Birthday Boat Trip with Thomas + Chris
Thomas setting up to detonate.

Thomas setting up to detonate.

Traveling solo has its merits. You surf what, when and where you want. Same goes for eating, sleeping and everything else. And while I like to fancy myself capable of long stretches of solitude, surfing with other people brings a whole new joie d’vivre to wave hunting.

Especially good people. Like the kind I linked up with at Mizata Point Resort.

The new entrance to the point. Thanks to @MizataPointResort

The new entrance to the point. Thanks to @MizataPointResort

Thomas and Chris were on a search. Looking for something different. Something that I may ruin by writing about. But, hey, we all have a calling and writing is mine.

Thomas was having a birthday. Early thirties. What an excellent time for a surf trip, don’t you think?

Because let’s be honest, life is short and prime shred years don’t last forever.

What I found to be so cool about these two friends was their top choice for—and I hate this word—“activities” to celebrate the occasion was a rigorous five-hour boat trip to surf in remote El Salvador.

Healthy lifestylin’ isn’t on everyone’s list for adding another ring to the tree stump. I, myself, have been known to commemorate by putting my liver through high intensity interval training. This was not that.

We agreed to depart at 6:00 am.  Which actually meant waking up (for me) at 4:30 to stretch and pack camera gear, my surfboard and essentials for a day in the sun.

Coffee was ready at 5:00 am, per usual, along with homemade banana bread and accouterments.

Eric, our guide, showed up to help carry extra supplies and lead us to the boat launch. Oh, did I say “boat launch”? Because, actually, that would be boring. This was a full-on roll-the-boat-down-to-the-water’s-edge-as-a-wave-goes-out, hop-in-and-gun-it-out-of-there-before-a-set-rolls-in boat launch. Not your average commuting.

Our boatman doing boatman things.

Our boatman doing boatman things.

From there we glided across offshore textured ocean with a modest mid-period swell (13s) undulating beneath the hull.

I could’ve written flowery language to describe the view. Instead, look at this:


So, yeah, we had a pretty sweet ride there. When we arrived at the drop zone, we made final preparations before diving in.

If you’ve never approached a wave from the backside, you must experience it. Trust me on that. If you are experienced, then you already know.

As we paddled towards the sand rivermouth break, set waves rolled under our boards and conjured visions of what could potentially lie ahead.

May I mention we were the only ones out surfing? Or is that too rude?

If you knew Thomas, you’d know of his generous contributions to the world, of which there are many—Surfrider 2017 Wave Maker of the Year to name one—and now that you know that, I hope you’ll agree he’s well-deserving of such luck, especially on his birthday and all.

How did I stumble into such good fortune? Let’s say I’m on a payment plan.

We scored. I got good pictures from the water, which is always a crap shoot (scroll through above). If I’d shot photos from land (which the boat could easily drop a photographer to do), I’d have captured better ripping moments. But images from the water have more soul in my opinion. At least that’s what I tell myself after swimming for two hours with no rest. Did I mention the current?

Yes, there’s a current here. It actually pulls to the beach, but it’s not too bad. I’ve surfed a similar spot in Northern Nicaragua (guess in the comments below!). The fact is: if you want to surf sand rivermouths, then a little uphill battle is table stakes. But hitting jackpot is always worth it. Did I mention the wave peels both left and right—and that the left might be better option?

Oh hello, goofy footers, do I have your attention now?

El Salvador has lefts too—contrary to noob belief.

El Salvador has lefts too—contrary to noob belief.

But seriously, it’s fun both directions.

I’m super grateful Thomas and Chris invited me on their birthday boat trip, which I’d gladly shell out my own sheckles to do again. The vistas were excellent. The service was mindful. The wave is super playful.

Plus, there’s absolutely no way I would’ve had as much fun surfing there alone.

Big thank you to Eric, our surf guide (he’s also a local photographer, check out erickgomez_mztphoto on Instagram) and Josh at Mizata Point Resort for setting it up and taking care of us throughout. (Check out MizataPointResort on Instagram).

Thomas and Chris eager for another crack.

Thomas and Chris eager for another crack.

Photos and words by Ross Cauvel

Photos and words by Ross Cauvel

Follow Mizata Point Resort on Instagram for their latest news and visions. Their website and contact is easy to find from there.

Follow Thomas Paterek on Instagram because he does nice things and makes cool stuff.