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Teiki Mathieu Baillan surfing a self-made Alaya surfboard in Macaroni, Mentawaï, Indonesia. Photo by C. Naslain, 2009.
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Who knows what lies out there - I see this spot fire hugeee and never closing out.. every time i surf at the peak where the last house ends.. its another few more hundred yards out then where im surfing and positioned infront of the rivermouth.. when im surfing 6-10 foot at the point im sure its 15-20 out there.. i always thought it would be an amazing tow wave if i had a ski. It looked so good one day in November '10 that i wanted to paddle out there but didnt because i thought about just how gnarly that would be.. being the only guy out there in that cold murky abyss.. its gotta be one of the most unforgiving gnarly spots to be out by yourself.. it just has an eerie chill.. with nobody else around you and these bombs rolling in.. this year i have my 7'5.. last year i didnt have the board.. the more and more i think about it i probably will end up out there by myself scoring gnarly bombs but god those paddle backs and set lulls are going to be a mind game..
yup - the guy who posted below has a good point. Are there sharks at Sloughs? Gee, let's think about that...are sharks usually found around rivermouths, where all types of flotsam and jetsam are to be found for nature's most prolific scavenger? Yup and yup. That being said, would it be realistic to assume that a rivermouth that flows from one of the most over-populated, nastiest cities in North America that has no real sanitation systems or pollution prevention laws would be overflowing with an immeasurable amount of human waste and chemical by-products? Yup and yup.
So, along with all the vile Mexican toilet spewage, the average American may also want to consider the copious amount of Beaner Meth being cooked up just steps away from the Sloughs. One can be sure that whatever is left over from that evil slop is probably not being disposed of "properly". Surfing has never been as dangerous at the Sloughs as it is today.
I only wish that we had a river that dumped our crap in Mexico...or made the Sloughs back up into TJ.
Insane - This place is by far the best river mouth break in SD, maybe in all of so cal. Personally I believe anyone that surfs there is a little crazy, and you gotta be batshit fucking insane to surf days when it is more than double overhead. The reason I say this is because it is really good at shifting the peak and creating unexpected clean up sets. I have been told that it has very strong rip currents when it is big as well. Like someone else was saying, you will end up in mexico, that wouldn't surprise me. I heard that the reason it is so good compared to other river mouths in socal is because nothing in Orange, LA, or most of Ventura can pick up big NW swell. Mexico and south bay have direct exposure to these swells. The largest rivers in SD are San Luis Rey, San Dieguito, SD river and TJ river. Of these OS harbor has changed San Luis Rey, San Dieguito has only recently been restored, SD river mouth was originally in the SD bay. During the ice age large deposits of rock and sand were pushed out these rivers, since they had more water in them. The Tijuana river mouth has stayed relatively the same for the last 10,000 years as a result there is a very long and wide deposit of cobble stones that goes out several miles into the ocean. Even when virtually all other spots in so cal are closed out this place still holds. I doubt it will ever get as big as todos santos, but it does get bigger than blacks.
I have surfed boca rio several times. On one occasion about 3 days after surfing there I woke up dizzy, I thought my head was going to spin right off, I had the runs so bad I thought I was going to pass my small intestine, not to mention I was throwing up at the same time. Just about the most horrendous symptoms that I have ever had while being sick. Then a couple months later a buddy of mine surfed there and contracted a rare microbe that caused his body to form a sist behind his eye, it began detaching his retina, and caused swelling which pushed on his brain. The doctors had to partially remove his eye and remove the sist. The doctors said if he hadn't had surgery it likely would have killed him. He was able to keep his eye and only has a scar around it. But from that point on I told myself I would never surf this place again.
I can only guess what TJ pumps into that river. Probably raw sewage, arsenic, mercury and heavy metals. As for sharks that should be the least of your worries, its the little things that you have to worry about.
- yeah,,,, because dogfish leave behind dead seal carcasses on the beach with giant gaping bite wounds.
be safe if u choose to surf here.
De Big Prokamzi
What's all the hub-bub over this 1 little outland's spot? - The floating 'logs' in the lineup that people tell you about are only as big as a super-size Babyruth bar, but smellier. Also the clean-up sets are always cleaner & less polluted coz they break so much farther outside, where it's not nearly as filthy & sludgey. The last thing you've got to worry about is any sharks, since those would be merely docile, harmless Dogfishes! The real hazard here is during the winter when huge sneaker-rogue sets, blinding fogs, heavy-duty locals jockeying u out-of-position, & strong down-southerly currents washing u clear to Baja-Cali Malibu's trailer-trash park!! Now goahead & try getting back across the MEX/USA border check-pt.'s w/out your wallet, ID, documentation, Birth Certificate, recent paychex-stubs, & etc. to prove your right to go surf back where u might've came from; b-4 making such a hasty decision to go-4-it@TJ Slows in the 1st place!!!
El nino - December of '83 we were returning from a Mex trip. Everywhere was giant and closed out. We reached the last toll before heading east to the border crossing. My friends and I had to put our eyes back in their sockets. People talk about the various reefs but on this day during a huge El nino swell with light offshore winds, we saw waves breaking top to bottom about a mile out to sea and peeling right all the way through to the rivermouth. No sections or close outs just speeding lines and bowling shoulders connecting perfectly as the waves wrapped around the reef(s). (We were watching from about ten miles south of the border on the toll road in Mex) From that distance, we clearly saw waves breaking on the outer most reef with spitting barrel after barrel at the take off point - what ever that means out there. The left was sectioning off and closing a bit. It was probably 40 feet on the faces - easily. Like the other guy said NO JOKE. It was so big that day we stood at K55 and maybe some one else remembers but we saw spitting barrels breaking at least 30 miles out to sea due west of baja on some mysto reef. I have never seen it break out there since then. The locals should be respected so don't surf it until 3rd reef begins breaking; most everyone will be too busy surviving the shorebreak, fog, clean up sets, sewage, and yes, the sharks as briefly mentioned in a prior comment.
Yellow Single Fin - I saw a kid surfing it the other day on a yellow singlefin. He got some nice lefts all too himself and managed to pull a couple stylish turns. Wasn't too big though. It would be interesting to see how the wave holds up at 15+. Probably good, but a hell of a paddle...
De El Dondo Redondo
Photographic proof - I have some, but it is on a cell phone taken from a boat. Two of the regulars are out and it looks like they were towed in because of the looonnnggg line of their turns, but they paddled for these waves. Forget about getting any, you have to know when and where and only experience will give you those keys. Adios
TJ Sloughs - I have been stationed in San Diego (NAS North Island in Coronado) with the US Navy a few times over the years, and IB was always a safe bet on any swell when I didn't want to hassle with the long drive and traffic to North County or deal with the crowds. IB can be good during a variety of swell size (and directions), from small to huge. Up to head-high, conditions on both sides near the pier can be good, and you can usually find several peaks along the beach running south of the pier. There is also a good break in front of the "dinosaur cage." The clever among you can figure that one out on your own. IB can get crowded on good days (especially the weekend). I think the best spot is in front of the last house on the beach before you get to the estuary. The locals do regulate there, but I never had a problem with them. Just be respectful and dont bring a crowd. When it gets huge Sloughs really wakes up. If you can make it through the shore pound, there is an offshore sandbar directly in front of the mouth of the estuary. It doesn't really fire until it gets overhead during the winter swells. Personally, I think comparing it to Mavericks in size-potential MIGHT be overstating it a bit but I have never seen it close out. The bigger it gets, the further out it breaks. I have been out there in double-overhead conditions several times, and I would either be alone or with only a few other guys out. The right is fun, but its the left that goes off. You can get rides that are several hundred yards long - NO JOKE! Word to the wise though; this place is not for the faint of heart. Its kinda spooky being out there by yourself, a quarter of a mile offshore with a shifty peak and strong side-shore current, with the occaisional shark sighting. I have flown over this spot a thousand times in a helicopter on the way into the Navy OLF, and I have looked down and seen the "Man in the gray suit" lurking around the sand bar more often than the local surfers would care to think about. Watch out! One other thing; before you go out, make sure your hepatitis shots are up to date. You are basically paddling through TJ's sewer run-off, especially after a storm (ironically when the swell is usually biggest). After a hard day of surfing, go grab a carne asada burrito at Los Panchos on Palm Ave (the best in San diego) and then have a few brews at YE OLDE PLANK. Peace!
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