Northbound Road Trip- Part 1: Manzanillo to Mazatlan

January 23, 2013

I’ve been heavily neglecting this thing over the past few months partly because of having to pull the plug on living in Mex and moving my life norte for the time being. Packed the car to the brim and spent a good couple weeks cruising the coast via Baja back to San Diego.

sinaloa secret gem

sinaloa secret gem

Having now explored about 90% of the Mexican Pacific coastline, I can readily confirm what many have known for decades: it is a ridiculously wave-rich region. The first part of the leg was Manzanillo up to Mazatlan. I was pretty familiar with the Jalisco coast so booked it up to Nayarit and Sinaloa to meet a late season SW

Was surprised to find myself surfing alone in the middle of downtown Mazatlan. Was quite surprised how close the nearby islands were.

was surprised to find myself surfing alone in the middle of downtown Mazatlan. also surprised how close the nearby islands were.

Mazatlan castles

Mazatlan castles

Seasoned gringo expats speak fondly of the points in Nayarit, south of San Blas, but they need a pretty specific swell to turn on. We looked around but ended up enjoying most of the swell around Mazatlan, which is a pretty cool town as far as mexican coastal “cities” go.

main left point in down town Mazatlan. Looked fun if 30 locals weren't out.

main left point in down town Mazatlan. Looked fun if 30 locals weren’t out.

sunset service. live music right at your towel for a few pesos

sunset service. live music right at your towel for a few pesos

From Mazatlan it was time to cross over to Baja via an interesting cargo ferry. More on that to come…

north mazatlan beachie

north mazatlan beachie. bigger than it looks


Daylight Savings

November 17, 2012

combo swell

Daylight savings here recently really making it feel like winter is coming (75 degrees instead of 95). Time change means early morning light and fall means end of big souths and start of winter combo swells… Heading northbound soon so more to come from Baja

pick your shack

Pack Your Trash

November 4, 2012

Not exactly a major anti-littering campaign here but someone has at least made an effort. Obey the sign: “No tires basura!”

Growing up in San Diego, most kids are taught in elementary school why littering is “bad”. Aside from the environmental factors, it’s considered socially taboo, especially so at the beach where it is obvious that the waste is going to go directly into the ocean. Unfortunately, in many other parts of the world littering is actually the norm due to lack of education and general cultural acceptance. I’ve been having a really hard time understanding it here in Mexico where there are incredible pristine beaches that people just carelessly contaminate with refuse. There’s no easy explanation. Perhaps because other major environmental issues take priority: polluted water, dirty air, deforestation, etc. Or maybe because everyone seems to do it without consequences- no old man yells at you, there are no tickets. Whatever the reason it really drives me nuts and I make a point to pick up as much shit as I can whenever I get out of the surf.

The world is running out of places you can just sit and watch perfect empty waves. Pack your trash!

Border Run- Part II

October 13, 2012

When I first went to Puerto I used to love to sneak down to La Punta on the south end of the bay when the waves out front got too big for normal humans. Also, being goofy foot, l took a special liking to the different moods of the often fun, but not really “world-class” point. On this recent border run mission, as much as I was shocked by the insane amount of construction that has taken place in 10 years- it’s like a whole other town down there now- I was more shocked by how different the wave was.

Not the same La Punta

Locals were saying it was some of the best sand in years. The top of the point, which used to be all rock, was entirely filled with sand, so much so that there was a giant beach you could walk and paddle out from.

I don’t think it used to do this

I knew that Labor Day weekend swell was way more than I wanted at Zicatela, so I made sure I was at the point at sunrise.





Border Run – Part I

September 28, 2012

worth the drive?

2,300 miles when all was said and done. Burned through 9 (out of 32) Mexican states. Most would argue that’s quite an absurd distance to drive to buy a run-down car from a friend. But then they wouldn’t be taking into account the adventure of it all… more to come…

That’s about a 75 foot concrete section that flipped the semi. The kind of thing they make bridges out of. Gotta always expect something crazy to happen on a mexican road trip.

another bend in the coast in the south, another right point

Puerto Reunion

September 5, 2012

The timeless puerto A-frame from above

It’s been over 3 years since my last visit to the famous Mex Pipe and over 10 years since my first trip (can’t believe that one!) A lot has happened since then but the wave in all its glory remains the same. Just back from a hell-mission drive (more on that later) but had some great shots of the labor day weekend bombs coming through at Zicatela. The biggest day was pretty stormy and didn’t see anyone out until about 10 am.


saturday morning post-rain chocolate drain. and yes, that is a very big barrel

the lonely girlfriend pondering if it was such a good idea to let her boyfriend paddle out right before that set

this was thursday night before the swell really peaked. John John paddled out with his two brothers and was surfing it like a 3 ft playful beachie

Florida Tortilla Chip

August 22, 2012

skimboard step offs. no fins on that little chip

So a while back I saw a video on STAB MAG (watch it here)by some skimboard guy from Florida who was doing step-offs in big mainland mex beach breaks. At first I thought it was pretty lame, but when last week I watched him in person on a few, I had to admit it was really impressive. With no fins and a regular skimboard, the guy is essentially taking the alaia thing to another dimension. Watched him get pretty drilled but also made some really heavy tubes.

tracking on a meaty one

meanwhile Bruce Irons was in town, doing his thing

Sad Times Down Under

July 27, 2012

Down at the bottom of Australia at the moment but not for chasing any waves…. my to be father in law passed away all too soon last Friday from stomach cancer at the young age of 57. Chris was a man of the sea- a huge sailor and lifelong surfer. He will be greatly missed but will always be with us in the wind and the waves and the great memories I have of him.

Point Leo at the tip of Melbourne was a hugely important place for Chris. He spent many good days here and was heavily involved in management and protection of the surrounding grounds. In between the winter grey and wind, a few hours of sun allowed for a couple fun ones out at the point.

last Thursday, the day before Chris passed away, a rare dolphin showed up at Point Leo, a life long favorite spot of Chris’. We were lucky enough to watch him and a friend cruise the point

Muddy Waters

July 1, 2012

Was a rather slow June wave wise.  A few low pressure systems sitting close to Manzanillo but not getting strong enough for real solid swell. Lotta rain here lately but in between when the sun comes out, there’s still some chocolate waves to be found.

while not quite as appealing as deep blue lines, a little mud never hurt anyone. especially with some offshore wind

And just to pair it up with some tunes… Muddy Waters himself, live in ’71

Joe G in the UAE

June 19, 2012

Epic film maker Joe G + Dion + UAE Wavepool = 7 minutes of awesomeness. Can’t believe they built this thing after I left!