When you think of Costa Rica you think of sunny beaches with perfect weather and also where Jurassic World was set to take place. But other than that we didn’t know too much about it other than we were told there are good spots to ride all over the country. After confirming that with pro rider and Costa Rica local, Kenneth Tencio, plane tickets were booked! The trip consisted of Mongoose pros; Kevin Peraza, Greg Illingworth, Paul Ryan, Ben Wallace, Pat Casey and Tom Isted, with Will Stroud filming the trip.
The day started with everyone getting up early, eating breakfast, then driving an hour to check out Irazu Volcano. It was an extremely windy hike to the top. But, that didn’t stop Tom Isted from getting a selfie on the edge of the precipice. After being tourists we headed to a bowl to ride halfway down the mountain. On the way the guys decided to bomb down the mountain on their bikes! It was all high-speed smiles. We arrived at the first spot of the trip. After watching everyone ride you would think they have ridden here all their life! Greg did some insanely high inverts and a big fence ride. Tom slammed hard on a decade air but got back up to pull it perfectly. Ben showed off some mid-school tech runs. Paul did some good tech lines as well. Using his free coaster Pat rode a crazy line that ended with a fakie truck driver. But, one of the best lines was Kevin nose-manualling around the deck on the high part of the bowl straight in to tail whip fakie. After a solid session it was off for food and the hotel for a good night’s sleep.
Once again we got an early start but today we would be riding the streets of San Jose. The first spot was a no-go because they were doing landscaping so Kenneth took us to a small park to warm up. Peraza and Illingworth opted out of riding the park, instead found some set-ups surrounding the area. Kevin was able to ride some sort of playground equipment while Greg rode as fast as he could across a busy street to hit a slanted wall to 180 off. Kenneth ended the session with a truck driver off a wedge ramp, over a rail and out of the park. Off to the next spot. This was a wall ride off one of the roads. There were also banked hips that both Kevin and Pat rode while Greg once again pedaled really, really fast to do an alley-oop wallride. But it was Kenneth who did the most insane thing we have seen in a long time. He got up on top of the wall, which was at least 10 feet from the top of the wedge, and did one of the smoothest flair drop-ins I have ever witnesses. Into a wedge! Everyone left blown-away! It would seem like we should just call it a day with that but everyone was motivated even more. Back to the ledge spot we couldn’t ride earlier. Kevin fired out a nose-manual to 180 on the ledge and we packed back up to head out to the final spot of the day. Kenneth took us to his old park that he grew up riding, the Carrez Park. In reality, it was more of a street plaza with a few odd transitions. Everyone got a few clips including Tom Isted flairing a hip straight into a disaster revert on the adjacent quarter. Back to the hotel for the night.
We woke up even earlier to start a three-hour drive to a skatepark in the middle of nowhere. When we arrived at Tilawa, off of Lake Arenal, and took a look at the park, we knew the drive was instantly worth it! The place reminded me of an early 70’s/80’s style park with weird transitions and a snake-type bowl. The session started around noon and didn’t end until sunset! Everyone got some shots and we saw a monkey! Highlights include Paul Ryan getting real technical on the rail/wedge set up, Tom Isted doing some big transfer lines, Peraza did some magical lines that you just have to wait to see, Pat did a mini-ramp run worthy of winning FISE, Ben Wallace cranked a massive lookback out of a skinny extension, Kenneth Tencio backflipped off of a six inch wedge, and Greg Illingworth ended the session with a huge tabletop transfer in the bowl. Everyone left satisfied and exhausted. Off to the beach town of Tamarindo.
The crew had been riding non-stop which meant a little break was in order. We stayed ocean-side at hotel Tamarindo so everyone could take the morning off, enjoy some time at the beach, , get a massage or just relax by the pool. Around noon we begrudgingly dragged ourselves away for the beach to go ride the Villareal Skatepark. It’s located in a schoolyard and only the students are permitted to ride this. It’s a good thing we know Kenneth who seems to have a metaphorical golden key to every skatepark in Costa Rica! You could say it was a heated session from the start. The temperature was about 90 degrees and humid without a cloud in the sky, and minimal shade. But the Mongoose team knows what it takes to get a video done and pushed on. Pat Casey did a huge seat grab air on a quarter to 180 whip over the spine, Peraza got steezy with some tire slides down the elevated section of the bowl, Paul got a barspin gap to an oppo downwhip in the wedge, Tom fired out a flair bowl to bowl transfer, and shutting down the session was Ben Wallace with a massive quarter to step back wall transfer that was a perfect way to end the day.
It’s pretty crazy the deals you can find on hotels with a little bit of searching. We ended up in a two story penthouse with multiple rooms, soaking tubs, balconies on the roof with views of the ocean for less per person than we would have paid for hotel rooms. Our team manager is awesome and also happens to be the man penning this story. After a much-needed rest Kenneth came by to pick up our bikes to check out 10cio Park. This is a park built and run my Kenneth Tencio so you know it is going to make for a good session.. Right from the start the guys were going off! Ben Wallace did some insanely high, overly clicked 360 lookbacks on the box, followed by a double-flip from Tom Isted, Peraza was “Peraza” playing on his front wheel and doing fun lines. He did put his bike down for a moment and picked up a camera to film Pat Casey do a perfect cashroll though. Greg flowed around the park looking stylish, and Paul did some tech moves. Let’s not forget about our host, Kenneth Tencio who fired out a perfect double-whip flip and a 360 suicide no-handed double barspin. After everyone finished riding we ending up at Bowie’s Point Restaurant in Playa Memosa for some good eats and a spectacular sunset on the beach. Now that is the way to end a day.
For our final day of the Mongoose en Costa Rica trip we did a demo for the grand opening of 10cia Park. When we arrived to the park we couldn’t believe how many kids were there! I would say there were close to 500 people waiting for the Mongoose team to ride. It was insane! The riders, including Kenneth got on the deck and threw down during a 45 minutes demo. The crowd was so responsive as each rider rode. After the demo the guys signed autographs for an hour as a local jam went down. It was time for lunch and we went back to Bowie’s Point for a meal and beach view. After a little sightseeing, the last place we hit was the concrete bowl at Kenneth’s house. Everyone was exhausted from the demo and heat but still managed to score a few clips. The last trick of the trip was Kevin Peraza doing a seat-grab Indian air over the hip in the bowl.
This has been one of the best trips I have been on. Having Kenneth as our tour guide was absolutely amazing. We couldn’t have had such a great trip without him. Thank you Kenneth and thank you Costa Rica! Pura vida!