Senior Editor

The Inertia

This installment of #GoThere is powered by WaterWays Surf Adventures.

If there is one place on your surfing bucket list, it should be Salina Cruz, Mexico. There are almost eighty insanely beautiful miles of near-empty coastline surrounding it, so there is plenty of room to roam, meaning of course, that there are plenty of waves to surf.

A big part of Salina Cruz’s attraction is the lack of crowds in the water. If you’re going to leave home for waves, why not leave home for the emptiest ones you can find? A lot of people get to Puerto Escondido and stop there, because of both its waves and reputation. But south… south to surfers is like west to pilgrims. There is always that call to head just a little farther down; that pull to see what’s around that next bend. And guess what’s around it? Salina Cruz. Just a few short hours past that sits Guatemala. If you are anywhere when you are in Salina Cruz, you are south, you little surf pilgrim.

You will score. Oh yes, you will score:

Chances are good that you will get some of the best waves of your life in Salina Cruz. It doesn’t even matter what your skill level is – there is something for you there. A seemingly endless expanse of coastline, littered with perfect point after perfect point, with punchy little beach breaks scattered in between. Whether you’re looking for big, throaty barrels, playful little peelers, or just a casual triple overhead hell-bomb, with the right guide and right swell, you’ll find it. Mainland Mexico has long been a must-do for surf travelers because of its empty perfection… and you can still get your piece of it.

How to avoid the unlikely event of a skunking:

The easiest way to avoid a solid skunking is to travel with someone who knows the area–one who knows which breaks do what on which swell, what tide, and how the wind is. While a lot of surfers rely on those websites that pretend to tell you all the necessary information to score, there is no substitute for a guy or girl that’s grown up surfing the area, day in and day out, on every tide and every size of swell. Find a guide, and find one with a 4×4 vehicle. Do this before you leave, as showing up unannounced may make things a little difficult. Spend a few extra bucks. The juice will be worth the squeeze, and you won’t be stumbling around alone over jagged reef on a fruitless search for waves while the guy with the guide getting shacked off his head.

In the unlikely event of a skunking:

Getting skunked on a surf trip sucks, especially if you’re on what basically amounts to a deserted island. But one of the greatest things about surf trips isn’t necessarily the surfing. Sometimes, the things you remember most happen outside of the water, and this region of Mexico is one of the best places to not care if you happen to plan your trip around a flat spell. And if it happens to be flat in Salina Cruz, which is unlikely, you’re not going to be stuck in some bug infested dirt-pit, swatting at flies while you waste away under a scorching sun, talking to a volleyball. There is fishing to be done. Amazing fishing, with yellow fin tuna, massive dorado, and blue Marlin. Spend a few hours at the straight end of a bent rod before you return to sunburning your face off in the best waves of your life.

On food:

If you surf, you probably have some kind of taco/burrito/fish/Mexican food fetish. Oaxaca is the king of Mexican food. The food at the camp is a mix of local and international flavors, but head out to the local cantina, and you will find Oaxacan food is much more… Mexican. While the cuisine is based on regular Mexican food staples like corn and beans and a large amount of gut burning chilies, because of the region’s geography and mixed-bag of indigenous cultures, the State of Oaxaca does Mexican food like nowhere else in Mexico.  So wash down those chapulines with a cerveza and find some more mole verde. You’re not going to eat like this anywhere else in the world.


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