I’ll crank out one more post and tell you about my surf experiences here in Mexico from the beginning…
For our wedding anniversary (Last weekend in February) Dawn and I take turns and trade off planning something. This was Dawn’s year and she took us to Sayulita for surf lessons. We walked the beach and ended up going with Patricia’s Surf School.
Surf lessons are composed of two phases. A brief dry-land training and then in water practice and instruction. The dry-land training consists of some do’s and don'ts and general orientation information. Then the art of learning to “pop-up” from a paddling position to your surf stance. Once we all mastered this (there was one other couple). We took our boards down to the water where we were going to re-learn to do the same in the water.
The great thing about a lesson is the instructor will position you properly on the wave and give you a push to help you catch the waves for as long as you need it until you master popping-up. This is worth every penny because the more tries you need the more tired you’re going to get and the less you will be able to paddle to try and do this yourself. So if you’re new to surfing DEFINITELY take a lesson! After about 3 waves I was done with being pushed and was paddling in on my own. Lots of failed attempts and the instructor was still there to give me tips on my positioning on the board, pointing out if I was popping or crawling to my surf stance. It always felt like a pop to me, but I guess not. Anyway, we had a great day and I was hooked!
On March 13th during the morning VHF net in La Cruz, sv Convivia had a 9’6” Murphy Shapes longboard by Pacific SurfGlass to give away which was exactly what I needed! I did a little bit of repair to it to try and seal the rails and a week or so later we went up to Punta de Mita to try it out.
There are several surf spots around what is commonly called Punta de Mita. The one I am going to is actually called Anclote. It is directly ashore form the anchorage. I mention this because the proper Punta de Mita surf spot is actually out and around the point from the anchorage and Punta de Mita the hotel area.
From the anchorage I paddled in to the surf lineup (about 200 yards) and did ok catching a couple of waves. Bill on sv Pegasus (AKA Mister Surf) was kind enough to give me tips and I basically followed him around and tried to copy what he was doing. That helped me a lot, but he is a lifelong surfer and I was a newb so I was still a little discouraged at times. After about 2 weeks and a couple of days of 4-6 foot high swells (which make it easier) I was doing better and the bigger waves had me even more hooked. I was even starting to get picky!
That was about a month ago, and between now and then we had gone back to La Cruz for some parties and to start the paperwork for our FM3 Visas (more on that later). But now we’re back at Punta de Mita and I’ve been back in the water at Anclote for almost a week.
The surf this week has not been as big or as consistent as it was, but it’s decent. I am trying to copy what the locals are doing. I’m paddling around more trying to catch the wave in the right spot which ultimately is easier on the arms but harder to do right so I’m missing more waves but getting better even as I do it. But I catch my fair share of waves and that is the fun of it! Surfing is like hockey was for me in that its something physical I can do where I can learn and see myself improve over time. Two of my favorite things: Learning! Improving!
So what about this board? Well, its an old beat up board. It has sections where the fiberglass skin is delaminated on the deck and a big 2 foot long section rail to rail where it was previously repaired and a lot of other rail repairs as well. Two days ago I noticed some water weeping out from the inside of the board through cracks in the board. I was taking on water which is the first step to the death of a surfboard if its not just broken by a wave on a rock. I took the board to Mictlan Surf here in Punta de Mita. Tzahui Poo (pics of Tzahui surfing), the owner, is also a shaper (i.e., makes boards) and does repairs. I’ve not yet spoken with him directly, but one of the guys who works there thinks it will be a better deal just to buy a used board. Not to mention it will probably take a week to do the repair because you have to let the board dry out. Yikes a week out of the surf! The extra water weight in the board isn’t helping things either as I’m paddling around out there.
So that’s where we stand today. I am hoping to talk to Tzahui tomorrow and we’re also going to jump on the bus and go on a board hunt to see what else is available in the area. Not sure what I’ll end up doing yet. I will keep you posted!