Todos Santos photography

The sun had just risen as we passed by Chickens on the way out to Killers at Todos Santos, 12 miles off the Mexican coast from Ensenada, and some pink still lingered in the sky. Everyone was amped. Up to this point we had no idea if our investment would produce the most captivating swell of our lives, or turn into one big dud. Rounding the corner of Isla Todos Santos we watched the sparkling blue of the ocean produce a gargantuan green hump that sprayed finely cut diamonds in a forward arch. We knew we were in luck.

Todos Santos Island

“Chandelier of death!” yipped surfer Eric Nicholson, anxious for the chance outrun the pearly white spray he saw folding gracefully into the trough below.

Jan. 12 was a full day of amazing waves, chill times and broken boards at Todos Santos. Big wave vets like Pete Mel, Jamie Mitchell and Long brothers Greg and Rusty were among the 15 or so surfers in the lineup, raring to go on the 25-30 foot faces. The sets would die out occasionally, only to come pumping in with a vengeance. Some surfers would look back after successfully navigating the way past roaring torrents of whitewater, to see the bomb explosion they had narrowly escaped.

“It’s always fun dropping into a blue wall. Nothing beats that. It’s the best feeling in the world.”

Others weren’t quite so lucky. Thankfully the World Surf League safety crew was firing on all jet ski cylinders. One surfer snapped his board in half, losing his GoPro to the depths. Another had to retrieve a board from the island, returning with something that looked like a shark had taken a bite out of it. Some said it was the best day of the season so far.

wave passes

“Everything about it was just epic, you know,” said Manhattan Beach surfer Scott Bredesen, reflecting on the session at a Mexican taco shop afterwards. “It’s always fun dropping into a blue wall. Nothing beats that. It’s the best feeling in the world.”

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