Wednesday, February 15, 2012 10:09am PST
Six Amigos in Baja
By: Janos Palko
has always been an alluring and dangerous place for surfers. But for
young guns Porter Hogan, Sean Herman, Blake Burns, and photog Nate
Herrington, their trip down south proved well worth the risks. Here's
their story, as told by Sean Igor Herman.Six Amigos: A Southern Baja Excursion
the land of tacos, cervezas, endless points and a reputation that will
terrorize your dreams. Have you ever seen Gangland? I have. Just a few
episodes will change your surf trip with the boys to a weekend stay at
when I learned that a trip down south had been arranged with a team
ready to take the risk, I decided to jump on board. Along for the ride
were Chris Wyman, photographer Nate Harrington, Huntington Beach pretty
boy Brian Daigneault, and Kaenon
team riders Porter Hogan and Blake Burns.
be honest and confess that I had second thoughts about what lay ahead
of us. News reports have a great way of scaring me. And with endless
horror stories playing out in my head, I suggested changing our
destination to Newport Beach but was laughed at and denied.
We powered south through Tijuana, then Ensenada where Wyms told stories of happy days and nights passed. This was Wyms's 20th
year of travel to Baja, and it's still one of his favorite places on earth.
painful hours into the drive, we decided to pull over and camp for the
night on a rocky beach where miles of empty desert willingly fell into
The next morning we awoke to a large snake slithering
around our tent and tried to remain calm but actually ran away like
little school girls. After our near-death experience with the snake, we
surfed a sketchy, head-high wave on a rocky beach littered with animal
bones and skulls. The lack of human skeletons filled me with a weird
sense of comfort. However, due to the lack of swell, we decided to drive
four hours south to our final destination.
arrived at our destination in the late afternoon and I immediately
wanted tacos. What I got was not tacos, but the most delicious roadside
hot dog I had ever tasted.
settling into town, I fell in love with two stray dogs that I named
Cafe and Tortilla. My heart was crushed when Nate explained to me that
they only liked me because I fed them chicken. I think he was just
jealous of my newfound friendship and saw them as competition.
spent our days surfing waves ranging from wrapping points to heavy
beachbreak pits. And although everyday was filled with great food, good
company, and rippable waves, I waited for something horrific to occur. I
anticipated that one terrible encounter with something or someone
threatening, but it didn't happen until the last day.
decided to take us to an old slaughterhouse with rusted old meat hooks
hanging from the ceiling and bones scattered on the floor. The building
turned out to be an abandoned lighthouse five miles away from any water.
I guess that after several shipwrecks they decided it wasn't doing the
job. Surprisingly, it was not the meat hooks that scared us. It was Wyms
making us climb the three-story, crumbling tower for photos. We
survived and ultimately made the trip home unscathed and exhausted.