By Laura Alvarado, April 2, 2018. Published in The Costa Rica Star, April 14, 2018.
Malakai Martinez is one of Costa Rica’s young surfing figures and prospects, he demonstrated his skills by finishing in fourth place in the Junior Pro of the World Surf League, which took place in Pipeline, North Shore Oahu, Hawaii.
Martinez was the only Hispanic competitor to reach the final after ousting reigning Junior World Champion Finn McGill; Martinez finished fourth among 32 competitors. The winner of the event was Hawaii native Makana Pang, while the second and third places were also taken by Hawaiians, Barron Mamiya and Kainehe Hunt respectively.
“I am very happy with this achievement, I didn’t get the win, but this is a good result, it motivates me to go home, prepare and come back next year for that first place”, commented Malakai after the competition.
This win will earn the Costa Rican a place in the top 10 of the North American ranking (where the Central Americans are assigned), in the Junior Pro of the World Surf League.
Aside from the native of Tamarindo, Guanacaste, the only two other Costa Ricans in the ranking are Sam Reidy from Dominical in position 23 and Aaron Ramirez from Jaco in position 39.
This past weekend Costa Rican Leilani McGonagle took the first place in the Barbados WQS 3000, becoming the first surfer from Costa Rica to win this type of event.