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by Ed Temperley on Tuesday 21st August, 2012 410942 Views
1 of 30
AROUND about head-high Puerto Escondido is a punchy A-frame beachbreak, some waves close-out and others hold open. At the south end lies La Punta, a warm-hearted mellow left popular with kids and older longboarding types.
Then a big south swell hits and something outrageous occurs. Puerto's Mr Hyde emerges: a savage, ferocious, untamable, infinitely beautiful and unknowable thing. Incredibly it's done this twice in the past two weeks. Banzai!
"We'd seen the forecast a week out and we knew what was coming" Said photog Noam Eshel "We hoped for two days of huge perfect waves and Wednesday dawned a beautiful clear morning, clean conditions but super-crowded in the water. The standout surfer (on both days) was Will Dillon, defiantly a giant killer. He took the biggest waves, demonstrating nothing but coolness and flow."
Coco Nogales is another name you'll always see dicing it out when the waves head past comfortable. "Both swells were good, very challenging." He said "Theese swells came with a lot of water, the first one was thicker, but not as big as this one. At some points it got really heavy."
"This swell was nice because it was clean on the first day and I got better waves. It was very special for me, but then every swell is special here, it's always challenging. I'm from Puerto and I have a lot of respect for this wave. You have to be in the right spot at the right time, but you also need luck." © 2013 Noam Eshel
This is what we mean, Will Dillion surfing this overgrown lump of juice like he's tucking into a two-footer.
"This was a really big swell. To be and with the grace of God, he created a perfect day for me." Said Will "The brilliance of one is of the many, and we try here every day. On this day it all came together perfectly. How lucky. Probably the luck of the Irish..."
N.B Will's father is Scottish/Irish. © 2013 Noam Eshel
Not be be out-done, Coco Nogales on the peak. Coco arrived here as a kid determined to surf and has never left.
"This swell was the best swell of the year so far, bigger than the one we had before and a little bit cleaner. But there were still some dangerous moments; the current was very powerful and it was very hard to get into the wave. The swell had a lot of energy and the waves were really square, but still, I had long sessions and I got some very good waves."
"Its always special here, every time we get a swell it's very exciting. You are putting yourself on the line but I'm just happy to surf these big waves with a lot of guys from all over the world. It's good to have high level surfers with you on the lineup."
"I've surfed for 24 years here in Puerto, since I was 12, and you always learning here. I've been getting big waves all my life but I have big respect for this wave, it's gnarly! One of the best big waves in the world for me, you never know what you going to get out here." © 2013 Noam Eshel
Oahu's Kohl Christensen is one guy always seemingly bouncing between Hawaii and North and South America, so it's surprising to discover he'd never charged Puerto in anger before.
"He was surfing like he was here forever." Said Coco. © 2013 Noam Eshel
Kohl also brought a willingness to share his heavy water experience.
"He let me borrow his board and I caught my best wave of the swell." Said Coco "To tell the truth, through the first days of the swell it was good on my board but on the second day (Thursday), the swell it was so gnarly I didn't have a big enough board. I was riding an 8'4, and people were riding 9'4 - 9'6. It was also too thin, just not the right board, and later at that day he told me I could borrow his board. On Friday I ended up getting probably the best barrel of the day, it's a sick board."
Having the right board here it makes the difference. I ride Jeff 'Doc' Lausch boards and want to work on some future shapes for big wave boards with him. © 2013 Noam Eshel
"Puerto is a paradise man, Puerto is insane. The best place, and everybody is welcome here, bring your good vibes, have fun, and get some good waves." Enthuses Coco.
"It's not only about the waves here, we also have good beer and hot girls… Mexican style." © 2013 Noam Eshel
"There weren't a lot of wipeouts on the first day of the swell." Said Noam "This one pictured was for sure the most horrible of the day. Maybe the level of surfers was ultra high, or perhaps the steep peaky drops gave pause for a seconds thought if they knew it wasn't on." © 2013 Noam Eshel
It might have been big but there were a lot of takers early doors. © 2013 Noam Eshel
Alvaro Malpartida on a throaty left. © 2013 Noam Eshel
Jensen Hassett makes the impossible all the time. "He dug his rail on the drop but somehow managed to get out of it." Said Noam ", You could hear the roar at the beach when he almost fell, which, in a fraction of a second changed to "ahhhhhwwwoooooo" of relief." © 2013 Noam Eshel
Babby Quinones exiting a massive pit in front of one of the newly restored lifeguard huts. Some of these huts were restored thanks to the Salvemos Puerto campaign in the wake of the destruction of Hurricane Carlotta on Friday 15th June, 2012. © 2013 Noam Eshel
Nate Florence, brother of JJ Florence shares the same casual approach to hectic situations as his brother. © 2013 Noam Eshel
The wind story at Puerto is generally reliable, following the classic convection routine of calm/offshore conditions in the morning with the land warming and creating on onshore breeze by midday. The evening can follow the opposite routine and create a golden hour or two before dusk.
On Wednesday the wind failed to perform this trick which was right at the peak of the swell. The upshot was a lot of bummed surfers seeking solace in cold ones, hoping, chatting and speculating on what was to come the following day. © 2013 Noam Eshel
Gabriel Villaran getting spat out of a beef cake. © 2013 Noam Eshel
Ricky Whitlock, elevator drop to hoping you can set a rail. © 2013 Noam Eshel
Will Dillon has a serious set hanging between his legs. © 2013 Noam Eshel
Eye to eye. © 2013 Noam Eshel
Another peak rolls through untamed. © 2013 Noam Eshel
One reason why the lifeguards need the elevation... © 2013 Noam Eshel
The ferocity of that wave hitting the sand has to be experienced. © 2013 Noam Eshel
A good reason to not get caught on the paddle out. © 2013 Noam Eshel
An other potentially perfect moment. © 2013 Noam Eshel
Doing a reasonable impression of Mavericks for Spencer Pirdy. © 2013 Noam Eshel
Ale Moreda, from Puerto Rico tees up a monster. © 2013 Noam Eshel
Empty Mexican thunder. © 2013 Noam Eshel
Looking down towards the harbour, probably best to leave the boat there today. © 2013 Noam Eshel
A final evening gasp. © 2013 Noam Eshel
A good illustration of how weird it can get out there. © 2013 Noam Eshel
No takers? It's pitch black in there. © 2013 Noam Eshel
They call it Mexpipe and it's easy to see why, not a lot of spots can stand up to that oft repeated comparison. © 2013 Noam Eshel
410942 Visits -
The third day at the End of the Road spanned the paddle tow divide with inevitable consequences.
A reality check from the reef at Teahupoo, teeth-to-the-reef horror and jail-breaking Tahitian hospitals
A few nice waves in the Mentawai, especially at Lances Left
Day two commenced with disaster and ended in triumph at The End of The Road.
Adventures in the mysterious continent.
Ex-Teahupoo swell will provide power across the South Pacific especially South Shore of Hawaii.
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