The Cost of Skateboarding in Costa Rica

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I recently took a trip with my extended family to Costa Rica. It was one of those all inclusive vacations, and although we did take some day trips, I was unable to explore skateboarding in Costa Rica, even though I knew there were a few skateparks in the Guanacaste province where we were staying. In the small town of Playas del Coco I ran into the Costa Rican equivalent of Zumiez known as Arenas Skate and Surf. It was a bit odd, because most of the town (admittedly, only what I saw) seemed pretty low rent, yet there were a few almost self consciously glossy stores. In fact, I didn’t see a skateboard the entire time I was Costa Rica. OK, so I barely got out to see the types of areas where you would expect to see skateboarders, so this not be taken as a review of the Costa Rican skate scene by any means, just my own very myopic experience.

The Arenas shop in Playas del Coco was in a small strip mall a few doors down from a Subway sandwiches. They had a fair amount of skateboards consistent with the amount you’d expect to see in a store like that in USA. Import items are pretty expensive in Costa Rica; Bottled water at the airport in Liberia costs $10 for a brand you’d see here, while a local brand costs $5. I expected the prices of skateboards to be similarly affected, yet the price of a deck was 24,900 Colones, roughly equalling $50 at the time I was there. The decks on the wall all appeared to be legitimate products from mainstream US companies like Powell, Creature, etc… I snapped a picture of one of the walls but accidentally deleted it. The mix of boards seemed to be about 2/3 conventional shapes, with the usual assortment of longboards. There seemed to be very little terrain to actually skate in Playas del Coco. The streets could be rough, unfinished and dirty; often without curbs, and sidewalks had faux cobblestone textures. Again, I had a very limited view of the whole city, so my experience was narrow. Still, the shop seemed out of place in the rather small, seemingly rural town. I can’t dig up any population figures, but I did find that Playas del Coco has three schools, so that should give you an indication.

This image, along with the one above is from a Facebook reality page taken near the Lake Arenal Microbrewery. I did make it to Lake Arenal, but we were on a tight schedule with ziplines, boat rides and hot springs on the agenda. On top of that it was raining on and off. I didn’t even bother to research the skatepark in advance because we were on a group tourismo bus. “Hey guys, I know there’s a rain forest, monkeys, tropical birds and a volcano and all, but why don’t we go to a skatepark instead?”

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Here’s a couple more shots from the Lake Arenal park taken from Sk8park Atlas.

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A little bit farther away from where we were saying was a town called Tamarindo, which is so overrun with tourists and surfers that the locals call it TamaGringo. Here’s a few pictures from Sk8park Atlas.

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1 Comment

  1. siiiiick.

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