A north swell anatomy

Roadtripecuador started many years ago as an idea and today we are launching our first edition. It has taken the form of a digital magazine that goes around our country in search of attractions.

Since this is our first editor's column, I decided to write about something very important to me and that this country has a lot of: Waves. There is a great similarity that you feel when expecting the launching of a project and when waiting for a train of waves to come. The prior days you get nervous and hopeful. Just like with waves, it is impossible to predict the outcome when the day arrives.

Luckily we were blessed with the best waves of the season, and we hope that this Project has as strong of an impact as the waves which we documented did.

7 days before the waves arrive:

The sun is coming out in Hawaii and a train of waves coming from the northeast hits the islands at maximum strength. Places like Pipeline and Sunset Beach start getting big ones, about 3 to 4 times overhead (20-25 feet). The places to surf are Waimea Bay and Jaws since they have the capacity to stand bigger waves.

Once this size waves hit Hawaii, it will take about 7 days to arrive at the coast of Ecuador.

2 days before:

The waves could show up tomorrow. The same train of waves that hit Hawaii, arrived in California a couple of days ago, and it is considered the best one of the season.

Waves like Mavericks have been ridden in large scale and as expected they will increase once they hit the coast of Ecuador.

1 day before:

In beaches where people usually bathe peacefully, the waves have gained considerable size.

Many bodyboarders have arrived at Chipipe (also known as Chi-pipeline), the most visited beach during high season. Here Novelty Waves are formed, a wave that hits against the breakwater of the Yacht Club and that half way through mutates into a tubular beast.

The day the waves arrive:

The swell has stopped filling and it is one of the biggest to ever hit the coast ever.

At “El Barco”, one of the most visited surfing spots, there are 15 people, yet many big waves go by without any takers.

Just 15 minutes away by car in Chuyuipe are 15 different waves and just one person to deal with them.

At El Castillo, two surfers enjoy waves without even noticing great ones breaking just a bit further from them. When waves come from the north, they tend to break everywhere.

A bit north from there you find Capaes, another wide playfield with great space to surf. Here you find a long soft left breaking wave when they are small, and a fast and tubular one when they are large like today.

We go a little bit further to Coito, a reefbreak with only 2 people in the water and plenty of peaks. When the waves break this way, you can’t decide what direction to take.

The tour ends at La Escalera, a hidden wave of Punta Blanca. It was the epitome of chain wave perfection. We found only one person with infinite waves for himself.