10: Hawaii, British Columbia, Costa Rica | GOAS Travel Roundup

We’re hanging with the boys back at home in Tamarindo, Costa Rica. Niki Hurren, Patrick McNulty, and Joe Walsh share stories about the recent trip to the North Shore of Oahu, Joe’s extreme snowboarding adventure in the Kootenays, and everything that’s happening right now in Tamarindo. Classic podcast banter, enjoy!

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Witch’s Rock Surf Camp
https://witchsrocksurfcamp.com

Volcano Brewing Company
https://www.instagram.com/volcanobrewingco

Bavarian Finger Wrestling
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dE6HyNdrCOM

Papagayo Jet (Winds)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papagayo_Jet

North Shore Community Land Trust
https://northshoreland.org/

Surf Map of Oahu
https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/viewer?msa=0&mid=1N3iQTTdjIGd3crD9BHkI1vT34zk&ll=21.47842986506521%2C-157.95414650000004&z=10

Spam Musubi
https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/49785/spam-musubi/

Baldface Lodge, British Columbia
https://baldface.net/

Airwolf TV Show
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0086662/

Travis Rice
http://www.travisrice.com/

Jamie Lynn
http://www.volcom.co.id/team/snow/jamie-lynn/

Mark Cunningham
https://www.instagram.com/kkandmc/

Tamarindo Lifeguard Program
http://playatamarindo.org/lifeguard-program/?lang=en

The Real World: Austin (Season 16, Episode 20)
https://www.amazon.com/gp/video/detail/B017344V46/ref=atv_dp_season_select_atf

In Search Of Captain Zero: : A Surfer’s Road Trip Beyond the End of the Road
https://www.amazon.com/Search-Captain-Zero-Surfers-Beyond/dp/1585421774

All Women Surf Retreat at Witch’s Rock Surf Camp
https://witchsrocksurfcamp.com/its-back-2019-all-women-surf-retreats-w-andrea-diaz/

Music: The Flirts (song: Helpless)
http://www.theflirtsband.com/

Audio transcription:

Joe Walsh:
Hey, there. This is Joe Walsh from Tamarindo, Costa Rica, and you’re listening to the Get Out and Surf Podcast. This week, we’re back in Costa Rica and talking about our recent adventures on the North Shore of Hawaii, British Columbia, and what’s going on right now, here, in Tamarindo. I’m chilling with the boys, Niki Hurren and Patrick McNulty, we’re having a good time, catching up and talking surf. So, sit back, relax, and let’s get started.
Joe Walsh:
Hey, this is Joe Walsh, coming to you from Tamarindo, Costa Rica, sitting in the recording studio at the Volcano Brewing Company Brewery with my good friends and co-workers, Patrick McNulty and Niki Hurren. Pat, welcome to the show.
Pat McNulty:
Thank you. I think I have a contact high.
Joe Walsh:
Perhaps. It’s actually been a few weeks since you’ve been with us, so I’m glad that you’re back.
Pat McNulty:
Well, I’m just so pleased to be here, Joe, I really am. Can’t you tell by looking at me, how pleased I am?
Joe Walsh:
Niki?
Pat McNulty:
Niki, did you bring your shine box?
Niki Hurren:
I always bring my shine box. I got it right here with me, you can see. Whatever is needed, I’ve got it in that little bag. We’re back on home turf. We’re back in the most spectacular scenery of the recording studio.
Joe Walsh:
With nothing on the walls.
Niki Hurren:
Nothing on the walls apart from the asylum type of feel about it but, yeah.
Pat McNulty:
We’ve got all this foam on the walls. If you want to take a nap, I guess you could lean up against it.
Joe Walsh:
Instead of critiquing our … oh, man.
Niki Hurren:
Sorry, it’s really windy.
Joe Walsh:
Howling wind right now.
Niki Hurren:
Yeah, we have a lot of Popogayo winds, it’s normal for this time of year so we’re in a big tin box, basically, so there’s not much we can do about it.
Joe Walsh:
We are at the brewery, that’s right and by the way this podcast is brought to you by Witch’s Rock Surf Camp, Tamarindo, Costa Rica. I was telling people this at the end of the show but then I started listening to The Verge and some other podcasts and they do it at the beginning and that makes sense. I want you guys to know this is episode number 10 so we should probably celebrate somehow. We made it to double digits and we’ve made a few changes. We are now launching our podcast on a Sunday night so that no matter what time you go to work Monday morning, it’ll be there for you to listen to and we’re doing these every week, which is a little ambitious but at the same time, has gotten us to get out there and do some really cool things in the short period that we’ve been doing the podcast. So, the future’s looking really bright and this episode … you here that, all those monkeys?
Niki Hurren:
Yeah, there’s the howler monkeys.
Pat McNulty:
What are they on the roof?
Joe Walsh:
Dude, they’ve been right outside the brewery for-
Pat McNulty:
You hear my voice change, like I’m 12 years old. On the roof?
Niki Hurren:
Are they on the roof? Monkeys? On the roof?
Joe Walsh:
Yeah, so we’ve got wind howling up the roof, the zinc, we’ve got the monkeys howling in the trees, got my daughter and my nephew howling downstairs in the brewery, banging on stuff, having a good old time, and we’re all three back together. We took a trip to Hawaii. Niki, you and I.
Niki Hurren:
Yes, yes we did. I celebrated by being on time today for this podcast.
Joe Walsh:
Yeah, you did and that’s probably what happened when we started out. We’ve been sitting here for an hour waiting for Niki, you’ve got to say it.
Niki Hurren:
Yeah, and I’m not-
Joe Walsh:
You’re usually on time but-
Pat McNulty:
And, when you wait, your mind wanders.
Niki Hurren:
No, absolutely not. I’ll take … I’m-
Joe Walsh:
You start arm wresting.
Niki Hurren:
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Joe Walsh:
Yeah, you missed all that.
Niki Hurren:
Yeah, I might’ve missed that but it was alright.
Pat McNulty:
Finger wrestling, leg wrestling, arm wrestling.
Niki Hurren:
Oh, finger haggling. Betharian finger haggling. I knew you were good at that.
Joe Walsh:
Alright, so this is a roundup. We’ve been all over. Did that trip and then I went to British Columbia to Bald Face Lodge, which was so intense and awesome, we’ll talk about that and then we’re going to bring it back here to Costa Rica and talk about what’s going on here cause as you can tell, it’s windy, it’s in the middle of the Papagayo winds, huh? That water’s kinda cold, too. I surfed yesterday right after I got back and I wore my long sleeve top and I could’ve probably used a spring suit, it’s one of those days.
Pat McNulty:
Yeah, it seemed that way. My body got really cold pretty quick out there. The wind just howls and you’re on the water and you’re in the wind and it makes you want to wear a wetsuit.
Niki Hurren:
Yeah, it does. Everyone thinks it’s the tropics but you get that upwelling of all this wind and you’re not moving around too much cause there’s not a huge amount of swell. You’ve got a little bit of a wait so it just evaporates that water off your body and you soon get cold.
Pat McNulty:
It’s so windy, I saw little dogs blowing down the beach yesterday.
Joe Walsh:
Dude, it was so windy, I almost couldn’t walk back to my house with my surfboard, seriously. Swear to God.
Pat McNulty:
Yeah, I get it.
Joe Walsh:
Let’s talk about the Hawaii trip, we went there for the podcast. Niki, what did we do in Hawaii?
Niki Hurren:
We, basically, managed to set up some very cool interviews through one of your really good friends and we proceeded to just hang out on the islands and soak up the culture and we met some pretty inspirational people, really, it really was. It was a bit of work, obviously a bit of play, stuff like that, but it was, for me, the main thing I took away from that whole experience, was the people that we met.
Joe Walsh:
Yeah, Peter Cole, Poncho Sullivan, and then next week we’re going to have Mark Cunningham, and I was super impressed because all three, not only are solid watermen, but they’re all … the environment, the ocean, it is so important to each one of them and they all gave the same message as far as spending time in the water and swimming for preparation and training and so there was some cool take aways. Very cool individuals and what a cool place, right? It had been awhile since I’d been to Hawaii.
Niki Hurren:
Yeah, that’s actually the longest I’ve spent in the U.S. as such. For many years I’ve usually just transferred through on flights and it was definitely like the U.S. but with a real island vibe. The people were very relaxed, were very friendly, way more friendly than I thought they were going to be.
Joe Walsh:
Yeah, it was pretty sweet and Pat, there were roosters and there was chickens everywhere.
Niki Hurren:
Everywhere.
Joe Walsh:
It was kind of like here.
Niki Hurren:
No, no, no.
Joe Walsh:
There was more.
Niki Hurren:
Yeah, it was chickens-
Joe Walsh:
There was way more chickens and roosters than here, in Costa Rica.
Pat McNulty:
Well, I’ll be damned.
Joe Walsh:
Yeah, it was pretty interesting. No matter what neighborhood, there’d be a rooster just doing it’s thing.
Pat McNulty:
That was a local rooster in each neighborhood.
Joe Walsh:
They were all over. They’re all over the island.
Pat McNulty:
They were running the neighborhood, those rooster.
Joe Walsh:
I guess, they don’t have snakes. They don’t have any … there’s no natural predators on the island. They’ve got some wild pigs and then of course you get in the ocean and there’s a few things there.
Pat McNulty:
Yeah, those wild pigs, I understand they’ll screw you right up if you get them pissed off. They’ll come right at you.
Joe Walsh:
Oh, yeah. Niki wouldn’t stop talking about how they have strong neck muscles cause Niki worked in a pig farm. Told the story three times a couple weeks ago.
Niki Hurren:
Alright, okay. No, I’m not going to repeat it again.
Pat McNulty:
They have strong neck muscles, huh?
Niki Hurren:
They have more muscle capacity in their neck than we have in our entire body.
Pat McNulty:
Wow.
Niki Hurren:
Oh, there you go. You learned something new.
Pat McNulty:
That’s something I never read in National Geographic.
Niki Hurren:
No, you won’t learn it in National Geographic.
Pat McNulty:
That’s something I’m so surprised … it makes me want to go look at a pig.
Joe Walsh:
I bet it does. You got to say it now. Where did you work? What’d you do with pigs? Just real quick.
Niki Hurren:
Why?
Joe Walsh:
Okay, you worked at a pig farm.
Pat McNulty:
You were a pig farmer, weren’t you?
Joe Walsh:
He was a pig farmer.
Niki Hurren:
I’m actually going to meet my old boss this weekend, on Saturday.
Joe Walsh:
He’s coming through on a cruise, right?
Niki Hurren:
I was 14 years old and I got a job. My Dad made me-
Pat McNulty:
You pig farmers stick together, don’t you?
Niki Hurren:
Oh, yeah we do. Yeah, we do. You can delete this.
Joe Walsh:
No, I’m pretty sure it’s going to be in.
Niki Hurren:
Okay, the main thing about the islands was there’s so many waves. There was waves everywhere.
Joe Walsh:
Yeah, there were and we-
Niki Hurren:
And, even when they were calling it one foot, it was still shoulder to head high.
Joe Walsh:
There were waves all over, for sure.
Niki Hurren:
It just didn’t stop. There was just waves all over the entire place.
Pat McNulty:
That’s cause the island measurement is from the back of the wave.
Joe Walsh:
Yeah, it’s also just so open ocean and exposed to everything, it just gets … and there’s so many little curves of the coast and faces every direction. So, we were staying in Honolulu and the South Shore, Waikiki was tiny and it’s the season for it to be small anyways. We surfed on the North Shore and we surfed this spot called Monster Mash over by Rocky Point and we actually … pretty exciting.
Niki Hurren:
No, Monster Mash, it was one of those moments when you’re paddling out and you know where you’re paddling is the North Shore and your buddy Doug was like, you know about the surf, the worst wave on the North Shore.
Joe Walsh:
That’s right.
Niki Hurren:
But, it was so much fun, had a lot of power, it was a little intimidating at first, you get yourself in the line up figure out what’s going on, not too many people out but-
Joe Walsh:
I’ll be honest, I was nervous.
Niki Hurren:
It’s the fuckin’ North Shore.
Joe Walsh:
I was nervous going there because I’d never surfed there and cause I’ve watched all the movies and it’s like-
Pat McNulty:
I got to say, I was nervous and I wasn’t even there.
Joe Walsh:
Yeah, I’m excited. I don’t know if you’re telling the truth or if you’re-
Niki Hurren:
No, he’s never nervous.
Joe Walsh:
Yeah, never nervous.
Niki Hurren:
Never nervous.
Pat McNulty:
Did you see Makaha?
Joe Walsh:
No, we didn’t make it to the west side, unfortunately.
Pat McNulty:
It’s supposed to be a real-
Joe Walsh:
Beautiful.
Pat McNulty:
Local break, real local.
Joe Walsh:
Yeah, we didn’t get there. We did surf Pipe Line, probably about the smallest it breaks but it was still waist high, stomach high. That was really special too, maybe even bigger, maybe a couple chest high waves came through.
Niki Hurren:
Oh, no it was definitely bigger than waist high.
Joe Walsh:
But, got a tiny little barrel, which I’m very proud about, grabbed my rail, pulled in, and I was surprised that we even … I don’t know I wouldn’t have thought I’d have paddled out at Pipe Line before we went on the trip but then we were there and my buddy Doug Cole, a good friend of mine from college, grew up right by there, and I guess, after a few days, hanging out, just got a little more comfortable with the whole scene. It’s a pretty cool scene, I think, both Niki and I were like, we could come back. Definitely, want to go spend more time there. I want to go to the big island too. I hear the big island’s supposed to have some pretty good waves, and it’s really quite remote, I think.
Pat McNulty:
Yeah, it’s more country.
Joe Walsh:
For sure.
Pat McNulty:
More country and I understand that Maui has really good waves so-
Joe Walsh:
Yeah.
Pat McNulty:
A little bit more crowded though.
Niki Hurren:
I wouldn’t be surprised, just from what we saw on the coast line that we saw, there’s, like I said, there’s waves coming everywhere. So, imagine there’s all these pockets, these little gems, and as you get more rural, I imagine there’s some spots a little bit more protected by locals and there’s a definite vibe around the surf spots and it’s, whatever you call it, a mecca or you go pay homage cause it’s where really modern days surfing started.
Joe Walsh:
I don’t think you should medal out a lot of those spots. I don’t think you should paddle out the North Shore if you can’t surf, definitely.
Pat McNulty:
Well, I would say that-
Joe Walsh:
There’s one spot that we saw that’s right outside of Haleiwa, where they’re renting boards and it’s really good beginner waves, so if you want to go to the North Shore, it’s super beautiful and you can surf that wave, it looked really protected and it’d be perfect and I’m sure there’s a few other spots like that but the sunset and Rocky Point and the Pipe Line, and Back Door, and things like that, when there got to be some swell it was just good to watch it from the beach.
Pat McNulty:
Yeah, when those waves get going, they’re no joke.
Joe Walsh:
That’s the best of the best surfing out there. It was a pretty humbling experience cause I felt like I was one of the worst surfers on the beach.
Niki Hurren:
Oh, the level of surfing out there is unreal. You watch those kids and it was literally, shore break and they’re dropping in and they’re doing lay back snaps, they’re doing 360 airs-
Joe Walsh:
Yeah, it was rad.
Niki Hurren:
The level is very high.
Joe Walsh:
It was pretty cool. Deep surf culture, great people that we met getting ready for the Mark Cunningham podcast next week, next episode, episode 11. That was just one of my favorite sit down conversations. I didn’t feel like we were even having a podcast. We were rapping with the guy and really just super intelligent and I think, inspiring to both of us cause I know we both swam laps today. I swam laps, I know you swam laps. I was like, as soon as I come back from traveling, I’m going to swim a lot more cause these guys are just … it’s so important if you want to be comfortable on the big surf.
Niki Hurren:
When we stood there, the main point, me, when I stood there at sunset and we’ve all been through the lifeguard training here and we know how to deal with rips and we know how to swim but we stood there at sunset and it wasn’t very big and we were thinking about surfing it before we did the Mark Cunningham interview and we came back after, what was it, two, three hours, after the interview?
Joe Walsh:
Yeah, and it had picked up quite a bit in size, pretty quickly.
Niki Hurren:
Really quickly.
Joe Walsh:
And, we didn’t even have the right boards. We needed bigger boards and-
Niki Hurren:
The amount of water that was moving through the rip, I was like, okay, that’s a whole other level of thinking about, okay, I can swim but can I really swim?
Joe Walsh:
Yeah, you got to show up and be in surf shape and be mentally in shape and ready for that but then I think, what a great experience. What a great experience to surf the waves we surfed, just to be there and be eating Spam Musubi from the Seven Eleven, which is actually-
Niki Hurren:
Joe was like, his first ever Christmas, as soon as he got to Foodland.
Joe Walsh:
I’ve been reading all these Chad Smith books, they’re talking about Foodland and so it was cool just to be there eating … although, the last day I got that big Spam Musubi with the Portuguese sausage and I dropped it and it busted open and the sausage patty fell into the parking lot and I was so bummed and I flicked the little dirt off and still ate it but I shouldn’t have. I was so bummed. Been waiting for an hour to get to the North Shore to get one, I was bummed I dropped my … Okay, alright so we took off, that was a week ago and then I had this trip planned where I went, instead of surfing, went snowboarding, which I’m super excited to tell you guys about, to Bald Face Lodge and I’d never heard of the place before.
Joe Walsh:
A friend of mine went there a year ago, Thai, and he invited me and I joined this group and I don’t know, man. I had been snowboarding a bit. I lived in Tahoe for three months or so when I was in college and I snowboarded the last few years to try to get … for 15 years or so, I didn’t touch the snow and then as my boys got older and we were going to Colorado a bit, or California, we’d take them up to the mountains and so the last few years I started to get back into it but this was a whole other level and man, I was the worst snowboarder amongst … I’m a decent snowboarder and these guys are just so far ahead of me and it was humbling but it was kind of like being on the North Shore.
Niki Hurren:
At what point did you realize that? At what point were you like-
Joe Walsh:
Two months ago when I got the email that said I was flying ina helicopter and I didn’t actually realize that you go in a helicopter and I had never been in a helicopter, now I have, and you go up to this place in the Kootenays, which is west of the Canadian Rockies, in British Colombia, and it’s cold it’s desolate, middle of nowhere, and they don’t have chairs, they have snowcats, and they take you in the snowcat and they literally drive you up the top of a mountain and you look out the window and it’s really steep in either side, out the windows and out the front. The road just kind of ends at the top. It’s not even a road.
Joe Walsh:
When it snows, they make these roads with the cats, they push the snow down, it’s a ridge you’re driving up, basically, and they just drop you off at the end and they leave and you have to snowboard down and this was after the first day giving … I had this avalanche training and they train you on how to use your GPS search beacon, which admits a signal but also if multiple people get covered in an avalanche, there’s a procedure and you have to find the first one and leave a glove and mark the spot and then go onto the second and you have a radio and there’s 14 of us in the group and you’re always going in a buddy system when you run but there’s two guides, one that goes at the beginning and then everyone goes down after and then there’s a guide at the end that comes after you’ve all met up at the bottom of a section. They gave you a GPS so in case you get buried, they can find you.
Niki Hurren:
How long does it take to get up there in a cat?
Joe Walsh:
Well, you’re doing all the peaks around this resort and so maybe you do a run and maybe 15 minutes in a cat, you’re just doing runs all day long and it’s all powder and it’s super steep and dude, I was with … I got off the helicopter and Jamie Rice was there.
Niki Hurren:
Travis Rice. Jamie Lynn.
Joe Walsh:
Oh, shit, see there you go. Alright, well, because I’m a surfer, I didn’t even know who these guys were. I come off the helicopter and-
Pat McNulty:
You know who they are now though.
Joe Walsh:
Oh, hell yeah I do. I was hanging out with Jamie Lynn.
Niki Hurren:
Freakin’ Travis Rice is freakin’ the Kelly Slater of snowboarding. He’s won so many things and Jamie Lynn is just the Rob Machado of snowboarding, the guy is insane.
Joe Walsh:
Dude, I was playing ping pong with them all night, dude, it was rad. He was shooting a Vans snowboard movie and so I’m riding with guys like Jamie Lynn and this other guy in our group is a photographer of Warren Miller films and all these guys are living in Colorado and Oregon and Switzerland and they’re just really good snowboarders and it was a really humbling experience to ride with them.
Pat McNulty:
So, where did the helicopter come in?
Joe Walsh:
It flew up Nelson, British Columbia.
Pat McNulty:
So, is that the only way to get in there, is by helicopter?
Joe Walsh:
I think you could also probably go in a snowmobile.
Pat McNulty:
Oh, wow.
Joe Walsh:
Yeah, there’s a river you got to cross too.
Pat McNulty:
Mm-hmm (affirmative) Did you have a machine gun in the helicopter, you could should shit?
Joe Walsh:
It was Air Wolf.
Pat McNulty:
Death from above.
Joe Walsh:
That’s how they-
Niki Hurren:
Wasn’t the guy in Air Wolf, the same guy in Beat Wednesday?
Joe Walsh:
Yeah.
Niki Hurren:
Yeah, that’s right.
Joe Walsh:
Yeah, shoot, where was I? I guess, I was just saying it was a really humbling experience that I appreciated being the worst or the second worse or the third … it was definitely … I snowboard the least out of this group. There were some guys that were so much better than me that I got to ride with and see them jumping off of things and understanding the level that I … well, recognizing the level of gear that I need and just the finite details. With surfing, you paddle with your body a couple inches forward and you’re just going to dig your nose, you got to find that sweet spot, where you’re not to far back, where you don’t get the wave, or you’re not too poor where you dig your nose and it’s like that with snowboarding.
Joe Walsh:
If your bindings are just forward a couple inches, you’re going to dig a bunch more snow when you’re trying to ride through this deep powder and man, it was really steep and the first day I was going down the run and at one point I was like, in one of the first runs I was just like, I’m not sure I should actually even be here but dude, I’m so glad because by the end of the third day I was charging down the runs. The first day I was like, man, I hadn’t been in conditions like that ever and so I was just eating it the whole day and I was super sore.
Pat McNulty:
And, it’s just like a sheer cliff that you’re jumping off of too, it’s not like-
Joe Walsh:
A sheer cliff but it’s pretty steep and actually, it’s not even the steepness thought hat was bothering me as much as the trees because there’s trees all over and there’s really tight turns and what was happening is, in some of the tighter turns, I’d … look at this bruise. I’d nail the tree with my knee and I fell into tree wells multiple times and they’re these holes around these trees, dude, I was up to my neck in one. I had to climb a tree to get out, it was gnarly, and this is high elevation and I got dudes waiting for me at the bottom, I’m charging-
Pat McNulty:
I’m falling and I can’t get up.
Joe Walsh:
Oh, man. So, it was a good work out but you know what? I think that was kind of similar to the … It’s just, I got this motivation, whether it’s surfing, or snowboarding, which is very similar in my mind, it’s very different, yet similar, it’s an experience, it’s another way you’re enjoying this ride and the glide. The whole experience for me is … I do appreciate, even though you’re pretty cold, snowboarding is fun but I probably wouldn’t have done it or I definitely wouldn’t have gone to Hawaii if we hadn’t started the podcast. So, I feel like I’ve been inspired to get out and surf and snowboard and just get out and have these experiences and kind of push myself, I think, in some ways that otherwise, I wouldn’t have done.
Pat McNulty:
Well, it’s good to get out of your comfort zone once in a while like that, and you’re always humbled. We think, because we’re in Costa Rica, we’re this elite bunch that surfs every single day but we’re kind of localized here-
Joe Walsh:
Yeah.
Pat McNulty:
And, there’s a whole big world out there and sometimes it’s good to go out there and see that you’re not the big horse.
Joe Walsh:
Yeah, in fact-
Pat McNulty:
You’re just a also-ran.
Joe Walsh:
Yeah, well, when I was riding with these guys that were the best of the best, I was super humbled, yet I was pushed. I think the whole environment, the guys I was riding with, the terrain, it’s kind of like going on a real advanced Indo trip where you just got these heaving barrels and you just got to go for it.
Pat McNulty:
And, that’s what makes you better.
Joe Walsh:
For sure. Again, I got better quickly and I don’t-
Niki Hurren:
Trial by fire.
Joe Walsh:
Yeah.
Niki Hurren:
Trial by fire.
Joe Walsh:
Trial by tomahawking down the mountain, just head-over-heels.
Pat McNulty:
Yeah, you either step up or you step off, that’s the way it is.
Joe Walsh:
Yeah.
Niki Hurren:
Go hard, or go home.
Pat McNulty:
Yeah.
Niki Hurren:
Some of those days, you do turn up to the beach and you’ve made this big trip to go somewhere and you’re standing there and you’re looking at it and you’re like, well, this is what we actually came here for. This is what we came here for. You’re wanting to look at those places, like when we turn up to the North Shore and it could’ve been a hell of a lot bigger but you’re like, Oh, God, look at it. It’s actually surfable, it’s actually accessible for us-
Joe Walsh:
Yeah.
Niki Hurren:
It was accessible. It was okay. It was alright.
Joe Walsh:
Yeah, but you have to be in the right mental and physical state to accomplish those things. I think that was the big takeaway too, is you got to stay on your game.
Niki Hurren:
Yeah, even when we spoke to Mark Cunningham and how old is he now?
Joe Walsh:
He’s 63.
Niki Hurren:
Yeah, and he was saying he keeps beating himself up about staying in shape and training cause obviously he’s retired now from-
Joe Walsh:
30 years as a lifeguard.
Niki Hurren:
Yeah, 30 years as a lifeguard. He’s like, do I have to keep trying?
Joe Walsh:
20 years of Pipe Line.
Niki Hurren:
Yeah. You do, you have to keep that mentality as well as a physical presence but you also have to keep that mental state as well of like, okay, today’s the day or you push yourself, get out of your comfort zone and try new things, whatever it is.
Joe Walsh:
And, that’s hopefully, what this whole podcast is providing for more than just you and I, and I know that it is cause I’ve been getting a lot of great feedback so I’m stoked that we made it here, episode 10 and we’re back in Costa Rica, home base, and you’re talking about lifeguards, so let’s start off by talking about what’s happening in Costa Rica, and let’s talk about the new lifeguard tower that’s getting build right on the beach in front of Witch’s Rock Surf Camp .
Pat McNulty:
Well, we had a lifeguard tower before that was financed by donations from a couple of different businesses, including our own, and it was a beautiful lifeguard tower, a California lifeguard tower and as you well know, Joe-
Joe Walsh:
The estuary-
Pat McNulty:
The tide took it away-
Joe Walsh:
That’s right.
Pat McNulty:
And, we dismantled it and now we’re down to a lifeguard chair.
Joe Walsh:
Temporary.
Pat McNulty:
But, the municipality, I guess they noticed what we were doing and how successful it was. They’ve kicked in some money, and they’re building a tower right now and they’re actually doing a really good job on the beach.
Joe Walsh:
So, how long ago did we start the lifeguard program? Cause I’ve lost track.
Pat McNulty:
Well, let me see. I think-
Joe Walsh:
At least five years, right?
Pat McNulty:
It was five years ago,
Joe Walsh:
2013.
Pat McNulty:
Yeah, correct. Five years ago.
Joe Walsh:
Yeah, even more,
Pat McNulty:
So, it’s taken five years for … and things don’t work fast in Costa Rica but-
Joe Walsh:
No, but it’s a really positive sign to see the government, now, getting involved, cause we’ve been funding this privately for years and since we’ve had the lifeguard program, which is every day from nine to six, seven days a week, I don’t believe we’ve had a single drowning, Pat.
Pat McNulty:
Oh my God, you had to say that.
Joe Walsh:
I did.
Pat McNulty:
Knock on wood.
Joe Walsh:
You know what? I am, but I also know from years of living at the beach in Tamarindo, just all of us sitting in this room, we’ve done it all and before that lifeguard program, it was out of control. We were having to rescue people drowning all the time, recover bodies, CPR, broken necks, you name it and to have now, a training program, where we’re training people in the community and the lifeguard tower and having the government now involved, it’s like, wow. Really? Am I dreaming?
Pat McNulty:
That was a good example of the private, public, partnerships that are necessary, not only for Costa Rica, but for all of the world.
Joe Walsh:
For sure. So if we’re-
Pat McNulty:
Because, the government can’t finance it all and Guanacaste has some money but they’re not a rich cantone or whatever. They’re investing in the community by doing this and it’s Costa Ricans that we employ as lifeguards and so this is for Costa Ricans, this isn’t for you and I, Joe, or you and I, Niki-
Niki Hurren:
No.
Pat McNulty:
This is for Costa Ricans to be able to take care of their own community.
Niki Hurren:
It’s mainly the presence that the lifeguards have, sorry. The presence that the lifeguards have on the beach cause prevention is everything so if a lifeguard approaches you and warns you about something, do take heed. They’re not trying to push you around or anything like that, they’re trying to prevent from something really bad happening. So, if someone’s saying, please watch out for this rip, the waves are very big today, I don’t think you should be swimming, don’t get all pushy back or anything like that cause for me, that’s the main thing. No one wants to swim out and be a hero, no one wants to do that. We want to prevent any of these problems that can arise.
Pat McNulty:
We’re averaging about 30 assists or rescues per week, that’s about what our average is year round. Of course, in Semana Sante it’s a lot busier and we have a lot more assists and most of those assists are just grabbing people before they get in trouble and stitches, a lot of stitches.
Niki Hurren:
We do a lot of stitches.
Joe Walsh:
Well, it’s pretty awesome that we’re getting a new tower, permanent tower and it’s on skids too so if the tide does shift around, we have the ability of moving it, Witch’s Rock Surf Camp does manage the program so we’re very proud. What else we got going on? What’s been going on in here in Tamarindo? We got that Netflix show that’s here right now called Restaurants on the Edge. They’re shooting a season. It’s not our restaurant but they’re going to be surfing with us.
Pat McNulty:
Yeah, well, they’re coming over to visit, Joe, because you’re the authority as it relates to surf camps and surf lessons, so they’re going to come down here and they’re going to see what you’re up to, what your brewery is up to, what Volcano Brewing company is up to and we’re going to throw a little beach party. We’ve got a local band that’s going to play and everybody’s really psyched and stoked about this.
Joe Walsh:
Yeah, it’s been going on for a couple months now and that was one of the reasons why … back here and doing some work, middle of the month, is to have that show and be great hosts and so I’m not sure, but that’s going to be on Netflix and I believe it’s called Restaurants on the Edge, so look for that, the Costa Rica episode, I’m assuming.
Niki Hurren:
Dear old Robert August, he’s … Christina is going to be hanging out on the beach as well.
Joe Walsh:
I got to say something funny, here. I asked my boys to be involved, to help out next week, with Netflix, the production crew is going to be here cause it’s going to be a … 12 people and camera and lighting and sound and it’s a big crew, bigger than normal. I’ve seen a lot of production crew, there’s small ones and large ones, and the only one that was bigger was when MTV came here in 2005 and did The Real World and I’d never even told my kids this. I had to explain to my kids what MTV was and I had to explain to them what the-
Niki Hurren:
Does MTV still exist?
Joe Walsh:
It’s like an app now, I don’t even know, but I’m telling you-
Niki Hurren:
What’s television anymore?
Joe Walsh:
I went to Amazon, I have an amazon stick, and I went onto the video store and I found, it’s season 16, it’s Real World, Austin. Maybe, it’s season 12, I can’t remember, but they have it there and it was two bucks and I bought it, just today, and just watched it with my kids and they couldn’t believe it. There’s an economy rent-a-car in front of the surf camp and, we’ve got the same furniture in Joe’s restaurant that we had since then.
Niki Hurren:
Keeping up with the times.
Joe Walsh:
And, the same flooring and everything and I was dying, dude, and of course I’m like … oh, man, I said something like … what’d I say? Be careful if you try surfing, your life will never be the same. I don’t know what I said but it was ridiculous, man. Just search for Real World on Amazon or probably Itunes, I don’t know, it was on Amazon Prime, or my Amazon stick, whatever that … Alexa.
Pat McNulty:
So, we’ve got some other podcasts that we’re thinking about doing here, too, isn’t that correct, Joe?
Joe Walsh:
That’s very correct. In fact, the whole goal here is that we’re going to get out and we’re going to meet the most interesting people in surfing and we’re going to go surf the most interesting places in the world, so we just started that and again, a big shout out to Pancho, and Mark, and Senor Peter Cole, who-
Niki Hurren:
That guy was gnarly. Peter-
Joe Walsh:
Peter?
Niki Hurren:
Yeah, you turn up, he’s-
Joe Walsh:
Dude, Peter’s never had a bad wipe out.
Niki Hurren:
He’s got one eye that’s working, he’s got half his neck is gone. You’re just like, whoa-
Joe Walsh:
Dude, Peter’s the bomb, he really was, he’s a good guy.
Niki Hurren:
Yeah, he really is. My favorite part about his interview was, so how do you deal with the fear? Well, I’ve never been afraid.
Joe Walsh:
So, yeah. We did that trip and we’re going to have Mark Cunningham on the show in a week, which is going to be awesome and looking beyond that, let’s see. I’m getting ready to go to New Zealand, check that out, take my family there for a couple weeks and go check out Raglan, I’ve never been there, left point break, and I think it’s going to make a great episode for the show. I’ve always wanted to know the set up in New Zealand and I know it’s going to be awesome cause everyone I talked to has been there, says how awesome it is, so that’s going to be cool.
Pat McNulty:
Well, I’m going to live through you but we’ve got another local person that we’re thinking about doing in a few weeks after you get back from New Zealand and that’s Captain Zero. We all read the book, In Search of Captain Zero. Well, we know where he is, I found him and I talk to him at least once a week.
Joe Walsh:
Finding Captain Zero. He calls me up at the most random times. I don’t even-
Pat McNulty:
He is a true character of Costa Rica and he’s got a lot of good stories to tell.
Joe Walsh:
Well, please, can you just give me a little bit of a hint of what’s coming on here?
Pat McNulty:
A lot of these pirates that came-
Joe Walsh:
Cause that is what he is.
Pat McNulty:
That came down in Costa Rica.
Joe Walsh:
Yeah, he’s a pirate.
Pat McNulty:
They started their career, smuggling some pretty decent loads of illegal drugs back in the day, back in the 70’s, and the other thing with Captain Zero is, he’s a Vietnam vet, so he’s the real deal and he’s got quite a story to tell and he’s not bashful about telling it so-
Joe Walsh:
Looking forward to that.
Pat McNulty:
You guys stay tuned for Captain Zero, cause we found him.
Joe Walsh:
Yeah, we did. Finding Captain Zero. We got Wing Nut, I believe, coming through here pretty soon.
Niki Hurren:
Yeah, Wing Nut’s coming down in mid March, so the next couple of weeks, at least, and just trying to confirm with him, a time, and he’s also a star and definitely a character of surf. The stuff he can do on a long board is just unbelievable. I’ve seen him, I’ve done a few tours with him personally, and super nice guy.
Joe Walsh:
I’m looking forward to being taught how to get all 10 toes up there and keep them up there, see what his strategy is.
Niki Hurren:
Oh, he’s a master at that, that’s for sure.
Joe Walsh:
Mine isn’t working so well. I get the first five, then I go for 10 and then I fall, that’s pretty much the pattern. We’re talking about going to China, Hainan.
Niki Hurren:
Hainan.
Joe Walsh:
That’s right.
Niki Hurren:
Yeah, we’re going to go look for Megaladons.
Joe Walsh:
That’s right, I just watched The Meg and that’s where that giant shark goes. Pat, China.
Pat McNulty:
Well, I’m down for China, I’ve always wanted to go there but I’m not going to sit in economy, Joe, I’m sorry. It’d have to be economy plus. So, right away, I’m not going because he isn’t going to front for that.
Joe Walsh:
Well, I just-
Pat McNulty:
So, looks like you’re going to have to go.
Niki Hurren:
Oh, no, I-
Pat McNulty:
Bring your bag.
Niki Hurren:
I had to come back in baggage.
Pat McNulty:
Bring your bag. You are the bag boy.
Niki Hurren:
I had to come in baggage hold.
Joe Walsh:
I took it there. I took all the mixer and all the stuff there and you brought it back.
Niki Hurren:
Well, it’s alright. I’m not complaining.
Joe Walsh:
I had to go snowboarding.
Niki Hurren:
I’m not complaining at all. We were just in Hawaii, I’m not complaining one little bit.
Joe Walsh:
Alright, so.
Pat McNulty:
Yeah, yeah hold on, wait a second, I got to shift around in the seat, the ball and chain is really heavy on my foot.
Joe Walsh:
Pat’s just pissed.
Pat McNulty:
Yeah, I’ve never been to Hawaii.
Niki Hurren:
It’s nice, you should go.
Pat McNulty:
Yeah, I will.
Niki Hurren:
They’ve got really good Spam, really good orange chicken.
Pat McNulty:
Spam, spam, spam.
Niki Hurren:
Oh, it’s lots of Span, man, let me tell you.
Joe Walsh:
There is all that spicy shrimp there.
Niki Hurren:
We actually didn’t do that spicy shrimp.
Joe Walsh:
I know. I know.
Niki Hurren:
We didn’t do that spicy shrimp.
Joe Walsh:
Yeah, you know what we didn’t do too? I wanted to go snorkeling. There’s some killer snorkeling.
Niki Hurren:
You wanted to go swim with freaking sharks in a cage is what you wanted to do.
Joe Walsh:
I wanted to go snorkeling. Yeah, you snorkel with sharks.
Pat McNulty:
I would do that.
Joe Walsh:
Yeah, it’s freakin’ awesome.
Niki Hurren:
We just didn’t get around to it.
Joe Walsh:
Yeah, we were busy. We, actually, were working. We only surfed, what, three times?
Niki Hurren:
I think.
Joe Walsh:
Which is-
Niki Hurren:
Alright.
Joe Walsh:
Got to pay the bills, dude. I’m not sure how this podcast is actually doing that but at least we’re getting to go out and-
Niki Hurren:
The one thing in Hawaii I did notice a lot of, was the foil surfing.
Joe Walsh:
That’s actually awesome. That, I like cause I’ve seen a few-
Niki Hurren:
People like here-
Joe Walsh:
I’ve seen few goofy long board with the foil but a short board that you can-
Niki Hurren:
Yeah.
Joe Walsh:
It wasn’t even a wave and these guys were just ripping. They were just-
Niki Hurren:
They were able to really harness the energy of the wave that was coming in and I was on a standup paddle board and I was not able to even paddle into these things and then there was this guy there and he was on his foil board and he was getting all these turns in and he was then coming off the back of the wave and then pumping out the back and then catching another set, another set wave, although, it was literally-
Joe Walsh:
Didn’t even matter. It wasn’t even surfable, couldn’t even catch a wave out there.
Niki Hurren:
Knee high. It was knee high. It was the best.
Joe Walsh:
Yeah, we had some long boards, went out there, barely cut a wave, and these guys are just tearing it up on those foils.
Niki Hurren:
So, it’s definitely interesting to see cause I’ve seen it a few people here have not really been inspired to give it much of a look but it’s surfing, nonetheless. I know some people call them water pogo sticks.
Joe Walsh:
I thought it looked pretty sweet.
Niki Hurren:
But, it definitely looked fluid, it looked like fun. The main thing for me is, surfing’s surfing so if it’s on the body surf or it’s time to … out on a boogie board, knee board, or whatever it is, that’s fantastic, it’s all surfing.
Joe Walsh:
Yeah, I definitely walked away with that vibe, as well. Especially, talking with Mark. Doesn’t matter how you enjoy the ocean, there’s a lot of ways to connect with it, lot of ways to have fun.
Niki Hurren:
Yeah, and I’ve got to apologize for the Pancho Sullivan interview, cause I go, mm-hmm (affirmative) There was a heck of a lot of mm-hmm (affirmative)
Joe Walsh:
Well, it sounds like there’s ping pong or maybe beer pong going on down at the brewery right now, it’s what’s been going on this whole show so hopefully the sound wasn’t too bad but really cool to catch up with you guys.
Niki Hurren:
We’ve got one more thing to mention. We’ve got the all women’s surf retreat happening as well.
Joe Walsh:
Oh, that’s right. I’m sorry. I forgot, entirely. That’s probably the biggest news. We got Andrea Diaz, Costa Rican National Champ.
Pat McNulty:
Yeah, we’ve rekindled that whole thing because, well, it’s back by popular demand.
Niki Hurren:
Absolutely.
Pat McNulty:
And, so the first two weeks of June, July and August, we’re going to host that camp, right here at Witch’s Rock and we have Andrea Diaz, the Women’s National Champion in Costa Rica, who is just a great individual, does a hell of a job and she has a really good following and it’s good that women can come down here and not have to feel like they’re going to be hanging around a bunch of guys with testosterone, these grizzly guys that want to go out and surf. So, they’re out here, they’re learning how to surf, they’re feeling comfortable with their environment and that’s what it’s all about, women’s retreat.
Joe Walsh:
That’s awesome.
Niki Hurren:
Yeah, she’s a great surfer, she’s a really great personality, and she’s a very good ambassador of the sport and ambassador of the country, as well.
Joe Walsh:
So, for more information, where should people go, Pat?
Pat McNulty:
www.witchsrocksurfcamp.com
Joe Walsh:
Alright. Well, cool. Episode number 10 is coming to an end. I want to thank both of you guys for being here, even though, Pat, you and I had to wait an hour for Niki to finish whatever he was doing. I’m not bitter but I think I missed dinner.
Niki Hurren:
I like the Murphy’s. I’m not bitter but I like-
Pat McNulty:
You have anything to say in your defense?
Niki Hurren:
My defense, no, cause it’s going to fall on deaf ears, no matter what, so there’s no point.
Pat McNulty:
Guilty as charged.
Niki Hurren:
Guilty as charged. It’s alright.
Pat McNulty:
Let’s move along.
Joe Walsh:
Oh wait, hold on a second, wait, one more thing, we actually had a question. We have a question, we have an email. Okay, got this question from Andrew Benson from The Great Lakes area and we’re invited to go up and take him and his friend surf in Lake Superior. They listened to our Great Lakes episode and got motivated. These are past surf camp guests that’ve never even considered surfing The Great Lakes so, thank you, to Larry Larson, and the dedicated crew all across The Great Lakes. His question is, what’s one thing about surfing you wish you learned sooner? And, so we’re going to ask that with our next interview but I thought maybe I’d ask you guys. Pat, what’s one thing about surfing you wish you’d learned sooner?
Pat McNulty:
I wish I learned it sooner.
Joe Walsh:
You wish … okay. Okay, good answer. Niki?
Niki Hurren:
Patience. I wish I’d learned patience sooner. When you first start out, it’s a long road. This isn’t a quick … this is a very … cause if you take, say you practice a sport, something like football, tennis, you can go to a court or to a pitch and you can practice and practice and practice and practice. The ocean is very different every single time you go out, it’s very dynamic and you are at the whim of the tide and the swell so you have to have patience. It’s not going to be an … you suddenly don’t just pick it up over nothing, in very little time, so you have to … and I was a very frustrated surfer for many years and until you’re like, okay, this’ll all … baby steps, little by little.
Joe Walsh:
And, it’s fun the entire time.
Niki Hurren:
Oh, no.
Joe Walsh:
From day one, it’s fun, so maybe you get frustrated because you don’t feel like you’re getting better quick enough.
Niki Hurren:
Yeah, to concentrate more on the stoke and the feeling-
Joe Walsh:
Exactly.
Niki Hurren:
More than the actual performance because it will come.
Joe Walsh:
For sure.
Niki Hurren:
To learn patience, because I was a very impatient surfer.
Joe Walsh:
I like that.
Niki Hurren:
Yeah, no, absolutely. For me, if I could learn one thing quicker, it would’ve been to learn that I have to have patience.
Joe Walsh:
Okay.
Pat McNulty:
And, how about you Giuseppe?
Joe Walsh:
Alright, well, Andrew Benson, the one thing I wish I learned sooner was short boarding. I started long boarding and I stayed on it for years, for more than a decade, and it was because I was comfortable catching lots of waves, it was easier, for sure, it was easier in any line up, it is easier, and it’s fun but it is limiting and so I’m really glad because I really prefer a short board, even though I don’t catch as many waves. And, I probably learned that patience, so I’m okay with that but the short boarding does help the long boarding and the long boarding does help the short boarding. There’s a time and a place for all of it and it all should be part of your quiver and your experience, so it’s not as much that I ever wrote off long boarding, it’s just, I wish I had picked up a short board and really experienced riding different types of boards earlier on because it just adds so much more depth to the whole surfing experience.
Joe Walsh:
Alright, we are doing these podcasts on Sundays, Sunday nights, that way, on a Monday morning, it’s going to be there when you’re driving to work and that’s a change, we were doing them on Fridays but we decided to move it back, it’s better for everyone and so that’s the new schedule. Any questions? Podcast ideas, anything, you can email us. Getoutandsurfcr@gmail.com. You can also direct message us on our Instagram page @getoutandsurf. Anything else to ad, guys?
Pat McNulty:
All good, man.
Niki Hurren:
Be punctual. Make sure you turn up on time. I’m usually very punctual. You guys can attest to that, I am usually very punctual.
Joe Walsh:
I know, we thought you had a car accident. We were like-
Niki Hurren:
No, my dog has been … actually my dog-
Joe Walsh:
Ate your homework.
Niki Hurren:
No, my dog-
Pat McNulty:
You’re only as good as the last time you showed up on time.
Niki Hurren:
Alright, okay, well, we’ll work on me then.
Joe Walsh:
Alright, that’s a wrap, thanks for listening. Thank you for listening to the Get Out and Surf Podcast, brought to you by Witch’s Rock Surf Camp in Tamarindo, Costa Rica. Witch’s Rock is such a great time, offering surfing experiences for all levels of surfers. Go to witchsrocksurfcamp.com for more info. A very big, thank you, to Doug Cole and the entire Cole family on the North Shore of Hawaii. Make sure you’re subscribed to the podcast. You can do that by going to Itunes and typing in, get out and surf. We also need your positive reviews, so take two minutes and show us some love. You can do this on Itunes, the link is in the show notes, this will help Itunes share our podcast and get more people tuning in and getting stoke. Thanks, again, for listening, we’ll see you again next week. Pura vida and nos vemos.

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