San Quintin, Mexico:
Big Wave Surfing At Isla San Martin

Nov. 16, 2005, Kelly Catian, K&M Offshore Sportfishing, Isla San Martin,, San Quintin, Baja California, Mexico:

Big surf at San Martin!

The swell forecast showed a big northwest swell for Sunday and Monday and the buoy readings were up, so the west end of San Martin Island north of San Quintin would be going off! I got a call during the week from some friends of friends who had heard of a big wave spot on Isla San Martin and wanted to try to paddle it. There were rumors that it was strictly a tow-in spot and too heavy and tight to drop in from the peak. Wrong!

People watched curiously as we loaded the quiver of 9'0" to 9'6" big wave guns plus a few 7'8" and midsized guns. It turned out that the bigger boards were the ticket.

As we headed out of San Quintin to the island I didn't think it would be that good as the swell didn't seem that big.

We talked on the way out about paddle vs. tow-in surfing theology and the crew from Encinitas were obviously not fond of the noisy, stinky jet skis. With confrontations between paddle surfers and tow teams coming to a peak at Todos Santos, Ensenada, the Encinitas crew were looking for an unspoiled big wave surfing spot...and sort of found it.

As we came around the south side of San Martin Island we could see the big sets wrapping all the way down the island and also we saw skis and tow-in teams, 2 skis and 4 surfers. The tow surfers were killing it, pulling huge airs, flips, etc.

The mood was grim on the boat as we sat on the shoulder, outside the kelp where the tow teams had their quivers anchored up. But as Greg paddled out something rare happened. The guys were cool and shut down the skis and stowed their strap-on boards and everyone surfed "Macking" Overhead surf all day! The waves were 6-8 feet backs with 12 to 15 foot faces, big hollow tubes, and a tight wall section that freight trains for 500 yards! The pics were weak but I couldn't get inside any closer with our big Parker boat. Thanks to the tow guys.

Fishing reports by K&M Offshore Sportfishing also appear in Western Outdoor News.

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