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    News — Hallie Rohr

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    South of the Border: BAJA DIARIES

    Locked & loaded at 5 in the morning. We bought a gas station coffee, insurance for the van... you know, the standard border crossing essentials. Checked out a few spots along the way, we made the call to keep truckin' South. By 10 am we were getting breakfast at Palomar, which for some reason included 2 tequila shots and a Michelada (the perfect pairing for Huevos Rancheros). 

    We turned right off the main highway and drove West through lush green valleys adorned with brightly colored poppies. Vibes were high. Blasting the Flying Burrito Brothers and Santana, we caught our first glimpse of sparkly blue sea. Perfect glass. The bumpy, dirt road rocked us around as we approached the remote beach that'd be our home for the next few days. On the north end, waves were wrapping in the best, but there were plenty of peaks to choose from.

    Gorgeous burnt sienna cliffs surrounded us in our little corner of the Earth. Sitting out in the line up, you couldn't help but turn around and take in the incredible backdrop. After surfing the place all to ourselves, we came in to enjoy the much-needed sunshine and a round of cards. It felt like I hadn't had a sunburn in months and I welcomed it. At dusk, we came in from a dreamy session and cooked ourselves a fine, camp-style dinner. An incredibly tasty carne asada feast accompanied with handmade tortillas from in-town, fresh avocado and salsa. 

    The night ended with us trading stories and tequila around the campfire. A canopy of bright stars overhead, we eventually wore out from the day and retired to our little encampment on the sand dunes. 

    Morning came and I clambered out of my tent onto the fresh sand. Awaiting out front were perfect waist to shoulder high waves peeling all along  the vast stretch of beach. The cool morning air awakened my senses as I strolled the shore in search of shells and other beach treasures. The rest of our crew woke up and we made a pot of coffee to get going.

    The day was just what we'd been missing all these Winter months. Not a cloud in the sky, sun beaming, whales out on the horizon. The water looked so inviting. We took our collection of boards, towels, beverages, plus a speaker and an umbrella. Made a little hangout spot on the sand tucked up against the cliffs. The boys drank beers and played Boche ball in between surfs. I explored the tide pools and sun bathed, happily taking on all the sun Baja had to offer.

    All day we traded boards and played on the beach without a care in the world.

    When sundown approached, we were all more than ready for a proper meal and another relaxing night by the bonfire. The tequila bottle was now dusted, and so were we.



    There's something about going south of the border that never gets old. Especially when you keep seeing sets roll through all the way from the highway

    With a small crew and no shortage of waves, we had some unbelievable times down in Baja earlier this year!

    BAJA WITH THE BOYS from San Onofre Surf Co. on Vimeo.

     Sharing peaks, tacos and tequila shots with Joe Lambert, Ben Cardoza and Hallie Rohr


    We crossed the border at nightfall and were all buzzing with excitement. Our first stop was Hotel La Salina where we'd meet the rest of our crew and continue our caravan south. After a bit of dancing, karaoke, Pacificos, chips and salsa, we hit the highway towards San Miguel. The next morning would kick off the San Miguel Coalition Surf Festival, which the Windansea Surf Club hadn't put on for several years. We were excited to see what this Baja point break had in store for us.

    The first heats were pretty wild with the high tide whomping on to the unforgiving rocks. Rides were tricky but the competitors put on a great show and maintained flow and control. Noah Cardoza made it through to the next heat along with his brother Ben Cardoza. Wiley Archbold and Kyle Perez, also surfing incredibly, were just shy of making it to the semi finals. Next up we had Finn Walen and Arlo Kraus repping it for the younger generation of shredders. Finn cruised his way through heats, making it into the Sunday final. Arlo impressed with his talent in the Open Men's Shortboard, competing against guys twice his age. Hallie Rohr cross-stepped her way through the first heat and straight into the final. With half of our San O Surf Co. crew making it to finals, we were amping!

    That night we had an epic bonfire and enjoyed a fresh fish dinner on the beach, thanks to the Windansea Club. 

    Sunday heats were on! Finn logged the challenging conditions on his Nick Melanson single fin, eventually earning himself a solid 3rd place finish in the Boys division. We had some time to kill before afternoon Men & Women heats. This gave us the chance to have a fantastic breakfast overlooking the point... sussing out the conditions over chilaquiles, machaca and fresh squeezed orange juice. 

    Hallie paddled out for the Women's Final and the conditions were certainly the best they'd been so far. Waist to chest high, perfect tide with a slight offshore breeze. With fiver other ladies battling it out for the best waves, she held her own on the borrowed Dextr 9'5 log that Ben would later ride in his final. She came out with a first place finish and the satisfaction of a successful weekend in Baja.

    Ben was up next in a stacked Men's Final. Truly incredible surfing combining switch noserides with long, perched tens. We all cheered as he absolutely dominated. Our talented goofy footer earned himself a first place finish and was the perfect representation of our traditional logging finesse. 

    We wanted to stay a few more days so badly! But with a lack of funds and a very uncertain border situation due to the attempted breach in Tijuana, it was time to go home. Bye for now, Baja!

    Special thanks to Hope Ranch Surf Club for getting us spots in the contest. Also to Windansea Surf Club for running this event. Huge thanks to San Onofre Surf Co. for supplying us with plenty of tees and hoodies for the trip, and to owner Joe Lambert for entrusting us with his truck and continual support!

    Final Finishes:

    1st Place - Ben Cardoza (24)

    1st Place - Hallie Rohr (24)

    3rd Place - Finn Walen (13)