Posts Tagged ‘El Salvador’

While its been business as usual here in Lisanti Land since our good friend Kooky left the couch and set out on his own personal solo adventure.  I thought since it had been some time since we heard from our good friend it be pertinent to bring him back for another edition of Kooky’s Korner.  Kooky recently was on an El Salvadorian adventure with another suringruinedmylife.net all star John Mauriello.  Yours truly almost pulled the trigger and jumped on this bandwagon as well, but unfortunately had previously committed to a Lisanti Adventure Tour that fell in the same time frame.  Here is an account of a surf adventure from two of my better friends, brothers even and “I mean that way black people say it cause I find it is way more meaningful that way”.  (Where is that from and who said it for an extra UCB point)….Chris Lisanti

Luckily, Maryland and New Jersey were hot and sticky as a crotch before I got on my plane to El Salvador; I can’t imagine the temperature shock John must have had coming from San Francisco. Everyone I know warned me about going there. “Dude it is super dangerous.” “Highest murder rate in Central America”. “60 guys out at every point” . “Locals won’t give you a wave and they will burn you every time.” “Man, I am El Salvadorian and the last time I was there I almost got stabbed for my wallet, I will never go back again!” Then again everyone warned me about living with Lisanti and I survived

After going smoothly through customs and finding my shuttle to the hotel I arrived to find John and his friend Jason napping in our room. They had already gotten a surf in and I was anxious to get wet so we headed out to the end of the street we were on and surfed this fun river mouth La Bocana. It is a very high performance rivermouth that is usually a rippable left and has the occasional punchy right. It felt good to get in and wash off the airport ride.

The following morning we checked El Sunzal, which looked mushy as hell but like it might get better on the lower tide. We had our morning session at La Bocana again.  It was pretty crowded with the locals really holding the peak and forcing us to take scraps. John stuck to the inside and got a ton of waves, I tried snagging wide ones like I did everywhere else I surfed this year and got nothing all that great.  Jason elected to sleep in. After Breakfast we took a little rest and then surfed Sunzal. It is a lot like C-street and according to John it is very much like Maria’s in Puerto Rico. I found my punchiest waves on the left. Regardless, it was a decent session and my best at the spot.

After the session John and I were on a quest to find something that was a little more high performance. Punta Roca was nearby and we were told that the bus was easy but the language barrier and John’s aversion to risky situations precluded us from going. Luckily some helpful locals told us it was super easy, just get the bus to La Libertad that runs about every 10 minutes and get off at the point. Sure enough it was that easy.

The bus dropped us up the street from the promenade that goes along the point and we started seeing small glassy lines peeling down it. We got to the top of the point and there was a pack of locals sitting up the top of the point and perfect barrels rifling down the line.  A few would be cut in half by some of the gnarly barnacle encrusted boulders but most would drain out for a long perfect little round barrel. Once past the boulders at the top it looked like the Cove at Rincon. This was the session of the trip. I spent a ton of time in the barrel (Jason saw a few of them) and did some of my best turns of the trip.

That wave is as good as anything in the States. Mid afternoon weekday crowd was totally manageable we shared it with a few locals and a knee boarder who absolutely killed it. One of the locals was the little Occy like goofy foot. The kid, Charlie, couldn’t have been much more than 14 but threw more water than most grown men, full on Occy hacks. Right before we got out Jason nearly ran a local over and got yelled at. Luckily I was already out. The boys cut up their feet pretty good getting in and out. John had a particularly gnarly gash on his foot that I had to clean out for him. If you want a visual picture the scene in Forty Year Old Virgin when Steve Carell gets his chest waxed.

After Monday we were pretty surfed out and luckily the swell was down for the next few days. We rested and recuperated. Unfortunately I made the mistake of eating some bad street food and started to pee out of my butt, so did Jason. Though it could very well be the photos I saw of myself surfing that made me sick. Jason changed none of his eating habits and just dealt with it. I decided to fast and flush it all out. It worked, but it eventually returned with an evil vengeance. On one of these lay days we met this Floridian Rory while at breakfast. The guy spoke the best Spanish of any American I have ever heard. “Hola, yo queero un Sandwhich cone eggs e….bacon e cheese, poor favor”.

Make sure you read that and pronounce it as if it were written in English. Anyways he sold us on the idea of K-59. He said it was a really fun wave and had no problems with a crowd there. On one of these lay days Jason and I ventured to the bar next door which advertised a wide beer selection and extensive liquor list. If you know me, you know I love good beer. We figured it would be all shitty Central American and Mexican beers. Were we wrong, 40 rums, and 30ish beers. And while they did have the smattering of tropical pils, which the Belgian bar owner said sound like tropical piss, they did have a good selection of European brews. It turns out they were opening the first craft brewery in El Salvador and were going to have the beers ready before we left. We tried those as they were ready and they were good. If/when I go back I am staying there.  It was awesome.  I am sure if I smuggle them some hops they will hook me up.

On Friday we decided that with Punta Roca being such an easy adventure we would try our luck using the bus to get to K-59. It was as easy as getting to Punta Roca it just required a longer ride and a longer wait for the bus. Rounding the last bend, we could see K-59 and it’s sister point K-61 through the forest. Upon disembarking from the bus we wandered through the maze of dirt roads down to the point.

The place definitely has potential but we didn’t score it. In the morning there was some morning sickness from the previous nights thunderstorms. The point is tiny maybe 75 yards long and the wave hugs it. There were a few but I was slow as usual and feeling a little weak from the whole not eating for two days thing. We got out and a local cooked us up lunch, which was awesome. While we ate john let him borrow his board and go for a surf. During lunch it was the best we saw the spot the bobbles were out of the wave, and the afternoon chop hadn’t destroyed it. When we got out after eating the place quickly stopped working. It was frustrating to say the least.

The weekend came with the swell and crowds. The biggest act of angry localism came Saturday morning when this kook dropped in on a local at La Bocana the resulting was a lot of screaming in Spanish and “todos cebollos” had to leave. Later the offending kook burned me at Sunzal. But the world is an odd place. Later that day I went to pull money out of the ATM after he had just done so. He left his card, giving me the perfect opportunity to inform him of his complete and utter obliviousness both in and out of the water. Sunzal was crowded as hell too. There were some angry longboarders who would yell at the people they dropped in on. One particularly surly one even shoved Jason. The best though was one dropped in on John. Over the course of the ride he tried to box John out of the wave, but John was having none of it. He just kept doing his turns and crossing the guy’s wake. Eventually they collided much to the delight of the local guide at our hotel and down the douche went. I am sorry but if you are on a longboard and shortboards are taking off outside of you, there is a problem. Apparently the assholes are weekend warriors from San Salvador who don’t respect anyone.


Sunday the swell really filled in with the afternoon being DOH at Sunzal. We headed to Punta Roca. A fairly empty line up and a few 10ft sets. Guess who was sitting in the parking lot. The guy who Jason nearly ran over. Like a pussy Jason looked at the ground and walked past. I made respectful eye contact and for that I took the lashing for his infraction and orders that we better be respectful or else. After informing him of the local’s instructions, Jason then paddled out straight to the front of the pack. If he got in any more trouble I would have thrown his ass under the bus and let him take the wrath that was due. It was a fun session until I met the rocks getting some nice cuts on my hands, arms and legs. Some locals got some footage and it was pretty frustrating watching myself surf.


Monday was another fun ass day at Punta Roca. It was head to head and a half with friendly happy locals; it wasn’t as hollow as the previous week but certainly fun as hell and rippable. Tuesday we went back to Punta Roca for another helping of racy rights. Light crowd and our new neighbors at the hotel were there too, complete kooks. One of them burned a local at Punta Roca and sadly did not have his face torn off.
The night before, these guys had gotten a hooker and ran the train on her. I guess that is what happens when you get old. You get married, have kids and then cheat on your wife with third world hookers while on vacation trying to escape your miserable life. It was funny talking to them telling us about their kids in a vain attempt  to be buddies with us.  Then one of them would come down shirtless and slap his buddy on the shoulder and say, “You’re up!” And the fat fuck would go off to get his turn with the worn out third world cooter.
Wednesday John finally came down with the shits. Jason and I left him miserable in bed and went and surfed the last of the swell at Punta Roca. It was fun, it was like the first Monday but not glassy. We had the place to ourselves with Ricky and Proctor of Proctor surfboards. They were very friendly and we all had a good session. Overall it was a pretty marginal session and when we got out it was terrible.
We finished our last morning with a quick surf at la Bocana and at 11 I got in the shuttle to the airport and went home. Flights are always a crapshoot. Half the time you wind up getting crammed between two pigs like you are headed off to the slaughter house or someone who wants to tell you their whole life story when you just want to sleep. Sometimes though you get lucky. The flight back was great; I sat next to the Guatemalan Ambassador to the US with a whole extra seat in our row. Then once in the US, I got to hang out with the former US Ambassador to El Salvador while we waited for our bags. Nice guy, turns out he was originally from NJ too. When he was in his youth he surfed back in the 50’s on old redwood boards and he used to surf with some of the classic surf characters of the era. All in all the entire trip was worthwhile, even as my bowels are slowly recovering from the traumatic experience. But now the question arises, where will I go to next? I am thinking somewhere with cold water…

Punta Roca, one of the Jewels of Central America

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