Shooting A Movie Scene In Michoacan

Then there was that time someone shot a big-budget movie scene, at this isolated beach in Mexico.  This little beach pueblo, nestled at the base of the gnar mountains of Michoacan, was once a secret spot for risk-taking surfers.  But after a couple decades, as the sport rose in popularity, the crowds eventually hit hard Continue reading Shooting A Movie Scene In Michoacan

Breaking Open The Shoe Box Photos

It’s been 8 years since I traveled and surfed mainland Mexico.  Back then, I took so many photos and concentrated on getting those pics to the surfers, as well as, that I wound up with a ton of outtakes.  I always pushed forward and just stashed them all on back up discs.  Now, after all those years, I’ve decided to spend some time weaving those old pics onto this site. Continue reading Breaking Open The Shoe Box Photos

Random Encounters in Mexico: Sepp Bruhwiler and Shannon Brown.

It was January 2008 and I was camping out in central Mexico, surfing and taking pics…the usual. One day some new shredders show up.  Turns out to be Sepp Bruhwiler and Shannon Brown visiting from Canada.  Noah Cohen was with them and also a kid named Martin (I can’t recall Martin’s last name).  All of them surfed killer.  They were shredders for sure, so I followed them around for a week and got some amazing shots! Continue reading Random Encounters in Mexico: Sepp Bruhwiler and Shannon Brown.

Surfing: Winter Session @ Mexico, January 2008

Words and Photos by Chuck Turkington

surfer in mexico
Unknown taking it to the inside grind of a decent swell in Mexico.

You should have been here tomorrow. That’s all I can say to all my Texas buddies that split after new year’s. Yeah, I know…not all of us are able to take vacations based on swell maps but what a difference a little west makes in a north swell. At least it wasn’t flat during anyone’s visit.

After surfing head high and under for almost a month, some size finally found it’s way down here. Nothing crazy, but it did take away 30 feet of beach right in front of my camp.  Should be exciting for me if another sizeable swell hits. I may have to move…

surfer in central mexico
Unknown on a wave in central mexico

Paolo Schulte sticks a solid bottom turn.

Biggest Clean Up Set (that I’ve seen…)

Clean Up Set On A Chest High Day
Clean Up Set On A Chest High Day

It was, i think, about the third day after a new swell…maybe second…i dunno… anyway, it was the on the downgrade but still HH. Small enough though that some of the people that stayed out of the water the day before because of “bad tamales”, suddenly felt fine and were chargin morning high tide.

As the day went on, the tide went out but size was about the same. Plenty more people scratch for the line up. Basically by lunch time, if the winds are good and it’s the trailing edge of a swell anyone that got shitfaced drunk because it was too big or mysteriously “sick” or even just flat out said, “no way mang!” They all felt confident enough to head out today.

I was kicked back in the shade on the beach and I snapped a quick shot or two of the mid-morning session and kept the camera nearby. At around 2 or three (the hottest time of day and there’s still people out!) I see a friggin’ MACKING set explode way outside of the line-up. I grabbed for my camera and snapped a couple rush shots as the set just unloaded, out of nowhere, onto the full range of funboarders, blue-crushers, and a couple toasted and surfed out tweakers. it cleaned ’em all up. Sent them all to the beach!

before the clean up set
before the clean up set
After scrambing for the camera, I managed to shoot the last two waves of the set.  People are already under full rinse as another macker breaks well past the surfers horizon.
After scrambing for the camera, I managed to shoot the last two waves of the set. People are already under full rinse as another macker breaks.
the last wave of the clean up set.
the last wave of the clean up set.
oh wait, one more rinse...
oh wait, one more rinse...

The Ten Dollar Surfboard

What would you do with an old thruster that has tail cancer? I’m not sure about you, but Paolo Schulte bought one for 100 pesos, scooped out the damaged tail and center skeg, sealed it and surfed it!

Paolo Schulte keeps this board alive and ripping.
Paolo Schulte keeps this board alive and ripping.

I first met Schulte sometime in December, somewhere in Mexico. He basically ripped and knew the spot very well. Anytime the point got too crowded or fat with tide movement, I often found him gambling with barrels on the beach break. We were both at the same spot for quite awhile and eventually became friends. I watched him surf a few different boards and he ripped on all of them. He’s on those boards in a few other photo galleries in this site, but this story is all about his open-minded approach to staying in the curl…even if it’s odd looking. And also, the guy has a hell of a sense of humor. I could never tell if he was going to bust an air with intense focus or just try to make me laugh while screaming out of a tube ride.

When you’re a long-timer, and surfing nearly daily sessions, a small quiver really starts to get beat to shit. So in order to save the good boards for the good swells, but to keep up the water time, some people start surfing on older, uglier, and stranger boards than normal. Especially those that aren’t rich or have ten perfect boards that look like they’ve never been used. The unsponsored, but core guys, will surf anthing that floats.

I first noticed Schulte was surfing a different board when I saw it flipping over and getting tossed in front of the foam as he was swimming in after it. Someone grabbed it for him before it hit the rocks and he paddled back out. A few days later, it happened to be me that grabbed it for him. It was then that I noticed why he wasn’t using a leash. There was no place for one! I was looking at a strange twin fin with a C-shaped tail. It was yellowed with age and taking on water from recent times when no one was there to keep it from hitting the rocks. I put it on the sand and continued to head out. We waved at each other and I made a mental note to ask him about the board later on.

When I got the scoop about the amputed fin and gutted tail cancer, I was still left a little confused. But when he told me how much he paid for it, I understood. The question wasn’t, why? It was more like, why not? It floats and it turns…what more do you need? For the price of two meals, anyone can score a board. Whether it’s rideable or not is totally up to you.

Slotted for cheap!
Slotted for cheap!

Spicy Tex-Mex Surfing

Words and Photos by Chuck Turkington
Early in January, I ran into Frank Floyd and his crew of Texas rippers. Joining Nathan, Micah and J.R. was Jaime, formely of Sayulita but currently living on Kauai. This group of B.H.P. rippers are still borderline drinking age, but yet the beaches in Central Mexico are old stomping grounds for them. The surf was small when they hit up this spot, but they got plenty of shack time at a different beach for most of their trip. Having seen them surf overhead before, I only could only wish that there would have been some size in the water while they were here. Oh well…they rip the small kine too!

Jaime pops it out on the inside,over the shallow rocks.
Jaime pops it out on the inside,over the shallow rocks.

Nathan Floyd with a hard snap off the top.
Nathan Floyd with a hard snap off the top.
Smooth style in Nathans surfing...
Smooth style in Nathan's surfing...
cool angle, Nathan Floyd about to rip a chunk off.
cool angle, Nathan Floyd about to rip a chunk off.

More shots of Spicy Tex-Mex Surfing!

Surfing: Mexico 2006

Photos by Chuck Turkington

Check out tons of photos of surfers like Adan Hernandez, Dylan Southworth, Flaco, Jorge, Enoc, Diego Cadena, Tigre and quite a few visiting rippers!

jorge surfing mexico
Shacked in central Mexico, Jorge stalls for more.

adan hernandez surfing mexico
Adan Hernandez going mental in Mexico.

diego cardena surfing mexico
Diego Cardena nails one last top turn during a random session south of a river in Mexico.

Surfing Mexico, November 2005

Another trip down south!

Sunset over the Pacific, from a beach in Mexico.
Another beautiful sunset presents itself when we arrive.

A good longtime friend of mine, Steve Vineyard, and I took a trip to our favorite southern surf spot.  Steve only had two weeks and then he had to head back to the “cold” southern Texas Winter on South Padre Island.  But since I’ve become a beach bum in training, and photographer/writer, I had the resources to stay for a couple months.  Enough time to soak in the sun and waves!

When we first arrived, surf was already decent size.  Coming from South Texas, anything over chest high is “big”.  Being that I was there to photograph the surfers, I spotted the talent rigth away.  Aside from the usual local talent, the only standout was Dillon Horst, from San Luis de Obispo.  Of course, I didn’t know his name when I snapped this shot, but I made it a point to find out the next day or two…

Dillion Horst Surfing Mexico Pacific
Dillon Horst pops the fins out on the final hit.

loading coconut palm leaves
Workers load up leaves from coconut palms for a palapa.