Saturday, August 23, 2008

Mainland Mexico: It is afterall, a surf trip...

Once you've settled into your room and cracked a cold Pacifico the next order of business is gearing up to surf your ass off. So you fumble around looking for your fin key, one eye in your backpack the other staring at glassy chest high waves reeling off in the front yard; you look like some surf crazed Marty Feldman. You're amping- careful now, in all your excitement don't screw your fins in backwards (guilty). Slow and steady wins the race. Slide the big fin all the way forward into the middle box, thread your leg rope into the plug and you're set to go.

This is where you'll stick your board when you're not surfing. There's a couple of racks on the property and they make going for a surf as simple as ambling down the path, grabbing a board and heading out. Don't need a wetsuit, don't need shoes (you're only crossing about five yards of sand) and don't need permission- you're ringside at the show so jump right in whenever you feel like it. Clean living.

Here's an overview of the break right out front. It's a long, long, long left point. Screw foot surfers all around the world deserve their very own racetracks and this is one you won't want to miss. According to the locals, the surf was small while we were there. That just means that it's only chest to head high and not the usual ridiculously long and lined up stuff they get most of the year.

Steve grabbed my Stamps 10'0 and the Franken-paddle and snagged a few from the top of the point all the way through to the little section right out in front. Here he is re-dropping in for the fifth time on his way down the point. The wave is an easy one to figure out. If you've got fast feet, an eye for the speed line and the board to make it happen you can race across the top section of the point just pumping for daylight.

I loved the look on the faces of the non-enlightened as I flew past them gobbling up ten yard sections in single swooping passes. Most had never seen a stand up board being driven down the line- their exposure being limited to the old point and pray style of big board riding. Now imagine jamming all that forward momentum around in a deck-compressing full wrap cutback- if that ain't pure, on the rail surfing, I really don't know what is!

If you've never surfed a long point break on your forehand- let me tell you that it's something you'll want to experience before the big dirt nap. Just keep paddling and get your skills dialed because when it does come to together and that long wall stretches and bends endlessly in front of you, you'll want to have the skills to make the most of it.

I once read in a surf magazine that you never kick out when you're surfing Santa Barbara's Sandspit or the inside section at Rincon. Because even though the wave may seem to be only knee high on the inside, the dynamics of the spot are such that in another ten feet that knee high runner might morph into a head high barrel. Don't believe me? Go buy One California Day and watch Tom Curren's section at Sandspit- tell me if a thigh high wave can't turn into a dredging gutter. The same idea holds true at this particular spot- it just doesn't quite barrel like Sandspit. Here's Steve, on the same wave, sticking with a wave that might just reward the faithful.

Well, not quite a barrel and not an overhead screamer but a thrill nonetheless- in warm blue water, on a glassy day shared with only three other people. I'll take it.

BeachSurf has been revived- check early, check often, you may find something you like- who knows! Check out Brent Ferris' boost.

Stand up lessons in San Diego (call 619 213-6622)! Here's your chance to learn how to stand up paddle surf in San Diego, California. All lessons are private (unless you want to bring along a friend to share a laugh with) and come with a knowledgeable, caring instructor who will take time to teach you how to do things the right way- yeeeehaw! Email us at or call John at 619 213-6622.


Anonymous said...

wish i could have made the time!

John Ashley said...

Next time for sure! Sorry I went "mysto style" on weekend surf plans- caught a head cold and am loaded up with lessons all day Sunday!

Next time for me as well!

Send board pics- the clones demand it!

Anonymous said...

can you fill me in on the location of this monster you have detailed here?

John Ashley said...

Yo M.Man,

I gave my word to some really nice people that I wouldn't drop it all over the internet. If you come out to California, give me a ring and I'll fill you in.

Anonymous said...

Oooh. I have to respect that. I will ring if I pack up the 11' surftech and head out this fall. Not so bad on the EC lately.

jim said...

I can appreciate your stoke as I have been surfing here for over ten yrs now and SUPing for about a year,but just be cool and have proper respect when your out there nobody likes a disrespectful wave hog,Ive seen others that snag every wave there and they get shut down pretty quick because they dont play nice in the sandbox and there trip is an uphill battle after that,so I don't want anyone to have a bad time there just be respectfull and have fun,Aloha your friend jim

John Ashley said...

Hey Jim-

"Don't be a disrespectful wave hog!"

Couldn't have said it better myself- I totally agree with you. When I was there, there was only me and one other guy out doing stand up.

We both made sure to play it real cool and not be the guy on every set wave.

There's something to be said for the stand up surfer who obviously lets set waves go by so that others get their rides in.

If more SUP guys would just realize that they cannot just take, take, take there would be less problems.

Often I'd get a wave, make sure to ride it all the way to the bottom of the point and just paddle real slow back up the point. Often people would fall halfway down the point and I could snag a few fifty yard waves without anybody caring about it.

Other times I'd sit way wide of the point- and just wait for the swing wide sets- nobody could catch 'em except me so I'd take 'em. No problems at all.

Interesting to hear about guys getting "shut down" out there- I'd love to hear more about that if you'd care to share.

And if you've got anymore wisdom to share about that particular area (noticed it went un-named!) please send it to me.

I'll be down for fourteen days June 13th - 27th staying in the same place- if you're around, let's surf some together!