GOOD OIL OPENER
BY ALEX WORKMAN
Affectionately known as Mexican Pipeline, Puerto Escondido is a wave that certainly warrants the attention. Drownings, broken limbs and snapped boards are common at the fabled barrelling beachie that can hold up to 20 feet. Roll the dice and you can be the recipient of the wave of your life. Legends have been made here. Greg Long won the 2014 XXL Ride Of The Year at Puerto, Brian Conley fashioned a career here and most recently Shane Dorian air-dropped into a bomb that defies logic.
But it's not only the wave that can break you; Puerto is a notoriously sketchy place to be a photographer. Just ask Camila Neves, a Brazilian photographer from Rio De Janeiro, who has been coming to the sand bottom miracle for the past three seasons." In my first year shooting Puerto I had a lot of problems dealing with the local photographers. I had to go to the police station after some guy told me that if I kept shooting he was going to kill me," she says. After making peace with the help of the local authorities Camila now has safe passage at Playa Zicatela without fear of retribution. "One of the reasons I love Puerto is that it was my first contact with really big waves."
This photo was taken a few days before the Pico Alto Big Wave World Tour event and the pulled back angle makes Puerto look a lot less scary. According to Camila it doesn't show the chaos that was playing out in the lineup. "I've never seen so many people as I did on this day. There were big barrels and massive wipeouts, a typical scene in Zicatela when the surf is on." If you are equipped with a big set of balls, a rhino chaser and are versed in the art of war then hopefully one day you'll also find your own slice of Mexican perfection.