Written by: Cole McCaffray


The southern end of Encinitas is exactly 36 miles from Mexico, somehow in that little distance, culture, priorities, safety and the waves change dramatically. Even traveling an hour from your home can teach you something, especially if you look close enough. As a 14-year-old surfer it has become clear to me that there are really great people who surf at almost every surf spot around the globe. Many will share bits of their time earned local knowledge if you are respectful enough. One of those people is my good friend Darrell Goodrum, he is one of the coolest guys in Encinitas and he absolutely shreds. I’m really grateful that he has taken me under his wing and is showing me around.

This was my second trip to Mexico so I was able to look around and enjoy it a little more, compared to the first time. Honestly with all of the stories you hear about cartels and Federales you kind of build it up in your head to be crazy. As with any place you go, it’s more relaxed the second time and you begin to really get to know the place. When you compare it to Southern California, it’s completely different. The waves are a lot like Hawaii, in the sense that if you take it for granted your going to get smashed.


Each day we would get to the spot in the dark all hyped up on coffee with the back of the truck loaded with boards and gear. Even though it was dark and we couldn’t see the waves, we could definitely hear them. So we’d drop the ski into the water while battling fat mosquitos. The anticipation of seeing the waves was real, finally it would get light enough to see the lines coming in. You have no idea of how big it’s going be, it’s like you’re nervous and excited at the same time.


After a certain size, step-offs are the way on these waves. Not because it was impossible to paddle, but instead of getting cleaned up by the biggest sets, you are actually riding them. Out there on the ski you’re not really picking your waves, the driver is local and is picking most of the waves and you just have to be ready to go when it’s time. All I was thinking was “don’t blow it”. But after a few bad smashing’s I figured it out and learned that you have to fade to the bottom of the wave a lot more than you think to put yourself in the right spot to get a good one. It’s not all perfect roll-ins though. The first time I tried doing step-offs (last trip) I got smoked. I couldn’t figure out how to get off the ski and by the time I did I was getting sucked over the falls and vaporized. A good beating will definitely teach you something.


Big thanks to the crew I was with down there, especially Darrell. Also, thanks for letting me drive the truck on the beach! As for this last trip, I’m just stoked on the waves we scored south of the border … it was f-ing epic!


Photos by @sacraficialamb