What if I told you that one of the heaviest big wave spots in the world lay hidden off the Pacific coast of Chile only you did not know it yet? A notoriously heavy and extremely dangerous big wave spot has somehow remained under the radar somewhere on the Chilean coastline. Hidden in plain sight in the middle of one of Chile's many coastal town's lays what I personally claim to be the heaviest wave in South America and what I like to call the Chilean Teahupoʻo.Read More
When the fleets of the ruthless Spanish Conquistadors first arrived in Peru in 1528 in search of golden riches and the lost city of El Darado little did they know of the other treasures hidden there. For decades now nomadic surfers have been making the pilgrimage to the famed coastline of Peru in search of gold, gold in liquid form, in the form of some of the most perfect and longest left hand waves on the face of the earth today. You are about to discover why you should make Peru your next surfing travel destination.Read More
While the vibrant Brasilian city of Rio de Janerio is world renown for it's vibrant culture andbreathtaking scenery it however is not so renown for great surf and in fact many a traveling surfer may choose to write the coastline of Rio and Brasil off altogether. However, to assume that Rio is only small wave territory you do so at your own peril and I firmly believe that this assumption could not be any further from the truth and you are about to find out why.Read More
I had an absolutely unreal time during my two month stay in the Galápagos which for me was the trip of the lifetime. While there was definitely no shortage of exotic and vibrant wildlife to observe in the Galápagos but yet what really stole the show for me was perhaps the least exotic of them all....the common Galápagos sea lion. There is definitely a place in my heart for these amazingly vibrant and intelligent fat little mamals and the following gallery in my tribute to them, enjoy!Read More
Located literally in the center of the Equator at a Latitude 0 0’ 0” lies the small Latin American Nation of Ecuador, arguably one of the best tropical summer surf destinations on the planet. Ecuador is a true surfer’s paradise and you are about to find out why.Read More
When Chile first laid claim to the port city of Arica in 1880 following its victory over Peru in the War of the Pacific little did they know that not only were they now holding a key trading location but they had inertly seized one of the best and heaviest waves in the Latin Americas if not the world. With "El Gringo" being highly regarded as one the the heaviest waves in South America it has been sitting high at the top of my bucket list of surf spots to document and with the arrival of the APB World Tour to the North of Chile it was now high time to cross it off that list.Read More
The Galápagos Islands situated well off the coast of mainland Ecuador would have to be among one of the most undiscovered surfing regions on the planet. While visiting the island of Santa Cruz I was fortunate enough to be invited on a boat trip with a dozen of Ecuador's best surfers to document a wave that had only just been discovered. This is what went down.Read More
The frigid Pacific Coast of the South American Nation of Chile is well and truly blessed with an over abundance of world class surf spots which constantly attract some of the biggest and most consistent swells on the planet. Despite these more than favourable attributes Chile is still not near the top of the wish lists of many traveling surfers. However, those surfers who choose to go against the grain and brave Chile's cold waters will most likely be rewarded with some of the best waves of their lives. I for one was hoping to achieve just that during my visit to this beautiful country but unfortunately things did not quite pan out as planned.Read More
Located over 900 kilometers off the coast of Ecuador lies the ruggedly beautiful desolate islands of the Galápagos. While this region is most famed for raw beauty, vast abundance of unique wildlife and the key inspiration for the development Charles Darwin's theory of Evolution; the survival of the fittest but what many do not realise is that these world renown islands are in fact home to some of the best and heaviest waves in Ecuador. Some have gone as far as to informally label the Galápagos as the Hawaii of South America and not without due reason as one only needs to take a quick glance at the position of the Galápagos islands on the world map to deduce that the island are in prime location to receive the large north and south swell lines that frequent the region.Read More
Is Colombia’s pacific coast the final frontier for surfing in the Latin Americas? Despite this secluded region of Colombia arguably housing some of the best waves in the region, it’s not exactly a hotspot for traveling surfers. This stretch of coast has long flown under the surfing radar, likely from a combination of isolation and the long shadow of a violent past. As recent as ten years ago this beautiful coastline of Colombia was a no-go zone infested with left-wing guerrilla groups, paramilitaries, and drug traffickers battling for control of the region. However, as the political situation begins to stabilize and word spreads of the amazing waves hidden here, will we see an increase in traveling surfers flocking to this region?Read More
The Amazon has to be extremely high up on the list of amazing places one must visit before one dies. The fact that this region is home to the mythical pink freshwater dolphins definitely gives you an added reason to visit if ever you needed one. So please join me on my search for the pink dolphins deep within the murky waters of the Colombian Amazon.Read More
What if I told you there was a place that experienced a constant onslaught of swell and all day offshores for 300 days of the year? Well my friend welcome to Southern Nicaragua. Welcome to the promised land and welcome to perhaps the holy grail of surfing regions. So fancy a surf trip away from the tried and tested surfing meccas of Hawaii, Indo and Tahiti? Want to surf in a cheap, safe and beautiful country with a unique culture and world class surfing conditions then look no further than Nicaragua as your next surf destination.Read More
If you are a vintage car lover then Cuba must be near the top of your bucket list of countries to visit as Cuba has fielded a fleet of close to 60,000 classic pre 1960's cars for the past 50 years. Once you arrive on the shores of Cuba you will be quickly overwhelmed by the sheer volume of classic 1950's cars with Cadillacs, Packards, De Sotos of varying states flooding the chaotic streets of the country.Read More
Somewhere in Nicaragua lies one of the most perfect barrelling A-frame beach breaks that I have ever laid my eyes upon. Beautiful but yet unforgiving this break is definitely not for the feint of heart. This short yet powerful wave will often push your barrel riding expertise and the strength of your board to it's limit. Numerous sand thumping A-frame peaks slab randomly up and down this beach for hundreds of meters and this break is often likened by many a surfer to Straddie on the Gold Coast of Australia, Hossegor in France and even a smaller and more perfect version of Puerto Escondido in Mexico.Read More
With the recent death of Commandant Fidel Castro, one of the most influential men in modern history combined with the relaxation of international trade embargo's by the United States Cuba is currently experiencing key developments in it's history as this island nation finally opens it's arms to cautiously embrace the world. I was fortunate enough to be visiting Cuba during Fidel's death, potentially an instrumental moment in Cuba's modern history, here is my story, view Cuba through my eyes.Read More
Nestled in the most southern corner of El Salvador far, far away from the violence filled streets of San Salvador lays some of the most beautifully spectacular and untouched coastline in the Central Americas....and it just happens to home two of the best right hand point breaks on the planet. Bordering nearby Honduras this isolated stretch of coastline is astoundingly breathtaking to say the least. It is where vast golden sand beaches are lined with row upon row of towering coconut trees which gradually lead their way to ruggedly beautiful lush jungle covered headlands where gorgeous untouched golden bays nestle in between.
For some strange reason this part of El Salvador goes under the radar and so has far has escaped over development from the greed fueled tourism industry...but I fear unfortunately that this will not be the case for much longer.
While this stunning scenery alone is excuse enough to visit this region however once you take the two world class point breaks of Punta Flores and Punta Mango into account any avid surfer surely has no excuse not to visit this wave rich region. These two waves generally require a solid swell before they break and they will not truly light up until the swell hits the 2m mark. While there is also rumoured to be many other quality but fickle waves in the region if one is willing to explore further by boat.
Punta Flores is a classic sand bottomed point break that peels off a rocky coconut tree riddled headland. When the conditions are right this wave can run a couple hundred metres before it ends halfway down the beach. While Flores is usually more of a fast down the line wave on low tide on a good day you can snavel the odd chunky barrel section on the outside while there are also some sneaky barrels on the inside thrown in for good measure. In comparison to Flores's more Northern cousins in the El Tunco region Flores although crowded at times (predominantly with wave hungry Brasilains) has more of a low key vibe and it is easy enough to get your fair share of waves. Unfortunately the same can not be said about it's close neighbour Punta Mango. [Story continued below]
Despite it's isolation and difficult access the world class wave of Punta Mango is deceptively crowded. Imagine our horror after boarding out fishing boat at 6am and traveling over 20 minutes along this beautifully isolated coastline to then arrive at this fabled point break only to be greeted by a horde of close to 40 frothing Brasilian surfers already clogging the line-up. I could not believe my eyes and despite the well groomed 3-4ft lines of swell I would have paid the captain to turn around and drop me back at Flores if I only had my board with me.
Fortunately for me I had my trusty camera on hand so I was gifted the chance to document this famed wave while my Brasilian counterparts all battled away for their share of glory. The crowded lineup was overflowing with bravo and greed with everyone snaking, dropping in and getting constantly sucked over the falls while many a barrel went begging.....a truly unfortunate sight to behold. I don't want to sound like Brazilian hater, I love Brasil, have many Brasilian friends and clearly many Brasilian surfers rip but unfortunately that was not the case this day. However, I had traveled with a crew of solid surfers including Hawaiin Benny Ferris. Benny is a ripper from the Island of Kauai who completely dominated this session and gave me something of quality to shoot....a stark contrast to the rest of the line up who quite frankly were making my eyes bleed with their inept surfing and atrocious water etiquette.
In my humble opinion Punta Mango is tied neck and neck with Punta Roca for the title of the best wave in the country. Punta Mango offers up a slabby ledgey barrel on the outside and then another hollow section on the inside but what tips it for me is the jaw dropping jungle covered mountainous Punta Mango backdrop, absolutely gorgeous to say the least. I absolutely loved my time spent in this picture perfect paradise..... well all barring one small thing......scorpions! [Story continued below]
There are many perks about living in and visiting Central America but I can tell you that being stung by a 10cm long Scorpion is not one of them. Unfortunately for me I was to experience just that late one night in Flores. I had climbed into bed to relax and enjoy a well deserved movie after long hard day of surfing. Suddenly I felt a sharp stabbing pain in my right arm and I rapidly jumped out of my bed only to be confronted by a 10cm long brown Scorpion (similair to the one pictured) sitting gleefully on my pillow. Naturally I started shitting my pants and knowing nothing about scorpions at the time (but some strange reason now I am an expert) my immediate thought was I was going to die and I had to get to hospital fast, real fast.
Fortunately for me the local Hotel employee was an expert on scorpion attacks and after the quick collection and disposal of my angry friend they calmly informed me that I would not die, would only be in pain for three hours and that it was only medium sized one anyway.....like wtf hahaha! Apparently this worker had been stung six times in his life and he said that I was lucky that it was not an albino or a black scorpion as they can be deadly...ok so it's all sweet then? While I did not want to be overly rude and question his local expertise I still felt the need to consult a local medical specialist. The local Doctor merely confirmed the story and informed that I would be in for a wild night and all I could do was sit back enjoy the ride.
So my next six hours were spent going through a whole host of symptoms ranging from numbness in my mouth (at one point it felt like I had popping candy exploding under my gums), tongue, arms and legs to extreme nausea and hypothermia. Not fun if you ask me but thankfully I made it through the night and have a hell of a story to tell. :-)
Having traveled half way through Central America I waited three weeks for a chance of scoring this big wave spot, one of the heaviest if not the heaviest reef in the Central Americas. On my second to last day there my luck finally changed and the beast of a wave finally came to life with only myself and Australian charger Sebastian Miller as company in the water for a solid low tide session.Read More
El Salvador has some of the friendliest local surfers I have met so far on my travels and they are easily among the best local surfers I have witnessed in the Latin Americas. A friendly "hola", smile and respect will go a long way in the surf in El Salvador and who knows you might soon not only be sharing waves but also a cerveza or ten with the locals in El Tunco. Here is my tribute to the local crew of legends in El Salvador. Gracis amigos, enjoy and until next time my friends.Read More
I have to admit given El Salvador's recent reputation for extreme gang violence and a ridiculously high murder rate during early 2016 I was extremely reluctant to even consider giving this beautiful country a visit. I knew the country offered an abundance of swell and was in possession of some of the best right hand point breaks on the planet....but would this be worth potentially risking my life for? After a few solid conversations with good friends who had recently visited El Salvador I was quickly assured that much of the country is relatively safe for the foreign traveler and many of the best waves were easily accessible from safe tourist friendly locations. So what the heck, I decided to take a punt on El Salvador with an initial plan to stay for one week....I ended up the staying five.Read More
The small coastal town of Puerto Escondido, in the Mexican state of Oaxaca is world renown for housing the heaviest beachbreak in the world, Zicatela, aka Mex Pipe. At this world famous stretch of sand over sized swells march up the Pacific coast of South and Central America and come to an abrupt end on Zicatela's infamous shores. I have to admit that I was more than a little intimidated when I first made the decision to visit this wave rich town as a big wave surfer I am not.Read More