Nov 1, 2008

From Tom T.

Hi Paul,

This summer my wife and I got to go to Costa Rica as a result of the Don Redondo comic strip I do with Drew Kampion. The strip runs in the local newspaper in Nosara, which is on the northwest coast of Costa Rica. The owner of the paper also owns the Harmony Hotel in town. He's a surfer, and he gave Drew and me two free weeks at his resort in exchange for the strip running in his paper, "The Voice of Nosara".

So I rolled up two of my Fourth Gear Flyers and my wife Terry and I made our way down there in July to surf and hang out. My first mat surf trip, and that part was very cool.

While in Nosara, the newspaper did an interview with me. That was great fun, and the best part was talking about my mat! They took a photo of me with my mat, and included it in the story. I'm sure I'm the only mat surfer to ever ride waves there.

I also want to tell you how much I am enjoying your contributions to the SURFMATTERS blog site. Thanks for sharing that stuff. Can't get it anywhere else, that's for sure.

I'm sorry to hear you've moved away from the ocean. My parents are in their 80s, and need help too, so I know what that's about.

I'm not able to be near the ocean as much as last year. I can get to San Diego about one week a month. Therefore, I still get to do some mat surfing, but I can't really plan my visits around the swells. I have to surf whatever is at the beach. But I enjoy any kind of wave on my mat. I was hoping to take another step up in my mat riding skills this winter, ride bigger days at the Cliffs. But now I will be happy to hang on to the skills have.

Keep posting mat stuff on Surfmatters!

Best regards,



nate said...


My wife and I are thinking of going to Nosara early next summer. How were the waves?

Tom Threinen said...


It took a couple of days to figure out the Nosara waves on my mat. It's a beachbreak, and the waves break way out there, requiring a grueling paddle out on bigger days. I would deflate my mat a bit during sets of soups, then add air during the lulls and paddle like crazy.

The waves are fast moving and thick, but they are mushy. Not many tubes to be found. But there are very surfable waves every day! The tide changes the waves from minute to minute. They can go from steep fast walls to hard to catch rolling lumps in 20 minutes.

Once I learned how to ride those waves on my mat, I had a blast. My insight was to take off on the long walls (which tend to close out) rather than the peaks (which have slow flat shoulders), immediately turn at the top and start building up speed--track along the top of the fast, thick waves--then drop down for extra speed and try to make the sections. If the wave closes out, it was fun to just go over the falls with the lip; the waves are pretty soft breaking, but they contain massive amounts of water. Hang on to your mat.

You'll have fun. And the locals are cool.