Corky Carroll

Pigheaded Surf Cruisers

By Corky Carroll


As most of you know it’s been a far less than satisfying summer here in Southern California for surf.  Some are calling it the worst ever.  Not only has the surf been bad but the water has been colder than normal too.  And when you consider the fact that we don’t have all that warm of water in the first place we at least hope for some relief from the full wetsuits in the summer.  But this summer has been disappointing all the way around. 


One day recently I was standing on the pier in Huntington Beach lamenting how bad the surf was and how cold it was that morning.  Normally this time of year its magical here.  Big south swells and offshore winds.  That’s why I love fall the best time of all.  In the winter when it’s cold I spend most of the time at my casa in the southern part of Mainland Mexico because it’s warm and the surf is good almost all the time.  And I was thinking about that and on the spur of the moment decided to jump on a jet and go back down there. 


Late summer and fall is the rainy season in tropical Mexico.  And this year has been a monster year for rainfall.  All the rivers are raging and the roads are full of holes and it’s hard to get around.  I landed in the middle of a huge rainstorm and wondered if I had made the right call on this.  A pal of mine from San Diego we call Fluid Phil was with me.  That night we were sitting around on my deck with my neighbor, the infamous Iguana, and got to talking about how all the river mouths were going to be working great this year.  A thought occurred to me.  I had seen a river mouth far out in the middle of nowhere a few years back when I was looking at some land for sale that was by the beach.  It was so remote that I wrote it off as “to hard to get to.”  But I did take a mental note that there was a river mouth there with an amazing setup for catching a south swell if the sandbars were right.  I had gone as far as checking it out on Google earth to see the different roads in and all that.  Over a few (dozen) tequilas and tacos we decided to get up early and make a quest for unknown surf.


We left my casa at 5A.M. and made the long slow drive to where the little dirt road turned off the main highway and lead eventually to the beach.  The little dirt road was more like a mud river, but we decided to brave it.  I have 4wd.  After about an hour of very slow and very careful bumping and sliding around we finally made it to the beach next to the river mouth that I had remembered.  It was now about 9A.M. and it was a beautiful crystal clear morning with a hard offshore wind blowing.  A huge south swell was wrapping around the rocky point next to the river and peeling perfectly across the sandbar to the north.  We hit it right on.  The only problem was that so much crud had come out of the river that the beach was covered with mountains of debris.  I had never seen so many plastic bottles in my life.  We had no idea how to get through all this stuff and to the water, there was no path.  Right then the Iguana spotted a big pig head laying there.  No pig, just the head.  Yuck.  Then we noticed that there was a whole bunch of them.  I was creeped out to the max.  So Fluid Phil says, “well, we could make stepping stones out of the pig heads to get to the water.” The scarey part is he meant it. 


I can honestly say that this is one of the most bizarre water entries I have ever made in my life.  I have jumped off cliffs, piers and rocks.  Paddled through rivers with crocodiles, which incidentely this river did have, and all kinds of other difficult water entries.  But walking over pig heads was a new one for me.  Not the ideal way to start the day, but hey.  We got to the water and rode some amazing waves all by ourselves. 


Two days before I was standing on the Huntington Beach freezing and now here we were having discovered and surfed a whole new spot.  We lovingly named it “Pigheads.”