Thrilling Surf Competition Draws Adaptive Surfers and Parasurfers from Around the World
Costa Rica’s Central Pacific attracted more than 65 elite adaptive surfers and parasurfers from 20 countries to compete in the Back-to-Back of Adaptive Surfing competition in June. The double-header event was organized, hosted and conducted by the Adapted Surfing Association of Costa Rica (ADESURFA).
Two distinct events were held consecutively — hence, the “back to back” name: the 2023 Para Surf League Open of Costa Rica, June 16–18 in Calle Bohío, Jacó, and the 2023 Costa Rica Open Pro of Adaptive Surfing, June 19-23 at Playa Boca Barranca.
Back-to-Back competition participants came from the United States, Hawaii, Argentina, Brazil, Peru, England, Australia, France, Canada, Chile, Spain, South Africa, Japan, Puerto Rico, El Salvador, Israel, Portugal, Mexico, Wales, and obviously, Costa Rica.
‘’It is very important to make it known that once again we are making history without an economic budget,” said Gustavo Corrales, event coordinator. “Year after year we have raised funds in an adjusted way to take our national parasurfing team to the world championships and bring medals and important achievements to the country. On this occasion we took an important event to the cradle of Tico surfing, to Boca Barranca, Puntarenas. We dare to say that it was the first time that an official professional event in Costa Rica had jet skis for the entry of the athletes to the takeoff zone, prior to their heats and during the heat after each wave ridden.”
The Para Surf League Open, an event of global interest, was brought to Costa Rica with support from the AMPSurf (Association of Amputee Surfers), creators of the Para Surf League, and with the endorsement and standards of the International Surfing Association (ISA), the entity responsible for World Cup and Olympic Surfing, in all its divisions. The ISA is currently seeking the inclusion of parasurfing in the Los Angeles 2028 Paralympic Games.
The Costa Rica Open Pro of Adaptive Surfing had the endorsement of the Association of Adaptive Surfing Professionals (AASP), which enabled Costa Rica for the first time to have a stop on the annual US Open of Adaptive Surfing world tour in OceanSide, California, and the Hawaiian AccesSurf Adaptive Surfing Championship in Honolulu, Hawaii.
For both Back-to-Back events, ADESURFA had the endorsement and support of the Costa Rican Surfing Federation and ICODER. The double-header competition follows the success of three Open of Adaptive Surf competitions that ADESURFA held in Jacó in 2019, 2021 and 2022, respectively.
The association trained more than 60 volunteers in working with people with disabilities in the surf and the logistics of surfing events of this nature. Without the participation of this great volunteer team, the events would not have been possible.
The objectives achieved through the Back-to-Back were as follows:
- Promote the inclusion of parasurfing in the LA 2028 Paralympic Games
- Provide our athletes with a high-performance competition structure
- Promote sport and accessible tourism for people with disabilities on the beaches of Garabito and Puntarenas
- Consolidate as one of the best adapted surf events in the world
- Be part of the Professional World Tour of Adaptive Surfing that includes locations like Hawaii, the United States and Australia.
- Offer cash prizes to the winners
- Exhibit the Central Pacific, its beaches, and surroundings with a good image.
“None of this would have been achieved without the support and contribution of our sponsors and collaborators who have believed in our management and essence,” Corrales acknowledged.
Adapted Surfing Association of Costa Rica (ADESURFA) is a surf sports association, focused on inclusion, empowerment and comprehensive development of people with disabilities in this sport.
Adapted Surfing CR achieves this by developing technical structures and platforms to prepare high-performance para-athletes and trained instructors to support athletes and people with disabilities who want to do adapted surfing in a recreational and/or therapeutic way.
PARTICIPANTS IN THE MAGAZINE:
Cover: Guillaume Colin, Francia
1. Noemi Alvarez, Chile