Jack Frost running an evil icy finger up your skirt? Get away to Mexico!
Photography by Al Mackinnon
What is it? A large Latin American nation with a long Pacific coastline, Mexico is a sub-tropical land that receives swell from both northern and southern hemispheres. While the austral winter (May – Sept) would be prime season for south swells for her most famous beaches and points, it can get good in any season and autumn and spring can offer those magic ‘combination’ swells that beachbreaks love.
Why you should: Has anyone in the world ever not liked Mexican food? OK Jeremy Clarkson perhaps, but basically it’s hard to beat eating huevos rancheros with spicy sauce for brekkie with warm seawater draining out of your nose after a morning spent threading thump-spanking Mexican tubes. Later that day, when the wind is up, you might cruise into town and dig cowboy-type fellas and soft-eyed hookers who cut around town as if just out of a movie set. Sure, it can be dangerous, and yes, there are creepy ice-tooting surf tourists and all kinds of seediness, but keep your nose clean (no pun intended) and keep your nose pointed for the tube exit and Mexico could well be the best surf trip you ever went on. As a general rule, offshores rule the dawn to mid-morn session, and belting onshores kick in just before lunch. Afternoons are thus either spent driving over speedbumps to kinks in the coast that handle the gusts, or drinking largely tasteless yet refreshing beer.
Where to? Baja in the north is a desert land of punchy beachies and right points. The middle is home to various breaks of various quality, most notably the very excellent Pascuales, while the south features the infamous Puerto Escondido, as well as a series of mind-blowing right points.
Festivites: Dia de los Muertos (day of the dead) at the start of November is pretty awesome, as is the Cinqo de Mayo (May 5th) when Mexicans celebrate kicking the French out. At the main surf resorts like Puerto Escondido, it is traditional to make drunken love to a Canadian, probably from Montreal.
What boards? Just bring a few of em. With some of the board breakiest closeout beachies in the world, if you don’t break boards you probably slept in. With all kinds of power on top, pintails with an edge will come in handy.
Did you know? It’s not all dry and dusty like in the movies. It’s largely green and lush, and full of exotic wildlife. It ain’t that cheap either…
Will I die? Probably not. Hardly anyone dies on hols in Mexico. The narcotics trade wars between the all-powerful cartels are mucho gnarly, but shouldn’t bother you. If you’re concerned about pulling into heaving 12ft kegs at Puerto, bear in mind it’s not all super heavy juice… There are all kinds of intermediate waves along the coast including some super fun soft-ish points to do leisurely cutbacks on, if that’s your thing.
[Update: two Australian surfers were recently murdered driving from the States through Sinaloa. Stay on major roads, research your route beforehand, drive only during daylight.]