Day 1 We have arrived at the airport in Mexico and our ride isn’t there. We eat a random selection of food at the airport restaurant and crack our first Mexican beer, then order a taxi to our destination. Boards stacked high we arrive under cover of darkness, greeted by the rhythmic sound of surf.
Day 2 Adjusting to time here is difficult. With no phones and no watches we count time by waves, sessions, naps, tacos, and beers. It takes an adjustment; the mind is constantly searching for a schedule. Things slow down and I find that I can truly relax with a book without checking my phone every 5 minutes.
The house is a revolving door as our crew surfs, takes a break for some water and a bite to eat, and heads back out for more.
Day 3 It’s amazing to actually be too hot in the water. As someone who is always cold even in the summer and in places like Puerto Rico and Hawaii, it’s a luxury I don’t get very often. It’s sweltering during the day, and brutal standing on the beach with a camera. Mornings and evenings are the only respite. Thankfully the second day brought a steady breeze.
The peeling lefts give us an empty canvas to play on. They are so long that everyone has started to get out of the water and walk up the beach to get back out.
Day 4 The waves have gradually gotten a bit smaller, but the mechanical lefts keep coming in. We’ve switched to smaller wave gear, and my shortboards are sitting lonely in the house.
Afternoons are reserved for naps, reading, and listening to music on the balcony. Today one of the locals got us coconuts from a nearby field, and they were absolutely delicious.
The evening brings a string of intense lightning storms that put on a show all night.
Day 5 Unfortunately the surf begins to dwindle, and we turn our sights beyond our home base to explore the nearby coast. Our new friend Josh offers to drive a few miles south towards a beach town filled with luxurious beachfront homes and a beautiful coast with alternating rock-reef and sandbar breaks.
We paddle out at a promising looking sandbar, but the surf proves fickle and difficult, and more than a bit sharky. Still the crew managed to get a bunch of waves before a huge baitball appeared in the lineup. Some of us onshore saw dolphins pursuing it, but we also saw a fin that looked a bit more shark-like than dolphin-like, and Jake and Manny paddled in as fast as they could.
Day 6 The surf dwindled even further this day, and so we set our sights on exploring the coast to find yet another break that is notoriously a bit hard to find. We missed the first turn and drove miles in the wrong direction before finding the correct route. The dirt road had been ravaged by recent rains, and it took a while to navigate the pits and bumps. More than a few times our stack of nine surfboards nearly flew from the roof of our Jeep.
Once we reached the break we were greeted with an empty lineup and perfectly clean peeling waves. The only problem was the waves were miniature, suitable only for a longboard. The crew did the best they could to wring as much fun from the surf as they could before relaxing under the canopy at the little restaurant on the beach run by a grandma and her family. Although the surf wasn’t as stellar as we had hoped, we could see the potential for amazing surf at this spot.
Day 7 Our last day we were hoping the see the beginnings of a new swell filling in, but the morning greeted us with dribblers crumbling on the point. Unfortunately the swell did not arrive early as we had hoped, so we set about packing our boardbags and getting ready for the journey home. The funniest thing about traveling with a group of surfers is trying to wrangle all the boardbags, and we had more than a few curious onlookers at the airport.
We left Mexico with tans, great memories, and a great time together. We didn’t quite get the stellar surf we were hoping for, but a week in paradise with your friends is something that will be looked back on with fondness for the rest of our lives. -Hayley
*Notes from the jetty… Please check out Hayley Gordon’s leashless.tv to view her groundbreaking surf and skate films.
DaFin Swim Fins – DaFin Swim Fins are the tops choice fins for lifeguards, body surfers, and ocean enthusiasts around the world. Features a comfortable foot pocket designed, specialized design for maximum propulsion, and a double density rubber construction for perfect snap with each kick.
RVCA Advocate Margaux Arramon-Tucoo spent some time this past Fall season in sunny Southern California surfing, making art and hanging with friends. Here’s some footage she got along the way… hope to see her back here soon!
Filmed & Edited by Hayley Gordon, Leashless.tv
Music: Paradise by Wild Nothing
After giving a presentation at the San Diego Surf Ladies anniversary party about a year ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Hayley Gordon. We instantly got into an in-depth conversation about women’s surfing, surf magazines, and films. After the party Hayley showed a small group of us a clip she had worked on while on a surf trip with her friends. Her creative editing immediately caught my eye and I asked her if we could run Adventures in Puerto Rico on Jettygirl.
Since that first meeting, Hayley and I have surfed, shot photos, and discussed surf media on a number of occasions and it’s been great getting to know her. As you all are aware by now, her most recent release, By The Way, is a smash hit and it is currently making its way around the surf film festival circuit. We caught up with Hayley the other day and asked her if she would mind doing a brief interview with Jettygirl. If you haven’t had a chance to check out By The Way for yourself, click the play button above and enjoy! –Chris
Jettygirl: According to Vimeo, By The Way has scored over 35,000 viewings and more are added every day. Did it surprise you how far and wide your film spread in such a short amount of time?
Hayley Gordon: Yes, it was pretty surprising. I only posted it on Facebook and sent it to two blogs, and it went viral after that. I guess it shows that people want to see more girls surfing. It surprised me also since I kind of lose perspective after I edit a video for hours and hours – I literally can’t tell if it’s any good or if people will like it. So it’s nice to have it validated.
Jettygirl: Of all the segments in your film, which is your favorite and why?
Hayley: I like “Carrot to a knife fight” because it was the most fun to put together. I let myself get a bit more creative with it without worrying too much about whether it was perfect or not. Plus it was just my friends having fun. It’s funny because it has the least surfing in it, and the surfing is more fun oriented than performance oriented. It was the first time I was able to work with a lot of my “B Roll” footage and it was a nice change of pace.
Jettygirl: With the release of By The Way, you’ve surely inspired other women to pick up a camera and make a short film. Is there any advice you could give them?
Hayley: Just go for it and have patience. It takes a lot of patience to make a good edit I think, especially with surfing and the fickle conditions of weather and the ocean. Also, watch as many surf movies as you can so you can see what you like and don’t like about how they are put together and edited.
Jettygirl: Of all the surf movies you’ve ever seen, what are your three favorites and why?
Hayley: Shelter. It was the first surf video I had ever seen, and it has this nostalgic quality for me. Plus I just really liked it. I like Thicker Than Water for the relaxed vibe it had, and the great music. And I love Modern Collective for the really creative filming, music, and editing.
Jettygirl: By The Way will be screening at the San Diego Surf Film Festival in less than two weeks? What are your plans for the film after that?
Hayley: The film is also going to show at the Honolulu surf film festival, and a few others are in the works but not confirmed. I’m just going to submit it to as many festivals as I can.
Jettygirl: If money were no object and you could make a movie anywhere in the world, where would you like to go and which six or so surfers would you bring with you?
Hayley: Ooh…do I have to pick just one place? I’d do a road trip to Scorpion Bay, a boat trip in the Maldives, and then bring everyone to my home breaks on Eastern Long Island, NY to surf a hurricane swell. I hate picking people in public because someone might feel left out, but I’d bring my friends who were featured in By The Way since they rip and the video wouldn’t exist without them.
Jettygirl: Comments and reviews about By The Way range from the typical “these chicks rip!” to deeper themes of female empowerment. Was there any particular message you were trying to get across with the film? What is the best comment you’ve seen so far?
Hayley: Haha, I think the best comment was some random comment I found in a Facebook group about keeping girls away from prostitution by looking up to the girls in the film as role models. It was really funny.
But actually the best comments I read were the ones that said the movie made people want to go surf, or that it made their day. That made me feel really good.
I really wasn’t trying to promote any deeper meanings. I just wanted to make a good surf video. I also wanted to help show that there’s a ton of talent out there from some girls that you might not have heard of in the mainstream surf media.
Jettygirl: Any parting shout-outs or thoughts you’d like to share?
Hayley: Haha, well, if anyone wants to support any of the above mentioned dream surf trips, we are accepting all donations
It’s a year of firsts for surf film festivals in San Diego, from San Diego Surf Ladies hosted Board Shorts: Short Films by SoCal artists, Inspired by Women to the inaugural San Diego Surf Film Festival taking place this May at Bird’s Surf Shed.
13 feature films and 22 shorts will be screened over the weekend of May 11 – 13th and there are some familiar faces in the line up! San Diego Surf Lady, Hayley Gordon blew us all away with By The Way back in February! At just shy of fifteen minutes long her film is a refreshing look at a crop of talented women surfers with the right amount energy and fun that makes you immediately want to grab your board and run out of the door. Thoughtfully edited with an awesome soundtrack Hayley’s film has gained worldwide attention in the past couple of months with 33k+ views on Vimeo and posts on many a surf site including Surfer Magazine.
By the Way is being screened as part of a triple dose of women’s surfing goodness in a 2 two hour block where you can also see Clare Plueckhahn and Fran Derham’s latest piece So It Goes & much loved feature documentary The Women and the Waves. Australian filmmaker Clare Plueckhahn and Fran Derham’s last piece LunchBreak won ‘best short’ at the New York Surf Film Festival and was featured as a guest ‘global short’ at the Board Shorts Festival. So it Goes contrasts the tongue in cheek high energy of LunchBreak and features 19 year old Billabong surfer Felicity Palmateer exploring her thoughts on life and the pressure she faces as a competitive surfer.
First released in 2009 The Women and The Waves, a documentary by Heather Hudson and features a cast spanning multiple generations of female surfers including the pioneering Linda Benson and professional surfer, shaper & musician Ashley Lloyd. Uplifting interviews and inspiring surfing throughout the film provide a great commentary on what it means to be a wave-loving woman!
Not to be missed over the weekend another film screened at the Board Shorts Festival and chosen by the San Diego Surf Film Festival as an automatic selection is Margaux. Shot and edited by Michael Weybret of Shaper Studios in San Diego Margaux takes us on a beautifully crafted four-minute journey as we watch French surfer Margaux Arramon-Tucoo shape and glide on a recent visit to California.
You can catch Margaux on Saturday May 12th and So it Goes, By The Way and the Women and the Waves on Sunday May 13th, Mothers Day.
In Carissa Moore’s first full year on Tour, she accomplished what so many have predicted for her over the years of her young life, an ASP World Title. It’s difficult to imagine the kind of pressure she was under to accomplish the goal. While most surfers are given a number of years to find their footing in the pro ranks, you could almost feel the industry’s expectations that anything short of a world title would be a letdown. But there would be no slip-ups, no letdown, no unfulfilled goals …Carissa charged through the Tour schedule, pushed performance boundaries in a groundbreaking film and did so with Hawaiian grace and style.
After Carissa won her World Title, we planned to interview her as quickly as possible …but so did every other surf media outlet on the planet. By the time our turn came around, all my questions had been asked numerous times. Instead of rehashing what had already been said, we asked a group of former world champions, legends, filmmakers, industry folks, free surf pioneers and local groms to post up some questions for the new World Champ. I don’t think this has ever been done before …so thank you to all who participated. You have my deepest appreciation! –Chris
1. Asked by Heather Hudson, Executive Producer of The Women and the Waves Heather Hudson: If you could go back to any era in surfing history and surf with anyone, who would you want to surf with and why?
Carissa Moore: I would probably want to go back two years and have a surf session with Andy (Irons) or go back to the early 90’s and surf with Rell (Sunn). Both people are great ambassadors to our sport and role models to me.
2. Asked by Kelly Nicely, Current #13 on the ASP Women’s Longboard World Rankings Kelly Nicely: How has the tour changed for women in the past few years and how do you think the future of the women’s tour is headed as far as equality with men and women?
Carissa: I think the talent on the women’s tour has come so far the past few years. The girls are definitely pushing the limits of their performance. Unfortunately, the state of our tour is in what seems to be the worst it has ever been. I can only hope that one day we will have the same kind of following that the men have and we will gain more support and events.
3. Asked by Kim Mearig, 1983 ASP Women’s World Champion Kim Mearig: Since you’ve won the world title so young, are you content or do you want to beat Kelly’s record?
Carissa: Haha, I don’t know if I will ever beat Kelly’s record or even come close but I would love to give the world title a run every year I am on tour.
4. Asked by Serena Brooke, ASP legend & owner of Serena Sportswear Serena Brooke: What type of diet and training do you do to keep in shape, do you think it is important to your surfing?
Carissa: I think it is so important to eat right and train to perform at your best. You definitely could just surf and be amazing but for the overall package and piece of mind it’s great to be on top of those things as well.
5. Asked by Sara Taylor, freesurfer & video star of Circus Tricks, Illegal Turns, and Hayley Gordon’s Empty Lowers Sara Taylor: If there was something you could change about the tour what would it be?
Carissa: If there was something that I could change about the tour it would be to have more events at amazing venues!
6. Asked by Cori Schumacher, Writer & 3x Women’s Longboard World Champion Cori Schumacher: Within the realm of surfing, the sponsorship dynamic is one of the most influential socializing agents for young surfers. How old were you when you were first sponsored and can you remember if how you felt about yourself changed then? If so, how? When you made the shift from being sponsored by endemic surf companies to your current sponsors, did you feel a shift in yourself as well? If so, what did that feel like for you?
Carissa: I was very lucky and got sponsored when I was seven by Roxy. I was very naive and didn’t think much of it, just how cool it was to get a box of clothes every month! Also, when I made the shift from being sponosred by endemic surf companies to my current sponsors I didn’t really make a big deal of it. I think my family did a really good job of keeping things simple on the sponsorship end so I could just enjoy surfing.
7. Asked by Kassia Meador, photographer, longboard stylist & current #2 on the ASP Women’s Longboard World Rankings Kassia Meador: What is your favorite post shred snack?
Carissa: I love a nice green smoothie.
8. Asked by Shea Hodges, Hawaiian freesurfer & star of Shea Hodges: Freedom in Motion Shea Hodges: It’s apparent that in the last few years the level of women’s surfing has increased dramatically. The widespread use of the internet and social media has helped create more of a “do it yourself” attitude for the aspiring surfer that doesn’t have the means to travel the tour and compete. Do you feel that women (like men) should have the option to be professional free-surfers and not only Tour surfers?
Carissa: Yea, I definitely think that women should have the option to be a professional free surfer.
9. Asked by Hayley Gordon, filmmaker & owner of Leashless.tv Hayley Gordon: What was your greatest or funniest misadventure/disaster on your surf travels?
Carissa: Funniest misadventure was ….
10. Asked by Di Mattison, blogger, surfer & surf instructor extraordinaire Di Mattison: What do you think about the “marketing image” available to women professional surfers? Why do you think it is that the guys are able to be marketed with a wide range of types – jock; punk; gangsta; artist; hippy; intellectual – and that there’s only one type for women: happy, sporty, beach babe? I do see that Steph plays her guitar and Sally is really into sports, but I don’t see their overall image(s) being far from the mark that the surf industry has set for women (image-wise).
Carissa: I know. I think it’s crazy that guys seem to be way more marketable when women are the ones who are way more into fashion and the way they look. I think all the women on tour have awesome personalities and something unique and special about them and just need to be marketed in the right way.
11. Asked by Lauren Otonicar, owner & creator of Tonic Haircare Lauren Otonicar: What is your animal amalgamation? (If you could be a combination of 2 animals what would you be and why?)
Carissa: Bird and dolphin so I can fly and swim underwater for long periods of time.
12. Asked by Ashley Beeson, middle school shredder in the Western Surfing Association Ashley Beeson: Do you have any tips on how to do those “sliding 360’s” frontside and backside? I want to learn how to do them myself.
Carissa: Just keep messing around with it and eventually you’ll figure it out. It is a shift of weight from the front to back to front again. The key to spinning is getting the fins out of the water. To get the movement down, take the back center fin out, that’s what I did in the beginning, shhhh.
13. Asked by Kim Wooldridge, 14-year veteran of the ASP Women’s World Tour Kim Wooldridge: Which women surfers did you look up to or were inspired by when you first started surfing?
Carissa: Layne Beachley, Rochelle Ballard, Megan Abubo…
14. Asked by Amee Donohoe, ASP Women’s World Tour veteran and contest director of the annual RA Girls Surf Show Amee Donohoe: Being the most progressive female surfer ever and inspiring generations, how are you keeping yourself inspired to continue to push your level of surfing? I watch your free surfing and your contest surfing and you go big with such flare but are you secretly attempting “sex change varials” now that the judges know what they are?
Carissa: Haha, well thank you, I am so flattered. My dad is definitely the one to thank for pushing my level of surfing. He is the one who helps me think out of the box, challenges and encourages me to go bigger. Also working with guys like Shane Beschen, Myles Padaca and Pancho Sullivan have inspired me so much. Being around their male energy is so new and exciting.
15. Asked by Lola Blake, President & CEO of Chick Sticks by Lola Lola Blake: Do you have a pre-heat ritual that you do or think to yourself before your competitions?
Carissa: I always sit down and have a quick chat with my dad before paddling out, listen to some Eminem and Bieber and say a little prayer.
16. Asked by Cori Schumacher, writer & 3x Women’s Longboard World Champion Cori Schumacher: How important has your heritage as a Hawaiian been in your approach to surfing and what is the most important aspect of this heritage for you?
Carissa: It’s definitely motivated me to want to do my best to represent my heritage. The most important part is being able to do something I love and having fun everyday. A lot of hardwork but it’s all worth it.
17. Asked by Jessi Miley-Dyer, ASP Tour veteran & 2012 ASP Women’s World Tour Manager Jessi Miley-Dyer: You’re one of the only girls on tour I’ve seen donate their prize money to charity. We used to donate our time to various causes when we have been overseas but I’ve never given money (would love to but not exactly rolling in it, haha). Do you think that we should do more community work around the contests that we go to? Would you like to see more of it?
Carissa: I think we definitely should and I would love to see more of it. As professional surfers we get to travel the world and do something we love, how lucky are we?! I think it is important to give back to the communities that aren’t as fortunate but have given so much to us.
18. Asked by Margaux Arramon-tucoo, French artist, longboard stylist. Star of Hayley Gordon’s film, “This is Margaux” Margaux Arramon-tucoo: Does surfing for a living, traveling, now being world champ and all that comes with it, inspire you in other areas of your life?
Carissa: Yes of course! I realize that my life is amazing and in order to keep it I just have to keep working hard at everything. It is all so worth it.
19. Asked by Savannah Fliers, local ripper & huge fan of Carissa Moore Savannah Fliers: Where do you see yourself in 20 years?
Carissa: I hope raising a family, married, a teacher or a coach and of course still surfing!
20. Asked by Savannah Fliers, local ripper & huge fan of Carissa Moore Savannah Fliers: What advice would you give to girls who want to catch more waves when surfing in a lineup surrounded by wave-hungry guys?
Carissa: Patience and time. If you put your time in at any spot and are respectful you will gain respect yourself and will catch waves. And as you improve the guys will want to watch you rip!
21. Asked by Bilandra Chase, Mom, installation engineer & the better half of NK Surfboards shaped by Raz Bilandra Chase: You two have worked so closely for so many years. What did your dad say to you when you won the world title?
Carissa: My dad and I are best friends and seriously there is no person in the world that I would have wanted to share that journey with than my dad. He was stoked. When I won in France he gave me a huge hug and then said, “Knuckles. You did it!” Pretty awesome moment. One for the memory books for sure.
While surfing with Hayley Gordon the other day, she casually mentioned that she had gone down to Lowers with two of Jettygirl’s favorite subjects, Huntington Beach’s Sara Taylor and a spray-throwing goofyfoot from Argentina, Ornella Pellizzari.
“And when we got there it was virtually empty,” she said nonchalantly.
I’ve used that line quite a bit myself over the years but to me, “virtually empty Lowers” is about twenty surfers. Hayley, Sara and Ornella didn’t just score “virtually empty,” it was “empty, empty.” I’m so envious but so stoked at the same time to have the opportunity to show off more of Hayley’s work. She is an amazing individual, a great surfer and an incredibly gifted filmmaker.
Follow Hayley Gordon on Twitter and check out more of her short films on Vimeo.
EMPTY LOWERS – a short surf film by Hayley Gordon
Sara Taylor and Ornella Pellizzari rolled down to Trestles on Thursday where they were greeted with the emptiest Lowers lineup they had ever seen. It was an all you can eat wave feast. Doesn’t get much better.
Music: Lana Del Rey – Blue Jeans (PatrickReza Dubstep Remix)
Canon 70-300 f/5.6
Tokina 11-16 f/2.8
and some sunglasses to fight the glare…
Hayley Gordon, publisher of the wonderful surf site, SurfingHandbook.com, took a recent trip with friends Valerie Gee, Suzanne Barzee and Mary Barzee to Rincon, Puerto Rico for a week of fun, sun and good waves. This was Hayley’s first venture filming with her Canon T2i and the footage looks amazing! (Hayley noted that the water shots were done with a small Fuji waterproof point-and-shoot after their water camera sprung a leak in one of the seals.)
We’re stoked that Hayley’s giving us the opportunity to share her work with our readers and we’re looking forward to seeing more of her film projects in upcoming months.