Ok. First off, I have been avoiding this blog entry like a plague. Ever since Ingrid petitioned me to write this out and share this information, my heart and mind have been at war. Why is it so hard for me to tell the truth? Why should I care what anyone thinks? Who’s even gonna read this anyway? With that said, after a long psychological battle, I am ready.
After driving nearly the entire coastline of Mexico, and surfing as much as possible along the way, here are 5 surf spots worth visiting. In no way are they in order of importance, simply from North to South as it was the direction we were driving. Nor should they be confused with the best surf spots in Mexico, because there are certainly better places to surf. Waves of much higher quality exist, I assure you. However, one thing leads to another and if you do happen onto any of these waves/places and have good in your heart, and the hunger and drive for more, a friendly local or seasoned fellow traveler/surfer will help point you in the right direction.
1. The Wall: this was the first place we stayed for an extended period of time, camping out in the middle of nowhere, Baja style. We had heard mixed reports about The Wall, it could be really good, or it could be really windy. For us, it was both. It is the first or last of the fabled ‘seven sisters’(all right-handers), depending what direction you’re traveling. One of the draws is that it is the closest one to the Trans-penisular Highway. As close as it is, it still was a trek to get to. We almost got lost, and for sure had no idea where we were, except that the ocean was right in front of us, and there was definitely waves. We finally knew we were there because… no signs, no road, you just know. Speaking of road, or lack there of, I almost broke down into tears when we finally got there, and again when we were searching for an appropriate campsite. If you make it this far, this would be an appropriate time to air down. I could go on and on about this place, the old salty dogs we met, somebody we met there even had a black wolf from Canada walking around on a chain. She was so nice, the couple was really nice too.
The wave was like a dream come true, but no tube sections. 0. Just long epic walls, peeling away, super fun, totally rip-able. Funny how the best (gringo) surfers have the worst attitudes. This is a common theme and theory that continues to prove itself time and again, as we travel on. There were waves when we got there, it got smaller. Another swell came, it chilled out. Another swell came, the best part was waking up and seeing what the waves looked like because you never knew what to expect.
We talked to other people after the fact, and they said they got totally skunked. Heavy winds the whole time, hardly any surfing. Luck of the draw I guess, but more seasonally related I would imagine.
2. Anclote: long peeling wave, again no tubes, even mushier than The Wall. But oh so much fun, mostly for Ingrid. The thing about Anclote is that it’s on the other side of Punta Mita and we had just left Suyulita, looking for the next spot. It was nice to find it so quickly, we paddled right out. There are waves on both sides of Punta Mita, and when one side is onshore, the other is offshore. So it was like stumbling onto Utopia after leaving blown out Suyulita.
This wave just peels and peels and peels. It really was so much fun, I’ll admit. I did rent a ‘Laird’ model 10”0’ stand-up paddle board though, equipped with a really nice paddle for $10, and I’m sure that helped shape my opinion of this place. Parking was easy, hotels and restaurants on the beach, making for a classic Mexican experience. Nice local rippers giving surf lessons are available here.
3. Pascuales: extremely heavy beach-break, daredevils be warned. This wave was the first beach break we stayed at, after Baja. And I thought Baja had juice, this place will raise the hair on the back of your neck at head-high. Overhead, you’ll be questioning why you ever started surfing in the first place, and what you were you thinking when you said you wanted to surf here. Seriously.
We were checking the waves all morning from the 3 story ‘Tower of Palapa’ at Edgar’s Place. Clean conditions, outgoing-tide, I see a couple of good ones in a row and decide to paddle out. As soon as I start walking up the beach with my board to paddle out, I realize the waves are double overhead and pumping, and I mean pumping. It was like a joke. And where to paddle out, the funniest part.
Slamming down hard and fast, but not before jacking up and sucking up the face, super gnarly. Luckily my friend Zach from Australia was there, otherwise I might not have paddled out, because there was no-one out. Nobody. Spitting tubes, or heaving clamping sections, it was a gamble. Beautiful place though, beautiful waves. This place leaves a lasting impression. Lefts and rights. Super-chill vibe.
4. Puerto Escondido: at last, Puerto. If I had to choose, this would go at the top of the list, though it may be a biased opinion. I have been enamored with this wave since childhood, and it really fulfilled my expectations, and some. There is a deep water canyon out front, that funnels wave energy into the bay, primarily at Playa Zicatela. The waves come uninhibited by shallow water and slam full force onto the sandbar. It’s enough to make you lose your bowels and induce vomiting. It’s Ok though, because even if you paddle it out you won’t get any waves because the locals have the place wired. They also have custom made boardies to fit their huge balls in. It’s really a sight to see.
On a high note, when the waves are small, they’re really fun. Ingrid surfed here a bunch of times and loved it. Still packs a punch though, great training. After surfing Puerto, I’m making late drops that I’m sure I wouldn’t have before Puerto, and just overall more confident in the water. Also the crowd is tough, but friendly. Lot’s of traveling surfers from all over that are super stoked just to be there, and know how special and what a great privilege it is to surf those blessed waves. I got my best tubes here, I also snapped my favorite board in the process. This wave doesn't eat boards, it devours them.
We witnessed the first ever big-wave contest of the pro-tour. It was one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. We met some of the nicest people, locals and travelers. We stayed at the nicest hotel with the most incredible view. The town is totally cool, I couldn’t get enough of this place. Hot as balls.
* To see more images of the Puerto Big Wave Challenge click here
5. Barra de la Cruz: long peeling sandbar point. Right-hander. This is one of those places where you drive through a windy jungle road, come to the crest of a hill and you see the waves breaking in the distance, and you start frothing so hard, like when you were a grom. You hit the gas and bounce down the hill and paddle out as fast as you can.
Apparently this wave, like so many others in Mexico, used to break a lot better. There was more sand caught up by the point, but for whatever reason, the townspeople decided to reroute the river to save a restaurant that was in very little danger, and now the wave has lost it’s fresh supply of sand. The wave lost it’s magic, so there’s less draw to it. Still super fun, the locals say it’s slowly coming back. There’s just less tube and more cut-back sections. No tubes really, unless it’s a big swell with a super-low tide. We didn’t care. Ingrid loved this place, I saw her charge some waves that left me speechless on the take-off.
This beach is beautiful, very close to a largely protected area, so it’s like being in a park. The locals are super nice. All the Mexicans we came in contact with throughout Mexico were extremely considerate and accommodating, it warms my heart thinking back. Especially the time we spent here in Barra, after all, it was my birthday week.
** All images by Ingrid Silva