With the state of modern surf forecasting and sophisticated air travel what they are these days, at any given moment a surfer could theoretically check swell models, see where it’s firing, and be on a plane in time to catch some decent surf anywhere in the world. Then, head home when the swell energy starts to drop.
We have a name for this approach: the strike mission. Also known as, strike when the iron’s hot. Or, where the blob is purple, as it were.
This kind of swooping in has its merits – there’s reasonable certainty that the waves will deliver. The drawbacks? Minimal mingling with the local population and a very abrupt return to the pace of life you’re accustomed to, not to mention expensive tickets purchased at the last possible moment. And if strike missions are your flavor because they pack the most amount of action into the least number of days away from email and cell phone reception, well, then maybe everyday life isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
Recently, Santa Cruz surfer and filmmaker Kyle Buthman and friends came up with a different way to travel the well-trodden dirt roads of Mainland Mexico and Baja. Instead of falling into the strike mission trap, do the exact opposite. Show up at a spot and wait for it to do its thing. Then, move onto the next one.
In total, the crew covered 10,000 miles in just over six months. And, to say they scored is an understatement. Turns out Mother Nature still rewards good old fashioned patience.