About Frijoles Locos Surf Shop & SpaPlaya Grande Surf Shop Staff, Owners and Experience
We are Frijoles Locos and are here to do our very best to ensure your vacation in Playa Grande is everything you want it to be, and more.
Meet the Team
General Manager, Surf Instructor, Nature Lover
Walking into the shop, you will most likely first encounter Eli, our soft spoken, intelligent, and no-nonsense kind of guy. His pleasant demeanor and genuine nature are infectious and he always aims to please. Eli loves to get his hands dirty and problem solve for the shop and for our customers – he gets the job done and gets it done well. Have a question about surfing or Costa Rican wild life? Eli has the answer! We are grateful that he joined our team in 2017.
Eli has two beautiful daughters Mia & Amber at La Paz Community School who share their dad’s love for surfing and music. If Eli is not in the shop you can likely find him surfing his longboard, out teaching surfing lessons or spending time with Mia & Amber. We are proud to say that Eli got his ISA/ILS accreditation for aquatic rescue and safety along with the other members of our surf instructor team.
Assistant Shop Manager
Karla joined the team in April 2019 and has recently been promoted to assistant shop manager. With a background in hospitality, she knows how to make you feel right at home as soon as you walk in. Born and raised in the area, Karla knows everyone and everything about the local communities. Let her know what you need and Karla will go above and beyond to assist you.
Rental Manager, surf instruction
Jostin grew up surfing at a young age and loves to spread the surf stoke. As an instructor he will definitely get you up on the surfboard and make sure you get the most out of your surf lesson! Jostin happily assists you in all things surf and loves sharing his knowledge about surfboards, surf spots and recommending other beautiful places to explore in his home country of Costa Rica. Also Jost, as our youngest instructor, impressed us with his hard work to get the ISA/ILS accreditation for aquatic rescue and life saving along with his surf instructor colleagues.
Juan Jose “JJ”
Head surf Instructor and excellent surfer
JJ joined the Frijoles Locos staff team around April 2013. A passion for surf, he can talk to you forever about boards, surf spots, waves, anything that interests you about surfing! JJ is our Head Surf Instructor and eager to share his passion for surfing with you. Additionally, you can feel extra safe as JJ recently acquired the ISA/ILS accreditation in aquatic rescue and safety.
Having a degree in journalism, and a knack for graphic design, you will see the fruits of JJ’s work in our printed promotional materials. Moreover, JJ has a passion for his country, the wildlife, the trees and he loves to impart his knowledge on any willing ears.
An encounter with JJ in Frijoles Locos will surely make you smile, and leave you feeling like you learned something new!
Azucena keeps everything neat, tidy and clean. A fantastic organizer, Azu makes our back-stock bearable and our shelves clean and visually appealing. Primarily fulfilling the role of cleaning lady for the shop and apartments, Azu goes above and beyond, learning some simple merchandising tricks, to present our retail store in the best way possible.
Ding repair, bicycle repair,
Pana is a legend & gets things done! We’ve had many a distraught surfer limp in with a banged up surfboard and Pana has them leaving with a smile Costa Rica is sometimes notorious for being tricky to get things done but ding repair at Frijoles Locos is not one of those things thanks to Pana. Pana helps out endlessly by filling in when we’re super busy, doing deliveries and pickups, keeping things in running order and always with his trademark smile. You can also find him at the Playa Grande night market on Wednesdays cooking up his famous burgers.
Meet the Owners
Drew grew up in Virginia, USA, an hour outside of Washington, DC. He spent summers on Hatteras Island, NC where he developed a love for the ocean at an early age. He graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University in Sports Medicine & went to graduate school at James Madison University’s School of Kinesiology where he worked in the sports medicine department with the football and basketball teams. All through college Drew spent summers teaching surfing lessons in the mornings & waiting tables in the evenings. After working for a few years at James Madison University he moved full time to Hatteras Island to open Hatteras Island Boardsports Surf Shop in 2001 with his brother. Drew would take advantage of the low season in NC to travel around and, after his first trip to Costa Rica in 1996 (to Playa Grande of all places!), he made Costa Rica his annual winter spot. He ran Hatteras Island Boardsports until he married Julianne in 2014
Jules is a tica with an American dad and dual US citizenship. Jules grew up in San José, and went to school for Tropical Biology here in Costa Rica. She specialized doing sea turtle research and worked later with the World Wildlife Fund in Playas Ostional, Nancite and Junquillal in Guanacaste. She got a Masters in Environmental Management at Yale’s School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and has worked on climate change issues at the intersection of environment and development for over a decade. She’s done field work with marginalized communities in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe and tried the private sector while working for a startup in San Francisco. After globetrotting and living in a couple of US cities (Washington DC and San Francisco), she decided there’s no place like home. Jules is a champion for the environment and for local communities, her younger brother surfs and she grew up going to Guanacaste with her family. She’s most at home floating in the tropical Pacific, hiking in the Costa Rican rainforest or listening to the congos on a rainy afternoon— needless to say, she’s thrilled to support the small, tight team here at Frijoles Locos while getting to enjoy the turtles, the salt air and her beloved Ceibos.
In the Community
La Paz Community School is a non-profit organization that was founded in 2007 in order to address fundamental socioeconomic and cultural gaps prevalent in a region struggling to cope with the balance of an agriculture and tourism based economy. By integrating talented youth from the underprivileged, middle class, and upper class sector of rural Latin America, the school transforms student differences into strengths that foment rich and meaningful dialogue and experiences at all grade levels, thus preparing students to effectively confront global challenges.
The scholarship program at La Paz Community School enables students who would never have been afforded the chance to receive such a quality education, to do so. While donations to the scholarship fund help cover costs of education, there are so many other needs to be met, which is where you can really help (Pack for a Purpose). Thank you for your time and effort in giving back to the community you are visiting. In this way, you are truly helping to change the future of these wonderful children and consequently, their own families.
Frijoles Locos also supports CEPIA, founded by the wonderful, talented and visionary Laeticia DeWeer. CEPIA is an organization that helps improve the quality of life of youth and families in the local area, by supporting and training to assist the poor in job placement, teaching new skills, attending to physical and mental health of those in need, and promoting cultural development.