Surf Report: Puerto Rico 2011

marias sunset

Ahhh... where to begin?

Northwestern Puerto Rico is a place where you can find good surf everyday from October thru April, and I would venture to bet that you can find at least a longboardable wave somewhere, on any given day, year-round.

During my stay, I was fortunate enough to surf Rincón's local breaks and a bunch of the spots further north in Aguadilla and Isabela. In general, it is usually a foot or two (or more) bigger up north so these places were great to know about when it was small in Rincón. The key is to get on them early, before the wind.

All Fixed

Back in action. Thanks Tony!

At each new place I would read up on the break as much as possible, watch for a while and ask someone if there were any major hazards and best way in and out. People were friendly and helpful.

Of course, it was on a small day at Maria's that I broke the fin box on my longboard. Luckily, Bobby from Mar Azul Surf Shop hooked me up with a new fin box and Tony from Rapid Ding Repair. Tony had my board fixed in 3 days as promised and did a beautiful job.

Depending on what spots you are at, the crowds can be slightly unnerving, especially upon first arrival. There are so many amazing surfers here; everything is faster; waves are more powerful and people take off deep.

All that said, it's actually surprisingly easy to get a less crowded session in if you go super early because locals think it is cold and other people just sleep late.

empty morning surf

Speaking of early morning sessions, next time I will bring a micro wetsuit or a seriously awesome vest or rashguard because the locals are right. Before the sun rises up over the hills, it can actually be QUITE chilly, especially if it is breezy.

Two days before leaving, I was blessed to see the "big wave spot", Trés Palmas, going off. Though everyone was saying that it was not nearly as big as it can get (this spot can hold 40 foot faces), it was still a treat. And it still looked pretty big to me. Trés had not truly been "on" since Dec 25th. I witnessed many people emerging from the beast with bloody feet and missing fins. A calmer day spent snorkeling will reveal that what lies beneath the ocean's surface here is as gnarly as it is beautiful.

happy lil family
There were so many cool people that I met while I was there. Some folks just learning to surf and others with skills that I only dream of attaining one day. The fact that I allowed myself to bond with people (and their pets!) made it all the more difficult to say goodbye. I suppose that is part of being a silly human.

Surfrider, Rincón

I can see myself coming back for a couple of months next year if life allows. In the meantime, the homecoming swell we got on Saturday makes being home a little bit sweeter. Not gonna lie though - that first duckdive HURT.

just do it


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