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A little about Playa Zipolite, The Beach of the Dead . . .

Playa Zipolite, Oaxaca, Southern Mexico, on the Pacific Ocean. A little bit about my favorite little get-away on this small world of ours.

Zipolite, a sweaty 30-minute walk west from Puerto Angel, brings you to Playa Zipolite and another world. The feeling here is 1970's - Led Zep, Marley, and scruffy gringos.

A long, long time ago, Zipolite beach was usually visited by the Zapotecans...who made it a magical place. They came to visit Zipolite to meditate, or just to rest.

Recently, this beach has begun to receive day-trippers from Puerto Angel and Puerto Escondido, giving it a more TOURISTY feel than before.

Most people come here for the novelty of the nude beach, yoga, turtles, seafood, surf, meditation, vegetarians, discos, party, to get burnt by the sun, or to see how long they can stretch their skinny budget.

I post WWW Oaxaca, Mexico, Zipolite and areas nearby information. Also general budget, backpacker, surfer, off the beaten path, Mexico and beyond, information.

REMEMBER: Everyone is welcome at Zipolite.

ivan

ZIPO TV

Friday, March 4, 2016

I Didn’t Shun The Eddie says Albee, Jaws is Where I Belong Matt Rott by Matt Rott on 4th March 2016

I Didn’t Shun The Eddie says Albee, Jaws is Where I Belong

Matt Rott
by  on 



I Didn’t Shun The Eddie says Albee, Jaws is Where I Belong

Matt Rott
by  on 

The day after the Eddie, I surfed an outer reef a few miles from Waimea Bay. The swell was still pumping, the wind was perfect, and there were only a handful of people in the lineup—all of whom were pretty noteworthy personalities, with respected voices in the surf community. But despite the perfect waves and beautiful weather, all of the talk in the water was about another session—namely, Albee Layer’s the day before, at Pe’ahi.
Albee had made the wave of his life that day, arguably the best barrel ever ridden at Pe’ahi. But to do so, he had missed surfing in The Eddie, an event he had been invited to. That barrel has since ignited the internet, and armchair critics have debated the decision to shun surfing’s most prestigious event for another Hawaiian wave.
Engulfed. On first viewing of the footage it's easy to think there's no way he's coming out.
Engulfed. On first viewing of the footage it's easy to think there's no way he's coming out.
The last time someone did that, it was Laird Hamilton and Darrick Doerner in 1995, when they chose to tow surf another outer reef on the North Shore. Many people cried foul, saying it was incredibly disrespectful of them to do so. Some people are saying the same thing about Albee, and that he will likely never receive another invite to The Eddie, while others are simply celebrating his momentous barrel, and his almost mythical relationship with Jaws’ west bowl.
Rather than joining in the debate, we figured we’d go straight to the source and get Albee’s perspective on the whole debacle.
Hey Albee, thanks for taking the time to chat with us. Let’s start by talking about this 2015/16 season. Pe’ahi has had a dream run since the first of the year. Has El Nino lived up to your expectations? And how do you see the rest of the winter playing out?
I’ve actually trained myself to not expect anything because the first couple of years they said it was going to be El Nino, and it sort of didn’t deliver. So this year I had no expectations, and it ended up being the best winter I’ve ever seen in my entire life. I think it was way better than anyone thought it would be. The rest of the year…I think the season is pretty far from over. I think we will have a bunch more swells this year. It’s not uncommon to have a run of Jaws swells in March. I’ve even surfed Jaws in April before. So I think there is plenty more.
Guys are saying that the barrel you made the other day was the best ever at Pe’ahi. You want to talk us through that wave?
I think that…I’ve found that with the best waves of my life, I always have trouble remembering them. And that’s probably because the best waves of your life, you think you aren’t going to make it, or you are almost falling the whole time, so I almost black out or something. But I remember paddling for it and being kind of stuck at the top and then thinking I would have to air drop. But luckily it wasn’t too steep at the very start of the wave. Then I remember looking up and thinking it was a total closeout. And I thought, “What have I done? I am going to get so pounded.” It was pretty scary, because I was the only guy…Will Skudin was sitting on the left, and then there was just me. And it was so scary, and hard to line up.
I looked up and thought it was a closeout. And then I remember getting lipped on the way into the barrel.
It just felt like one of those days that you just don’t want to fall. I looked up and thought it was a closeout. And then I remember getting lipped on the way into the barrel, and being so relieved that I made it into the barrel, so I wasn’t going to get too pounded. Because normally if you make it into the barrel…you are still going to get pounded, but you have already gotten past the worst wipeout you can have. And then I just was sure it was a closeout, and I guess I just pumped or something…I don’t remember much of the barrel. But I remember, right at the end, thinking “Holy shit, I am coming out.” And then I came out, and kind of claimed it a little too hard. I was pretty excited.
The whole entire wave I just thought I was falling. And I guess that whole session…it’s a lot harder to catch a wave when no one is calling you into it, and there is no one around. There weren’t even many people on the cliff that morning. It was kind of like a ghost town. I was just so stoked to get a wave in the first place, because it looked like one of those days where we weren’t sure if you could even catch one. And I had a medium sized one with nice shape come to me, and I was just a little overly emotional, I guess.
Sticking the drop pre-barrel was no easy feat either.
Sticking the drop pre-barrel was no easy feat either.
It seems like that day was more of a tow day than a paddle day?
Yeah, well I think a lot of people expected the wind to come up a bit more than it did. And as big as it was, and windy, it’s barely possible to paddle it, and extremely dangerous. So there was no one paddling it, and there were only three tow teams. It wasn’t crowded by any means. There were only three teams out catching the big north sets. When you are sitting out here towing, you can’t even see when a wave swings to the west bowl. You can’t see that from the outside. So it’s almost like we were surfing two different waves.
Of course, to score that barrel you had to miss The Eddie. Some people are saying it was disrespectful of you to do so, and that you will probably never get another invite. Others like the fact that you are committed to your home break. Do you want to chime in on the debate? Was that barrel worth the potential repercussions?
I don’t have any second thoughts or regrets. I actually pulled out of The Eddie because of the injury I had from the last swell at Jaws. And I’m still not 100 per cent. That day, the Eddie day, I caught two waves, and that’s it. That was all I had in me that day. And there is no chance I would have been able to surf at 100 per cent in two one-hour heats at The Eddie. When you are in a competition, it takes so much more energy. If I paddled for more than an hour, my whole arm started seizing up and twitching. So I had no intention of surfing that day, but I went to Jaws and it was just so good, so we went out to have a look at it. And we got out there, and I thought, “Well, I’ll paddle closer to have a look.” Then I ended up catching a couple of waves. But that was it. I surfed for barely an hour, and rested the rest of the day.
The reason I surf big waves is because Jaws is right next to my house, and I just started surfing out there and became addicted to it.
So my decision was based on not feeling up to competing. After the barrel, I was sort of rattled, because I realised that I was already injured and that was even closer to maybe paralysing me or something. I knew I wasn’t at 100 per cent, mentally or physically, and that it would be stupid of me to throw myself into the competition. When you are in a contest, you push it harder than ever. And if I was in The Eddie, it would have probably ended in me getting hurt again.
As far as if I don’t get into the contest again, that’s totally fine with me. The Eddie is the coolest thing ever, but I’m not really…I like surfing big waves, but I’m not really worried about contests or anything. I like surfing Jaws, that’s where my love for big waves is. It’s super cool to check out other waves and stuff, but the reason I surf big waves is because Jaws is right next to my house, and I just started surfing out there and became addicted to it. But I never started surfing Jaws and thought, “I’m gonna be a big wave guy now, and surf all the big waves in the world.” There’s this amazing wave that is really close to my home, and I wanted to dedicate a lot of my time to it. And when the opportunity comes to check out other waves, that’s great but I don’t make it a huge priority to chase other swells.
Flinging the bird as he charges through the semis of the Peahi Challenge.
Flinging the bird as he charges through the semis of the Peahi Challenge.
© 2016 - Kirstin Scholtz / WSL
You were out in the lineup at Mavs last month, on that Super Bowl super swell. That day was pretty nuts, and the Maui boys were going pretty hard. Was that your first session at Mavs? What do you think about the wave?
That was my first time over there, yeah. I don’t know. Mavs is kind of…a lot of Hawaii guys go there and get hurt, and we all know that a couple of guys have drowned there. It’s always seemed like the scariest wave ever, so I’ve always wanted to go there and prove to myself that I can do it. And it’s I think you could get really barreled out there, if you are willing to get pinched on.cold water, so it’s out of my element. I got there and I was just really impressed by the wave. It was a lot smaller but gnarlier…like it was smaller of an area, but so intense and compact on that one area.
It’s just a big slab, really. We are basically just trying to take off on the corner of a big slab. It’s so intense right there. So it lived up to everything I’d heard, for sure. The one thing I struggled with was how packed the crowd was, but besides that it was such a fun wave. I think you could get really barreled out there, if you are willing to get pinched on.
After your performance at the Pe’ahi challenge as a wildcard, you are ranked 6th on the Big Wave World Tour, which closed its season today. According to the WSL rulebook, that means you have qualified for the Big Wave World Tour next year. Is that something you were consciously working towards? Does being big wave world champ interest you?
Yeah, I would give it a try, I think. One of the reasons that helped my decision not to do The Eddie is that I’ve never done well in the contest scene where there are big crowds. I get really bad emotional anxiety. It sort of does my head in, and I freak out.
So to deal with that and then go and try to surf big waves would be hard. But I feel like the Big Wave World Tour is kind of cool…well, I’m not sure, because I haven’t been to other events, but at the Pe’ahi Challenge, there wasn’t a huge crowd or anything. We were just out in the water in our own little world. I didn’t have any idea how many people were watching or anything. And I think the other events are sort of similar in that way. So I definitely want to give it a try for a year, and see if it is for me or not, then take it from there.
Not that he needed to but Albee further cemented himself among the elite out at Jaws placing second behind Billy Kemper in the Pe'ahi Challenge.
Not that he needed to but Albee further cemented himself among the elite out at Jaws placing second behind Billy Kemper in the Pe'ahi Challenge.
© 2016 - Richard Hallman / WSL
So if one of the events on tour next year is scheduled to run on the same day as a Pe’ahi swell, are you going to travel and compete, or stay home and get barreled?
I’ll probably stay home (laughs). I mean, anytime there is a chance to surf Jaws without a crowd I have to be there. It’s really cool, too…I don’t think people will think it’s such a big deal, because at every big wave event, the top five alternates are as good as the top five guys. So it’s not a big deal if one of us misses it, because just as gnarly of guys will be out. And that’s one of the things I really felt about The Eddie. There are so many guys who have dedicated their lives to that spot and being part of that event, like Danilo and Mason and Koa, who were the first alternates. And it feels weird for me to be in it, because I’ve never surfed there, and don’t really spend time on the North Shore anyway. So I felt like they were a better fit for the event than I was.
Right on, thanks Albee. Hopefully this epic winter continues and you get a few more mental ones.
Thanks.

Matt Rott
Writer and surfer

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