Written by Tamarindo News

By Ellen Zoe Golden Photo courtesy: Federación de Surf de Costa Rica

Carlos Muñoz is heading into the homestretch of the World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) circuit with a hell of a lot of momentum. Just after his 2nd place finish at the Pantin Classic Galicia Pro in September at La Coruña, Spain, the surfer from Esterillos came out ahead of everyone at the return of top-tier professional surfing in Costa Rica.

Last month, at the first QS in this country since 2016, Muñoz won the Essential Costa Rica Surf Pro title which took place the first week of October in Jaco. It was an all-Tico final as Muñoz faced Noe Mar McGonagle from Pavones to claim his second QS victory since he started on the international stage. This victory, which took place in 3-4 foot waves of inconsistent conditions on finals day—not to mention that in the early days of the contest’s heats there were torrential downpours—placed him at #41 in the QS rankings. With the Essential Costa Rica Surf Pro taking place on home turf, 3 of the country’s better surfers ended up in the top 4.

Aside from Muñoz and McGonagle, there was Jaco’s Jairo Perez who came in 3rd. “It’s just amazing and it felt like I was in a futbol stadium or something with all the noise and everybody cheering, so to share this moment with them, especially my daughter and family, is incredible,” Muñoz said.

“Noe is such a great surfer and we always push each other so to have that heat with him was amazing. I’ve won a QS 1,000 and now a QS 1,500 so it’s that next level up and I hope I can continue that this year or next year. I just tried to surf it smart, and I’m just super happy to win here.” “I think it’s the first time in QS competition that this many Costa Ricans made it this far which is really exciting,” Muñoz added.

“For me it wasn’t a lot of pressure just being on the opposite side of the draw and I just sent good vibes that way for them because I had to surf against (non-Tico pros) Lucca (Mesinas) and Wesley (Leite). I’m going to take advantage of this win and now I’m thinking about doing the QS 1,500 in Peru to gain even more momentum, but I’ll be heading to Hawaii with my dream to qualify.”

McGonagle’s surfing was easily impressive as usual. As a power surfer on his way to that final, he made two nearperfect scores in earlier heats including a 9.77 in his quarterfinal, which turned out to the day’s highest single-wave score. “It’s amazing to have a big event back here and the fans are amazing, we know how to put on a good show,” McGonagle said.

“I’ve been trying to work on not peaking too soon and I admire Cali and the work he’s done through the years using that strategy. We always talked about what a dream it would be to surf against each other in a QS final and to do it here is perfect. I felt like I kept getting better each heat and the final had that high tide which made it really close.”

“This is incredible for the younger kids, especially sponsorship wise as it’s really tough to get that support here, so for them to get some points here and try to make it out in the world isn’t easy but this makes it possible,” McGonagle added.

“I’m super stoked and thankful, now it’s time to get ready for Hawaii.” Former Jacó lifeguard, Pérez really gained the attention of the WSL with this professional appearance at his homebreak because they said: “The 28-year-old continues to be one of the country’s top competitive talents with his great form and pure passion for the sport of surfing that embodies the country of Costa Rica.”

Tico Results Essential Costa Rica Surf Pro

Surf Pro Men’s

Carlos Urbina 68

Axel Castro 65

Dennis Picado 65

Aarón Ramirez 49

Anthony Flores 49

Bruno Moggi 49

Steven Arauz 49

Kenneth Peralta 49

Esteban Chaves 49

Cedric McCrakin 49

André Chacón 49

Carlos Brown 49

Darshan Antequera 33

Juan Carlos Hernández 33

Malakai Martínez 33

Aldo Chirinos 33

Sam Reidy 25

Oscar Urbina 25

Sebastián Mora 25

Anthony Fillingim 9 + $300

Tomas King 9 + $300

Jair Pérez 3 + $2.000

Noe Mar McGonagle 2 + $5.000

Carlos Muñoz 1 + $10.000


Erika Valverde 33

Auxiela Ryan 33

Rachel Agüero 25

Coral Wiggins 25

Paulina Summers 25

Nataly Bernold 17

Zulay Martínez 17

Eva Woodland 9 + $300

Rubiana Brownell 5 + $500

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