Costa Rica Surfing News – The talent set it in at a young age, but along with that, he’s been guided by his humility and discipline to become the best representative in the history of national surfing.
Following his excellent show in the Hurley Pro, on the 8th part of the World Tour (WCT) of the Association of Professional Surfers (ASP), his colleagues and friends have been looking to the past to remember the sportsman’s career development.
His first involvement in Costa Rican competitions was, in fact, marked by his inability to represent the country.
“It was difficult because we had to ascertain what his nationality was. Once we’d sorted that out, he could compete. Before that point, it really touched me that more than a few times, he was reduced to tears because we couldn’t take him to the international levels”, says José Ureña, ex-President of the Surfing Federation of Costa Rica.
He had a smiley face drawn on one side of his board when he could finally wear the three colours of Costa Rica, in the junior selection.
But from that point, the young Costa Rican just kept moving up in the categories, always competing against surfers who were older than he was – something which just helped him to keep improving.
“Honestly, even after he’d only been surfing for two years, you could see the level he would reach. Among all the other surfers, you could tell that he had a future ahead of him – and then he started to win competitions (under-16, under-18 and Open)”, remembers Gilbert Brown, the current national surfing champion.
This natural ability was nurtured with hours spent in the water, training at different beaches and, despite his rapid success, managing to keep his feet on the ground.
“I’ve seen him grow incredibly. He’s of the level that he could compete in the WCT. As well as his talent, he’s spent a lot of time training, and this is what has really helped him with a lot of the tricks he does, because those take a lot of time”, commented surfer Noe Mar McGonagle, who says that ‘Cali’ is a good example for new generations.
“For me, his success is also part of the hunger to make a name for yourself. I also really admire him personally for his humility. He’s the sort of person that just goes round hugging everybody. It’s how he is, he’s always been like that”, added José Ureña.
The affection felt by these surfing enthusiasts has been shown in every national competition the tico has made an appearance in, but it was most clearly demonstrated when ‘Cali’ won the vote (with an impressive margin) to be involved in Hurley Pro.
“(His humility) has helped him a lot. Getting such support for the World Tour was thanks to the support he had from the whole of Costa Rica, and that’s all because of the affection he’s earned. He’s a good guy with a very good heart”, added Brown.
Translated by Leah Hendre from La Nacion