Historic Surfing Beach & Iconic Calypso Cafe in Rincón, PR
History of Maria’s Beach
Rincon became famous by hosting the 1968 World Surfing Championship. Most of the competitions were held at Domes and Maria’s Beaches. ABC’s Wide World of Sports coverage of the ’68 Rincon Championship was the first time ever that network TV sports covered a surfing event (You can visit the Aviones Boys Facebook page for photos and newspaper clippings documenting the competition). In addition they have old pictures of Rincon and of what surfing life was like in the 60’s to the present. Surfer’s Beach in Aguadilla had a sign stating that surfing was “only allowed under the auspices of the Surfer’s Club Association by order of the Base Commander”. The 1968 World Surfing Championship was celebrated on November 1st at the Huntington Beach International Surfing Museum in California.
At the time Maria’s Beach was known as Rincon Point. As the surfers got to know and like Maria they referred to the beach as Maria’s and the name has endured. She had a Coke machine adjacent to her house and Maria sold sodas during the tournament. There was a picture of her with the Coke machine published in one of the surfing magazines at the time. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to find it again.
Surfing continues to be strong in Puerto Rico. The 1988 and the 2007 World Surfing Championships along with many qualifying heats have also been held in Rincon.
Maria’s original house was a standard wood house on stilts with the livestock living underneath. The goats would bang their heads on the floor usually just as I was falling asleep. Her house was converted to cement in a piecemeal fashion while she was living in it. She was diminutive in size so the kitchen and bathroom were barely over 6 feet in height.