| Globe Trottin'|
Mexico #1 -- 11/92
Work had taken me to balmy San Diego where I was stuck through the beginning of December (1992). So, for the first time in my life, I had to spend Thanksgiving away from my mom's home cooking.
It wasn't all bad, though. I had just established a working relationship with Patti Serrano, publisher of Bodyboarder International Magazine. Patti graciously invited me on a photo shoot to Mexico with some of her hot Cali riders. Kewl!
We met up at dawn, in the parking lot of an infamous strip joint in San Diego. There already were two carloads of people, so I reluctantly had to drive my rental down south. Jumping in my car was this somewhat psycho guy I would later befriend named Robby "The Jaw" Crawford.
Was I concerned about going to Mexico? You bet your cooties! I didn't have the foggiest idea what to expect. Horror stories about Federales and Mexican prisons whirled through my mind.
Fortunately, the drive was quick and uneventful, as we blew through the border, over the highway and down to the beach. Walking on a cobblestone road between nice houses, we were greeted by... awesome waves! The beachbreak was firing on all cylinders, with glassy, dirty tubes spitting in the morning haze. We were on it!
We hobbled down the broken staircase and hightailed over the black sand, literally throwing on our wetsuits in the process. Newbie photog Mike Nowak set up shop down the beach to capture all the action.
I had recently gotten sponsored by Custom X bodyboards, of which the majority of the crew were sponsored. Don't think this was a small issue, as I, the lone Hawaiian, felt my every move scrutinized. To make things more difficult for me, I was on a borrowed board, with no leash. "Ahhh, just go out and have fun," I secretly told myself.
The surf was a bit intimidating for me (back then), but I made the most of it. Takeoffs were difficult in the bowling beachbreak and the fullsuit didn't help. However, Robby helped me along with his incessant jawing and charging.
The most impressive rider in my mind was Brian Press. When I first met him, I didn't know what to make of him. He honestly looked like... a troll! Come to find out he's one of the nicest guys around.
His riding skills were exceptional, but it was his attitude in the water got me. Pretty soft spoken for the most part, but when some "local" surfers got out of line on his friend, he went off.
Too soon it seemed, it became time for me to head back. The rest of the crew were planning an overnighter, but I had to meet up with my other friend back in San Diego. Well, I didn't blow any minds, but at least I didn't make too poor a showing in the water.
After a long wait to reenter the border, we made our way back to Oceanside, where, I had another fun session with Robby, this time at Horseshoes. Somehow, I made my way back to San Diego, where I hibernated for the rest of the weekend.
Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on good friends and fortunes. On this particular one, I had another reason to be thankful--thankful that we scored. Happy Turkey Day!