When we first moved to Nicaragua in 2009 and started building the Surf Ranch, the only skateboarders in town were my brother and I, along with a few local skaters. Every night we would skate in the basketball courts, then get kicked out at 7pm when the soccer matches started. Then they made a rule that they would not turn the lights on at night for us to skate unless we had 6 skaters. The thing was, that there was not 6 skaters in San Juan Del Sur. With all these rules and no where to skate, we decided to build Nicaragua's 1st skateboard park at our resort. The day we started building, there were no skateboard parks in the whole country, now there about 5. Ours took the longest to build, but was worth it. The other skate parks in Nicaragua all look the same, as the government built them, and half of the parks are not physically skate-able (no run up, tiny down ledges, spines with no curve, just a wall, etc).
Once the 1st park was built, they unfortunately decided to copy the same park in other cities of Nicaragua. Things have now changed with the opening of the Surf Ranch skate park, and with Nicaragua's 1st actual professionally designed skate park, I just hope more skate parks are based on this style of design, the same style we see scattered throughout North America. The building of the Surf Ranch skate park took about 2 years, and was a very fun but expensive project. I never thought that we would ever build our own skate park, but our dream has come true and we want everyone to come skate. The best part about having this skate park at our resort, is after skating, you can cool off in the pool and have a drink at the swim up bar, order food, hang out at the skate shop on site and even skate at night with our new lights in place.
Below you will find 100 photos in order from Day 1 until the final completion day of the Surf Ranch skate park...enjoy!
More Info on the Surf Ranch Skatepark - www.surfranchnicaragua.com/skateboarding.html
Growing up skateboarding, we idolized this guy, Kenny Anderson, along with a bunch of other pro skaters who showed up one day to skate.
More Info on the Surf Ranch Skatepark - www.surfranchnicaragua.com/skateboarding.html
Watch ISA World Masters Surfing Live Here - July 14th to July 22nd - Click this link to open in new browser
The decision was made after weeks of analyzing swell charts and weather patterns from previous years surfing for that week. Fernando Aguerre, the President of the ISA (International Surfing Association) said “Playa Colorado has the world-class beach break waves we were looking for to compliment the former world champions and big-name pros expected to attend the event”. Those names include five-time world champion Tom Curren (USA), eight-time world champion Layne Beachley (AUS), four-time world champion Juan Ashton (PUR), two-time world champion Heather Clark (RSA), Ross Williams (HAW), and Fabio Gouveia (BRA) will be just some of the big names competing in this event. “The waves at Playa Colorado are some of the most sought after by international surfers because of their perfection, consistency and warm water,” said Lucy Valenti, the Executive President of Gray Line Nicaragua who are helping organize the event. “The setting at Hacienda Iguana is perfect, the beach is practically virgin, the tropical forest surrounding it makes it exotic, and the accommodation infrastructure is first class” added Valenti.
Pacific Ocean waves are groomed daily by the country’s virtually non-stop offshore winds that flow across the massive expanse of Lake Nicaragua. This gives the Pacific side of the country offshore winds for 300 plus days out of the year. "We, the people of Nicaragua, are very excited and proud to have won the bid to host the 2012 ISA World Masters Surfing Championship. Such a prestigious event is a wonderful opportunity for our country, where tourism has become one of the most viable economic sectors with great potential for investment and employment," Minister Salinas said. "It gives us the chance to show not only our beautiful natural landscapes, beaches and waves, but also our culture and warm hospitality. This event will be a historical landmark in Nicaraguan beach culture. This event will also contribute to the growth of Nicaragua and to its positioning in the world of surfing and tourism."
Surfers and visitors can also visit the popular town of San Juan Del Sur, only a 45 minute drive away, to experience more nightlife, skate at the Surf Ranch Skateboard Park, or even stay in hotels in town, as Tola and Rivas seems to be filled up. If you can´t make it out here in person, you can watch the ISA world masters surfing championship LIVE, above. Enjoy!
10 things you need and should know about the event:
1 - The Nicaragua ISA World Masters Surfing Championship is the biggest surfing event in the world for over-35-year-old surfers, with nearly 150 competitors from more than 20 countries.
2 - The event gathers the best Masters surfers from every continent to compete for their National Teams in an “Olympic-style” event. The surfers compete for medals and the honor of representing their respective countries. There are no cash prizes awarded. Athletes compete for individual and team Gold, Silver, Bronze and Copper Medals, as well as for the coveted Eduardo Arena Trophy, which is awarded to the Gold Medal-winning National Team. Peruvian Eduardo Arena was the founder of the ISA, doing so in 1964.
3 - The Nicaragua ISA World Masters Surfing Championship is an annual event, in its sixth year of existence. The ISA introduced the Masters event in 2007 in Puerto Rico, but did not run the event in 2009.
4 - The Nicaragua ISA World Masters Surfing Championship will mark the first time that Nicaragua will host an ISA event. Nicaragua won the hosting bid over other candidate nations because of its commitment to a better surfing future, its ideal high-performance wave conditions, the dedication of its Tourism Department and its Minister, Mario Salinas, and also as a means to help develop surfing in the region.
5 - Athletes from over 20 countries will surf the waves of Colorado Beach at Hacienda Iguana, located in southwest corner of the country, two hours south of Managua. Powerhouse teams including Australia, Brazil, France, Puerto Rico, South Africa and USA (the defending team champions) will be seeking a place on the podium in the five individual divisions (Men’s Masters [over 35 years], Men’s Grand Masters [over 40], Men’s Kahunas [Over 45], Men’s Grand Kahunas [over 50], and Women’s Masters [over 35]) and, most importantly, in the overall team standings.
6 - Last year, in its first year competing in the Masters event, Team USA won the Team Gold Medal, behind an individual Gold Medal from Tom Curren. A three-time ASP World Champion, Curren has also had past ISA success, winning the Gold Medal in the inaugural ISA Junior division in 1980 in Biarritz, France.
7 - The venue for the event is a tropical setting with air and water temperatures on par with summer in Hawaii, and located on the Pacific Ocean side of the country. The waves at Colorado Beach at Hacienda Iguana, depending on the tide, can be hollow beachbreak barrels or perfect, rippable left- and right-handers. The wind conditions are ideal almost year-round, blowing offshore due to the Lake Nicaragua effect.
8 - The fifth edition of the championship will officially open on July 14 at the traditional ISA Opening Ceremony, which will include the Parade of the Nations and Sands of the World Ceremony. The Parade of the Nations is a colorful and energy-filled event, complete with teams chanting, waving flags and the cheering of the locals who come out to watch the spectacle. In the Sands of the World Ceremony, alongside a team flag bearer, each team sends one athlete to pour the sand from a favorite beach from their country into a custom glass container. The layering of the sands represents the peaceful union of the nations through the love of the sport of surfing.
9 - Past individual and team champions of the ISA World Masters Surfing Championship are:
2007 – Rincon, Puerto Rico: Juan Ashton (PUR)
2008 – Punta Rocas, Peru: Juan Ashton (PUR)
2010 – Santa Catalina, Panama: Andrew Banks (RSA)
2011 – Punta Roca, El Salvador: Mark Richardson (AUS)
Men’s Grand Masters
2007 – Rincon, Puerto Rico: Magoo de la Rosa (PER)
2008 – Punta Rocas, Peru: Rob Page (AUS)
2010 – Santa Catalina, Panama: Juan Ashton (PUR)
2011 – Punta Roca, El Salvador: Juan Ashton (PUR)
2007 – Rincon, Puerto Rico: Chris Knutsen (RSA)
2008 – Punta Rocas, Peru: Marc Wright (RSA)
2010 – Santa Catalina, Panama: Rob Baldwin (AUS)
2011 – Punta Roca, El Salvador: Tom Curren (USA)
Men’s Grand Kahunas
2008 – Punta Rocas, Peru: Chris Knutsen (RSA)
2010 – Santa Catalina, Panama: Chris Knutsen (RSA)
2011 – Punta Roca, El Salvador: Craig Schieber (CRC)
2008 – Punta Rocas, Peru: Heather Clark (RSA)
2010 – Santa Catalina, Panama: Heather Clark (RSA)
2011 – Punta Roca, El Salvador: Layne Beachley (AUS)
2007 – Rincon, Puerto Rico: Team South Africa
2008 – Punta Rocas, Peru: Team South Africa
2010 – Santa Catalina, Panama: Team Australia
2011 – Punta Roca, El Salvador: Team USA
10 - The most decorated ISA World Masters athletes include Puerto Rico’s Juan Ashton (four gold medals in four years), South Africa’s Heather Clark (two gold medals, one silver medal), and South Africa’s Chris Knutsen (three gold medals). Former ASP World Champs Tom Curren (three world titles) and Layne Beachley (seven world titles) won their first ISA World Masters Gold Medals in their first year of ISA Masters competition last year in El Salvador.
The Nicaragua ISA World Masters Surfing Championship is made possible with the backing of the following sponsors: Nicaragua Tourism Institute, Gray Line, AmericanAirlines, Canal 13, Amnet, Hacienda Iguana, Taca, VOS TV, Municipalidad de Tola, Flor de Caña, INISER; the following cosponsors: Movistar, Dollar, Alamo, Comité Olimpico Nicaragüense, Hilton, Nuevo Diario, Guacalito, Condor, Servipro, Aqua Spa, CDNN canal 23, Nicasurfing; and the following supporters: Surfari Charters, Corona, Paso Pacifico, Renisa, Parmalat, Credomatic, Cruz Roja, Pantaleon, Canatur. The media partners are Pasión Xtrema, SurfersVillage and Surfos. The Official Forecaster for the event is Surfline.
The Surf Ranch Action Sports Resort is still under construction and the skatepark is about 50% done. Lucas & Travis Boychuk who funded and designed this resort and skatepark, take an hour break from the constant stress of getting things done in San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua, and test out the new sections of the skateboard park. Phase 2 (bowls), are coming soon. Enjoy the video!
The skatepark is open everyday, and open and free for everyone - http://www.surfranchnicaragua.com/gettinghere.html for directions.
130,000 foreign tourists visited Nicaragua during Easter and the rest of April, also there was an International Tourism Fair in Managua, business sources said today.
The president of the National Chamber of Tourism (Canatur), Silvia Levy, today told reporters that at Easter the country promoted as their main destination, in addition to the beaches, a tour of the volcanoes, ometepe and the St. Juan, bordering Costa Rica.
"The San Juan River is discovered little by little and when the airport opens in San Juan de Nicaragua, it is going to have a spectacular" increase in tourists in the area, he said. Levy, who did not specify the number of tourists visiting Nicaragua during Holy Week last year, said this season is "of great economic value to the companies' premises.
The International Fair of Tourism of Nicaragua, which brought in 130 local companies and 40 from U.S., Canada, Central and South America. In this regard, the president of the Association of Producers and Exporters of Nicaragua, Enrique Zamora, reported that the fair also will develop a business round between the hotel industry and crafts and food producers in this country.
Levy, meanwhile, said that in 2011 Nicaragua received 1,060,000 foreign tourists and this year they hope the visit of 1,120,000. The teaching Nicaraguan Executive estimates that on average, each tourist spends $ 44 per day.
The authorities reported that last year tourism investment by nationals and foreigners, amounted to $ 121 million and by 2012 plans to attract $ 140 million.
Nicaragua had at least 64 deaths during the Easter holidays (Semana Santa 2012) and 890 cases of attacks by jellyfish on the beaches of the Pacific, according to relief agencies, local media and police.
The Nicaraguan police spokesman, Fernando Borge, told Efe that, according to a preliminary report this week 12 people died in traffic accidents, and 21 for murder.
Meanwhile, the official Radio Ya estimated that 31 people have died by drowning in the last week on the beaches, rivers, ponds and lakes throughout the country, a figure confirmed by the Nicaraguan Red Cross teaching.
Some victims have been identified, one as Spanish citizen, Santano Santiago Romay (33 years) and one from Honduras, Fausto Lopez, who died by drowning, according to the Red Cross.
On the other hand, rescuers confirmed that from Holy Thursday have treated 890 cases of jellyfish stings, organizations that have tentacles with stinging cells that cause redness, inflammation, first degree burns and even bleeding.
According to the Red Cross, such attacks are rare and are due to climate change, which requires the jellyfish, also known as jellyfish or sea tears, seek cooler areas, in this case the teaching Nicaraguan Pacific, where thousands of people enjoy the time Easter.
He said those killed in vehicle collisions, and the murders and homicides so far occurred outside the resorts and beaches, and are non-religious activities held this week, thousands of worshipers crowd.
Last year 66 people died from traffic accidents, drowning or murder at Easter, according to official figures.
This year some 16,500 Nicaraguan police officers deployed on the roads of Nicaragua to implement "rigorous controls" with breathalysers and speed cameras, while some 2,000 Red Cross volunteers monitored 134 beaches.
www.surfranchnicaragua.com - Today was an awesome day, we finished constructing our new 20ft tower with 2 levels, 1 at 12 ft and the other at 20ft. There is plywood on the base, so you can skateboard off the tower into our giant inflatable airbag. There are only a few of these around the world, we had to get it custom made, and it didn't come with instructions...so we are learning as we go and we found the perfect formula for how many vents we need open and the time period between jumps. We brought out the GoPro Video and did some filming...check it out! Saturday March 3rd, 2012 is the Grand Opening of our airbag, and we will see you all out there
http://www.surfranchnicaragua.com - We just traveled to the Little Corn Islands and brought along our new GoPro Hero 2 HD. We flew with La Costena airlines here in Nicaragua at the Managuan International Airport. Snorkeling, exploring, attractions, and diving. Just a little of what you can expect from this tropical island paradise with no roads. Enjoy the video