Archive for the 'Destinations' Category

Apr 15 2008

Destination: Bali

Published by under Destinations,Indonesia,Travel

Uluwatu Racetrack

Bali has hit the surf spotlight hard in the last couple years and for good reason. From April through September it has consistent clean swell with good wind conditions (offshore at most breaks) and epic waves like Uluwatu and Padang Padang. It’s become the Hawaii of the summer months. Kuta has a fun nightlife and is incredibly cheap. The Balinese are friendly, welcoming people. Balinese locals have been competing on the international level for over a decade. Kuta Beach is packed surf schools and surf shops. If you’re heading to other parts of Indonesia for surf, then Bali is the requisite jumping off point. You can indulge in amazing food, parties, and massages before the jungle camps at G-Land or a surf charter in the Mentawais. Additionally, Bali has a rich culture with beautiful temples and scenery. The surf, culture, and lively nightlife make Bali one of the top surf destinations in the world.

Destination: Bali, Indonesia
Time of Year: April through September
Breaks: Uluwatu, Kuta Beach, Padang Padang, Nusa Dua, Medewi
Level: All levels
Cost: Inexpensive

[youtube GSPVpT0Pg5I]

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Apr 04 2008

Surf Destination: El Salvador

Published by under Central America,Destinations

El Salvador is an up and coming surf destination with great surf for all levels, uncrowded waves, and excellent exposure to Southern swell. It’s one of the cheapest surf destinations and is a short flight from the U.S. Ravaged by civil war and violence through the 80s and 90s, until recently El Salvador was considered an unsafe place to travel. In the past 10 years, surfers have gradually started returning to El Salvador and finding epic waves and empty line-ups. Surfing has grown among Salvadorians, and the best breaks do see crowds. However, El Salvador still has a lot to offers with long pointbreaks, friendly locals, and a relaxed surf scene.

Punta Roca, La Libertad

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Mar 31 2008

Surf Pavones, Costa Rica: World’s Second Longest Wave

Published by under Destinations,Surf spots,Travel

I first read about Pavones in “Searching for Captain Zero.” Writer, Allan Weisbecker , makes a surf road trip to Costa Rica to find a lost childhood friend. He ended the trip at this epic wave described as the world’s second longest (behind Chicama, Peru). I made my first trip to Costa Rica last May and when a real swell hit, I packed up my rental car and motored 12 hours down the coast from the North to Pavones. The wave lived up to every description of it. Sure, it’s crowded, but that’s to be expected of any epic wave with land access. There will be drop-ins but for the most part everyone including the locals respect the line-up. It’s entirely possible to grab waves out at Pavones and probably grab some of the best waves of your life. Considering how close it is the U.S. and how cheap it is to get there, it’s definitely worth a trip to surf. The area of Southern Costa Rica surrounding Pavones is pristine and stunning. The locals are friendly and the small town at Pavones has a chill laid back vibe. Check out our guide to getting to and surfing Pavones below (more photos and video)

Pavones, Costa Rica

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Mar 29 2008

Surfing the World’s Longest Wave – The Pororoca, Amazon, Brazil

Published by under Destinations,Travel

February may mean springtime, flat swell, and winds in the U.S., but in Brazil it’s the beginning of the dry season and the time of year surfers can ride the tidal bore the Amazon, the Pororocoa. Measuring up to 12 ft, the Pororoca is easily the longest wave in the world; it only breaks twice a year in February and March.

Pororoca Airiel Viewpoint

Since 1999, local surfers have held an annual championship in São Domingos do Capim. In 2003 Brazilian, Picuruta Salazar, won the event with a record ride of 12.5 kilometers and 37 minutes! It may also be one of the world’s most dangerous.

Surfer riding the Pororoca

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Mar 26 2008

Top 5 Places to Learn to Surf

Published by under Destinations,Travel

I’ve taken more than a few friends out to teach them surf. What I’ve learned is that there are good places to start and bad places. I took my brother out to surf at Ocean Beach San Francisco on what I thought was a small day, only to watch him go over the falls on a solid overhead wave while paddling out . He got washed back to the beach and called it a day. I learned to surf at Cowell’s Beach in Santa Cruz and stood up on the first wave I paddled for and rode it to the beach. Here’s a list of places to bring your friends or head to yourself.

Cowell’s Beach, Santa Cruz

I can’t imagine a better wave to learn on. Although the water’s generally cold, there always seems to be some swell in the water at Cowell’s The crowd is generally all beginners on foam boards, so it’s pretty safe and you don’t have to worry about hassling locals. The wave breaks on the outside and just rolls slowly over 100 yards to the beach. Most surfers are just going straight anyway, but the wave is has the perfect speed and steepness. If you’re there for a weekend, Santa Cruz is a very cool town and offers beautiful rugged Northern California beaches and Redwoods forests for exploration. Rent a surfboard and beach cruiser and hang in the chillest Northern California city.

Cowell’s Beach
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Mar 21 2008

Where to Surf This Summer

Published by under Destinations,Travel

Winter is quickly fading and the South Pacific is already heating up. March had a good run of South Swells in California, those head high swells here with twice as big in Central America. Here’s a list of warm water spots to head to this summer.

Bali. Indonesia is on the top of everyone’s list. Bali’s become the new Hawaii and for good reason. From April through September it gets consistent swell and has dozens of world class waves all within driving distance of Kuta Beach. Uluwatu, Padang Padang, and Airports are a few of the epic waves on Bali. When the swell’s flat there’s plenty of diving and nightlife on the island. The Balinese people are incredible. Bali is the jumping off point for trips to G-Land, Lombok, and the Ments. Flights start around $900 and accommodations in Kuta start around $20/night for AC rooms.

Uluwatu Racetrack
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Mar 12 2008

Secret spot Indonesia

Published by under Boat trips,Destinations,Travel

Here’s the full size photo from the header.

Indonesia perfection

Hint: Northern Sumatra

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Mar 11 2008

Summer comes to SoCal!

Published by under Destinations,General Surf

75 degree and sunny days. Lights winds all day, and mixed Southwest and Northwest swell. Breakbreaks all over SoCal are firing! Feels like summer! The surf has been peaky and good all week at Manhattan Beach (it really does take a combo swell for the place to get good and peaky), and looks like it going to stay that way for at least a couple of days. Winter turns right into summer.

Manhattan Beach Sunset

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Mar 10 2008

Top 5 Waves You’ll Never Surf (and for good reason)

Everyone’s got their must-surf wave list. It might include: Uluwatu, Malibu, Pavones, G-Land, Trestles, etc. Long, perfect waves, that barrel. There are a few of us out there, that are determined to push the limits a bit and try to grab a barrel at a spot like Pipeline, Deserts, or Lance’s. But I think we’re in the minority of surfers. Then there are the psycho chargers that don’t ever seem to be afraid and come up laughing after getting caught inside on a big set. Everyone knows a few. Here’s a list of some of the mutant waves in the world that some nutbags saw from a bluff or cliff or boat and thought… “hmmm. I bet I can score a few good ones there.” I’ve excluded big wave spots like Mavericks, Jaws, Dungeons, etc.


One word to describe this wave: mutant. This wave just inverts on itself. I doubt there’s really any sort of take off zone at all. The only video I could find was of a few bodyboarders charging it.

[youtube ahiZ9xFCjkI]

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Mar 07 2008

Top 5 Places to Watch Insanely Big Surf

Surfers don’t often think of themselves as spectators, especially when the surf’s good, you’re going to go surf. It’s why I would make a crappy surf photographer. I’d rather be out there surfing. Still we all appreciate watching a good wave, here’s a collection of the biggest and most impressive. Surprisingly, they’re all very accessible and worth the trip. When I was living in San Francisco, I saw Maverick’s break a few times and watched the 2006 Mavericks contest from the bluff.

Where: Jaws, Maui, Hawaii

Why: Jaws is the polished, blue water, sunny big wave with the claim to the heaviest and biggest in the world. Because of the size and speed of the waves it is almost exclusively a tow-surfing spot. But the tow surfing allows surfers to exploit the wave to its fullest, pulling giant carves of 50 ft faces and pulling into 20 ft. barrels. Beauty can be deceptive, Jaws and Mavericks rival each other in degree of heaviness with many surfers claiming Jaws takes the title. The wave is similar to Mavericks in that it breaks close to a mile offshore. There’s a high over-looking bluff to watch from.

When: Winter. The same giant swell that pound the California coast, generally hit Hawaii first in their march across the Pacific.

[youtube 8yX_uVQ9OKA]

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