· By Maria Nilsson
LOVE STORY | Scorpion Bay | Mexico | By Daini Stephenson
There were a lot of moments I wish I had surfed prior to actually surfing all the time.
It took us one-and-a-half days of driving to get there, down the very west coast of Mexico: Baja Peninsula. It looked like what I would think Mars would look like – dry, rocky, barren and majestic. It was vast – a sweeping valley of only desert and cacti – it was just us out there and it felt like we were a million miles away from the rest of the earth. Passing old petrol station shacks and abandoned cattle barns made it feel like we were in an old American western movie scene. It wasn’t an easy trip, and it wasn’t easy to find – this made it a much more awaited destination – we were excited.
There were 6 right hand points to surf, and when there’s a cyclone swell, they all connect. This place is called San Juanico, or most commonly known, Scorpion Bay. This is a place that I thank for allowing me to see surfing in a different light. Growing up in and around Byron Bay, I was surrounded by easy opportunities to surf everyday, if I wanted to. I got my first surfboard at around 14 years old; it was a 7’6 fluro pink and yellow Town and Country board. It was pretty sweet, my brother thought of the idea – and I loved the idea, but I was scared of the people and the embarrassment. I slowly surfed, every now and then, I would get on the board, watch some movies and, I guess, subconsciously I was learning. Then I went to Scorpion Bay, and rode a 30 second wave on a long board that gave me a rash. By the end of my time at Scorpion Bay, I had this burning rash - because the joy overtook the pain by a long shot. From then on, I just wanted to surf all the time, I fell so in love with it that I could never remember not doing it.
I got home to Byron Bay and bought myself a nose-rider 9’4 long board - it was beautiful. My relationship with it blossomed and thankfully, is still receiving nourishment everyday as I choose surfing over anything else – most of the time. Then, there are the relationships that have formed because of surfing, this is all apart of it as well. Firstly, you have surfing – it’s amazing and makes you feel good, and as human beings we like to do the things that make us feel good, naturally. Then, I think of the things that surround surfing; like surf checks with coffees, the most fun you can have doing exercise, and the friendships, of course. I have made so many new friends in the water, and I am so grateful for that. It’s a community and it’s a party every time and I don’t have to get invited, I can always go and always have the best time. One thing I have to allude to in this ‘wow surfing is so great’ spiel, is the unexplainable emotions experienced when you finish that wave. For me, it is a complete out-of-body experience, when I finish, I can’t actually remember what I did. I just remember the feeling I felt. This is why it’s addictive; it’s a feeling of being so potently present that you remove yourself from your own body. It sometimes feels like I’m looking down at myself from a bird’s eye view. It’s hard to encapsulate in words, but I feel like that’s why so many people do it and love it, because it’s kind of like being high – whatever you think that means.
So, thank you surfing, and thank you Scorpion Bay, you have both changed my life for the better and I feel a lot more comfortable in my own skin because of you.