water movement, it’s thick. Conditions I am not used to. When the sea reaches a certain size, it is easy to lose references, I really don’t know what size there is but, really, it doesn’t matter, there’s enough!


You realize that these guys are at a different level, that they are really good; it looks easier on photos and videos. A 15 kt. NW breeze picks up, which makes the wave bumpy, trickier. Twiggy is taking off behind the peak and under the lip, nerves of steel. I choose to move 15 feet away from the peak and a little bit further out, waiting for a wave that will be wider and hoping that the others won’t get there. I paddle a couple of waves, I look down and I’m really standing at the roof of a two-story building. I know it’s very likely I will fall in the drop because it’s bumpy and these 10 ft. boards go very fast in such a steep drop; at the least imbalance, you are sent flying out. Finally, the moment comes, we are in the peak of the swell, there’s nothing to hold back. I get my first wave, medium size. I get up, I pass a bump, it gets me off balance and

Photo: Donald Stone

by the time the second bump comes I don’t even know in which direction I’m falling. A nice tumble and a broken board. Back on the beach, I have mixed emotions. I realize I have a lot to learn yet and even if I get my 20 ft. dream wave, most probably I won’t even make the drop. I ask myself if 15 years of total dedication to this sport are worth it. And I realize there is no alternative, that this is what I like, what thrills me and makes me feel alive. What a satisfaction to hear by Jeff Clark the next day that “it was the biggest day of the season, even bigger than in the Mavericks Invitational. He tells me that it was gnarly”! Twiggy posted on Facebook: “It was the biggest day of the season at Mav’s yesterday with only a handful of guys out and some 25 ft sets. Ryan Seelbach put on a clinic out there! What a great way to say goodbye to the Northern Hemi winter....” A big thank you to my and sponsor in San

Manuel Resano, his wife Berry, and daughters Candelaria, Maxima and Valentina.

wife and to my great friend Francisco, Nico Winograd.

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