Saturday, November 06, 2010

Best Surfing Yet!

Today was the best damn day of surfing I have had in a long time. I woke up on a mission to make it happen even though I was a little late. I wanted to surf Burros and the rule is to get on it early before the crowds arrive, especially for a Saturday. I bought a bottle of orange juice and headed down the road but didn’t arrive there until 10am. The original plan was for 8:30am but hey, I was going to get some waves one way or another.

I saw Dave’s truck (the couple that own the hotel where Im camping) so I parked in front of him. I didn’t see many other vehicles and that was a good sign so I took off sprinting down the trail to the beach. Burros is a unique spot in that there is a damn resort just in front of the wave and many times hordes of gringos on vacation with surfboards will paddle out from the front of the hotel and just instantly crowd the wave, or insta-crowd as we say. It make me a little angry at times because I worked hard to get to these waves when these clowns flew in, taxied to the hotel and woke up and paddled out front. Just doesn’t seem right at times but hey, what can ya do?

The trail leading to Burros is one of the coolest I have ever walked on in Mexico and especially to get to a wave. It goes deep into the jungle following a small creek (arroyo in Spanish) and the sunlight is almost totally blocked at times from the thick palms overhead. I pity the hotel guests as they actually miss this quick hike through some of the coolest jungle in this area. I got through there as fast as I could and made it to the beach to find only around 7 people out. I talked to a guy on the beach who had a fish just like me and turns out he was a guest in the hotel where I was camping and rode down with Dave. The waves looked decent and there were some sizable sets coming through, around head high and clean… perfect!

I paddled out and let the line up take their turns on the next 2 sets of waves, after that it was my turn as is a common courtesy when first paddling out. You can be a rude asshole and paddle out and take the very first wave but it will not earn you much respect, in my book anyways. The first wave I took off on was a fast right and boy did I enjoy it! I raced along the wall for a minute before heading down into the flat to come back to the top of the wave. I made a big long carve and a small cut back to put me back into position as to not outrun the shoulder, or power section of the wave. If you shoot too far on the shoulder you will get into the parts of the wave that are still jacking up and they have less power, often ending your ride prematurely. The second wave I caught was perhaps my best with a nice racy section again and finally I smacked the lip on this fish. I went vertical and turned almost 180 degrees off the top lip and boom shot forward back towards the bottom of the wave with the speed of the pitching wave pushing me bottomward. My balance got a little wacked here because of the sudden rush of speed and after making a small bottom turn I fell backward off my board. My third wave was decent but my leash was wrapped around my back foot and I was actually standing on it while surfing, highly distracting me. The ride was good with 2 cutbacks to put myself back into position on the wave. The last ride was good enough to send me to the beach because I was just too happy at this point. This was some o the best surfing I have done in my short career and I was highly excited. Plus the sets were starting to become fewer and fewer with larger time frames in between so I called it a morning and went back to the hotel.

I started working on my fish which has been needing serious repair for a few months. I found a ton of things I need to fix and I started busting open crappy fiberglass and exposing the wet foam beneath and letting it dry. In all I found 6 major spots that needed some serious repair and Ive started on 4 of them. Two as of today are finished after much sanding and final touches but the others are going to require some more extensive work. Im a perfectionist of a sort when it comes to my board repair work and I will not call it complete until its damn near perfect. I don’t like uneven or rough finishes especially on the bottom of a board, after all if it was “ok” to have rough spots on the bottom then why would the shaper go through so much trouble to make sure the board was smooth as glass? Would it not interfere with the hydrodynamics of a planing surfboard if there were rough patches on the bottom? My guess is yes, it would interfere in little and possibly unnoticeable ways but it is only a tad more work to seek perfection and eliminate any doubt or wonder.

After the first layers of fiberglass were laid and curing I decided to go for an afternoon surf with Neil and his girlfriend Laura. They are from Utah and both have very interesting jobs/lives. They both work as river guides and in the winter Neil works ski patrol and Laura works as an ESL teacher, how cool is that? They are great people and have been exploring the Mexican coastline via bus for the last month and a half and actually ran into the Israeli guy that was with me a few weeks ago! Dave gave us all a ride to Anclote, the surf point right in front of Punta Mita. I haven’t seen this wave ever work as much as it has been since I got here. Every day is at least knee high and loggable if you want to get wet. Today it was about knee to thigh with occasional sets in the waist high range and boy was it fun! We started snagging long rides one after another and at one point an old guy tried to drop in on me but I fended him off with my hands. I talked to the guy who was with him and later found out that he was just learning to surf and tonight was his last night in Mita and the guy with whom I was talking to was his guide. So I told him Id back off and let him take his share of waves seeing as it could be his last time for a long time. I even blocked a bunch of people and made sure he got his ride of the day which he took all the way to the beach! It was cool seeing someone so stoked even at his age to be riding waves. I got a few more rides and then finally I took my last ride which was a waist high peeler. I took this wave to the maximum and almost ran into the jetti! I had so many nice little cutbacks and fast sections that I fell in love with surfing all over again. Ahhh… the art of wave riding, especially on a longboard. Right when I thought my day could not get any better from my session that morning I totally blew the day away with my afternoon session.

We walked back to the hotel and we all showered and headed out for some great tacos, quesadillas and a few beers. We concluded the night in their room watching a few of the surf movies I brought along on my trip and over all it was a great day!

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