I know, “surf and Sasquatch,” right? You’re probably asking yourself what the two have to do with one another? Well, I’ve done the typical surf trip and honestly, you’ll never be able to replace them: tropical waves, a boat or secluded lodge, a filmer capturing surf clips for days if you’re lucky.
But we kind of wanted to flip the surf trip on its head and do something different that hadn’t been seen a thousand times and maybe meet characters in communities we often don’t even know exist. And I’ve always had a passing interest in the legendary Sasquatch.
The Pacific Northwest offers a particularly unique set of geological gifts that allow for both the search for waves, and the search for mythic beasts. The Oregon Coast is often blessed with surf (if you’re fortunate to be there at the right time) and the Hood River Gorge is one of the most unique surfing playgrounds on the planet with reliable westerly winds that create open-ocean like conditions on the daily. Couple that with the fact that Oregon and the Pacific Northwest have the highest density of Bigfoot sightings on the planet and you have all the trappings of a really interesting trip (or a really weird one, some might say).
So I found two willing players: Infinity Surf’s Dave Boehne, a renowned shaper, surfer and Bigfoot groupie (who really inspired the entire trip), and Izzi Gomez, a talented young rider of waves from San Clemente, California via Florida. Izzi can seriously ride a two-by-four in the ocean and make it look pleasant. Plus she’s just a really good sport.
In between scouring Oregon’s rugged coast for surf and foiling in Hood River, we looked up Cliff Barackman, star of Animal Planet’s Finding Bigfoot, which enjoyed a run of 10 successful seasons on the network. Cliff is one of the foremost experts in the world on everything Bigfoot. Whenever there’s a sighting, he gets called in to make a footprint cast and then make the call on whether or not that sighting was legit. He lives just outside of Portland and recently opened the North American Bigfoot Center, a new museum dedicated to all things Sasquatch.
So after searching for Sasquatch did we come any closer to finding Bigfoot? That would be an emphatic “no.” On surf trips you’re often left wishing the conditions were a little, shall we say, bigger, so we definitely found an easy parallel between searching for Bigfoot and searching for rideable conditions. They can both be extremely elusive. You need to know where to look and have the right equipment. And mostly, you need a whole lot of luck.
Editor’s Note: This feature was made possible by Go RVing.