So You Want Warm Water Sand Point Tubes?
How to do Salina Cruz.
There is arguably no coastline in the world as littered with good surf and warm water as Mexico. While surfers more confident in their ability to navigate some very tricky geographical and sociopolitical situations might venture to more remote zones, it's hard to beat the sand point saturated stretch south of Huatulco, down to Mexico's venerable playground for surf, Salina Cruz.
With a handful of occasionally dreamy beachbreaks scattered between right points of varying degrees of hollow, fast, wedgy, etc., there are more options than many realize, but in the last few years the local surf camps and guides have made quite a concerted effort locking down many of the waves for guests of the camps, exclusively. (Our last visit, a handful of pros on a different mag trip made the mistake of going economic on their lodging and guide, and found themselves barred at the premiere locations, threatened, promised that their cameras would be smashed post-haste if they didn't skiddadle, etc.
While we've had more than pleasant experiences over the last few years at a handful of the area's more respected camps, we keep coming back to our beloved Punta Escondida, located off the coast a touch, in the main town of Salina Cruz. Sure, the ladies in Escondida's kitchen never disappoint, their Coronas are the coldest we've found in town, the lap pool's a lifesaver in the afternoon scorch, and the hot tub's glorious after an evening rain...
But it's the guides—especially Pata and Gordo—at Punta Escondida and their mission-ready vehicles that earned our vote of confidence, the bi-lingual beasts never batting an eye at ten- or twelve-hour days bouncing between waves.
And while your stay at most any of the more respectable camps will include a cooler full of food, cold bottled water, and if you're really lucky, beer, there are a few things we've learned not to leave home without when pulling the trigger on yet another jaunt south:
Not a bad looking, um, cap, right? Photo courtesy Planet Blue.
A Big Fuckin' Hat. While there's a case to be made for a woven palm wide-brim, we're partial to cotton canvas' packability, durability, and style, and there's little as refreshing in the afternoon heat as dunking your wide brim in the cooler and letting it cool that noggin. We recommend Brixton's Ranger II, or Filson's classic Tin Cloth bush hat.
Look at that towel! Photo courtesy Slowtide.
Quick-Drying Towel: While we're partial to our friends at Slowtide's newest digs, any ultra-absorbent microfiber towel will do. With sudden deluges being the standard down this way, it's easy to get caught with your towels in the truck bed, and with afternoon humidity nearing triple digits, you'll be mopping yourself instead of drying off without one.
Don't these Channel Islands Twin Fins look like a dream? Photo courtesy CI.
Tube Shooter and Fishy Number: There's no excuse for showing up down there without at least one board that'll handle a little juice—nothing too spicy, just a board that'll bite in some hollow fare (we're partial to a few of Mayhem's tube shooters, namely the Rock Up and the Mini-Driver). But as anyone will attest, it ain't all driving through pits down this way. In act, there's more playful, rippable, fun surf in this zone than you'll know what to do with, so don't hesitate to throw something less, well, serious. (See above: Dane's packing a beat up Channel Islands MTF, or some of his most memorable performances on the Neck Beard—two boards we'd love to have in a boardbag down there.)
This is the good stuff.
Pain Relief: From severe sunburns to current-worn shoulders, during our last mission south evenings were made infinitely more tolerable with Elixicure's CBD roller, which smells like camphor and menthol and offers sweet relief from the most thorough of scorchings with just a thin application. (Oh, and use the promo code "Aloha"—your boy Mason Ho's beloved mama gets the kickback.) We cannot recommend this product more earnestly.
You know you had a wall like this somewhere when you were a grom.
Stickers, Shirts, Hats, Etc. A swag bag goes a long way in this neck of the woods, and though it won't get you out of paying for a guide and lodging, it'll certainly win you brownie points with the locals in the lineup. Bring a handful each day and dole them out freely, double shakas flying.
A Black Rashguard: While we'll always back a cotton tee while surfing in the tropics, if one must wear a rashguard, black is the only acceptable color. If there's a pattern, turn it inside out, unless you're Andrew Doheny.
With south swells lining up into August, there's few better times to pull the trigger on a flight to Huatulco. Head to Waterways Travel to find out more.