Surfers go anywhere for waves. They are the first to say yes and the last to back out of any trip outside the US, especially when epic waves and warm water call. Lately, though, so many have decided not to go to or return to Mexico because it has been portrayed as dangerous in recent years.
If this sounds like you, guess what? You’re blowing it! There are so many uncrowded spots in Mexico right now because people aren’t going like they used to. Guess who gets to surf there? Me. My friends who don’t fear the country. Mexicans. Plenty of other smart travelers. And we’ve all come back to tell you about it.
Let’s be realistic here: Mexico is probably as safe as your own neighborhood. But, just like your own city, some areas are safer than others. Wherever you travel in the world, common sense is your guide to going to the right places. For example, there are some neighborhoods in your city you probably will never go to, or won’t go to at night. There is a reason for that. The same applies in Mexico.
Here’s the other thing: violence in Mexico makes a good news story, so that’s all we hear about. When’s the last time you read, “Nothing happened in Mexico today, except La Ticla was firing and offshore until dark and beer was consumed.” Not gonna happen, so put it in perspective…
Doing foolish things attracts attention and increases risk. Like anywhere else in the world, you make yourself a target, which is unsafe. But the same applies if you did that at home. Normal behavior is the key.
Here’s a final word of advice: if you think you will travel in fear, stay home. The experience won’t be positive and you will miss so much of the culture and camaraderie that Mexico has to offer.
Now go charge those first class waves, enjoy the food, and meet new local friends…
Long time Spyder Surf friend Scott Valor is the author of "The Surfer's Guide to Mainland Mexico". He will be blogging from Veracruz, Mexico from September 1-9. Look for his updates here and check out other surf info and photos on BurningPier.com, Scott's global surf travel blog.