Stab Magazine | Surfing Through A Drug War

Surfing Through A Drug War

Meet Luis Hernandez, Acapulco’s 17-year-old rising star and drug war survivor.

news // Aug 9, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: < 1 minutes

He’s heard shootouts around his house and seen a dead body in the street. Luis ‘The King’ Rey Hernandez is the 17-year-old rising star of Mexican surfing but first he has to survive the drug wars ravaging his hometown, the coastal-resort city of Acapulco, Mexico.

“The violence in Acapulco is very bad,” Luis Rey tells AFP. “The government, the president – they do nothing. We’re going down the wrong path because we hear gunshots, (we see) dead people. You’re always afraid to leave your house… At sea, I’m not afraid. I feel happy there.”

Once a magnet for the world’s rich and famous, the city has descended into a hellish drug-fuelled gang war recently. More than 1300 people have been murdered there since 2015, including three people on the beach itself.

Luis and his friends have found respite in the waves where constant exercise and the infinite challenges posed by bettering style, technique and performance have kept them occupied. The same can’t be said for much of the city’s youth, however, with many lured into the cartel conflict by quick money and instant power and notoriety. Local surf star, Jose Manuel Trujillo has had three friends killed in their teens in the drug war.

“They are young people who lack education and poverty takes them down that path, the easiest one,” he says. “Thanks to surfing, I stayed away from that path.”

Read the full story, here.


Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up


Most Recent

Sierra Kerr On Greasing Full Rotes, Making Dad Cry & Her Concussion @ VSHPBME 

'I haven’t got my license yet, but I'm thinking of buying a little truck.'

Nov 27, 2022


“There Definitely Needs To Be More Girls That Try Airs”

Caity Simmers' thoughts on her Vans Pipe Masters debut.

Nov 26, 2022

Preview: Who’s John John Florence Flushing Down The Haleiwa Toilet Bowl?

The final event of the CS schedule is almost upon us. Let's dissect.

Nov 25, 2022


Dane Reynolds Said These Clips Weren’t Good Enough

Could'a fooled us.

Nov 25, 2022

Watch Now: Kael Walsh, Rolo Montes, And Al Cleland Jr In ‘Saturn’

Quik’s new 20-minute surf film is so good you’ll want to burn a DVD of…

Nov 24, 2022


How A Magic Island Birthed One Of The Most Radical Surf And Skate Scenes In The World

Mateus Herdy, Pedro Barros and friends in Red Bull x Stab's No Contest, Brazil.

Nov 23, 2022

The Uber Driver Turned Crypto Millionaire Who Denounced His US Citizenship And Whips Into XXL Nazare

"I do what I want, I don't have a boss." -Toby Trouble

Nov 23, 2022


‘I Thought He Was Gonna Grab A Machete… Then He Picked Up A Rock’

2x SSOTY Jai Glindeman’s drama (& left-tube) filled Sumbawa trip.

Nov 23, 2022


“The Inside Of Pipeline Sounds Like The Center Of The Universe”

Tosh Tudor seeks solitude at the Vans Pipe Masters.

Nov 22, 2022

Is Rasta Rob Really Going To Ride His Beloved Stock Dims Rad Ripper At The Vans Pipe Masters?

An interview with the most rapidly ascended surfer in recent memory.

Nov 22, 2022

Sierra Kerr And Robbie McCormick Win Vans Stab High Indonesia Presented By Monster Energy

And we had a live premiere in Oceanside to celebrate.

Nov 22, 2022

The Stab Guide To The World Cup

Including which team bears most similarities to former CT surfer Ricky "Ricky Badness" Basnett.

Nov 21, 2022

Unlocked: Albee Layer Speaks His Mind In His SEOTY Entry, ‘Delirium’

Come for the double rotations, stay for Albee's existential thoughts on surfing and life.

Nov 20, 2022

Buy Now: John John Florence’s ‘Gravity’

Get Gravity and support Junior Lifeguards.

Nov 20, 2022


Craig Anderson Could Find A Spitting Tube In A Tranquil Koi Pond

“How the fuck did I get an invite?”

Nov 19, 2022

Unlocked: Parker Coffin Combats Seven Years Worth Of Mind Demons In SEOTY Entry ‘Sendo’

Sometimes, the only way out is through the belly of a Pipe bomb.

Nov 19, 2022

How Can You Make A Giant Board On A Big Wave Feel Small?

Inside the radical evolution happening in the gun design space.

Nov 19, 2022


The Wild History And Charm Of The Second Longest Left In The World

Red Bull No Contest explores the yellow flower town of Pavones, Costa Rica.

Nov 18, 2022