June 16, 2020 9:48 pm

[page_title]

[post_date]

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to LIVE in CABO and have these amazing surf breaks as your back yard? Here's a quick Q&A with some of these lucky local surfers that actually get to do it:

Carolina Festugato

Carolina Festugato

Where are you originally from?
Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.

Do you remember your first Baja wave and/or your first surf session in Baja?
I don’t have a vivid memory of my very first wave in Baja, but I recall getting in the water for the first time and learning to surf in El Tule. It was around 2013, one year after I’d moved here with my family. My dad bought me my first surfboard, the Costco Wavestorm! He would push me on waves, my brother would offer helpful tips and encouragement, my sister would scream and tell me to paddle harder and faster and my mum would sit on the beach and watch and take pictures. I hung onto the Wavestorm for a few years before trying a real longboard, and I still use it every now and again for bigger days. It makes me less worried and more reckless!

What’s your favorite southern Baja break?
I longboard, so I would say on the Sea of Cortez it’s 9 Palms - it’s the perfect longboard wave. It has a spacious line up, usually peels uninterrupted and can also hold bigger swells. And on the Pacific side, San Pedrito. Although it’s not the most friendly longboarding spot, there is something magical about that beach and the incredibly glassy waves. I love everything about surfing and road tripping there. I still have quite a few unexplored spots on both seas though.

Can you share your favorite Baja surf story?
Probably the day I surfed for an Athleta Clothing Campaign with Cabo Production Agency in the middle of a hurricane. I woke up on the day of the shoot at 5:30 am with a call from my manager. It was a weird, dirty, dark day, it had rained all night, and I was meant to be at Acapulquito at 5:30 am, but my alarm didn’t go off. I thought it was going to be called-off due to the rain, so I rushed my way to Old Man’s with a borrowed S.O.S log, and as soon as I arrived we started shooting our way down to the beach. The whole shore was filled with rubbish that the arroyos had brought down from the rain; the water was filthy brown and choppy and cold, and I spotted some big, lonely 6ft waves. No one was surfing and it was not picturesque. After some shore-walking shots, we got ready to shoot the surf action. It was all a big mess, the photographer thought he would be able to swim along with me and get some in-water shots, but he had no experience with waves, let alone a hurricane swell; then I ended up getting dragged in the far distance... but managed to get back to the line up- which was still so far out that I couldn’t see the crew on the beach, so I never knew if I should keep surfing or paddle in. It took me a while but I eventually managed to catch a few waves, and they luckily got the shots they needed. They turned out to be some of the biggest waves I’d ever surfed. I remember dropping in on these mountainous, turbulent, dazzling, fierce white waves and no one to share it with. It was all beautifully stressful and unforgettable!

Alex Navarro

Alex Navarro

Where are you originally from?
Mexico City.

Do you remember your first Baja wave and/or your first surf session in Baja?
My first wave or surf session in Baja, well, first of all my first session ever was in 1982 when I was ten years old I was very lucky, I went to Honolulu, Hawaii with my family and my dad rented a longboard for me. I went out in Honolulu beach where there was a very nice smooth wave. It was so fun! But then in Baja, when I was about to move to Cabo in 1998, I came here for some business scouting with my friends and we asked around about surfing and they told us about Acapulquito. We rented some boards from the local surf shop and the three of us went to Acapulquito and had a really fun time. I moved here a couple months later with all the gear for my adventure company, including many surfboards, and my surf life really began!

What’s your favorite southern Baja break?
I would have to say it’s between three spots. They are amazing! Of course Cerritos beach, it’s just such a fun wave. The waves are all over and you can catch lefts and rights. It’s awesome! I feel so good there. It’s a great place with great people. Of course also Acapulquito, as I mentioned, it’s where I caught my first waves here in Baja. I love that wave! Especially there is a left there that is great. And then there’s a very special spot which I call "my beach" because it’s about one kilometer away from my home and it’s called La Bocana or El Estero, it’s in the San José estuary. I love that wave because it feels very tropical and exotic. It’s a river mouth with beach break and left and right peaks. I love that wave because it is a very peaceful place to go for an early morning surf session.

Can you share your favorite Baja surf story?
For sure one of my most memorable and favorite Baja surf story is when I went camping to San Pedrito beach with my son Yuno when he was a little boy. I remember we used to sleep inside my Honda Element and I would make tea in the early cold morning. We liked walking on top of the big round stones that line the shore and go all the way to the mountain in the north side of the beach. I would go for a short surf session and then make a delicious breakfast for us. It was such a fun time. He is now 15 and we plan to do some camping and surfing when possible. So for me those are my favorite Baja surf stories, when I went camping and surfing with my son.

Saige Lehman

Saige Lehman

Where are you originally from?
San José del Cabo, Baja California Sur, México.

At what age did you start surfing?
I come from a family of surfers so by the age of five my dad was pushing me in to my first waves. However, I only started to make it my own passion at around the age of thirteen. That’s when I would walk to the beach and surf by myself or with friends. I haven’t stopped surfing since!

Do you remember your first wave?
I do not remember the exact wave, but I do remember many other great waves and sessions. For example, when I finally had the courage to paddle all the way out and catch a wave from the outside or when I decided to surf my first hurricane swell. These where big milestones when I first started surfing that I will always remember.

What’s your favorite southern Baja break?
Baja has a ton of fun waves, but being from San José del Cabo and growing up within walking distance to Costa Azul beach, I would have to say The Rock is my favorite as it just feels like home to me.

Can you share your favorite Baja surf story?
Recently, my fiancé and I took a surf trip beginning in San Diego and finishing in Cabo. We took our time, camping and surfing the whole drive down the Baja. We scored a few of the classic spots, but some of the most fun we had were on funky little waves we found all to ourselves. That’s what I love about Baja; you have the option of surfing good, but often crowded, waves or with a little bit of time and adventure you can still find some un crowded spots in what feels like the middle of nowhere.

Lance Niederhaus

Lance Niederhaus

​Where are you originally from?
Orange County, California.

Do you remember your first Baja wave and/or your first surf session in Baja?
It was in the late ‘80s in San Miguel in Ensenada. Back then it was like a 3 1/2 hour drive from Orange County. It was an incredible shape right hand reef break in freezing cold water. It was just a couple of buddies and me, there was nobody else there back then. I ate about 100 lobster tacos in Puerto Nuevo on the way home.

What’s your favorite southern Baja break?
Living here we are so lucky to have so many different waves in the area. I have a couple of favorite home break “go to” waves In Los Cabos that I surf five days out of seven in the season, but if I had to call one my very favorite wave in Southern Baja it would have to be third point at San Juanico. You have to hit that spot a bunch of times before you’ll get it firing. It has such a tight swell window. But once you have a session there in perfect conditions with the lower tide and typical afternoon offshores and you experience that 200 yard plus right hander with hollow and racetrack sections, you’ll make that 300 mile drive from Cabo again like it’s nothing.

Can you share your favorite Baja surf story?
Three of us were delivering the Chileno Bay yacht from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas and we brought boards along in case we found some waves. About two-thirds of the way down we turned the corner into Santa Maria Bay which is located just a little ways north of the entrance to Bahia Magdalena. It’s a good anchorage spot and there are a couple of quality surf breaks. It was almost dark as we anchored-up in about 50 feet of water just outside the break. The guys from the local surf camp were in the water getting a few fun waves before it got dark. After the long couple of days we have had on the water we had dinner and went to sleep. The next morning the waves were perfect and the surf camp was clearing out, so two of us jumped in and paddled over to the break. We traded long 4-6 foot right handers all morning until our arms were worn out. We were about 100 feet apart as we paddled back to the boat. About 50 yards from the boat this huge shark came up and boiled on me! The swirl in the water was more than 10 feet across. Being on a tiny 5’ 6” short board I was completely exposed. My friend said he saw the swirl and watched as I literally stood up and ran the last 50 yards to the boat! The shark didn’t come back up again. I’ll never forget that day.