In light of the two tropical storms that passed through Mexico (East and West coast) this past week and the resulting flooding I thought I would mention how we deal with such events here at Zicazteca Surf School.
First let me say that we fared much better than many other communities across Mexico. Please see the end of this post for info on how to help the victims of the worst flooding and those that have been cut off from help due to landslides.
During the 4 solid days of heavy rain, we had to cancel many classes (fully refunded). We appreciate the dedication of our potential students, braving downpours to come by the shop to set up surf lessons, but ultimately it was determined the conditions were not favorable for classes.
To be honest, other surf schools did take groups out during the downpours. So why didn’t we? We passed by the only beach where the waves might have been calm enough to give a lesson during the storm swell. The waves there were large and powerful, and in such a small bay this can create very strong currents that quickly whisk surfers toward the rocks that line the edges, or out to the open ocean. In addition, during heavy rains, all sorts of trash and debris gets swept out into the ocean. This debris can be rather large, like tree trunks and big branches, car tires etc. which become potentially dangerous obstacles out in the water. Lastly, all that run-off can sometimes cause infections in those with low resistance, especially tourists (infections of the eye, throat, ear, stomach).
We are a close knit community so throughout the weekend we heard from those who had taken students out under these conditions as well as experienced surfers who went to ride the unusually big swell at Carrizallilo beach. All the stories we heard just reinforced our decision to cancel classes. Experienced surfers called it quits after just a few waves because the currents were outrageous, and instructors complained that they spent all their time just trying to keep their students safe.
As Julio explained to the 3 young men who wanted to take their first surf lesson before leaving for Oaxaca City: “Surfing is a beautiful sport, and you should try it for sure. Next time you are on the coast, give it a try. But I don’t want to take you out for your first experience under these conditions and risk you having an experience that is not fun, or even scary and turns you off surf forever.”
Bottom line is, our instructors WANT to work, but we will put your experience and your safety first every time. That’s just how we do it.
If you wish to help the victims of these torrential rains and tragic flooding, please visit the Mexican Red Cross webpage: http://www.cruzrojamexicana.org.mx/
August and September have so far brought lots of surf lessons, a good amount of rain, some new board painting projects and a lot of time to start getting our online shop off the ground. We hope in the next couple of weeks we are ready to take orders on our Ts and Tanks with Julio’s art. One of the benefits of the online project is the fact that any print can be ordered on the shirt of your choice, something we just can’t do in the shop. So the sky is the limit! Tanks, T’s even Hoodies are available for those of you in colder climates. We hope that you enjoy it as much as we enjoy creating it. Here is a little collage of the past few weeks including lessons, beach cleanups, sample apparel, and fresh paint. Check it:
Our 10th five-star review in a row on TripAdvisor. We are so lucky to have such awesome alumni! Thanks D. It was a blast getting to know you.
¡Gracias mi surf hermano!
Ok, soy Canadiense (woot woot – it’s how I roll) and until today had only cold water surf experience (Tofino, BC). I am so blessed to have shared surf today with Julio – he has the same respect for the sea as I have found in friends at home. Today was about welcoming wisdom from Julio and improving my connection with the waves. I am very grateful for his easy way, his awesome sense of humour and his respect for all people. Did I yet note he is a great teacher? Techniques tweaked (ok self-cultivated bad habits overhauled lol) but not with “do this/do that” but rather “try this way and now try that way – and see and understand why one is much better than the other?” Great chats my friend between waves and I look forward to the next chance to share surf, side by side 🙂
Visitado el Agosto de 2013
We are only human, and when we get something like this (see below)…Well, it really makes us smile. It makes me think we should all say something nice to each other daily and keep the good vibes flowing. So here it goes, we think you are SWELL! Yep, you sitting at that computer screen, you are pretty darn great.
From TripAdvisor, November 2012
We visited zicatela a few weeks ago, friends recommended Julio as one of the best, and we absolutely had the time of our lives taking his classes! We only had limited time and took two classes, would have taken more if possible. Both classes were at different beaches, depending on your level, for us as beginners I think conditions were perfect, adding to the fact that Puerto Escondido is a beautiful place to learn.
Julio is a great person with a very positive and relaxed attitude, professional at all times and endless experience, he really took his time and inspired us to give our best. I ended up really tired, sunburnt (don´t forget sunblock!), but very happy!!!
Pura buena onda!
Sascha & Ivan
Gary took surf lessons with us in January 2013 in Puerto Escondido, Oax.
TripAdvisor Jan 24, 2013:
“I am 60 and had never surfed. i had Julio as an instructor and he was exceptionally patient and knowledgeable. He was able to identify what i was doing wrong immediately. It took almost no time to get comfortably up on the board with a push and on the second day entirely on my own. Great experience.”