Surf Photo Friday – Stephanie Schechter, Family Surf Trip to Panamá
Photos by Janet, Jason, and Stephanie Schechter
Panamá. Not the first place that comes to mind when thinking of a surf trip destination… But that may be one great reason to choose to go there. While Panamá is known to have good waves and fabulous weather, it is definitely considered an off-the-beaten-path country for surf trips. This is precisely why my family chose to travel there last week for a seven-day trip of surfing, fun, and relaxation.
I had just finished final exams for winter quarter at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and my brother had just finished his finals at UCLA. Instead of going on “MTV Spring Break!” style trips with friends to places like Florida or Cabo, our parents were kind enough to invite us to share some quality time on a surf trip to Panamá! We flew directly from LAX to La Ciudad de Panamá, and the flight was only six hours, a quick hop in comparison to flying to somewhere like Asia, which has flights in the 12-14 hour range. We spent the night in a hotel near the airport in the beautiful capital city, and then set off in our rental car, stacked sky high with our board bags, to Playa Venao. We were told the drive would be four and a half hours, but of course, it ended up being around five and a half, not including the amount of time we spent taking wrong turns!
Finally, we arrived at beautiful Playa Venao. We found the house we were staying in, nestled in the jungle overlooking Playa Venao. It was adorably named La Casa Mango, after the several mango trees providing shade for the house in the 80-90 degree Panamanian heat. We went to see the waves, and our jaws dropped. In front of us were perfect sandbar beach break peelers with only a few people in the water! There were peaks dotting the entire stretch of beach, and while some waves closed out, most were head high, open-faced walls, perfect for riding any type of board. We spent the week surfing and having fun at Playa Venao, while the offshore breeze cooled us off and perfected the waves. We found a wonderful cove for snorkeling, with crystal clear waters and plenty of fish!
Although the trip was only one week long, we spent our time well, by not only surfing and snorkeling, but also doing yoga, walking through the jungle, relaxing in hammocks, and more! There was wildlife galore, including monkeys, exotic reptiles, and LOTS of insects. This trip was one I will certainly always remember, celebrating a successful quarter at UCSB, surfing with my family, and learning about the wonderful culture of Panamá!
Thank you for dropping by for another installment of Surf Photo Friday. Have a great weekend everyone …and as always, thank you for your support of Jettygirl. Please consider helping out with a “Pay Whatever You Like” subscription to the site. Every little bit helps!
Photo Credits: Surf photos by Janet Schechter; snorkel photo by Jason Schechter; scenic photos by Stephanie Schechter.
Previous Surf Photo Fridays | Prue Jeffries on a Donald Takayama Quad | Sara Taylor Sequence | Get Stoked on Lady Shapers | The Session That Changed Everything | Justine Dupont and Pauline Ado in California | Role Models, Why They Still Matter | Surfing New Jersey’s Polar Vortex Swells with the K Twins | Mele Saili and Hayden Lane, Cardiff Reef | Jill Manos Surfs the Freezing Water of Nova Scotia, Canada | Malia Ward, Chris Ward, & a Surf Photographer’s Second Worst Nightmare | Chloe Buckley & the Tiny Five Hundred Dollar Wave | A Special Surf Session with Ashley Lloyd Thompson, Julie Cox, Alex Thompson, Chris Cuevas & Sheri Crummer | Kelly Nicely & the Pelican Session | Mary Osborne & Her Beloved 9’10” Cooperfish Single Fin | Kelia Moniz, Megan Godinez, Geodee Clark & Bruna Schmitz | Kamalehua Keohokapu | Claire Bevilacqua | Lulu Erkeneff | Alexa Frantz |Rebecca Woods | Silvana Lima | Alessa Quizon
Stephanie Schechter on Instagram – @stephanieschechter
Stephanie Schechter’s interview on Liquid Salt
Kevin Connelly Surfboards
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