Chuck Herwig is the proud owner of Chuck’s W.O.W Surf Shop located in north Playa Jacó just 25 meters from the beach. The surf shop has turned into a landmark in this cool beach town thriving with surf culture and with good reason. Chuck has been connected with the people and the surf industry since 1988 when he made a move to Costa Rica.
He started in a wood framed shack with a metal roof doing surfboard repairs and teaching local kids how to surf. Chuck created a full-service surf shop, now in business over 25 years, with top of the line technology surf boards, SUP boards, accessories — pretty much everything a surfer at any level needs. Additionally, Chuck is continually involved in giving back to the people and place he fell in love with decades ago, perhaps this is the reason Charles Boyd refers to him as a pillar in the community.
Originally born in Honolulu Hawaii, the son of a marine, Chuck lived many years in New York. He spent summers surfing in Seaside, NJ before moving to Florida in 1978. “I started surfing when I was 12 or 13 years old. It became an addiction when my family moved to Florida. It’s the best addiction you can have.”
Traveling to Costa Rica from Florida with his friends was easy and they would spend accrued summer vacation time getting waves. “I fell in love with the place. Jacó was the biggest beach town in the late 80’s…consistent waves, I liked the vibe and could surf every day at the end of my street in warm water. From here we could go anywhere we wanted to go. It’s still that way,” Chuck says, adding “ It’s a blessing.”
Some of the locals that Chuck helped learn how to surf were Alvaro Solano, Diego Naranjo and Freddy Camacho, all accomplished surfers and business owners to this day. Twenty nine years later, Chuck is still working hard. “I’m happy,” he smiles. “I like what I do.” Perhaps it’s the love of community and desire to help others, particularly less fortunate youth, that connects both Chuck and Charles. Friends and neighbors for over ten years, Chuck describes Charles as a mover and a shaker who generates confidence in a lot of people and passes on a good vibe to the younger kids who might not actually get a break. “He usually does this through sports. Charles makes things happen in the face of adversity.”
In addition to running Chuck’s W.O.W Surf Shop, Chuck Herwig is the Vice President of Growth and Development Association in Jacó. It is a community group working between the community and the Municipality. They do a number of events, including a Christmas Kids’ Party and an annual Horse Parade. Charles has helped with both events through Support Jacó Youth and The Costa Rica Team. “His energy is so good and so strong,” Chuck explains, “I look forward to working together with him some day to make our projects grow exponentially. We are both high energy people. As long as we don’t explode!” He laughs, the smile reaching his eyes.
Be sure to stop by to say hi to Chuck when you’re in town. You’ll be sure to get expert recommendations for board rentals, purchases and service with a smile.