NP #6: The Olo Alaia Story; a conversation with Mr. Robert Vickers

Watch Robbie’s story here:

Everyone has their issues. One of mine happens to be surfboards. My wife Aimee likes them only slightly less than I do… So when Olo Alaia opened up right next to Surfing Nosara it changed our lives. The owner and operator of Olo Alaia (OA), Robbie Vickers, made a commitment to bringing the highest quality surfboards he possibly could with an emphasis on equipment which functions well in Guiones surf. It’s not just surf though… OA is a brew house for coffee and focuses on providing the highest quality craft beer he can find in Costa Rica. So essentially between surf, coffee, and beer Robbie has a pretty good gig going. After all, 2 of the 3 are recession proof and the 3rd is a way of life and his neighbor is a surfboard addict. I sat down with Robbie to have a conversation about his personal journey from Ireland, to New York, and ultimately to Nosara and how his vision for OA formed into what it is today.

In this episode we discuss:

Robbie’s life in Ireland and finding surfing then life in New York

First trip to Costa Rica

How Robbie met his wife

His personal business here

How OA formed

How OA is an experience, not just a shop


Robbie and Rich bicker over his choices of top 3 surfboards for life

Robbie on a good wave testing out some new equipment

Bing is cranking out mid lengths like this one which is one of OA’s top selling boards

For those who may not know already, in Guiones our surf is extremely consistent but it is a soft wave which is great for beginners and intermediates but not ideal for high performance surfing. Of course there are local rippers who shred out there and can make any wave look good… But the reality is for 90+% of people in the water are on the wrong equipment.

Rich is riding a custom OA Lightning Bolt on this wave

Rich’s Lightning Bolt finishing up at the factory

I like to tease Robbie about he is doing good and bad for the world by crowding surfing lineups with people riding the right boards. Here is what I mean by this: Currently in our area about 90% of everyone out there are riding the wrong board. This is fantastic because there’s lots of waves to be had still even though the lineup in Guiones is crowded. With OA Robbie is now helping everyone get on better surf equipment which is terrific but there’s a whole lot less waves to go around. Of course I’m kidding, but I do think I’m right.

If you’re coming through town stop in at OA. The experience Robbie has created is top notch, and extremely uncommon in Costa Rica. The coffee is fantastic, the beers are top-quality, and the surfboards on hand are a far higher level than most anywhere else in Costa Rica.

One Reply to “NP #6: The Olo Alaia Story; a conversation with Mr. Robert Vickers”

  1. Rich, Thanks a lot for the opportunity to tell my story. I truly enjoyed it and i’m stoked to be a part of and seeing people on the right boards and enjoying our wave, Guiones.



Leave a Reply