Spyder Surf Blog / tropical

World Class Surf at the Top of the Chain

This spot is easily seen from the road and access is a piece of cake.  It is across a bay from a famous, world class right hand reef .

[caption id="attachment_238" align="aligncenter" width="960"]Big Wave at the Top of the Chain photo by Mike Aronesty for BurningPier.com Bigger than you think. Less crowded than you'd think it should be...[/caption]

Unlike that spot, it might have only 5-10 people out instead of 30-50.  It is heavier than it looks (and bigger).  The wind is not always friendly to it (but this day sure was on).  This spot is called...(haha go find out and surf it for yourself).

[caption id="attachment_239" align="aligncenter" width="960"]Big Surf Top of the Chain by Mike Aronesty for BurningPier.com Known primarily as a left, this day shows you can also go right...[/caption]

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Photos by Mike Aronesty.  For more information on this spot and others nearby, check out BurningPier.com .

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Kauai Surf Out of the Ordinary - Knowing "When" to Go is What Matters...

Kauai, the Garden Island, home to surfing gems such as Hanalei Bay, has its share of lesser-known breaks that are equally fun.  We're not talking "secret spots" here.  We're talking about those breaks that are clearly marked on all the tourist road maps.  The problem is not WHERE to go, but knowing WHEN to go.  And that's something you'll have to learn for yourself.  It's well worth the exploration, so go and score!

[caption id="attachment_228" align="aligncenter" width="960"]Kauai 5 for Spyder.com by BurningPier.com Looks fun and playful, but the signs are there for a reason. As the Hawaii lifeguards say, "If in doubt, don't go out!"[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_229" align="aligncenter" width="960"]Kauai 1 for Spyder.com by BurningPier.com This long stretch of beach is great for hanging out, fishing, four-wheeling, and of course surfing...[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_230" align="aligncenter" width="960"]Kauai 4 for Spyder.com by BurningPier.com The ancient lava peaks give this spot a Jurassic Park sort of backdrop[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_231" align="aligncenter" width="960"]Kauai 2 for Spyder.com by BurningPier.com Known in the winter for massive peaks, heavy rips, and big currents, you can catch fun days like this if you know the right swell and direction. But this one is still bigger than you think...[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_232" align="aligncenter" width="960"]Kauai 3 for Spyder.com by BurningPier.com Check the person at the bottom right for a little scale. That's about an eight-foot face on a fast left hander. Water is 75 and no one is out...[/caption]

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Check out more Kauai and other Hawai'ian Island surf shots at BurningPier.com

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Mainland Mexico Can Be Fun, Not Always Heavy...

"Mainland Mex" conjures up images of heaving barrels at Puerto Escondido, "unnamed heavy beach breaks" (aka Pascuales), broken boards, and long hold downs.  But is it really always that heavy?  Not at all!  Take a look at this photo--doesn't it look fun?

La Ticla, MX Surf Photo by Scott Valor

That's because it is.  This is La Ticla, located in the state of Michoacan in Mainland Mexico.  It's a lot like Trestles with nobody out.  This guy is #2 in the water and it's already 8 a.m.!  You and he are staring at a chest-high offshore a-frame which is as fun to surf as it looks.  Here's another:

La Ticla Right Closeup Photo by Scott Valor

La Ticla is easy to find, easy to surf (most of the time), and the water is warm.  Try 82 in December.  No need to be afraid of Mainland Mexico.  It just depends on where you go!  And if you're lucky, you can end up like this guy, because believe me if he can pull in, so can you...

SV La Ticla Veranda wave

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Scott Valor is a longtime friend of Spyder Surf and has logged over 2 1/2 years down in Mainland Mex over the last 23 years.  You can see more La Ticla and other fun surf spots at his website, BurningPier.com .

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Veracruz Surf - Yes There Are Waves on Mexico's East Coast

[caption id="attachment_140" align="alignnone" width="1063" caption="Empty Lineup. No one surfs here. Laguna Sontecomapan, Veracruz, MX"]Sontecomapan Surf Veracruz photo by Scott Valor[/caption]

This should just tease you, because it's not a surf destination.  But take a close look.  What you see is a rivermouth beach break on a typical small afternoon.  There is no one out and that is chest-high windswell on the sets.  And the water is 80 degrees.

Now, if you are from the South Bay like me, you should be frothing.  Why?  Not just because there is familiar surf in a tropical setting, but here you will also find fishing, kayaking, SUP on the lagoon, bird watching, and excellent food.  One thing Veracruz has going for it is its superior salsas and sauces.  And music.  Ritmo ritmo ritmo como Cuba!

This is Laguna Sontecomapan.  The area is only accessible by boat.  Windswell and hurricane swell produce ridable waves all year.

It's not a secret spot, but no one knows about it...yet.

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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.

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Safe Travel and Surf Are Waiting For You In Mexico. Go!

Rio Nexpa Surf photo by Scott Valor

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…

Trafico en Mexico photo by Scott Valor_______________________________________

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.

 

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Spyder Surf is Going to Mexico!

Spyder Surf is headed to Veracruz, Mexico for the first-ever "Adventure Travel Mexico" Trade Show and Conference, September 1-9.  Stay tuned for updates, photos, and surf facts from south of the border...

La Ticla, Michoacan, MX

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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.

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