Thermal traveller Zeke Choi recounts a trip south of the border, scoring secret Oaxacan perfection. All photos shot by John Hook.
"To the surfer, especially one hailing from California, Mexico is the promised land. So close yet so far from American culture, it has become the escape for everything representing freedom and adventure. The open roads (not always paved), fast language, lawless landscape, loose culture, and of course, its wave-rich coastline. It is the place where people go and never fail to come back with a deranged story and something to show for it. Just saying its abbreviated name – Mex – leaves you with the taste of cold cerveza on the tongue and an earned sunburn on your back.
"With that in mind, I recently made my way down towards the country's southern tip. In the deep state of Oaxaca, hidden between volcanic mountains and strong, green jungle is something seen little else in the world. What it is, is a stretch of coast that God seemed to have come down and touched. The after product being a coastline made up of right point after right point after right point.
"Finding one of such lesser-known, we sped off before the sun, getting there to see perfectly sculpted waves glistening in the warm, morning sun. Excitement was hardly containable, as I struggled to get my fin in the board. In a full sprint we ran into the water, ignorant to the fact that the waves would be like this all day. It seemed luck was on our side when without fail the waves came wrapping into the bay, day after day.
"Riding one of these waves was a dreamlike experience in which you become extranced by its smooth, see-through water that stretched out as an abyss before you.
"We spent endless days at this wave, soaking up the sun, laying in the shaded sand, guzzling Coca Cola, and riding these waves one after another after another after another."
– Zeke Choi, Thermal Traveller