The Baja Bucket List: Edouard Delpero Scores Waves and Whales in Baja Sur
“This was my first trip to Baja, and I was super excited to finally be going.” Edouard told us. “We were there for two weeks in March, before heading on to mainland Mexico. Unfortunately we didn’t get quite the swell we were hoping for but we still scored great waves and the whole trip definitely lived up to our expectations.”
Edouard was travelling with fellow French pro-surfer and filmmaker Damien Castera, and phgotographerKevin Métallier. Whilst many opt to fly to the United States and cross the border at San Diego to Tijuana then drive south, the pair instead flew into Cabo San Lucas at the southern tip of the Baja peninsula and drove north. “It was definitely a mission from Europe, because you have to fly to Mexico City then fly to either Cabo San Lucas or Tijuana depending on where you want to drive from. We flew to Cabo San Lucas where we had a contact to rent a 4-wheel drive truck. It was pretty old but was a sick set-up and it didn’t let us down once. It held together on all of the heavy off-road tracks we took it along and all the river crossings. We drove up the west and east coasts depending on the swell direction, so we did plenty of exploring.”
With the area around Cabo San Lucas being such a popular holiday destination, particularly around spring break, it was busy and expensive so the trio struck out north in search of good waves. They were aiming for the fabled rights of Scorpion Bay, just over 500km away.
“One of the best moments of our trip surf-wise was in the middle, when we arrived around Scorpion Bay. We went along such a gnarly track to get there, as we were trying to get there direct from another surf spot along the coast. It was a really memorable drive, but we made it! There were a few lines wrapping around the top point when we arrived, but the next morning was really, really good. It was small, but perfect longboard waves and we surfed three times that day, for at least a couple of hours each session.”
Scorpion Bay is one of the most well known breaks in Baja Sur and a popular destination for surfers coming from either direction, and whilst they were keen to get the best waves possible, Edouard and Damien were also looking for waves to themselves. “There are lots of other points there around San Juanico, so it was really easy to find waves to yourself.” Edouard said. “Even when we did surf with other people, everyone was super welcoming. We found some breaks along the way and although we didn’t get the swell to score them really good, it felt special to be making discoveries for ourselves.”
Luckily, they were well prepared for whatever waves came their way. Whilst it was primarily about longboarding, Edouard and Damien had a full and varied quiver with them. “Both of us ride any kind of boards, so we had different quivers. We had longboards with us for Baja, but we were also planning to get barreled when we got to mainland Mexico later in the trip so we had shortboards with us too. We were ready for anything!”
As with all of the best surf trips, there was more to this mission than surfing alone. This one was a proper road trip, although “road” is quite a loose term. “We went down tracks and trails to find surf that we didn’t think we could make it along.” Edouard recalls. “We were debating whether or not we should turn back and go somewhere else. Driving off-road like that was a real challenge at times, but we made it and it was such a cool experience.” At the end of one such track lay the real highlight of the trip, although it wasn’t a wave. As the swell faded on the west coast, Edouard and Damien headed over to the East coast, on the Sea of Cortez side of the peninsula, to look for surf. They found a small wave in the evening, miles from anywhere in a beautiful setting, and after a short surf decided to camp on the beach.
“Nothing was set-up, we just took the boardbags out of the car and slept in them on the sand around a little fire.” When they woke in the morning, just outside from where they’d been enjoying fun little waves the evening before, a large pod of whales was swimming slowly past. “The whales were putting on a crazy show,” said Edouard, “There were maybe 30 of them passing by, and we finally decided to get in on our surfboards and follow some, just paddling. We got off our boards and swum with huge whales just 10 or 20 meters from us, which was absolutely amazing.”
Surfing is an amazing experience in itself, but the amazing thing about it is the other opportunities that it creates for surfers. In the search for waves, we set ourselves up for other experiences. Sometimes, as happened to Edouard and Damien in Baja, the things that happen along the way whilst we’re searching for surf are the most special and memorable moments. And that’s on top of scoring great waves.
Edouard wore a ReWired 3:2 chest zip steamer and a Legend 1:0.5 long sleeve vest during his trip.
Surf photos by Kevin Métallier