2 More Weeks in Heaven; Baja 2018
I don’t know if I mentioned it before but I was pretty excited for this trip. I have been around the world quite a bit in the last few years and last year I finally managed to fulfill a lifelong dream of going to Baja, and it was everything I hoped and dreamed it would be; 100% the best sailing of my life. So of course I immediately planned my return and was so eager I even convinced Solo Sports to open a week early for us.
The beginning of the season is usually colder but windier and wavier. The water wasn’t actually that much colder than the end of season, I would say it was on a par with the warmest day you could have in the UK, but they weren’t lying about the wind, it was windy every day that we were there, bar one, when we had some epic SUPing instead. In the evenings you need a jacket and next year I’ll be taking a pair of Ugg boots as I had some pretty chilly toes.
One of the reasons this place is so good (and pricey) is because there’s no one there, just a perfect wave that breaks for a kilometer down the coast and you can be out there on your own catching wave after wave, getting up to 20 turns on each one. Sure, the price for the whole trip is definitely not comparable to your average week in the Mediterranean, but believe me that is not what you are getting. If you break the package down you can see that all of this included; island hopper plane transfer, accommodation, all your meals and snacks, full kit rental including windsurf, surf, SUP, bikes and as much drink as you can manage (and I can assure you we had a good crack at the bar; more tequilas, Fogs and Coronas than I care to count). But perhaps, most importantly, it is the best place in the world on that tack for waves and if you love the sport and you have the money it is totally worth it for this trip of a lifetime.
We had an awesome group with us; Andrew ‘Fishy’ Coley, Chris ‘Crocs” Bates, Big Jez, Simon the Frenchie, David riding the bombs, and Sailor of the Week Kathryn. Andrew is an absolute rock star legend from up North, he lives at Rhosy so is pretty good in the waves already, but there’s always room for improvement.
Kathryn, the only female of the group earned the sailor of the week crown and most improved. She opted for an extra week and was smashing arials by the end. Kathy’s other half David, who joined me in Baja last year and was eager to come back for more. Kathy may have been crowned Queen but David was King of bombs, he caught the wave of the day so many times, shame I just kept missing them on the camera - next time David!
Big Jez was absolutely ripping, again Jeremy was here with me last year. Unfortunately he was plagued with a knee injury and even considered flying home early, that was until he caught one hour out there to himself and just made it look fantastic. After coming off the water he was so buzzing there was no way he could get on a plane and go home. So he stayed and battled through and his knee actually improved – Baja magic!
Our French friend Simon surprised us all with his great dry sense of humour, fitting in perfectly with us Brits and keeping us all amused off the water. Last, but by no means least, we had Chris and his illusive Crocs, which managed to go missing everyday, don’t know how that happened – honest! Chris had an absolute ball, this was his first time in proper down the line waves and his smile got bigger everyday, coming off the water amazed to be catching wave after wave.
As for the conditions, man, it was windy! On the first day that we arrived on our little plane it was howling, but not so much swell. Never the less we got out there as soon as we could, Kathryn was sailing a 3.7 and I was on a 4.2. The wind stayed for the rest of our trip (except for 1 day), the swell built up and we really got to see exactly what Baja has to offer. It really was epic, the atmosphere and the feeling when the guys were coming off the water day after day with these incredible conditions was so great to be part of, a really awesome natural high.
Our daily routine would be to wake early and SUP then as the wind started to blow we would switch for windsurf kit and sail for the rest of the day. At 5pm we would hit the bar until Baja midnight, which is actually around 9pm, when the bar starts to wind down and we get ourselves an early night to start all over again.
We actually had so much wind that we didn’t SUP a great amount but when we did it was on some really good swell. Kathy had some of the rides of her life and I definitely had some of the biggest waves of my SUPing career.
We hailed one member of the team everyday as Sailor of Day, and I think everyone wore that title at least once during the trip. The improvement was massive from everybody, across the board. We used a lot of drone video coaching, which was the perfect coaching tool, with debriefs in the middle of the day so that instant tweaks and progress could be made. We improved everyone’s ability to catch the wave, bottom turn, charge the line, time the section and smack that lip. Yes, sometimes that lip will smack you back, but another beauty of Baja is that you can time it wrong on a mast high wave and it’s not going to pummel you, it’s like a tickle compared with other destinations. Yet another reason why this is, hands down, The Place you learn to wave sail. You really don’t have to be a super high level sailor to come here, as long as you can sail upwind in the straps on a short board, water start every time and have a bit of confidence, you are ready for Baja.
So, check your bank account, clear it with work, your other half or whoever you need to, because spaces have already filled up for next year and we have only 4 places left. You also received a 600$ discount from Solo Sports if you book before New Year 2019. As they say "you just don't know, until you go..."
Lastly just to say a huge thank you to all the staff there; Joey and Elise were incredible, they were there form day one, opening up the camp a week early for us. Big Kev, the man in charge, who allowed us to get in there a week early. All the Mexican staff that helped me put on a few pounds and kept us hydrated at the bar. Finally Clark with all the photos and video that helped make the week a huge success. Thank you all so much, we can’t wait for next year!
For all the clinic information for 2019 click here