Surfing Sayulita may be known as one of Mexico’s best kept secrets, or it may not, depends on who you ask. If you ask the locals, they’ll say the secret’s been out for years, we beg to differ. Based on the the size of the town, the benefits it has to offer including some of the best eateries to be found in Mexico, a great private education, 300 days of sunshine a year, and best of all, warm water and waves all year long, Sayulita makes for great surf! While we at Cuponismo have spent time and energy writing about the great surfing around the point in Punta Mita, in Puerto Vallarta, some lesser known spots in Mexico, and Chacala, we’ve never actually spent time writing about our own backyard of Sayulita, so let’s do it.
Sayulita is a great spot for beginners or avid surfers alike, with a river mouth spilling right into the middle of a somewhat protected bay. The most prominent break is on the left hand side of that river mouth, or what’s called the right break or the town break. In 2010 there was what the locals call an 80 year flood, which brought a huge amount of debris and sand down the river and changed the bottom and in my opinion made it worse for the next 12 months. Prior to 2010, this consistent reef break had a gentle face great for beginners, and a long smooth wave that spilled out 100 yards later near the beach. After the flood, the break shifted so that a middle section of the wave now shortens that ride and closes it out, but also adds the to the take off zone for a larger area, which is what the break needed due to its popularity. After watching the break, and surfing it occasionally, there seem to be two take-off points. There’s a steeper faster wave which forms closer to the beach and next to the river mouth. This is where the ripping short board locals prefer to hang out, and take advantage of their speed and agility. You’ll also see the more dexterous long boarders here as well because they can sit out a bit further and take advantage of the length of their board.
The 2011 rainy season and a few big storms have again changed the bottom and has brought back some of the previous consistency which made the town originally so popular with some of the founding surfers back in the late 1960’s. Further out and to the center of the break, there is a more shallow faced wave which is perfect for long boarders, beginners and paddle boarders. The wave is forgiving, meaning it won’t be pushing you down into the reef, and easy to paddle back out to get to the line up. The break can hold up to 35 people on a busy day, each jostling and elbowing to get their share of surf. It’s important during those busy times people follow surf etiquette, the primary rule being the person closest to the peak or breaking part of the wave, has the right of way. Many people enquire as to the attitude on this break, and generally 90% of the local population understand that their primary if not only business in town is tourism, and the break right in front of town is generally responsible for that tourism, so they better be polite to tourists. Like any other popular surf break in the world, there are a few that don’t understand that, but those people don’t surf 24×7, and there aren’t that many of them.
The best time to be out on the water, are the mornings. Sayulita is after all, a resort destination, and the locals and tourists alike are late risers, so dawn patrollers can take advantage and often times enjoy an hour or two of glassy conditions during the best part of the day all to themselves. The late evenings are also prime, as the wind lays down, and you can enjoy losing yourself in the view with the sun setting over the Pacific. When you’re done, paddle in to the many restaurants which line the beach, all of them accepting patrons with wet and sandy attire.
If you have any questions about surfing Sayulita, let us know by leaving a comment, or writing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.