Surfing fell from the heavens and landed on the pacific coast of Nicaragua only about twenty years ago. It has spread up from the south, and is now a part of coastal culture throughout Nicaragua. Places like San Juan, Popoyo and Playa Colorado remain some most popular spots, while surfing is newer to the North of Nicaragua. Until recently there has not been any local surfing females in the north. I had the opportunity to talk with the ‘tres amigas’ that are leading the way for Nicaraguan female surfers in the north. Locals; Lisseth Gonzalez, Tania Yacdale Ortiz Zuniga and Tatiana Gonzalez are leading the way here in the Asseradores area.
Hometown: Asserdores/Santa Maria, Nicaragua
Santiago: How did you become introduced to surfing?
Tatiana: When I was working for Holly Beck, watching her kids, she was always talking about surfing and showing me videos. Then Holly, Jackie, and Reece let me use their boards and encouraged me to try. Also my friend Marvin has always supported us and helped teach us. Marvin would take pictures and video of us sometimes and show us how to improve.
What was your first wave like?
My first wave was so exciting! I was so scared, in my head I was thinking, ‘what am I doing here.’ I was standing in the sallow water and someone helped me into the wave and then I stood up and I couldn’t believe it but it was so fun! All the ‘surf with amigas’ girls were cheering in the water.
What size board do you ride?
I started on a 7 foot board and now I am riding a 5’8. I like the shorter board so I can practice the duck dive, instead of the turtle. But when I see Jackie and Holly walking on their longboards, it makes me want to do that.
Where else have you surfed?
I had the opportunity to go on a ‘surfing with amigas’ trip to El Salvador and Costa Rica. The El Salvador trip was really helpful to me because I was still learning how to swim and there was a big pool at the place we were staying. So I was able to practice swimming a lot. The waves were really big and a far paddle out but I went out and caught one wave, my first right wave (said with smile and shrug).
What is your favorite local wave?
Why don’t more girls surf in the community?
Because they don’t know how to swim. So they are scared to surf.
What would you say to other females in the community about surfing?
That surfing is fun! It is a beautiful feeling! If anyone else wants to learn they can talk to us and we will help teach them! It is fun when you have a lot of girls in the water and we are all cheering and encouraging each other to catch waves.
Words and Photos by: @travelswithtucker