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THE place to learn to wave ride: Punta San Carlos, Baja 2019

Updated: Oct 16, 2019

First a run down of our epic guestlist: We had the Hulse family – Hugo 16, Max, 22 and their dad Steve. I was joined by two ripping ladies; Kathryn and Gilly, plus, David, Chris ‘Crocs’, Jon and Ironman Jason AKA ‘The Slayer’. We met in San Diego, as excited as a group of kids on a school trip to Disneyland, with the forecast looking good! The next part of this epic trip is taken on a small island hopper plane that takes us directly to Punta San Carlos, where Solo Sports have opened the center early for us to kick off the season. As you fly in over the spot the goosebumps start and your pulse rises as you watch those perfect waves peeling along the coast…

The Gang minus the Hulse boys by Clark Bradley Meritt

On arrival we each picked our freshly pitched, sea-view tents in the camp and were served our first meal by the awesome Mexican family, who provide our breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday at Solo Sports. Fully fueled we got on the water on day 1.

This place is actually a really safe place to sail, and you don’t have to be a rockstar in the waves to go there, but it is a reef break - the waves break on to a rock shelf so it can still be intimidating at first. At the end of day one Gilly, having never sailed waves before, was pretty unsure and even told me that she thought it wasn’t be for her! Not exactly the news I wanted to hear but that’s my job; to push her limits a little bit, give her that extra bit of confidence and make sure she gets what she wants out of the clinic. And did she?! Gilly turned into an absolute ripper. Even as a competent sailor, she started super tense but by the end of two weeks she was catching the bombs, sailing down the line and booking her ticket to ride for 2020!

The Hulse family, what a bunch of legends! The youngest son, Hugo, has just turned 16 and this trip was a game changer for him, producing some really powerful turns and sending it on the windiest day as the smallest guy out there.

Hugo’s older brother Max, had a mission to score some aerials, he was one of the best sailors of the whole group smacking every lip and getting some amazing aerials, as the photos show.

Mr Steve Hulse’s dreams came true once we got him on to a Goya Thruster and could see that really nice smooth style that he has.

Chris ‘Crocs’ who you’ll remember from a number of our blogs, a true WindSurf Coaching hero, who insists on bringing his horrendous Crocs everywhere just to annoy me! Chris was sailing so well on this trip, again, like Steve he has really nice style and brilliant on flat water we were just trying to transition that onto the waves. Did he succeed? You can see for yourself in the pictures that he did, loads of improvement and he hit some nice big lips and cut some massive spray!

David, being one of the heavier (in a muscular and general build kind of way) guys on the course, had a mission to get a bit more active on the waves. Myslef and David had a few party waves together so I could encourage him on to the big ones and get him moving. He was our most illusive sailor, never managing to get himself on the video camera. Always plenty of fun to be had with David on the water and at the bar!!

Jon has BAGS of styles, cutting loads of spray, got the lip tail slides going on… Jon’s only issue was that he was always trying to do it on something mastfoot-high! Once we showed him the video it gave him that kick up the butt, smash a tequila (I’m not recommending or condoning such actions!) and go out and catch those bigger ones. As soon as he did one he found that confidence and realized how much better it was and we couldn’t stop him, much better bottom turns, keeping loads of speed and really planning his turns to hit nice sections. It’s so common and not a problem that was exclusive to Jon, the confidence to select the bigger wave is often lacking form a lot of sailors and is really important, as the bigger the wave the easier everything becomes.

Next up is Kathryn, what can I say? This lady destroys it! She really impressed me on this trip last year and continues to do so. We had one day when she was being a little timid, turning up to the lip but not fully committing, which is actually the worst thing to do. After she saw herself on the drone footage, we saw that aggression come back and her powering up that wave and really smacking the top. She had one day in particular where she was on fire; every time she got on the wave she wave hit some powerful top turns and getting some nice aerials.

Last but not least, The Slayer!! This guy is a machine. The Slayer’s daily routine – get up, run 10ks , SUP for another 10k, all before breakfast, eat some breakfast then sail ALL day. His style on the wave is pretty aggressive (what do expect from the slayer?) and he was often outrunning the wave, which is easy to do in Baja, but after some video sessions we got him to slow down a little and nail some aerials. He also landed his first backloop, which he was of course buzzing about and I know he’s going to be taking that back to Gwithian and ripping it up down there… look him up if you ever want a reference, although he may try to put you off as he wants to try to keep Baja all for himself!

We had a few other guest at Solo Sports join us and fit in nicely, sailing well on the water and having fun at the bar. The whole atmosphere of the place is special. The owner and staff; KT, Elise and Joey are all brilliant and pleasure to hang out with for two weeks and watching Joey rip on anything under his feet; kite, foil, windsurf board is a great sight. Plus the resident photographer, Clark was always on hand to catch the action - thanks Clark!

Punta San Carlos by Clark Bradley Merritt

We literally cannot wait for next year, I am almost willing the time away! We are already almost fully booked with returning guests. So if you are keen to get involved please get in touch. Punta San Carlos is THE starboard tack place you learn to wave ride there are is no second option for me.


All the details of the 2020 clinic can be found here.

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