Right now at the end of July, six Costa Rican’s are showing the best of Costa Rica surfing in Huntington Beach, California, to embark on one of the most important World Surf League (WSL) contests, the Vans US Open of Surfing, a Qualifying Series event that will reward 10,000 points among the winners. In the main show, will be Noe Mar McGonagle (Pavones), Aldo Chrinois (Negra) and Carlos Muñoz (Esterillos). In the Junior contests that will run during the same week will be Malakai Martinez (Tamarindo) for the Boys, and Leilani McGonagle (Pavones) and Emily Gussoni (Jaco) for the girls.


Speaking of Muñoz, the bushy haired surfer just came up his first-ever 1st place win in a QS.  After a slow start to this international competition season, he won the Powerade Surf Open Acapulco Men’s QS1000. This was his first-ever win since he started doing  the QS back in 2009.


This achievement was not without notice from the WSL.


“Muñoz’s searing rail carves along with big aerial antics helped power his way through to  massive win as one of the event standouts and finally earning his breakthrough,” said Andrew Nichols, press manager for the WSL.


As for Cali, as he is known in the surf world, he himself noted: “I’ve been dreaming of this day for so many years and it’s finally happened, you just never know when it’s going to happen,” Munoz said. “I feel like I didn’t surf that great in the final, but I got the job done and I tried to compete my hardest. I’m just stoked to win for my country, Central America and just pura vida.”


He hopes to score big in Huntington I order to earn valuable points that will propel him up the QS rankings from where he stands now at #107


Costa Rica surfing had its premier contest last month and with it Jaco’s Jason Torres continues his ascent in the Costa Rican surf world with another title, this one the 2017 national surf champion of Costa Rica. Back in 2015, he claimed his first national championship, but he was determined this year to attain this goal again.


The achievement was capped off with a 1st plce finish at the Gran Final Reef date of the Kolbi Circuito Nacional presented by INA and Adrenaline Rush, which took place last month in Hermosa de Jaco.


While Jair Perez, also of Jaco, was mathematically in the race for the crown if he places higher than Torres in Hermosa, joined Torres, and Leonard Calvo and Jose Joaquin Lopez (both rising stars themselves) in the final.


In a rare day at Hermosa, the waves were small, but Torres still won by choosing 10 waves, and attaining a 8.50 total, which was greater than the other men.


“I’m happy to meet a goal that I set out for at the start of the season,” said Torres. “Winning this title and that way I did it is very nice. So, I thank everyone who supported me and who was there for me in the season.”


With current national women’s champion Leilani McGonagle away competing internationally, it was time for another young lady to step up and take the national women’s title. That indeed was accomplished by 12-year-old Nicaraguan Valentina Resano, the youngest women’s champion in the history of the Circuito Nacional.


Explained Resano: “”The truth is that I did not come to Hermosa to win but to play a good role. However, the results were given and I could get something that I only imagined at the beginning of the year.”


Valentina’s sister Candelaria was able to take home the national Minigrommets Girls title.


Zulay Martinez won her first national championship, this for the Junior Women’s. And, once again, her cousin Malakai was the Boys national champion even though he missed some dates because of his international surf contests.


The Gran Final REEF hosted about 3,000 spectators coming to see Costa Rica surfing and who would win the annual trophies. Points from competitors’ best five dates (out of seven) were totaled to determine the 2017 champions.


2017 Costa Rica National Champions:


Open: Jason Torres

Women’s Valentina Resano

Junior: Sean Foerster

Junior Women’s: Zulay Martínez

Boys: Malakai Martínez

Grommets: Samuel Reydi

Minigrommets: Kalani Abrahao

Minigrommets Girls: Candelaria Resano


Winners La Gran Final Reef

July 22, 23, 2017

Playa Hermosa de Jaco



  1. Jason Torres
  2. Jose López
  3. Leonardo Calvo
  4. Jair Pérez



  1. Valentina Resano
  2. Emily Gussoni
  3. Eva Woodland
  4. Zulay Martínez



  1. Sean Foerster
  2. Malakai Martínez
  3. Sebastián Mora
  4. Josia Knapp


Junior Women’s

  1. Zulay Martínez
  2. Emily Gussoni
  3. Rubiana Brownell
  4. Paulina Summers



  1. Malakai Martínez
  2. Gabriel Córdoba
  3. Cedrick McCrakin
  4. Darshan Antequera



  1. Candelaria Resano
  2. Valentina Resano
  3. Rubiana Brownell
  4. Auxiela Ryan



  1. Samuel Reidy
  2. Isauro Elizondo
  3. Axel Castro
  4. Leo Apreda



  1. Samuel Reidy
  2. Isauro Elizondo
  3. Axel Castro
  4. Leo Apreda


Minigrommets Girls

  1. Candelaria Resano
  2. Valeria Ojeda
  3. Auxiela Ryan
  4. Rachel Agüero
  5. Maxima Resano