Mexico is right there. It doesn’t take any planning, all you need is a car, some cash for gas and time. The further south you can go, the warmer the water, the thinner the crowds and the cheaper the beer. Best of all, in Mexico, you’re allowed to drink your cheap beer in the car. Yeah, Mexico is a lawless place. That said, there is one rule everyone on a surf trip should follow: Know your fellow surf travelers well.
If you don’t know someone before you leave, you will get to know him or her on the trip. The other weekend, I went down to Mexico with my buddy Will, and we ignored this rule. Jess, Will’s new girlfriend, wanted “to spend quality time and shit, so she’s coming.” I would have stuck to the rule, but it was Will’s car, so concessions were made. Lots of concessions. It was either Jess or the long boards in the back of the car, and Will, not realizing that longboarding is better than sex, chose Jess.
I don’t normally stop in Tijuana; I like neither donkey sex nor crappy blankets. Jess pointed out that Tijuana has no drinking age and lots of bars. I pointed out that I am 21 and in no mood to go to Tijuana bars. It came to a vote and Will, being the whipped bastard that he is, voted with Jess. We got a $20 room, wrote the hotel’s address on our hands in permanent marker and headed out for the night. We ended up at a club called Safaris where there was a dance contest. A girl from USC won; she was good at getting naked.
The next morning, all of us were hungover and we continued south. We stopped at K38, a break 38 kilometers into Mexico. It was going off. K38 is a powerful reef break; long rights, big faces and fast waves. Waves so good I forgot I was hung over. We surfed for two hours, logging more good waves than I’d had in the previous two weeks. The waves were great, but K38 is hardly Mexico. From the water you can see the hotels of Rosarito, and by noon it was full of surfers from San Diego. We wanted authentic Baja. We headed south.
Somewhere past El Rosario we got lucky and stopped at a roadside shack for beer. The door was covered in surf stickers. Surf stickers mean waves.
Later, coming up over the last hill, the Baja coast spread out before us. The ocean looked like corduroy, rippling with swells. We had a quick surf in the last of the day’s light. The waves were epic, but even better, we found a lobster trap in the water. Two fat Mexican lobsters boiled up to dinner. Sitting around the fire with full stomachs as we watched the sunset atop our own private point break, “this,” I mused, “is what Baja is about.” Good surf and good food, with nothing but more of the same to look forward to. I was in bliss. Then Jess complained about “sand in her lobster.” Those four words started the fight that ended their relationship. Will, being drunk and poetic, yelled that he “can’t be with someone who finds sand in all life’s lobsters.” Jess yelled “I wanna go home,” a line she repeated for the next three days.