Taiwan- Lessons Learned from Vegas

Plenty of time playing the old “what if” game on the hotel balcony

One of the fundamental rules of gambling in Vegas is in the end, the house always wins. No matter how hot a streak you might be on, unless you have something external boosting your chances, the odds are against you and eventually the house will win. Well, after a pretty epic run of surf missions the past couple years, this recent trip to Taiwan was the end of my hot streak against the House. When Portuguese sailors stumbled upon Taiwan in 1547, they named it “Ilha Formosa”or “Beautiful Island”. After almost a week on the southern tip of the sweet-potato-shaped island off China, I think it should be called “Tai-wind-and-rain”.

It wasn’t all grey skies. I guess having surfed trestles with the San O nuclear plant down the beach I wasn’t too phased by the one here in Taiwan in the background

The thing with chasing swell in that part of Asia is that storms can form (and unfortunately dissipate) in a matter of a couple days. So what started out as a potentially perfectly timed strike turned into a pretty gloomy monsoon mush-fest. I always try to see the glass half full but after a third day of non-stop rain and poo brown water which was preceded by almost 36 hours of travel due to overbooked flights, we started to crack. The one inspiring factor was the Chinese holiday-makers. Despite the shit weather these guys were out in hordes no matter what. A little rain wasn’t gonna stop them from enjoying their beach vacation. It really was incredible.

note the army of jet skis in the background. These guys must make a killing all day dragging Chinese tourists on banana-boats. It was one of the more dangerous beach scenes I’ve ever seen, especially as they have no lifeguards and a lot of them can barely swim

Can’t complain surfing by myself most of the time however the jet ski guys were a pretty big annoyance and buzzed the lineup all day

When the sun came out we’d hammer around on the motorcycle checking the tourist attractions

While I missed out on the typhoon point-break perfection I’d been told about, I still had a blast at a little wedge in front of our pad that turned on for a few hours everyday at low tide. No one in the water and relentless wind swell made for some satisfying water time. It wasn’t a complete bust.

the Chinese were loving the “surf boarding”

there was some decent swell at one point

More swell later in the week but grey skies and brown water makes for pretty gloomy photos

“when life gives you lemons…” go womping in the shorebreak!

Some more Taiwan photos here


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