Watch: The Bull's Mouth
"Man cannot live on trade swells alone"
So said a longtime commenter on Swellnet about seeking those lesser trodden east-facing coastlines. To his mind, the only purpose tradewinds serve is to put an airbrush over groundswells; blow them clean as happens on the south-west coasts of Indonesia or north-west coasts of Hawaii
No doubt our commenter friend, had he a time machine at his disposal, would've been of a mind to search for waves on Panama's west coast first, as it faces into the might of the Pacific, both the South Pacific and North Pacific. Surely that'd be where the country's real action lies?
However, he wouldn't be the only surfer surprised by the waves found on Panama's east coast. It's got a narrow window open to seasonal trade swell, and it faces into the relatively small Caribbean Sea, but what happens there overshadows anything on Panama's west coast - overshadows most anything anywhere.
The stretch of coast has been on the travelling surfer's radar for at least a decade, it's had low-key visits from numerous pros, was shown in Mick Fanning's film 'Missing' - shown on the cover in fact - but only recently are all the details made public. C'est la vie.
Hawaii's Smith brothers travelled there this season, filmed it, also filmed themselves doing an ice bath on the way to the airport, as you do, before filling two-thirds of the film with manufactured drama.
The waves, when they come, don't dissappoint.
In fact, they're the kind of waves I could quite easily live off. Groundswells be damned.