Puerto Escondido, Mexico

Learning how to surf at Carrizalillo beach

By Sergio Camalich

My main goal during my stay in Puerto Escondido was to learn how to surf and the best spot for this is the beautiful beach of Carrizalillo, a small beach in the middle of two cliffs a few minutes away from Puerto Escondido’s main bay.

Carrizalillo at sunsetIs this the perfect spot for surfing or what?

Just a 20 to 30 minutes walk from Zicatela beach—where I was staying—it was the ideal spot to spend the day surfing, swimming and fooling around.

The lessons

After my first surfing session at Carrizalillo

After a couple of days walking around town—getting to know the locals and asking about surf lessons—I was able to find an instructor that charged me $250 pesos per class, which was a good deal considering that they usually charge $350.

I had two classes with Goyo—the instructor. In that time, he showed me the basics of standing up on a longboard, turning around in the water, avoiding the big waves and after that, we were on the water.

At first, he helped me by pushing my board right before the wave reached me. Standing up was the easy part and it felt quite natural, but the problem was going back to the surfing spot, swimming against the waves and trying not to fall from the board.

It wasn’t long before my arms didn’t respond anymore and I almost didn’t cry from the pain.

Surfing like the big kids do

One of the pros of CarrizalilloThis is totally not me

By the end of the second day, the waves in Carrizalillo were perfect. I was feeling confident enough and wanted to do everything by myself, just like the big kids. That’s when the fun started.

It is one thing to have help from the instructor and it is a totally other thing to paddle by yourself to get a wave and then stand up before you’re thrown away into the rocks.

Carrizalillo's shore and emerald waters

Which is exactly what happened to me most of the times.

The timing and coordination has to be perfect and you have to do it many many times before you get the grasp of it.

The key is to keep up your motivation and not giving up, since its kind of hard on your ego to be surfing among the pros and not being able to do anything.

Finally doing it!

Two days passed before I was able to do it all without sucking that much, but the feeling was exhilarating and I couldn’t stop laughing maniacally.

I bet everyone in Carrizalillo are still having nightmares because of my laugh.

Surfing in CarrizalilloIt is definitely not a Maverick, but whatevs…

I kept doing that same routine for several days—waking up, breakfast, walk to Carrizalillo, surfing for 1-2 hours, succeeding in life—and by the end of the week I was totally in love with surfing, despite all my cuts and bruises.

It was the kind of pain that you enjoy.

Now I can’t wait to visit another surfing spot and show off my sappy skills.

The costs of Carrizalillo

Breakfast at Zicatela: $20 pesos
Taxi from Zicatela to Carrizalillo: $30 pesos
Surfing lesson: $250-350 pesos
Board rent per hour: $50
Bottle of water (1.5lts): $20

Where next?