By Sarah Vafaei and the Santiago Local Surf and SUP School team from the August 2017 Edition
One of Manzanillo’s best kept secrets is the amazing surfing locations along with the surfing community that surrounds the city. The local surfers are very friendly and outgoing therefore everyone knows one another and visitors are always made to feel welcome and part of the surf family. Almost every year, Manzanillo offers year-round surfing choices for all skill levels (from those just learning to the most skilled surfers) in a variety of surfing locations.
Santiago Bay offers multiple surfing spots for all levels of surfing. The most popular surf points in the bay area are located at Playa Olas Altas and Playa de Oro. Both of these locations offer year-round waves for surfers to enjoy good quality surf sessions. These beaches are classified as beach breaks (where the waves break parallel to the beach) and are most commonly-surfed by the local surfers and ideal for progressing to advanced levels. Playa La Boquita is an exceptional point break (where the waves break against a point meeting the beach) that can be enjoyed by surfers of all levels and is great for learning. Playa La Boquita is the best during the summer sea-son when big Southern Swells enter the Santiago Bay. The Southern Swell carries the best-formed waves as there are usu-ally small to no waves at Playa La Boquita.
The next two locations are secret locations that only local surfers have known about, until recently. These locations are La Dos and Tepalcates. Both locations are located in the northern part of the Bay of Manzanillo. To date, they have been secret surfing points enjoyed exclusively by locals, but a growing surfing industry allows visitors to join locals by taking Surf Tours and Lessons at these locations. Similar to Playa La Boquita, both of these spots are at their best during the summer swells.
For surfers that are more advanced and daring, there are great suggestions such as: Boca de Pascuales in Tecomán (1.5 hour drive from Manzanillo) and Playa El Paraíso in Armería (1 hour drive from Manzanillo). Boca de Pascuales is internationally known for its world-class waves that offer more experienced surfers the opportunity to ride some of the best tubes in mainland Mexico. It is also known as one of the top places to surf in the world, due to the exposure it has received over the years from all the International Surfing Association events.
Playa El Paraíso is not only known for their Seafood Restau-rants, but they also offer some of Colima’s best wave action during the strong summer swells for Surfers, along with Body Boarders. Both of these locations offer visitors a great surfing experience, whether it’s catching the best tube (when the wave forms a barrel around you as you surf through the tunnel) of your life or just relaxing on the beach while enjoying some beverages and watching the best surfing the local surfers and experienced surfers have to offer. The state of Colima just wrapped up their National Body Boarding competition in Playa El Paraíso that has determined Mexico’s top athletes to compete in the World Cup of Surfing 2018.
One of Manzanillo’s biggest obstacles, when it comes to surfing, is dealing with the strong water currents that occur. Once the basics of surfing have been achieved, you learn that the strong water current can work in your favor and help carry you to the next wave faster than paddling. Nonetheless, it is said by local surfers and local instructors that if you master surfing in Manzanillo you can surf anywhere. That has been the motto that gets anyone motivated enough to paddle out and conquer the waves.
Summertime conditions extend from the month of July through October. This time is perfect for the more capable surfer to really experience the best waves Manzanillo has to offer. With the big southern swells come perfect waves that can offer any-one the opportunity to
experience the best surfing session of their life. It is during this time that all locals dust off their boards and give any bystanders the best surf show; all while the most amazing summer sunsets paint the skies orange hues.