As I arrived at Chancletas Beach Resort, I was welcomed with the magical local spirit of a community competition that grabbed the attention of people from all walks of life. This competition was run by Shay, the owner of Chancletas and the competitors were all from the region in Nicaragua called Chinandega. This was the 8th year it had been running. The waves were these perfect barrels and everyone was charging in, with the crowd roaring at the sight of these young lads shredding to their hearts content.
The shampoo champ Beto and Don Carlos Deshon
The shampoo competition was for beginners. This was won by Beto ‘El Pollito’ and was well deserved; he was small with a low centre of gravity which made him super nimble on his board like a ninja! When he came out of the ocean at the end of the final, the crowd chased him down the beach throwing eggs at him in celebration of his victory. The first and second place winners of the competition won a surf board that had been donated by the spectators.
The main competition was fearlessly fought out between the competitors, but as the surf got harder, the crowd got more wild and these young lads battled between them, wave after wave. It was hard to call but after some tough decisions by the judges, the winner was announced as Isaac “Makako” Rodrigez, who had won it 5 times before! He won $172 that was donated by the crowd and all 4 competitors in the final got a surfboard.
After the competition everyone went up to Chancletas for well-deserved tacos and snowies (raspados). The competitors all got free goody bags containing clothes and surfing gear. It was a fun day for everyone and even though it was a competition, it felt more like a gathering for the community to come together once a year and enjoy this wonderful sport as a collective.
Story By Kyle
Photos by Cliff Bielawski