Puerto Rico has been an increasingly popular destination for surfers around the world ever since the 1968 World Surfing Championships were held there, and for good reason. Along with the hundreds of reefs, points and tropical beaches, favorable winds to the north, and crystalline blue water, its diverse natural scenery and renowned traditional cuisines make this Caribbean island a favorite among many. As a surfer, you're focusing most on the waves. But what other advantages does Puerto Rico have? Crowds? Those are ubiquitous these days, so we can throw that out. Hazards? There are always a couple. But when you go down the list of notable spots, from Parking Lots to Maria's to Los Tubos to Middles to Aviones (the list goes on), you're sure to score some waves any season you visit. Right? Wrong. Maybe that's right, but not for Noa Deane, Yago Dora, Andrew Doheny, and Mauro Diaz. Noa, Yago, and Andrew recently travelled to Puerto Rico to meet up with Mauro (who lives in PR) and Richie Olivares (Volcom's Global Surf Team Manager) to try and score some clips for a new edit. After driving around a ton searching for waves, taking a mini jet to a neighboring island, and returning to the same fruitless conditions, the boys needed to shift their focus. And they did. When you have a diverse group like this, you are never bored. From Noa's 'welcome to the team' surprise, to the sharpie incidents, to the Pelican Man, there was no shortage of memorable times. See below for a Q&A from the guys, along with a selection of behind-the-scenes and lifestyle film photos from photographers Tom Carey and Scott Stinnett.
Meeting the Pelican Man, who literally could talk to the pelicans and tell them what to do, seriously. I guess he was featured on the National Geographic cover once. He would rescue wounded pelicans and by the time we met him he had a full flock under his wing.
Droid and Noa were inseparable the whole trip, constantly making music, writing songs, playing guitar. While Yago would just quietly eat his candy and then boost eight foot airs. Mauro was just soaking it all in and was stoked to be there.
Meal of the trip was Pinchos? Peenchos? I dunno how to spell or pronounce it, but it's basically sketchy 'chicken' on a stick and sold on the side of the road.
Drink of the trip was Pina Coladas! So many Pina Coladas.
Favorite moment of the trip was when everyone conspired to welcome Noa to the team by smashing a pie in his face. So while Noa, unknowingly, jammed out on his guitar, Yago snuck up behind him with a pie and smashed it in his face! I think Richie yelled "welcome to the team, grom!" and then Noa smeared more of it all over his face and started chugging whip cream while everyone cheered. It was great.
If you fell asleep early enough, Noa and Droid would hunt you down with a sharpie and vandalize your face. I think Nate Leal got the worst of it.
It was full moon when we were in Tortola and the main spot we surfed the whole trip was in front of a shanty bar called Bombas, which was literally held together by string and beach wood and halfway underwater already. It looked like a big enough wave would knock the whole thing down. They had a legendary party on the night of the full moon and they were serving some beverages that made us hallucinate. It was wild!
Below photos: Tom Carey
Camera: Canon AF35M & Disposable
Below photos: Scott Stinnett
Cameras: Yashica T4 and Widelux