Traveling deep into Mexico is a journey of risk and reward. Countless stories are told of surfers finding themselves in sketchy situations as well as pumping surf. Luckily for our gang of team riders, their trip to Oaxaca leaned heavily on the latter.
After three connecting flights to Huatulco our four friends, Trey, Sierra, Mikey, and Nolan were ready to find some waves. Right off the plane our friends stacked their cumulative twelve surfboards onto the small car and began their long journey. For the next 10 days a small surf camp would be their new home. With limited spanish skills they had quite a hard time figuring out exactly what the driver was trying to tell them. Eventually they came up to a long stretch of stopped traffic. Fortunately, this didn’t phase their driver who proceeded to drive on the wrong side of the road for the better part of a mile. The road was blocked by a semi truck taking up both lanes; that is until two men with “POLICIA” tee shirts came up with wooden clubs and had them move. Still hours from the hostel they booked, the driver told them it was time to get out of the car, unstrap the boards and grab all their stuff. The group proceeded to carry all of their belongings through a village-wide strike that shut down the only main road in the area. With logs and rocks stacked waist high and around 60 villagers on the road it was an intimidating scene to say the least. Once on the other side the gang re-loaded their boards and luggage and continued on their way with the new driver. For the rest of the trip, every time they asked what the strike was about they were greeted with a familiar shrug.
Get up around seven, eat the provided cereal, wake up the surf guide, load the car, get to the beach, surf a few hours, either go back for lunch and then surf again in the evening or stay at the beach surfing until dark. This was the routine for the week. On average they were clocking in at least six hours of surfing a day.
The waves were unbelievable. With an abundance of points to choose from, crowds weren’t much of an issue. The main question was would they rather surf a never ending Rincon-esque point or a reeling sand bottom barrel? Most of the time they chose barrel. But, after a few heavy and tiring session, sometimes the long point hit the spot just right. Days went by, epic session after epic session. The strangest of occurrences happened after a particularly long day of good waves. Upon their arrival back to the surf camp the gang was surprised to find a full on party of about fifty teenagers at the pool in the back yard. All of their boards were moved, and none of the staff were anywhere to be found. The party raged late into the night, and no explanation was ever given.
The next three days weren’t necessarily the clean spitting right hand point breaks the crew had in mind when they dreamt of Mexico. In fact, it rained so hard the first couple of days they weren’t sure if the cars would make it past the flooded town in between them and the beach. Their living conditions were what you’d expect at a surf camp in the middle of a non tourist oriented blue collar Mexican town. The food was good, the camp was unorganized, the water didn’t run for about a week, and non of the staff except the owner spoke a word of english. The town had virtually nothing in it besides residences, the only place food or other items could be purchased was the Oxxo convenient store. If the waves didn’t shape up, it seemed the crew would be up to a whole lot of nothing. Thankfully after a few days the skies cleared, the swell built, and the conditions lined up perfectly.
Day after day good times were had and waves were scored. The heaviest waves were unexpectedly two days before their departure. The swell was forecasted to drop, but as they arrived at the beach it was clear that was not the case. With rumors of sharks sightings, surfed out bodies, and dredging barrels nuzzled up against the cliff, the session seemed less than inviting. Nevertheless, they new they had to go out and charge into the shallow watered cliff smashing cylinders that closelyresembled the Santa Cruz harbor mouth. One last mind-bendingly epic session to cap off the trip of a lifetime.
The next two days the swell dropped and the crew returned to the long point break they surfed the first couple of days of the trip. Long flowing lines down a perfect point seemed like the best way to decompress and replay the epic wave they had found in the days past. The rest of the journey wasn’t necessarily smooth sailing. With a COVID test mishap, misspelled name on a ticket, and hellishly long 16 hour day of travel our crew had a day cut out for them. Luckily everything worked out alright and the gang found themselves clearing customs at the SFO airport. One last random full police search on their way out the airport door seemed like a fitting way to end their journey. They headed to the nearestIn-N-Out, went home, and knew they had made it back from the trip of a lifetime.