The last time I'd surfed here was in 2003. El Recodo is the next point to the west of Punta Roca. It is a rivermouth/point break with a rocky reef. In my estimation, if Punta Roca is an A, El Recodo is a B. It is shorter, less steep and less consistent than its eastern counterpart.
Seeing as to how Copa Quiksilver was still in its waning stages, we decided to surf here to avoid the rabid dogs. We decided to paddle out just east of the river, which was gushing what appeared to be chocolate milk into the ocean. I almost lost my footing once, which would have been unpleasant given the acceleration gained from the water and the rocks two feet or so under the surface.
The paddle-out was ok. I did my usual hesitation move where I wait for one more wave to roll under me to avoid scraping my board or hands on the rocks just below the surface. I did my now trademarked one-fin scrape, but there was no damage.
The almendra tree that used to mark the prime take-off spot is gone now. The only point of reference is the abandoned house which once housed a happy family I remember waving to after exiting the water. According to Pando, the teenage son of the family became involved in gangs and his siblings were slaughtered while they slept. Pando says it was some sort of retaliation. All that remains is the now-roofless (likely scavenged for materials) house and the surrounding vegetation, made up mostly of palm trees.
The waves were overhead on the sets which is great. What isn't so great is that there was a fifteen minute lull in between the sets. Also, we had to contend with the sectioning-off that was limiting the options in the deep take-off spot. There was also a slight east-west current, but not too bad.
The nostalgia started flowing a bit. This is where I had a magical session with just Chamba and me on June 30, 2000. The very next day is where I felt the first symptoms of Dengue fever. In 2002, it was the site of the hardest I've ever laughed in the water. I would go into more detail, but it wouldn't do the moment justice. If you know me personally, ask me next time you see me.
El Recodo is a right, hence all my waves were rights.
My first wave was steep. I descended it, but a five yard slab was feathering about ten feet in front of me. I flew off the back hoping to not smack myself with my surfboard.
My second wave was better. I was a bit late on it, popped up and got hung up on the lip. I was blinded by the morning sun, but kept on pressing to get into this head-high beast. I dropped down from the lip, connected, but my body was leaning too far back and I splayed. Mac was just inside of me and he said I looked really calm. Hey, if you can't complete the move, go for style!
I caught my third wave about fifteen minutes later. It was a smaller wave, probably about chest-high. I dropped down and smacked it, bringing the rail around more than I normally do as the face was a bit fat. I dropped down again and kicked out.
My next wave was a beast. I dropped down it, bottom-turned and did a high-speed kick-out over the back of it. I wasn't about to waste positioning on a close-out close to the rocks.
Ah, this next wave is a bummer. The wave started barrelling from the get-go. I was scratching furiously for it and checking out the immediate section to my inside, searching for signs of sectioning off. A sponger about five yards inside of me, hooted to his sponger buddy and pointed at the wave. I anticipated a steep drop and set up for one. The wave didn't develop as I'd thought. It still had size, but it was mushier than I expected. I was in such a position on my take-off that I may as well have been pig-dogging. Most of my weight was over my heels so as to keep my outside rail in the wave for the barrel. The steepness wasn't there and I fell awkwardly on my back, bummed.
My last wave was about chest-high. I pumped about three times, went for a cut-down then a weird tail-drop from the get-go backside floater which didn't end well.
We decided to bail to check the beachbreak. It was working, but it was a bit too racy.