This week's story is about a little road trip I took with a couple of surfer pals up Highway 200 to a really great wave near the town of Chacala. This spot has been known in the surfing community for a while-if this wasn't true I'd not be giving directions here.
Two weeks ago, the first good swell of the year arrived on our shores at last. Lucky me, I was in Seattle, Washington, at the time, packing my mother's apartment into a truck so I could drive her stuff to Berkeley (where she had decided to flee from Seattle after we left for Sayulita).
Almost every surfer I know has a favorite board, long or short, old or new, custom-designed or off the rack. Where you got it or the name on the deck or how cool it looks doesn't really matter (although there is nothing wrong with a little hot pink wax or a paint job inspired by Roy Lichtenstein or the Laughing Buddha).
**Names of people, places, and secret surf spots have been changed to protect the awesome.**
My name is Gabbi; my good pal is Nick. We recently went looking for surf away from our home, and this is our story. Hopefully it will inspire you to surf in new places if you are new to the sport, and if you are an oldtimer, maybe you will take a young grom or an old newbie out to a new spot and show him the waves... Like many of you full-time, hard- (or hardly) working Sayulita community members, we gotta find time as often as possible to surf, and that is not always easy.
On Tuesday, January 11th, Carol Rupert's husband Tom and a group of her family, friends and neighbors celebrated her 60th birthday on the beach and in the water in front of the trailer park on Sayulita's north side.
This week's column visits with Senor Rogelio Ramos at his place of business, the Dingbatz surfboard repair shop located on a little side street up the Avenida Ninos Heroes road a few blocks south from the Plaza. Those of you in the surfing community know Rogelio for his fast, reasonably-priced, well-executed repair jobs on board dings of every shape, size and description.
After that epic day in August, we went back to San Blas in late October, believing what we saw on multiple surf forecast sites for Stoner's: four or five stars, four-or-five-foot waves, no wind. Instead, what we got was what we had been warned of; San Blas surf can be fickle. And there it was, fickle as hell, medium-small inconsistent surf; fast, sometimes makeable tubes, but breaking within scant yards of major rocks.
I rose early and heard...something? No, nothing. Nothing oceanic, that is. Not a sound coming from the sea, from which, when the swell is on, I gather auditory clues. Kaboom, goes the shorebreak, echoing off the hills and I know there are waves.
When the urge comes to try another wave, something out of town, one option is to head north, to the point breaks of San Blas. I did it with some friends last August, before the flood. Here's my first take on the trip.
One thing I have yet to cover in my columns thus far is the local retail surf community: the surf shops in town, who runs them, what they sell and rent. So let's start with the most prominent surf shops in town, Sininen and Lunazul.
Bahia, or the Cove, was once a secret spot, and there was a time not long ago when writing about it might be considered a betrayal of sorts. In the past year, however, more and more surfers have heard about this spot, and so it has become more difficult to get it to oneself. It ain't quite as maxed out, crowd-wise, as La Lancha has become, but it's unfortunately getting there.
Tuesday November 2, the Day of the Dead here in Mexico, and the day of the mid-term elections up in the USA (I dread what changes those elections may bring), brought some great news to Sayulita. It was news that arrived in the form of super fun, medium-small waves breaking on both sides of the point - both rights and lefts peeling in the bright, welcoming sunshine, with a crowd of hackers and local rippers scrambling for position on the right, and a smaller crowd on the left.
A month ago our town beach and its often beautiful and alluring surfing waves looked like a war zone, what with the trees, cars, batteries, shelves, boat trailers, sofas, refrigerators, and everything else strewn across the landscape. Well, not a war zone, but the aftermath of a flood. Which is what we lived in for the month of September. A post-flood zone.
After wandering about the northwestern corner of the U.S. for a month, we came home to Sayulita last week and I immediately plunged into the surfing side of things. A great one-hour session at the main break here in town - six guys out at eight in the morning, light offshore breeze, crisp, fast little chest-high rights - started things off. After that I went with a couple of my local amigos over to Punta Mita to surf my favorite waves.
About a month after arriving here in Seattle, I finally got to the coast and rode some North Pacific waves last week. The northwest coastal scenery was fabulous, hanging with friends and family wonderful, but the water was COLD and the waves mediocre at best. This northwest surf safari served to remind that living and surfing in Sayulita is a real privilege. Still, it was an adventure of a sort, surfing a "local" spot called Hobuck Beach, and the tale is worth telling, if only to offer contrast with the simplicity and ease of surfing in Mexico.
Every sport has its pains. Think tennis elbow,runner’s knee, a torn rotator cuff in baseball, the broken everything you get playing tackle football. Surfing has its share as well. This is about some of the specific ways that surfing hurts.