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
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.
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.