Todos fires on first winter swell of 2012

With news of the first big swell on the wires it’s finally time to pack up the big boards and head south to the infamous Todos Santos Island off the coast of Mexico. Todos is way out and the ocean and can hold any size conditions. With a swell of this size on the charts it’s looking to be a big one. The deep water swells collide with the Island and can produce ride able waves of up to any size.  With promising weather and massive swell on the charts everything is looking good. We drive down to Baja the night before the swell and stay for the night at a beach break just a few hours south. When we awake in the morning we are greeted with clear skies and lines marching into the beach break. The swell has arrived so we decide to venture south and depart from the harbor en route to the Island.  After scouting a boat we toss the gear aboard and head out. After 45 minutes at sea we approach the main break and notice a large flotilla of skis, boats and surfers ready to take on the swell.  We sit back and have a look and sure enough a monster set rolls through and detonates on the shallow rock reef. Its solid 20-25’ with bigger bombers every 30-45 minutes. With riders thirsty for a taste of glory people throw themselves over the ledge and shoot for the safety of the channel.  I decide to take the paddle board for a spin to have a closer look and nearly get taken out by a 35’-40’ set.  It’s BIG and the sets can get you if you’re not careful. We finally get the courage to paddle into the lineup and begin scrapping with the pack and dodging 30’ bombers. My companion isn’t so lucky and gets caught sleeping on the inside. I watch in horror as he takes an absolute monster directly on the head. His board disappears and he comes up gasping and is saved by a Good Samaritan on a jet ski. It’s no joke out here and it’s not a matter of if you get caught inside its when. With my buddy left shaken up and board less back on the boat I spend several hours in the lineup watching some of the world’s best big wave riders get massive waves in the 30’ and even 40’ range on the face.  As the day comes to an end we head back to the harbor and are greeted by a pod of small porpoises riding next to the boat. Upon Pulling up we notice a fisherman carrying a large surfboard up the docks and quickly realize it’s the missing board from my buddy’s cleanup set. WOW! They found it floating in the ocean and it was washed around the entire Island and ended up out to sea. The fisherman picked it up and after swapping some cold beers they gave it back. We are elated as most boards that stray end up smashed on the inside rocks and his is unscathed. A great ending to an incredible trip.

Surfline also has a great video of the day. If you look at 37 seconds you can see my friend in the bottom left of the frame diving for lobsters under the huge cleanup set that claimed his board.


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