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Sandra Olson throws a shaka to Damian as she glides by

BAJA WEEKENDER

S U RF T RI P

with Manny Vargas & the San Diego Surf Ladies Words By: Sandra Olson | Photos: Damian Davila (facebook.com/damiandavilafoto) Manny Vargas (www.MannyVphoto.com) | More Info: www.MannyVtours.com

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everal years and mag issues ago, we published our first article from Michelle Winstead. She had been a guest on one of Manny Vargas’ Baja Weekender Surf Trips, and they put together a piece that was absolutely beautiful, and left me wanting to join them on a future adventure. It felt calm in that the waves looked like liquid glass in Northern Baja and easy to surf, but at the same time a little wild and rugged, like something out of an old western movie--a land where time had almost stood still. Surfing women of all ages were smiling, laughing, having fun in the water and seemed to celebrate just being alive. I wanted to be part of that fun group! Although Manny and I had tossed around the idea of WSSM teaming up with the San Diego Surf Ladies and BWST- and creating a special weekend trip just for the magazine, a couple years passed before the stars aligned, everything fell in place, and we were finally able to join Manny and the girls on their famous Baja Weekender Surf Trips. Having just come out of Southern Baja (you can read about that on page 206), we had pretty much surfed ourselves out the week before. So when we learned there was going to be a small, glassy swell and a chillax weekend in store for us, we were stoked to pile into the 15 passenger van before dawn. We loaded up with stoked-out surfer ladies, more surfboards than you can imagine, luggage, munchies, and headed off on our adventure. 210 | womenssurfstyle.com | wSSm

From start to finish, Manny took care of all our needs. From surfboards for Dan and me, who were traveling without ours at that time, to delicious local food, to snacks and accommodations, even a delicious lobster dinner by the ocean, and safe passage every step of the way- he was on top of his game. It felt good to sit back and let someone else take care of the team and just soak it all in--in leisure! After hours of surfing, hanging out on top of the van cheering each other on, more delicious food, more surf, and a good night’s sleep, before we knew it, the weekend was gone and it was time to head back to the States. But even that, even the drive to San Diego was special because Manny loaded up all the images Damian Divila had shot during the weekend and we got to view them as we crawled our way through Mexican street vendors and bumper-tobumper traffic as we crossed back over the border. Hearing all the “Oohh’s” and “Aahh’s”, and “Oh, I remember that wave!” moments relived with the girls made me happy to have been able to see this little slice of southern California women’s surf culture in action. Though Baja is only 45 minutes away for most of them, it was amazing what an escape could be found, stoke refueled, and a lifetime of memories created when they just took a chance... and went adventuring together, to a not-so-distant surf destination. Once again, inspired by the stoke and her surroundings, Michelle Winstead was kind enough to chronicle her experience of the trip... So turn the page to keep reading!

Profile for WSSM Womens Surf Style Magazine

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