Playa Cocles has waves for surfers who aren't keen to break skin and bones at nearby Salsa Brava (Costa Rica's biggest break). Instead, it has steep lefts and rights, which break (and often dump) on the steep sandy beach. During the right tide and swell, the best wave breaks near the island offshore; this spot produces a mellow left-hand longboarder's ride over a deep reef. Conditions are best from December to March, and early in the day before winds pick up.
The organized lifeguard system helps offset the dangers of the frequent riptides.