Friday,7 Jun 2013


Justin Henderson is responsible for most of the the text on this site. Justin is an established writer, having published six novels as well as many non-fictions and travel guides. When he’s not writing, he’s usually riding waves on a surfboard or a paddleboard in Sayulita or Punta de Mita.


SURF’S UP!!!!!

Check out the photos, folks. As they say in Surfalita, surf’s up. Way up!

I saw it labelled The New Zealand Swell somewhere on the internet a day or so ago, before it got here, so I’m now taking the liberty of calling this epic south swell the New Zealand Express. I guess that’s where the storm that’s pumping it our way got going, a few days back. My friend Risa, who knows from waves, has serious surfer buds who’ve committed to flying down from CA to hit some Mexican secret spots just for this swell.

And then there are the other friends, who decided to tackle the swell head on by driving for two days from Sayulita to Rio Nexpa, a few hundred miles south, and get it before it got here. They got, between them, a broken board and waves so big they turned around and headed back home.

We could call it a freight train just as easily as a swell or an express. After a couple of days of anticipation, anxiety, excitement, enticement, the biggest swell of the year bombed into Sayulita Thursday morning, June 6, and by mid-afternoon was producing waves big enough to shake the sands, to waken the dead, to blow all but the best and craziest and stupidest surfers out of the water.

I paddled out at the left in town around 5 pm, and after twice paddling as fast I could for the horizon, to just barely get over the top of the biggest wave I ever saw in Sayulita (well, there was a swell in August 2011 about as big), I caught my breath, sat for a while, and then caught one, two, three medium sized waves, and then scampered back in. Wasted, exhausted, exhilarated. This is what surfers live for, the challenge of riding waves of consequence, and this week, here it is. The challenge. Get out there and test yourself.

This Thursday morning the front edge of the swell hit in Bahia Banderas and on the north side, the southwest wind that came with the storm made a mean and gnarly mess of Burros and La Lancha, our two fave spots over there. But Anclote, home of the happy wave, the mellow wave, the easy, take-a-lesson wave, was simply kicking butt. I paddled out into a small crowd, a mix of stand-up paddlers and longboarders and shortboarders, the usual Anclote mix, and in a couple of hours had scored a dozen mind-boggling waves, 200, 300 yard 8-foot bombs that seemed never to end until you ran into a jetty…just kidding, but seriously, when you surf past not only the first jetty but the second jetty at Anclote, before pulling out of your wave, you know you’ve been worked.

More for tomorrow and another day or two. The surf is up, the surfers are wired and happy, and all over town, those who are not connected to the surfing community in some way or other are scratching their heads and wondering why all these people are walking, driving, or stumbling (from sheer exhaustion) around town with dazed grins on their faces and faraway looks in their eyes. Surf’s up, people!!