South Of Heaven

Takeoff

The flight was stock (as usual), and we soon found ourselves landing on some hot-ass dirt patch of an airfield smack dab in the middle of fricken’ nowhere¿the “hot zone” to be exact. We caught a shuttle from the airport to the rental-car shack. Two ultra-basic, white, run-of-the-mill Econoline vans were to be waiting for us. ¿No problema? Yeah, right! You need a credit card to gain access to the newly found life-support systems. I’m a broke-ass, so rest assured¿I had no such card. Desi (Scott Desiderio) didn’t bring one down with him, so we grabbed the nearest team rider who was rumored to be holding (a card, that is). Ted gave up his card to the nicely suited Avis Mexican correspondent behind the counter.

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After some deliberation, and twenty to 30 some odd minutes later, we came to the realization that the card had been denied. The hassles began at this point.

“Shit. Looks like we gotta go back to the airport, dude.”

We reconvened with the remaining unit of the crew at the airport to see who was going to save this futile situation. Mike Losness was the man of the hour with outstanding credit. Thanks, Mike¿we owe you one. We hooked our vans and were out of there like nobody’s business.

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The drive to the hotel was rather pleasant (aside from the warm pulses of rank sewer smell), and the boys were chatting about what boys usually chat about¿wine, women, and waves. The first thing I noticed about this place is all the unfinished buildings, structures, highways¿you name it, it’s unfinished. Either the locals have no money or really short attention spans.

We arrived at nightfall to our “hacienda in the sun,” the Posada Real. We checked into our three rooms and started to settle down for the evening, but a couple of us had a different plan. We wanted to check out the local watering hole in the “downtown” area. It supplied us with standard habitual interfacing: the cervesas went down smoothly as we had some laughs. Later on, we headed back to the Posada and laid our weary heads to rest.

Gas, Food, and Lodging

Our hotel was picture-perfect, like most touristy-type brochures you’d pick up at your local travel agent. This place was chill. It had your typical swimming pool with lukewarm water and typical Jacuzzi with lukewarm water. Oh, I can’t forget the swim-up wet bar! What fun! This is the place where some great quality time was spent contemplating life and discussing astrophysics.

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I’m really sad to say they only want to f¿k you in the ass down in Mexico¿I’m talking about buying and purchase power. The currency exchange breakdown (I think) is nine pesos to our dollar. I could be wrong, and that’s probably why I ran out of money three times.

Waiters, waitresses, busboys, whoever¿they all want your money. Check all receipts for “added” items on your bill at breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Don’t be afraid to call them out. We did plenty of times. By sheer accident, we found this super rad (and reasonable) taqueria in the “downtown” area called Erica’s. They served the best carne asadas you’ve ever had in your life. This was the prime eating spot of choice. Too bad we discovered it late in the trip.

American digestive systems usually go haywire down south, and this trip definitely was no exception. Poop flowed from anuses like hot coffee outta the coffee machine. It was the exact opposite for me at the start of the trip¿the first two days I went completely shit-free. I was constipated or something of that nature. I was kinda worried because my dam was blocked off and needed some desperate unclogging. If you ever go to Mex, expect your small intestines to coil up tighter¿it’s completely normal.

Don’t let me start bitching about the phone system. Jesus, what a nightmare. Fifteen minutes to make a phone call back to the States? It mainly sucked because there were no dial tones to be familiar with. Plan on not taing to anyone back home until your ass is back in the airport ready to fly outta the frying pan and into a nice, cool, refreshing California coastal marine layer.

Something as simple as driving around was quite possibly the most confusing thing I’ve ever encountered in my life. Turnoffs, side streets, bypasses, and causeways all looked the same to me. The kids often teased me for turning the wrong direction at least five times every time I drove, hence the name, “Wrong Way.” It fit me really well, partially because confusing roads and a buzzed-out head often resulted in a wrong turn coupled with a

“Where are we?”

That Chick Stole My Shit, Straight Up Nightlife all over the country of Mexico is pretty much like it is in Tijuana¿you have your super trendy, cheesy bars with the dumb waiters running up to you and blowing a whistle in your face¿”I don’t think I want some busted-ass Jello with alcohol in it. Get outta my face.” The dance floors are fun. The standard music cycle at the local dance club was American hip-hop, techno, and Top 40 dance numbers until 11:30 p.m., then it was straight Mexican techno until closing, which was usually around two in the morning. So predictable, it was funny. Not too funny for Tyson, though. On one of our first nights, he ended up dancing with the largest Mexican girl in the place and she straight jacked him!

The following is an excerpt from me secretly taping Ty while he was faded and not paying attention:

Dude, retrace the steps¿what exactly happened?

No. That chick stole my shit, straight-up. No, no … that’s exactly the way it happened. I was f¿kin’ … I bought the f¿kin … remember? I went and got the second bottle, and refilled your shit up¿’member? We … I told you. I got a f¿kin’ second bottle, refilled your shit up, f¿kin’ went back out, danced with a big fatty … gone. Gone!

Okay. Well, here’s all the money I got left¿one … two … three … four … five … six … seven¿I got like two bucks left for the rest of the trip. Screaming Sooo f¿kinnngggg radddd!
Crashing sound of Tyson throwing a bottle

It’s A Hot Dusty Road To Hell

Imagine this: a hot, barren wasteland of dirt roads endlessly careening around sheer vertical rock cliffs. The roads in Mexico are really narrow, devoid of good turnout ratios. So basically, you’re f¿ked if there’s some crazy drunk hombre flying around the corner veering into your five-foot-wide zone. This happened on our way to the break¿I was forced out onto a shark-tooth-shaped bastard of a rock. Shit.

Boom! Ba-boom!

Double blowout. Shit! Where are we? Fifteen miles in the middle of f¿kin’ nowhere! The moment before, Tyson was commenting on how funny it was when we saw some dude blow his tire up into oblivion at the gas station earlier that day. We were jinxed for sure. Barca was first under the van¿”I know what to do,” he said. Dustin Barca is basically a 35 year old in an eighteen year old’s body¿full leader potential. He’s the most mature kid I’ve met in a while. He wants to do shit right the first time.

Luckily, we had another van, so Tyson hitched a ride from some passing Mexicans to the other van, thus saving our asses with the other spare tire. Meanwhile, changing two tires is a bitch. I must say that Teddy is definitely a hard worker, judging by his determination to change those cursed wheels.

Yeah, you could say it sucked, and it did. Two roving Mexicans in charge of road maintenance saved our asses when they came by with the right tools for a stripped lug nut, a shovel for the stupid sand, and a nice, cool, refreshing 40-ouncer of Pacifico. ¡Gracias, amigos!

We finally got out of there and drove carefully (I relieved myself from driving duty for the rest of the trip) to the spot. Mucho props to Dustin and Teddy for all their sweat and overexposure during that event.

Curren’s Dad And An Angry Dirtball

We surfed the point break (the destination at the end of Satan’s road), and to our surprise, we encountered Pat Curren (Tom Curren’s dad) just cruising in the lineup next to us. We also encountered some old dirty white dude who rode an old beat-up board. He started bitching about living down in Mex for two years and this was “his” spot. He kicked Jack out of the water: “You guys are only here to exploit my wave!” What a prick. That guy sucked super bad. The last time I checked, living in Mex for two years doesn’t make you a Mexican. Thank god Rockhold sprayed him, and the real locals snaked him after all was said and done.

Mr. Curren exited the water, and Barca was soon to follow suit.

Dustin was completely in awe of the master of style’s founding father. He acted like a star-struck kid at a Blink-182 concert¿fully into it. Everyone came in and was like, “Where’s Barca? Oh, there he is.” He’d been talking with Pat for 45 minutes. I think it’s pretty f¿kin’ rad someone as young as Dustin is so into someone like Pat. That instills hope in me for the younger generation, for sure. More kids should embrace the past to conquer their future.

Finito

What a diverse crowd we had on this trip¿an air guy from Santa Cruz (Rockhold chills like no other), two aggressive Hawai’ians, (The Barca and Roy combo), a kid from Pleasantville (Mikey Losness), and a kid from the hood (rugged and rough Ted Navarro). Perfect blend, I must say. Everyone was super cool and let their surfing do the talking. Most days were spent looking for fun surf and catching the onshores. We all knew the swell was okay, definitely worth a few crack-of-dawn recon missions. We did that twice and caught clean head-to-overhead points. Everyone ripped, and even Tyson got a session or two on my board.

On a final note, I just wanted to say, “Thank god for Slayer!” They were the soundtrack to our trip. We rocked that shit everywhere we went¿to surf, to eat, to drink¿wherever. One time Barca and Roy started a mini mosh pit in the backseat of the van. Crazy kids, what can you say? Listening to Slayer at loud decibels in the desert tends to make one go insane for a brief period of time.

On and on, south of heaven. On and on, south of heaven.

Special thanks goes to Desi and Planet Earth/Adio Shoes for making this trip happen. And also special thanks to Losness, Jack, and Checky for the extra monetary support. TransWorld will reimburse you¿I promise. I ran out of cash mainly because I had to take care of Tyson after his shit got jacked. Thanks.Dad And An Angry Dirtball

We surfed the point break (the destination at the end of Satan’s road), and to our surprise, we encountered Pat Curren (Tom Curren’s dad) just cruising in the lineup next to us. We also encountered some old dirty white dude who rode an old beat-up board. He started bitching about living down in Mex for two years and this was “his” spot. He kicked Jack out of the water: “You guys are only here to exploit my wave!” What a prick. That guy sucked super bad. The last time I checked, living in Mex for two years doesn’t make you a Mexican. Thank god Rockhold sprayed him, and the real locals snaked him after all was said and done.

Mr. Curren exited the water, and Barca was soon to follow suit.

Dustin was completely in awe of the master of style’s founding father. He acted like a star-struck kid at a Blink-182 concert¿fully into it. Everyone came in and was like, “Where’s Barca? Oh, there he is.” He’d been talking with Pat for 45 minutes. I think it’s pretty f¿kin’ rad someone as young as Dustin is so into someone like Pat. That instills hope in me for the younger generation, for sure. More kids should embrace the past to conquer their future.

Finito

What a diverse crowd we had on this trip¿an air guy from Santa Cruz (Rockhold chills like no other), two aggressive Hawai’ians, (The Barca and Roy combo), a kid from Pleasantville (Mikey Losness), and a kid from the hood (rugged and rough Ted Navarro). Perfect blend, I must say. Everyone was super cool and let their surfing do the talking. Most days were spent looking for fun surf and catching the onshores. We all knew the swell was okay, definitely worth a few crack-of-dawn recon missions. We did that twice and caught clean head-to-overhead points. Everyone ripped, and even Tyson got a session or two on my board.

On a final note, I just wanted to say, “Thank god for Slayer!” They were the soundtrack to our trip. We rocked that shit everywhere we went¿to surf, to eat, to drink¿wherever. One time Barca and Roy started a mini mosh pit in the backseat of the van. Crazy kids, what can you say? Listening to Slayer at loud decibels in the desert tends to make one go insane for a brief period of time.

On and on, south of heaven. On and on, south of heaven.

Special thanks goes to Desi and Planet Earth/Adio Shoes for making this trip happen. And also special thanks to Losness, Jack, and Checky for the extra monetary support. TransWorld will reimburse you¿I promise. I ran out of cash mainly because I had to take care of Tyson after his shit got jacked. Thanks.