Monday, September 28, 2009

Mainland Mexico Paddle Surf Trip: My Gear...EXPOSED!!!

These next few posts are dedicated to the gearheads out there... those who love to anyalyze, re-analyze and over analyze equipment and its performance. I'm flying out of here tomorrow for ten days of surfing the left points and reefs of mainland Mexico. Here's a breakdown of my travel kit.

If you're a gear nut you're going to dig this- I give a play-by-play description of what I bring and why. If you're the kind of guy who jams it all into a duffel and sleeps in your board bag you'll be bored to tears. The best part of this whole deal? By the time you see this I'll be 30,000' in the air sinking in to my second beer... enjoy!

1. FCS Leashes: I'm not sponsored by these guys- in fact I pay full retail (well close to full retail- SurfHut, the local surf shop helps me out on equipment) so I've got no bias when I say that these are the BEST stand up leashes that I've used. Check out the yellowing one with the black core, it's survived two trips down to mainland- that's almost a month of continuous (three session a day) use.

That particular leash is battle tested. I've trusted it in double overhead surf where it's been stretched to twice it's length. I've treated it bad, it lives in the open bed of my truck- I just chuck it in the back after each surf. And still, like Old Yeller (pre-rabies) it's never let me down. I've used the others and have reached a verdict: FCS leashes win hands down.

Here's a tip: Buy a new leash before each trip, be sure to switch out your old leash string with new one that comes with your fresh leash- when it gets gnarly, you'll be happy- and so will your board.

2. Patagonia Paddler Trunks: These are basically the only trunks that I own- I've got five pairs of them. If you're like me, meaning you possess a basically square, Torso-Man physique, these are your trunks. They are the most comfortable, durable, best-fitting trunks I've ever had. The inseams are cut a little bit shorter than normal so you don't look like some gangster-vato with your trunks hanging down to mid-shin. The best part is that the trunks have a hanging inner polyester liner (no, it's not a mesh brief-type liner like the shorts you wore in fifth grade) that allows the shorts to slide over your upper leg when your moving around.

Hot tip: Buy the solid black or the dark blue patterned trunks- the dark colors hides guacamole stains, beer dribbles and fish blood. The light green ones look good (I've got a pair) but they get dirty fast and don't stand up to the trunks-as-a-napkin for all meals test. On my two week trip I brought just two pairs of these (and one pair of "go home" shorts but we'll deal with that later)... and wore them the whole time- they're that good.

3. Short sleeve button up shirts: In the tropics, tee-shirts turn into sweat soaked, clingy layers of cotton insulation. If you want to stay cool you need to take advantage of evaporative cooling- and for that function, shirtsleeves are the way to go. Standard wear for me is my white Guayabera- this one's a total crack up. Think more Ernie McCracken (Bill Murray's excellent King Pin character) than Don Johnson; it's got embroidered roses, white on white, running down the front of the thing. Cheesy? Completely. But totally comfortable and there's no better way to fade into the back ground than to sport one while chugging a Ballena at the taco stand.

Hot tip: Throw in a long sleeve version to keep the sun off your arms and the mozzies off your back.

Check back for more (I'm hoping to update from the road).


Capt Ron said...

I think I may hate you... I am just kidding I am getting amped up to go surf chest high glassy beach break and your heading to the land of points and good warm surf. DOH!!!!

I bring a few more things than you have there.
I would add a colapsable cooler, 3 MRE's, Extensive 1st aid kit with suetcher gun (spl?), Epi pens, a small bottle of clorox and amonia, Tubless tire repair kit and cig lighter air pump, Machete, and a few decent folding knives (I find them useful and make great gifts to the locals who take you around). 2 Motorcycle straps incase the rental car has racks already. Aluminum tape for ding repair. Tropical Reef booties 2 pair. extra rash guards long and short sleve,

Have fun and be careful and oh yeah we are all jealous.

ef said...

hey john: i see you're reading lee child. i've just gone through four of his books, liked 'em all but the one written in the first person was best, imho. btw/ if you like that kind of stuff, check out vince flynn's books!

John Ashley said...

Hey Capt-

Thanks for the tips- 3 MREs good call... folding knives as gifts even better!

Talk more soon.

John Ashley said...

Hey ef-

First learned about Lee Child when I found a left over book somebody left down here- great, easy read. Perfect for a surf trip. Give me a couple of titles and I'll check 'em out!

Pilgy Fish said...

28. 8oz travel size bottle of Lubriderm

29. Palm razor

30. October issue of Mister Fister magazine

... Not shown in picture

John Ashley said...

Hey Pilgy-

Oh yeah, I forgot those things... or maybe I didn't...

Junkyard said...

John, I've been having the worst day so I decided to check in on your exploits. I only got as far as your packing list from the recent Mexico trip, and a wide smile broke out on my face (similar to one I'd get after a stokin session while eating my burrito). Thanks for your commitment to spreading happiness around the world! Junkyard

John Ashley said...

Junk! What's up my down-under brother? Dude, you're coming into spring and summer... just think about that when you start getting bummed. Hatler and I scored some fun waves down there- check back for action pics. Love to the family!