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Dan Fowlie, The King of Pavones

The King of Pavones

The King of Pavones, Dan Fowlie, is a near-mythical character in the surf history of Costa Rica.

Who is Dan Fowlie, The King of Pavones

Dan “Danny Mack” Fowlie, a native of Southern California, discovered his version (and let’s be honest, most surfer’s version) of paradise in Pavones, the now legendary left-hand point break in Southern Costa Rica.

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Fowlie recognized what he had stumbled upon and moved to create his own surf paradise, free from crowds. It worked for a while, but this wouldn’t be an interesting tale if it all ended well would it.

Discovering Pavones

According to the story, in 1974 Dan Fowlie went to see an unnamed wave for himself on the tip of a friend and fellow surfer. When he saw it from the air he knew he had stumbled upon something truly special and began buying up all of the land in the area.

He then employed locals in the area to essentially build the town of Pavones.

Dan Fowlie – Narcotraficante?

In 1985, Fowlie’s ranch in Southern California was raided by SWAT teams on suspicion that he was running a drug trafficking operation. In 1991 he was convicted of 15 counts of drug possession with intent to distribute and sentenced to 30 years in prison of which he served 18.

However, as The King of Pavones documentary highlights, things seem to be more complicated than that.

Dan Fowlie Interview with Tico Times

The story behind the discovery of Pavones Costa Rica is an epic one for any surf traveler. Just imagine having that long left wave to yourself for years. Of course, things are never as simple as they seem.

The King of Pavones

Tico Times

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Guide to Pavones Costa Rica

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Pavones – Some Things Don’t Change

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Written by Roam Chronicles

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