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The Inertia

When Kyle Thiermann told us he was headed to Mexico to meet up with Greg Long during the Puerto Escondido Challenge to surf and explore the area with local legends, he had our full attention. Aside from the fact that a swell and contest of epic proportions looked imminent, we were excited about the prospect of sharing an intimate portrait of a place that surfing holds in such high regard, but honestly, doesn’t know too well beyond surface images and action clips.

“There’s a lot more to Puerto than just the wave,” says Kyle Thiermann.

When the humidity clips your brow between sips of Modelo Especial shared with Coco Nogales at the local taqueria, you know you’re in the right place.

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“As soon as I got to Puerto, when I arrived, I knew this was a special place. I knew this was going to be my home,” says local charger Coco Nogales. “I feel like we still live in a bubble of a dream. Thank God.”

Moments later we’re seated on the sand with Greg Long while said swell thunders across the beach. Greg’s explaining the mechanics of the wave. He’s excited. You can tell he’s excited when his hands start doing the talking.

“You’ve got a canyon that bends and refracts, so you’ll see swells coming in from the southerly direction and do a whole 180 degree turn,” says Long. “The best wave of your life could very well be out there on any single given day, so don’t be waiting your time with any mediocre ones. Just be patient for the one. It will come. I promise you.”

A few hours later, Greg takes a spill after a late drop. He stumbles up the beach. He’s grimacing. His knee is out of commission. It’s been a few months, and Greg is still rehabbing the knee. That’s Puerto. Wild. As Long said, the wave of your life might be waiting. Or, it might have other plans.

Special thanks to Shannon Quirk for champion lenswork.

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Editor’s Note: This adventure is proudly supported by our friends at Clif Bar.

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