Late February on Costa Rica’s Central Pacific is not exactly for the faint of heart.
Cracked earth begs for rain. The waxy leaves on the almond trees turn crisp in the hot salty breeze. Summertime swells grow few and far between.
The casita’s ceramic floor, cool and clean, is our only hope for a midday siesta.
As the dry season sets into our bones, we find temporary respite at our favorite beach breaks, surfing uncharacteristically small waves in crystal clear seas; staking our beach-blanket claim to swatches of shade beneath palm leaves.
Salty and sweet, it’s a surfer girl’s midsummer dream.
Nostalgic for rain, verdant jungle fades to branched shades of sand-colored skeletons across the sticky landscape – threadbare, if not for the wild-blossoming bursts of summer flowers painting the hilly coastline with life.
Fuchsia bougainvillea. Pastel-pink plumeria. Peach hibiscus cherry-stained at the center like a kiss.
Cotton candy-colored roble de sabana petals liven our highway views against an ocean-sky of blue. Sunny blankets of corteza amarilla decorate the neighborhood in bright yellow blooms. Sweet ylang-ylang lingers out our window as day turns to dusk, and the air finally settles its perfume a little lighter on our skin.
We exhale into the night; rest our petals for another tomorrow beneath the hot-season sun.
In this kind of heat, beachwear and bikinis are our wardrobe; from beach to breakfast, pool to party – it’s literally all we can bear to wear.
Lucky for us, Dkoko loves summer, too.
This year, late February brought our sea-smitten hearts together on Costa Rica’s Central Pacific for the first time in nearly a decade. Oh, the waves we’ve surfed on our separate stretches of coastline since those golden days when Dkoko was born from friendship, fashion, and a dream.
Babies and matrimonies, passion projects and graduate degrees. Big moves across oceans, southward escapes to turn the page on outdated love stories. Soul-surfing journeys and international surf contests in faraway lands. Growing up. Moving on. Beginning again. Sowing deep seeds beside fresh seas. Diving deep into the wellspring of our own lives’ desires. Reflecting on the adventures tattooed into our souls. Ready, as ever, to bloom.
Gathering boards, bodies, brains, beauty and bikinis from Costa Rica’s cardinal directions of Guanacaste, Santa Teresa, Puerto Viejo, and the Osa Peninsula, the growing Dkoko ambassador team met for our annual surf retreat – this time in Playa Hermosa, Dkoko’s birthplace; a spot many of us have been blessed to call home during the formative years of the brand, and our own surfing lives. A place consistent enough to hold the heavy waves of south swells past, yet still fertile ground for our mermaiding evolutions to blossom and become.
Our Hermosa homecoming, in honor of Dkoko’s FLOURISH 2023 Swimwear Collection, greeted us with perfect summer waves, skies full of sunshine, and starry nights haloed by a wide-waxing moon. Between vegan cupcake coffee breaks by the pool and authentically crafted sushi nights catered on the terrace, we circled up for a creative journaling workshop dedicated to unearthing the buds and blooms of our life and dreams, and took turns modeling the gorgeous designs and flower-inspired patterns of the new collection.
We marveled in the soft textures of watercolor florals, sunset pastels in retro cuts, flattering fits in aquamarine, silver sheen and classic black for surf and sun. Off-the-shoulder, high-cut string bikinis. Tasteful long-sleeved surf suits for a little more coverage. Cross-back one-piece designs, tank tops and strappy bandeaus. All the summer wear, sweet on our sunkissed skin.
Hair flying wild in the back of the pickup truck, southbound along the seafront road where the asphalt ends and our wave-dreams begin, we found sunrise sessions with feathering offshore winds and enough swell energy to satisfy our shortboarding froth and smooth longboarding style. We shared fresh-cut pineapple between photo shoots and celebrated one another’s unique artistry in the sea, drawing one-of-a-kind lines across an entire morning of dreamy chest-high waves.
As Dkoko has evolved over the years, our sisterhood has grown to include inspiring waterwomen across a spectrum of surf preferences, backgrounds, and lifestyle pursuits. We’re a team of both competitive and soul-surfing gals riding retro shapes, performance shortboards, and single-fin logs. Designers, dancers, writers, artists, coaches, divers, athletes, entrepreneurs, nonprofit leaders, community organizers, wellness practitioners, musicians, students and teachers.
FLOURISH 2023 is a celebration of our diverse femininities in the sea, a collection that honors our distinct interests, body shapes, skin tones, cultures, and surfing styles. Our evolution is an expression of our diversity in bloom; our life dreams flourishing into fruition as women in love with the deep wild-blue.
Among sweet summer waves, heart-to-hearts around the breakfast table, and giggling together through sunset photo sessions, late February on Costa Rica’s Central Pacific paid homage to our origins, witnessed the many petals of our changing seasons, and housed our Hermosa homecoming, bursting into bloom.
Written by Tara Ruttenberg.