Quiksilver's Mtn & The Wave blogs on Baja adventure
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 3 June, 2014 - When planning a surf trip to Mexico there are some options to weigh up. Hit the famous spots like Puerto Escondido and deal with the crowds, or take yourself off the grid?
Kanoa Igarashi, Matt Banting and Marc Lacomare chose the latter and headed to southern Oaxaca. They chose wisely.
At his ripe young age, Kanoa is already a seasoned world traveler and has logged more tube time than just about anyone. What’s a grom’s take on a surf trip to Mexico? Here’s his top 10 tips:
1. Bring your favorite good wave boards! No need for your standard Cali groveler.
2. Make sure you bring plenty of sunscreen and aloe vera – the sun is crazy there.
3. Don’t drink the tap water.
4. Bring Amphibians so jumping in and out of the water is no hassle.
5. Drink plenty of bottled water, I’ve been dehydrated many times there.
6. Eat as many tacos as you can! Best tacos you will have in your life.
7. Don’t forget plenty of boardies (shameless plug – Check out the new AG47).
8. Soak in the Mexican culture and buy some local souvenirs to help out the local community.
9. Bring an extra board you don’t want or some surf stuff for the local groms that surf!
10. Most importantly, have fun and get barreled!
So, does the thought of warm barrels and piles of tacos have you frothing to plan a Mexico surf trip? For the downlow we hit up Josh Mulcoy, resident badass and travel pro.
Marc Lacomare finding shade © Quiksilver
Who are you and what the heck are you doing down in Mexico?
Well, I am Josh Mulcoy and have spent most of my life traveling and searching out new surf spots. I came to this area about 12 years ago and was in disbelief of what I saw. I love to surf long tubing sand points so Mexico is my happy place.
Where in the world is Las Palmeras and what’s the setup?
Las Palmeras Surf Camp is in southern Oaxaca in a town called Salina Cruz, which is a major Mexican port on the Pacific side.
What’s the accommodation like and what’s included?
We have a house set up with five rooms accommodating two to five people in each room depending on the size of the group. At the camp you get breakfast, lunch, dinner and guided surf trips each day with local guides. The food is absolutely amazing by the way, and I am a self-proclaimed “picky eater”.
How far is the camp from the beach and how do you get there?
The closest spot is about 10 minutes away and then it is point after point. Tons of different waves in the area. There is a gnarly beach break right below the camp, but it’s super heavy. We tend to stick to the points which range from 10 minutes to about 40 minutes away via 4 wheel drive.
What’s the vibe? Do you need to sleep with one eye open?
Super safe, we have photographers traveling with tens of thousands of dollars worth of gear and there is never a problem. Actually probably more safe than where we are all from. I would never leave my camera bag in my car and go surfing, but down here people do it all the time.
Pro advice to folks visiting Oaxaca for the first time?
Flying out of Tijuana definitely saves money and is very easy to travel from. Traveling from LAX can be more expensive and sometimes a bit more of a layover. If you fly Aeromexico, pay for your boards online. Shhhhh…
What kind of waves are available in the area? Lefts? Rights? Reefs?
Salina Cruz is mostly all sand point rights with no reefs to cut your feet on. There are a couple of jetty waves that are super fun. We do have a few beach breaks with a few lefts. If you’re coming to this region, just figure you are going right.
What else is there to do if there’s no surf or the weather doesn’t cooperate?
There are some cool ruins to hike to in the mountains and the fishing in the area is incredible. There are some really cool older towns to go check out as well.
What’s the best time of year to go to the area to score?
Really any time from April until mid-October can be really good. I still hear about the best day being in the middle of October about five years ago. You need south swells for the spots so it’s mostly a summer time thing.
What’s something someone always forgets that they should bring?
Energy Bars, I always joke it’s not easy surfing in Southern Oaxaca. What I mean is if you think about surfing all day in the sun with waves that can easily peel for a minute and then walking back up the beach and paddling back out, after a few days it gets very tiring. We supply lunch at the beach if you want to be there all day, but it’s always good to bring energy bars – it’s actually a necessity.
How many, and what kind, of boards do you recommend to bring on a trip?
It’s funny in Mexico they only allow you to bring three boards into the country – any more than that and you can be taxed. Not many people do, but I have been taxed. So I usually bring three boards and depending on the forecast I will bring two normal shortboards and then a step-up, single fin or fish for the third board.
Matt Banting replenishing © Quiksilver