I was wondering if anyone knew how far up the coast (east or west side) of the sea of cortez you could surf? More specifically, if a hurricane such as Odile this past season, takes just the right path and is literally sending a South-East swell straight up the sea of cortez, there has to be waves all along both coast right?
Obviously the sea isn't very deep so the waves would likely quickly refract to both shores...
Check out the wave models from Wetsand for mainland mex and set the start date (bottom left corner back to Sep 15th. You can see that there is a strong fetch with wind aiming up the sea.
I've searched around and can't seem to find much. One day I dream of taking our boat down there and just exploring and finding potentially unridden waves...
what do you think?
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Thread: Surfing Sea of Cortez
Mar 16, 2015, 12:56 AM #1Junior Member
- Join Date
- Jan 2010
Surfing Sea of Cortez
I doubt there's much surf north of Los Mochis. I could be wrong.
Mar 16, 2015, 03:45 AM #3Banned
- Join Date
- Aug 2010
RKsurf, I have thought the same thing for many years. I sometimes look up into the Sea of Cortez (Gulf of California) on Google Earth whenever the chubascos start churning in that area. Last year, there were at least 4 swells that originated south of Baja and not far from Mazatlan that were close enough to the coast to throw a SE swell, which actually works very well in that area.
I agree with Sobx, it would be hard to imagine any kind of swell working it's way past Los Mochis northward. But, I've heard of wave refraction, so it might be possible. I've traveled through Guaymas a couple of times, I can't imagine waves ever breaking there.
My version of Google Earth shows 2 left hand points appearing to be breaking very well near a town called El Tambor. I'd love to take an extended safari in that area, but geez...it's in Sinaloa. I speak Spanish and carry extra cash, but "La Mordida" can take a lot of joy out of your trip. And getting "bit" would probably be the best case scenario these days.
Fetch in Sea of Cortez can be fairly long (about what most gulf of mexico beaches usually get)...or short as lake tahoe (people surf there, too...rarely).
I've seen plenty of satellite images showing surfable windswells on the east side (west coast) of the sea of cortez. In the current set of Google sat images, there's a little semi-clean swell just north of Isla Tiburon. Don't know how much power in them, but definitely longboardable (or sup, kayak, etc).
Thing is, why would anyone really ever want to go there?...it looks like one of the most isolated places on earth.
Last edited by waterbaby; Mar 16, 2015 at 05:29 AM.
Mar 16, 2015, 05:35 AM #5
was just checking the swell and saw this question so i thought i'd comment.
i live on a sailboat with my girlfriend and 2 cats. we left dana ponit, ca 2012 and sailed south down baja and then up into the sea of cortez. we spent about a year on pacific and sea side of baja.
baja is a magical place. the sea, at times, can get more ruthless than the pacific. but it is short period swell.
so far as swell on seaside of baja. cabo frailes is about as far north as "surfable" swell wraps. outside of la paz there seems to be a couple spots that get refractions. so, not much surf north of cabo frailes/la paz area. plenty of waves, wind, swell, beaches, etc. just not consistent surf.
as far as mainland side of the sea. los mochis is considered the farthest north, but you may get lucky as far north as empalme though.
storms/hurricanes are what they are, and if you are down there when one happens i doubt you'd be surfing.
barely any rainfall for years, so when they hit, it's hard. anything and everything flows from the deserts to the sea.
traveling at a walking pace, with all my belongings, it was nice to have a quiver on hand. i do admit though, it rarely came in handy while sailing the sea.
Baja, both Pacific and Sea of Cortez, is a vast part of our world, so close yet so far from "home". definitely recommended for anyone who loves saltwater and independent travel.
hope i answered a question and gave some insight.
Mar 16, 2015, 10:48 AM #6Senior Member
- Join Date
- Sep 2009
That's rich. Real rich.
You will be in long line with a flotilla of other boats; they will be suffering from the same hallucinations you have just expressed. They will all be americans, recent arrivals to surfing. They discovered Malibu also......
Are you the first surfer to travel to Mexico?? Wow....now there is a novelty!! Why didn't anybody else think of that before???
Mar 16, 2015, 04:17 PM #7
i guess "senior member" entitles one to make fun of people for asking questions and wondering about a more secluded part of our world?
i used to use forums a lot, it was fun. now i forgot that the internet has turned into a place for people to hide from reality while knocking other people down.
we lived in the Guaymas boat yard (marina seca guaymas) for a few months. up the road at Playa de Cortes in Bahia Bocachibampo i have seen a small loggable wave roll in. that is mainland side though, 6+ hour drive south from Tucson. Baja side, Mulege or Concepcion i saw a few coves that also had a longboard wave rolling in.
RKsurf, hope i answered your questions in a positive light. if you are curious about baja and the sea. PM me, i can give you a list of books and coordinates that will change your life, whether you surf there or not.
Last edited by splendid isolation; Mar 16, 2015 at 04:26 PM.
Mar 16, 2015, 04:27 PM #8
Mar 16, 2015, 04:36 PM #9Senior Member
- Join Date
- Sep 2009
I have surfed Baja twice, 20 years ago--all spots had surfers, not a lot, but enough. You will USUALLY have company, which does not bother me in the least. Sooner or later, a few show up to join you if you are first out.
It has gotten worse in recent years.....by a lot, I am told.
So, if you wish to join the hallucinations...be my guest!!
Mar 16, 2015, 04:44 PM #10