August Odysseys: My Time With Robert August
August Odysseys: My Time With Robert August: I Twiddled my thumbs for a good 15 minutes, thinking how to possibly describe Robert August shortly after our interview at Witch’s Rock Surf Camp — all while sipping smoothies and watching perfect right-handers at Tamarindo’s main peak. Then it clicked.
While I could describe Robert as a world-renowned surf pioneer and famous shaper of Robert August Surfboards, what better way to describe this intelligent, witty and talented 73-year-old legend than…
“At our last high school reunion, I told my seat partner, Noah Bailey (we sat alphabetically all through school) that I certainly spent more time with her than any other women in my entire life,” he said.
That’s Robert August for you.
I certainly spent more time
with her than any other women
in my entire life.
Surf, fishing, beer and women – Robert August
Back in 1991, Robert discovered the sleepy town of Tamarindo — now a lively, captivating and frisky beach town. A peculiar, burly Florida fisherman named Russell had approached Robert at the 1990 Surf Expo in Orlando.
“I know who you are. I’ve seen that ‘Endless Summer’ thing. I don’t surf, obviously, but I know what it’s about,” said Russell in his twangy accent. He went on to inform Robert about a recent trip he took seeing some of the finest, yet deserted, waves in a town called Tamarindo.
In just a few weeks, Robert and his friends were on their way to see what Costa Rica had to offer.
More August Odysseys
Wake up, Take a Piss, and Jump in the water
The “Endless Summer” trip still resonates
It’s your board, man, I’ll make whatever you like
Showing off for the movie cameras
I got my crabs from Dirty Dick’s
History of the Surfboard
Shark – Endless Summer
The Perfect Wave
Roads? Maybe. Surf? Yes – August Odysseys
Robert went on to educate me as to how different Tamarindo is now, as well as the entire country of Costa Rica.
You think driving the Tico roads today is hard? Try back then, with no GPS, cellphone or paved road — just a pure wild ride through the jungle all the way from the San Josė airport. Yes, that’s right. Liberia airport did not exist then.
Finally making it to Tamarindo, Robert and his friends quickly discovered just how untouched the area really was.
“It barely had any place to get food. Thankfully there was Nogui’s, the only restaurant to get a bite to eat after hours in the scorching sun celebrating the world-class waves … all to ourselves. No one surfed here in Costa Rica,” Robert said.
A birthday surprise
After a long surf session, Russell ask Robert if he wanted to look at some properties in Tamarindo.
“I remember thinking, ‘What properties?’ But I went along with it. It was my birthday and I’d had a couple of beers,” he said.
Robert is sure happy he reluctantly agreed.
“We got in the car and headed up this extremely sh**ty road, but the property was breathtaking, with incredible views of the entire surf. It was priced at $10,000,” he said.
Robert took the deal right then and there.
To this day, Robert calls that same piece of paradise his home, where he raises his daughter and lives a truly “pura vida” lifestyle.
What Makes a Wave Spit?
The Climate is Changing, Will There Be Waves?
Hurricanes in Costa Rica?
The Importance of Swell Angle
What Makes a Good Surf Spot
What Makes a Good Surf Spot 2
Why Do Waves Break?
Cold Water in Costa Rica?
The Science of Stoke
Tamarindo Spot Check
The Papagayo Winds
How Waves Are Created