National team surfers Kevin Cortez

Nicaraguan surfers chasing local waves

Surf documentary crew kicks into action and gets set to start shooting in Canadian waters.

  • Mar. 9, 2016 8:00 a.m.

Nora O’Malley


There will be a couple fresh faces in the lineup and around Tofino-Ucluelet this month as the crew from the surf documentary Frio begins shooting in Canadian waters.

Starring two young Nicaraguan surfers, Kevin Cortez,19, and Jackson Obando,18, Frio is a coming-to-cold water story boasting the highest quality surfing action.

“These guys rip. They live in overhead waves back home so there’s nothing that these guys can’t handle,” director and producer JP Veillet told the Westerly News from his home in Montreal.

“March is always pretty decent for waves, so we’re just praying to the surf Gods that we’re gonna get the right conditions.”

Cortez and Obando are on the Nicaraguan National Surf Team, and have already done some international travel in the name of surfing. Obando, who Veillet says is the straight-laced of the pair, was twice crowned the Junior Central American champ.

The boys live in Gigante, Nicaragua, and the small town’s world class waves, which the boys grew up surfing, suit its otherwise ironic name.

Much like Tofino and Ucluelet, the tiny town thrives on the fishing and surf tourism industries.

Frio was dreamt up as one can only imagine. Two years ago on a past surf trip to Nicaragua, Veillet found himself swaying in hammocks with new found friends, Cortez and Obando.

“I asked them, What’s the coldest thing you’ve ever felt,” said Veillet.

“I don’t know, this glass of water I have in my hand I guess,” answered Cortez.

“Then we started laughing about them coming to Canada; seeing them in a full wetsuit with their little brown face,” said Veillet.

“There are good waves in Canada,” asked Cortez, which quickly led to an Internet search of Vancouver Island surf spots.

And the rest, as they say, is history: Wetsuits have been sponsored, travel funds have been raised, work visas and filming permits have been acquired, and the Frio team is due to touch down in Vancouver on March 8.

“We will spend a couple days in Vancouver so the boys can see the city and then we will take the ferry over. A friend from Relic will pick us up in Nanaimo,” Veillet said.

“I don’t know to what extent they understand fully what’s coming. They are trusting us so much where I’ve never had a question with, ‘Are we gonna be cool with jackets, Are we gonna have a place to crash.. It’s just cool, let’s do it.’”

Veillet has garnered tremendous support from the surf community here on the West Coast. Relic Surf Shop hooked the team up with an oversized van and Aftanas gifted the rising surf stars two custom boards for their inaugural submersion into aqua frio.

Cortez and Obando will spend the better part of March surfing the breaks about Pacific Rim National Park. They’ll be residing in Ucluelet for the most part, but will undoubtedly drive to Tofino to surf Cox Bay and Chesterman Beach as Wick Rd still remains closed.

If time and conditions open up, the Frio crew may even venture south Island to explore the breaks around Jordan River.

“It’s gonna be an interesting story that’s unfolding,” Veillet said. “We’re looking forward to meeting anyone that wants to come and say hi. They are part of the story.”

Frio is the first Quebec made surf movie ever produced. For photos and videos of the project, visit their Instagram      @friosurf or



Just Posted

Tla-o-qui-aht artist celebrates first solo show in Victoria.

Victoria Arts Council selects Hjalmer Wenstob as the first artist to showcase in new venue.

Home care complaints up 45% on Vancouver Island

Number of home care hours delivered down 6%, complaints up 45 %

VIDEO: West Coast youth learn the ins and outs of business

Students develop company ‘Wild Coasters’

Cost of living going up while wages are going down in Tofino and Ucluelet

The Clayoquot Biosphere Trust’s Vital Signs Report shows need to diversify economy.

Extreme waves and king tides expected around Tofino and Ucluelet this weekend

Extreme wave hazard warning at the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.

Canada’s archive buys rare book that hints at Nazi plans for North America

The 1944 book may have served as a blueprint for a Nazi purge

47 men arrested by Vancouver police for allegedly seeking sex with teenage girls

Seven of those arrested have been charged as part of a two-month operation

B.C. hospital apologizes for veteran’s five-day hallway stay

Clinical director of Victoria General Hospital says case of retired veteran ‘definitely excessive’

Speaker Darryl Plecas says ‘justice’ needed for legislature employees

Plecas spoke to media at the opening of a pedestrian and cycling bridge in Abbotsford Wednesday

Advocate hopes B.C. legislature scandal leads to more transparency

‘Depressing’ that it takes a scandal to inspire freedom of information reform, says Sara Neuert

‘Dr. Lipjob’ avoids jail, gets 30-day suspended sentence

She will have to serve the 30 days in prison if she commits a breach during her two-year’s probation

Ex-Mountie involved in Taser death at Vancouver airport sues government

Kwesi Millington claims he acted in accordance with RCMP training

LETTER: Seniors home care, day programs expanding, Adrian Dix says

B.C. health minister responds to latest Seniors Advocate report

B.C. woman wins Instagram celebrity’s boob job contest

‘Kirill was here’ held a contest for women to win a boob job and a trip to Miami

Most Read