Mexpipe Madness

PUERTO Escondido has been rocked by a recent series of swells, commencing in late March and continuing all through April. Put simply it's been pumping and Lonnie Caruthers from RPM Surfer has been on the ground to capture it all. Zicatela Beach is where it all happens and if you're thinking of coming here bring a couple of spare boards.

Long-range south swells ... Classic Puerto conditions

Long-range south swells ... Classic Puerto conditions

© 2015 - msw

Long period south swell

As anywhere the surf here is seasonal, traditionally smaller during the dry season (November to April) then getting rapidly increasing in size during the rainy season which starts in early May. This change to big south swells is sudden, dramatic and appears to have arrived early this year.

Never tows, pure paddle power ... Will Dillon

Never tows, pure paddle power ... Will Dillon

© 2015 - Lonnie Caruthers/RPM Surfer

Stonking season ahead

Charging ... Will Dillon

Charging ... Will Dillon

© 2015 - Lonnie Caruthers/RPM Surfer

Will Dillon is a soul surfer and paddles some of the biggest waves here when no one else will even go out. Now a few will follow on a jet ski - but Will will be out there paddling into the same insane waves they're being towed into.

Be quick

Bring more than one board ... Unknown surfer

Bring more than one board ... Unknown surfer

© 2015 - Lonnie Caruthers/RPM Surfer

Zicatela is an unadulterated adrenaline rush with vertical drops and raw cylindrical power. This is only a sign of what's to come. Says Lonnie Caruthers. These swells have arrived bigger and earlier than normal and with any luck at all we'll have huge waves for Mexican Nationals due to be held here in May.

Bring your quiver

Viva Mexico ...  Angelo Lozano

Viva Mexico ... Angelo Lozano

© 2015 - Lonnie Caruthers/RPM Surfer

But bring some spare boards. This is his third broken surfboard of the morning, yep, three surfboards in on morning. But he still seems happy enough.

On fire - Angelo Lozano

Top big wave rider ... Coco Nogales

Top big wave rider ... Coco Nogales

© 2015 - Lonnie Caruthers/RPM Surfer

My neighbour and one of the hardest chargers around, Angelo Lozano. He's a Red Bull rider and the one to watch as he breaks new ground for Mexican surfers.

Coco Nogales

Setting up ... Unknown charger

Setting up ... Unknown charger

© 2015 - Lonnie Caruthers/RPM Surfer

Flying here is Coco Nogales, also from Red Bull, one of our first big wave riders.

Get involved

And slotted ... Unknown charger

And slotted ... Unknown charger

© 2015 - Lonnie Caruthers/RPM Surfer

We've had three nice swells already over the past four or five weeks with March 25 and 26th being the largest and best one so far.

Get rewarded

Glassy beauty ... Identity obscured

Glassy beauty ... Identity obscured

© 2015 - Lonnie Caruthers/RPM Surfer

This unknown was ripping all day.

One of many

Backside trails ... Golden

Backside trails ... Golden

© 2015 - Lonnie Caruthers/RPM Surfer

The sand is still not quite correct for the best waves but it's starting to form up nicely and the barrels are makeable, more so than most people think.

Golden moment

Late and commited Puerto style ... Local bodyboarder

Late and commited Puerto style ... Local bodyboarder

© 2015 - Lonnie Caruthers/RPM Surfer

Since I can no longer surf due to health issues, I find myself surfing along with the rider, following them with my mind, knowing what move should be coming - as they crank up the speed or hold on to the air drop. It's almost as good as surfing but nothing beats doing it for real.

Local knowledge

Another pro drops in for the day ... Shawn

Another pro drops in for the day ... Shawn

© 2015 - Lonnie Caruthers/RPM Surfer

I chose to start taking photos because all the other the photographers here were not taking photos of the kids. I wanted to fill that hole so the ones who ripped could see and share their photos. Now I work for numerous big surf companies but I still love taking pictures of the locals. They have this place nailed down.

Bottom turn

Commited, one of three ... Angelo Lozano

Commited, one of three ... Angelo Lozano

© 2015 - Lonnie Caruthers/RPM Surfer

I have only just met this guy, pro bodyboarder Shawn Pyne, he was tearing it up.

One of three

Hold on: two of three ... Angelo Lozano

Hold on: two of three ... Angelo Lozano

© 2015 - Lonnie Caruthers/RPM Surfer

Angelo Lozano again - this is a crazy closeout - does he make it?

Two of three

Woo hoo: three of three ... Angelo Lozano

Woo hoo: three of three ... Angelo Lozano

© 2015 - Lonnie Caruthers/RPM Surfer

Just look at his commitment to the drop, no bailing here.

Three of three - epic

He survived but it was a hairy to watch him hanging on - especially as that board has very little rocker - left us all out of breath.


Ed Temperley

MSW editor. Twitter @edtemperley