What’s your perfect surf trip? Good waves go without saying, and a lot of us, if we travel far, are looking for empty breaks.
I tend to meticulously plan my routes. Using my local knowledge and resources online, I tailor the route to the breaks that I expect to pick up the swell the best. But I’ve followed my plans so closely, it’s to a fault.
Two years ago, my friend Chris and I planned a Baja mission past San Quintin. There was some south on the way, and a northwest to follow as the weekend progressed. We researched all the spots that we would check along the way. The truck was laden with beer, boards, and water and we were in high spirits. The morning we crossed the border, we saw rifling lines at La Fonda from the road, and we we’re soaring. Our thinking was that it could only get better the farther we went south. Two days and a lot of driving later, we didn’t see good waves again until we had returned to K-38.
We were so stoked on going “deeper” into Baja that we blinded ourselves to what was given to us that first day. Other memorable adventures ensued in that pursuit, but in hindsight we wished we stopped at La Fonda and posted up. No regrets, but it was pumping.
We are challenged with opportunities each day of whether to keep striving for something better or realize a good thing when you have it. Surfing, and my friend Chris, have taught me to relax, go with the flow, and don’t stress the details. The whole point is to get away from the grind and have fun. But bigger waves at better breaks, deeper in Baja, are always calling.
My most recent excursion to Baja was a much pleasanter and relaxing experience overall, despite a couple debacles. We left Santa Barbara at noon on Easter weekend, and spent hours in LA traffic. We had already lost the longboards to a strapping malfunction earlier, and they were damaged, but not beyond the help of duck tape.
The plan was to push to Baja and camp somewhere along the coast north of Ensenada, but with sunset approaching, all we wanted to do was catch a couple waves. We pulled off at Trestles and scored clean shoulder-high waves to ourselves for over an hour. The first, and maybe the last, time I’ve surfed there with hardly anyone out.
Part of me wanted to push on to Baja to get there, but I remembered that one of the most enjoyable aspects of a surf trip is how the course can change, often for the better. Recognizing those changes and following them is something I’ve slowly learned, despite years of stubbornness. The decision to stay at Trestles for the night put us on the right path for the rest of the weekend. Had we not stopped, we would’ve carried our frustration into finding a camp at night; instead we were relaxed, refreshed and ready to charge across the border early the next morning.
Two days later, I locked my keys in my car—we knew the boards weren’t the last debacle, but I was thinking a flat tire was next…After nearly two hours of finagling, we got inside. But not before I had enlisted the help some fellow surfers at the beach. We met a rad couple down for the weekend from Huntington, and we hit it off sharing waves and hanging out at the break over cans of Tecate. It was great to make friends who were just as enthusiastic as we were to surf and take missions to Baja. You never know when the events of the trip will take or who you’ll meet because of it.
Go with the flow.