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I first met Kassia Meador and Alex Knost through a good friend, Andy “Mona” Picasso, who happened to be hosting Kassia at her women’s retreat, “A Week Awake” in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica.

After that initial hangout, we went out at first light the very next day to film. It was Kassia, Alex, Mona, and a group of friends scoring classic, glassy Santa Teresa waves — perfect for playing around in the water all day. That swell ended up lasting almost an entire week, with waves breaking just in front of the house they were all staying at.

Kassia and Al are huge inspirations in the water and out of it, let alone filming and surfing with them. So once I sat down with all our footage, I knew I had to get creative, recreating the dreamy, euphoric vibes we’d had in the water, the great waves, and the smiles: La Pura Vida!

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Sure enough, just after they left town, the world was suddenly in the midst of a global pandemic. It all unfolded pretty quickly, as tourism in town disappeared, borders closed, and finally, our beloved beaches were restricted.

After not having surfed for a month now and reflecting on everything that’s happened in the world since, I find peace watching this snapshot of that week with Alex and Kassia, thinking of better, simpler times.

Find more from Gal Danon on Instagram here and learn to hang five, ten, and heels like these two logging legends in Kassia Meador’s Definitive Guide to Longboarding.

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