Mexican Powder Keg - Part II: 'Like a Reverse Mini Skeleton Bay!'

Matt Rode

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Updated 14d ago

While everyone was heading right, MSW's Matt Rode, Raquel Heckert, Tyler Reid and photographer Sarah Lee turned left during Mexico's biggest south swell of the season so far. They uncovered this remote slab, dubbed it the Mexican Powder Keg and pitched up for a few days while the likes of Puerto Escondido were bombing. Read part I HERE.

We’ve been chasing our tails for the past three days, ever since we decided the banks at Puerto were too straight and decided to bail for the points. When surfing the points in this area, you are either in sync, or you aren’t—and when you aren’t, it can be tricky to reset. There are just so many options, and the sand is good everywhere right now, which makes it even harder to decide where to go. It’s a matter of deciphering the tide, wind, and crowd factors—and a 21-second interval doesn’t make things any easier.

Two mornings ago, point A was firing, but we were checking point B from a boat. That afternoon, we surfed point A, but the wind came up. Meanwhile, we got a report that the sand at point C was all-time. We went there the next day, and found 75 other people with the same idea, but we were all a bit disappointed by the size. At the same time, Timmy Reyes was scoring the wave of the day at point D. And at the same time, reports were filtering out that point A was pumping again.

MSW's Matt fully locked in - when they eventually scored.

MSW's Matt fully locked in - when they eventually scored.

© 2021 - Sarah Lee

Starting to get the picture? There are more than a dozen points within 60 miles of each other, and they are all world class on their day. The problem is making sure you are in the right place at the right time—and sometimes the right time only lasts for a few hours.

Look how this thing feeds itself.

Look how this thing feeds itself.

© 2021 - Sarah Lee

Playing catch-up is pretty common in this region, but even when you are a bit out of sync, you are still having fun. The setups here are just too good not to stay stoked, even if the wind and the tide aren’t exactly perfect, or you find yourself in a lineup with 60 other people. You’re still linking turns, racing sections, and getting tubed. We’ve made barrels every day for the past nine days, which just goes to show how good it is down here. We might not be perfectly in the groove this week, but we still don’t have much to complain about.

Raquel Heckert's in there.

Raquel Heckert's in there.

© 2021 - Sarah Lee

Imagine this reeling off next to you?

Imagine this reeling off next to you?

© 2021 - Sarah Lee

Not having much to complain about was the theme of this weekend’s swell—the biggest in a couple of years—when half of the talent in the area showed up to a certain sand bar expecting a right-hand version of Skeleton Bay.

Nick Suhadolnick resetting for the next section.

Nick Suhadolnick resetting for the next section.

© 2021 - Sarah Lee

The bank is perfect right now, and if Namibia were ever going to come to southern Mexico, this was the time for it to happen. Zeke Lau, Tyler Warren, Luke Davis, Billy Kemper, the Florence brothers, and all of their respective entourages were posted up and waiting all day, but for some reason it never really turned on.

Tyler Reid.

Tyler Reid.

© 2021 - Sarah Lee

The sand was there, with head-high grinders going below sea level through the money section, but head-high grinders don’t an all-time session make—especially when the wave has an easy roll-in and a shitload of frothy surf campers battling for scraps up top.

The walk back up the point isn't as harsh as Skeleton Bay, but it still takes time.

The walk back up the point isn't as harsh as Skeleton Bay, but it still takes time.

© 2021 - Sarah Lee

There was a decent amount of disappointment on the beach throughout the day, but ultimately every one got over it. It’s hard to stay bummed when you are looking at a hollow, 200-yard-long point break, even if it’s only half as big as you were hoping. Eventually you paddle out and snag a few from the crowd, and get reminded that there are a lot worse things than being a little bit out of sync.

Tyler Warren, and as you can see, this wave sets itself up again with a wedgey section.

Tyler Warren, and as you can see, this wave sets itself up again with a wedgey section.

© 2021 - Sarah Lee

Kale Cadam.

Kale Cadam.

© 2021 - Sarah Lee

Tyler Reid.

Tyler Reid.

© 2021 - Sarah Lee

Nate Florence!

Nate Florence!

© 2021 - Sarah Lee