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
Cheers, mon! Yago, Noa, and Droid taking down some Red Stripes pre-flight. Beer of choice for El Caribe.
Droid loves to sleep. Is he sleeping here? Here's Noa wondering the same thing.
Small planes are convenient (and sketchy) when you need to jump from island-to-island to search for waves.
You can bet on Yago to always be prepared for a surf. We also discovered he always has extra fin keys. Good man to bring on a trip!
Tradewinds in Puerto Rico can sometimes make for chilly weather. But Tradewinds or not, sunny or cloudy, Noa is always rockin' his favorite jeans.
Mauro Dora and Yago Diaz?!
Surf trips sound so fun, right? Especially to places far from home, and they are. But, people forget it's full of multiple airports, long car rides, lack of sleep, and sometimes getting skunked on waves. Here's Droid at the culmination of it all.
Noa trying to make the car rides a little more entertaining for the group.
After flying-high all week, Yago indulges on a couple glasses of vino on his last night of the trip.
Nate Leal and Scott Stinnett (background left & right), are the go-to filmers for the Volcom Surf Team. These dudes are always on it!
What we can take away from this photo is that more sunscreen was needed!
Yago channeling some Tony Alva?
Cops are always on the lookout.
"Yeah, it's a bit windy, but..."
Sleeper boy. Noa knocked out from rocking too hard and drinking too much water.
Droid's bringing back the classic Black Fly's look.
Y'all been to Pusser's?
Phone rings... "It's Ozzie! Oh, snap, my rent's due!"
Droid sometimes sleeps with his eyes open. It's creepy, but pretty funny!
Yes, airports are full of freaks!
The name of this airplane is quite accurate.
Whatever you do, don't look down!
Scared, psyched, confused, or all the above?
Touchdown! This place ruled.
Yago always packing the late night snacks. This dude loves chocolate.
Droid rockin' the Mag Vibes Stoneys and Yago rockin' the Macaw Mods!
Mauro Diaz is always Gozando! (Having a good time.)
Noa greeting the Shark's Cove of the Caribbean!
Why did we have a fart machine? Who knows. But when you play this thing through a mini amp, it will have you in tears.
This literally went on for a couple hours...
Nate, bummed his phone broke and couldn't Tinder.
The pie in the face wasn't enough, and Noa wanted more!
Noa making Richie and Droid some tasty treats. Egg in hole? Egg in basket? Whatever it was, it ruled.
Noa loves to prank people, and here is proof! So, don't fall asleep before him. Looks like Tom Carey didn't get the message.
Checking emails? On Instagram? Whatever, it's too late for photos.
Noa's first boards with the Stone!
Yes, Droid sleeps with his guitar, day and night.
Below photos: Scott Stinnett
Cameras: Yashica T4 and Widelux
Boarding the mini jet.
Yago's candy stash.
Airport lobby jam sash with Droid and Noa. Maybe just Droid.
Beers and champagne. Why not?!
Seriously lost! Tom Carey trying to figure out where they are while Noa sleeps one off.
Mind surfing. We did that a lot due to the lacking of waves.
Few spots had potential, and we found some fun waves, but not a ton.
Everyone wants a photo with Droid.
Checking this spot called Middles, which had a couple waves on offer.
This is Tortola. And it's an amazing place to visit.
Free samples of Pina Coladas on the house!
Noa and Droid.
This was the last night in Puerto Rico. Full crew!
These rocks were super sharp, but made for some cool, Mars-lookin' landscape.
Droid and Noa taking in the amazing view we had. What a way to wake up.
Yago, the pelican whisperer.
OK, Noa is a pelican whisperer, too.
Yago, Noa, Droid, trying to write some songs in the lobby. You can see Droid here has taken a new approach to the word "downtime."
Downtime again with Droid.
Cool path we found to some waves!
Droid resting his eyes.
Droid jam session.
Droid sleep session.
Yago with somewhat of a swan dive.
Noa and Droid hanging out on the porch of our spot.
Found a dude who was driving this and asked if we could take some pictures with it. He was stoked, and more than willing to let us do it. Thanks, man, this is rad!
Sincerely, yours truly.
The Pelican Man hooked us up with some free lessons on how to care for them and feed them. It was actually pretty cool, and Noa and Yago turned out to be experts at the trade.
Noa mid-jump, or fall, or step-off, or whatever. Not a very enthusiastic jump, but we'll take it!
Buddies. Noa and Yago enjoying the Caribbean.
Cool angle of Yago floating in the sea.
Mauro showing us some spots.
Room with a view!
See you, dudes, next time!
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Posted on 03/22/17