About the waves
The waves around the Sayulita area are perfect for beginner and intermediate surfers. With over 12 different spots to choose from, there is a high probability one of them is working. There are beach breaks, point breaks and reef breaks in a 45 minute driving radius. With the Riviera Nayarit being located in a semi-protected bay, most spots only manage to get over head a few times a month. Adjectives that people usually use to describe the waves in the area are usually “fun, playful and small”, meaning that for complete beginners and intermediate surfers, it is a dream. Many spots around the world have amazing waves but only if you are an advanced or experienced surfers. Bali, for example, comes to mind.
Sayulita and it’s surrounding surf spots are very easily accessible, but most of them involve a drive and a walk to get to them. Unfortunately, like in most countries, access to beaches has become rather inconvenient and with ILW you can be sure you’ll be taken to the spot that suits your surfing level best.
Sayulita’s main break is a right hand river mouth rock bottom right hand break called by local “El Punto” or “La Derecha”. The gentle wave is usually waist to chest high and optimal for longboarding. Because it is the most easily accessible wave in the area (you can drive to it) be aware that it may be crowded. Some of the best Mexican surfers have come from Sayulita : Diego Cadena, Kalle Carranza, Tigre Cadena, Ticuz Rodriguez, Adan Hernandez, Gatito, Joel Barraza, etc. Sayulitas main right hander breaks over a rocky bottom but no major boulders stick out from the water.
To the left hand side (south side) of the main break is a perfect beginner wave that tends to be smaller than the waves breaking on the main break. This wave breaks over a beautiful sandy bottom, making it ideal for beginner surfers. In fact, most surf schools in the area teach on this side of the beach. Like the main break in Sayulita, it may have some people on it, but it is always beginners, so if are a beginner surfer and are in need of company we urge you to head over to that side of the beach and practice with your level surfers. You can be sure to find a surfing buddy in the lineup.
Sayulita’s north end of the beach, other side of river, has a long and stronger left hand break that locals call “La Izquierda”. This wave is slightly stronger than the right hander and demands a bit more swell than the right, it usually being a foot or so smaller than the right hander. It is less crowded but also more fickle, but sometimes it’s nice to sacrifice crowds for more quality waves.
There are many other surf spots in the area, but we opt to keep them secret, or as secret as they can stay. Surf spots around the world are getting more and more crowded and we know what it feels like to be surfing alone and have a van full of people show up and crowd your spot. This is why we don’t publish online or anywhere else what the spots are called, where they are located or how to get to them. Rest assured though, that with Kalle’s and our team’s local knowledge, you will be in the best of hands.
Sayulita’s beginner wave on the south side of the beach is the best option for beginner surfers and we usually only take people to other spots once we feel that all the basics are covered and people feel comfortable and are able to do the following:
- Go over waves
- Go under waves
- Avoid running into people
- Avoid being in people’s way
- Knowing where the channel (s) are and how to get to them
- Knowing where rocks and currents are
- Etiquette (Who has the right of way)
- Signals for OK or trouble
- Efficient paddling (Many schools don’t really emphazise much this factor, but it is crucial
Summer or Winter Waves?
The Bay of Banderas or Riviera Nayarit has quickly become one of the best surf destinations because of it’s ability to pick up on south swells, west swells and north swells. What this means is that swells that originate in Alaska, in the winter months (November-April) come down and hit most north facing beaches. In the Summer months (May-October), swells that originate in New Zealand and the southern hemisphere come up and hit beaches in the area that are, you guessed it, facing south.
The winter months are usually more consistent for waves and we do get some amazing swells, but during the summer months you could go a week with no waves and then get an amazing 5 day swell. This is how so many professional surfers in the area honed their skills, being able to surf all year round.