Photo Essay: Rincón: Riding the wave by David Daniel Velez and José G. Lebrón

Family owned

Family owned

Opened from 5 am and closes when she wants to leave to see her baby. Sheila, 27, and Arthur, 29,   got this store handed down from their mother who came to Rincón for the surf. “24 years operational and I dare not to leave Rincón it is small, united and the surf is not bad either”.

Since newborn

Since newborn

Jayden is one month old and Julia brings him to the beach everyday so he can as she says breath the beach. From 3 to 5 p.m. they sit observing the waves and basking in he sun. “He never cries while he is here, he is simply lays quietly and naps; when we do not  come he becomes irritated”

No excuses

No excuses

Joe, 32, just got tossed aside by a strong wave but he still manages to keep up with the other surfers. His stocky body has made him object and ridicule with surfers. “I ride harder than them, I shut them up with the waves”

Mr. Obama

Mr. Obama

Six years surfers in Rincón have delighted themselves with his smoothies,  Roberto Vélez, 67, sells his fresh fruit smoothies in the beaches. He only sells in the surf season-high in the months of winter. “ I had an australian come here once and tell me he saw a picture of me in the local news papers and he called me Mr. Obama”

Food for sea

Food for sea

The menu was fried meat turnovers, squid salad and mofongo balls all home made by Ingrid Muñoz. 2 years owning the small joint near the beach Steps, she came to Puerto Rico in 2004 as a 19 year old looking for a better future. “ I love my job, the people here are beautiful and because of them I dont see this as a job but more like a service to my precious community”.

One step at a time

One step at a time

The best vantage point in the beach Steps is the top step where Gian, 19, watches the waves as they come in. Steps Beach is one of the top surfing points in Rincón it his favourite surf spot too. “ Out of Domes beach, Tres Palmas and Steps the latter one is special for me because here is where my mother taught me to surf, she would stand atop the stairs and watch me.”

Here it goes, there it went

Here it goes, there it went

Jeff escapes exhausted the waves of a Friday afternoon, high tide reaching 9 feet. He took off the afternoon at work so he could surf since it’s high season. “I haven’t surfed in 3 years and I just couldn’t handle it any more, I’ve missed it so much.

Long Board is the way

Long Board is the way

Edward Ramos, 10, surf with his 8 feet long board he calls Luigi. He comes to Tres Palmas with his older brother to surf when his dad lets them. “ I try to beat my brother surfing, we compete every time we can but I just cant catch up with him.”

Not a good day

Not a good day

They just waited for something that never came Jorge and Gabriel both 19 wait for at least a good set of waves.They have been waiting all morning for something good to appear. “ We can proudly say that these rocks have our skin in them”.

Waiting for a catch

Waiting for a catch

He sits there endlessly for hours to come, Juan Ramirez, 75, waits for some life to bite his bait. He has been sitting in the same spot for the last three decades waiting for the, as he calls, it the Big One.  “I have been fishing in this waters since I was 6 years old, I’ve caught everything form Mahi-Mahi to sardines”

Rippin’ it

Rippin’ it

Eduardo Guzmán, 25,  maintains the balance on the board as good as in his life. A chiropractor by trade he aligns with waves as perfectly as he does vertebrae.  “The sea is rough but my life is good”

A family that surfs together stays together

A family that surfs together stays together

As if they were fishes in another life the Nadal family Josue, 38, single father of James, 9, Joel, 8, Brooklyn, 7 and Kendra who is 8 years old surf almost everyday of the week. After their homework is done Josue takes them to the beach for one hour. “Coming every day here is a ritual, a day feels incomplete for us when the boards don’t get used; they love it here and its a great parent-son experience”

Brothers of the surf

Brothers of the surf

They meet at 6.am before going to work, from left to right Daniel Colón, 28, Rafael Rivera, 32, and Javier Baez, 31, ride their boogies every morning from wave to wave. They meet while surfing in their teenage years, since then they have been inseparable. “Daniel is the one that spots the wave, Javier and I simply wait and rip each set of waves we can”.

A swirl a day, keeps the Doctor away

A swirl a day, keeps the Doctor away

Rafael Rivera boogies a wave of the Domes beach. His dream was to become a pro at boogy boarding in Encanto Pro Body Bording by nabbing the first place “It has been an awesome day, just the sun, waves and surf”

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