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Teiki Mathieu Baillan surfing a self-made Alaia surfboard in Lances Left, Mentawaï, Indonesia. Photo by C. Naslain, 2009.
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info about Balsa Shapers in Playas - Firstly the pioneer shaper in Ecuador is "el Gringo Andres" (Balsaflite.com) who resides in Playas. His knowledge has been passed on to several people from this area who are now successful shapers. One of his best disciples are the brothers Jimmy and Milton Zhanay, who's boards have traversed the world with companies like kuntiqi.com, balsatribe.com and many more who buy their boards. Their specialties are longboards, shortboards, and paddleboards especially balsa. Alejo Muniz (top 10 ASP world tour) and his brother Santiago (world champ ISA world games 2011), Fernando Aguerre (Owner of Reef and president of ISA)
Hace 10 horasDaniel Pimentel
and the infamous David Rastovich are some of the people riding Zhanay boards. Despite their success the brothers have maintained a fairly low profile and don't even have their own webpage so it may be difficult to find them. They recently got a facebook page though! If you find yourself in Playas, go to "barrio Santa Marta" and ask around (everybody knows them) to see their shop. Depending on the model the boards cost between $400-$600, three times as cheap as what they go for abroad. Many of the boards they sell in Europe, Australia, USA do not have even have their logo so be fooled, they are the real shapers.
Other shapers trained by Jimmy and Andres may also be found up north. But they are a bit more commercial and reside in tourist traps.
As far as we know "el gringo Andres" doesn't make boards anymore, he is sailing, surfing, or barbecuing at his friendly house. Xavier, a young local surfer is learning Andres' techniques and legacy of balsa shaping.
I hope all this information has been helpful and please come visit Playas.
'Info on Playas/Engabao Pointbreaks Beachbreaks' - The reason for this post other than providing some good information of course is that I am tired of seeing misinformed posts about surfing/shapers/boards/renting etc. from this area. The people that are posting on here are from Guayaquil the biggest city in Ecuador (100 K from the beach) and believe themselves to be experts in this area when they are really not.
To begin with General Villamil, Playas is the cradle of surf in Ecuador. But it has [un]fortunately not been included in the surf map. It has over 14 point breaks including "el Pelado" considered to be the best wave in Ecuador. Many professional surfers from around the world compare it to Rincon and even think of it as a greater wave than Rincon, California. It requires a large/medium south swell and low tide. Once in a while norths works too.
To continue, Engabao (11 K north of Playas, easily accessed by bus or car for .75 cents) provides a very consistent wave with barrels at low tide. It is a small fishing community with friendly people who provide "casa surf" to be rented cheaply. There is also a hostel owned by a friendly Ecuadorian/Swedish couple to the right of the point (turn right at the bamboo church). They are working on a Permaculture garden and provide a friendly atmosphere for surfers and backpackers with lot's of info about other destinations in Ecuador and the price is very cheap. Great for a first visit to South America!
Moreover, "la Posada" is one of the most powerful waves in Playas. It works with south and north swells, low tide. Lots of barrels. Unfortunately you have to walk little over 1 Km unless you are able to get into the private club "casa blaca" which has taken over the beach and prevents access by car. North of "la Posada", "Pico hambre" to be road with high tide, a strong peak that breaks well with small/medium south swells. The next wave is "mal paso", a long classical wave, functioning well with low tide south east swells. Following this you have "el faro", best at high tide, south swell. Easily accessible with a car.
When you arrive to Playas, go down to the beach which can be seen from the central skate park. There are three high rises and a jetty. That is the first wave in Playas, but it requires a very big swell. Just behind the jetty is Chabelita which is a very long wave for beginners or long boarders, that works well with south medium swell or north. After that you have "el sapo", "las tetas", not very strong but getting a ride home or avoiding the small crowd in "olas verdes" and "shark bay" which are right up the beach. These two waves are the most popular waves for local surfers (I don't blame them). To reach the waves previously mentioned just keep walking north. All these waves require a medium swell, low or high tide.
During December-April (North swell) the conditions are great with no wind so you can ride the beach breaks a bit south from the jetty "los kilometros" 5 1/2 km via Posorja accessed by bus (.25 cents) or taxi ($3 one way).
Anybody who decides to visit Playas will encounter very friendly locals in and out of the water. As you can see there are a plethora of point breaks and beach breaks so people do not get territorial, just show your good attitude, smile and say Hola!
To get here from Guayaquil take "el Villamil" or "Posorja" from "el terminal terrestre" for $2.40 (2 hr) and they don't charge extra for boards. There are plenty of affordable hostels close to the beaches. If you want to eat go to Jalisco the reunion spot of Playas Club Surf (owner: Juan y Johanna "Jalisco Surf"), very friendly and hospitable.
surf trip to ecuador feb 4- feb 18 - For anyone traveling to Ecuador to surf between the dates of feb 4 - feb 18, I'll be traveling solo, and am planning on renting a car to travel from guayaquil up to the northwest coast. If interested in splitting cost/driving I would be more then happy to take 1 to 3 people on with me.
Ayampe, Ecuador Surf... - Surf trips to Ecuador or for a traveling surfer in Ecuador all stay at Bungalows La Buena Vida Ayampe, Ecuador. True Ecuadorian ambience with perfect empty surfin the backyard this place has it going on. Stop by if your ever in Ayampe or visit www.surflabuenavida.com for surf trip info.
By Otra Ola
Check out Otra Ola in Ayampe, Ecuador - Otra Ola is a Surf, Spanish and Yoga School along with an Organic Cafe and Bar. We have just opened in the magestic town of Ayampe. Check us out on our web site www.otraola.com. If any one has any questions about the area or Ecuador in general please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. enjoy!
To the 70's - Hey My name is Chiara and I am from Ecuador but I live in Florida for 4 years now. My sister she is majored in Tourism she could give you a little tour or maybe just some tips on where to go. Her e-mail is email@example.com
Good luck and have fun!!!!
By Jerry baker
ecuador - my wife and i am going to be in ecuador 11/21/10
we would like to e-ma[l some in ecuador. we are in our 70.
two girls in Ecuaror - Ola!
We are 2 girls heading to Ecuador mid December and staying until mid January mainly for surfing, but we would like to do some hiking probably as well. We ve surfed before, but we are still beginners and looking for small waves (anything above overhead is too big). We fly into Quito and from there we travel to the coast. We can' t bring surfboards with us, because it s too expensive. I have a lot of questions and any advice/commet is much appreciated.
-do anyone has experiences with renting a car? prices, quality, driving in Ecuador,...?
- is it necessary to book accomodation? looking for something cheap, but clean. we ll be changing accomadation a lot
- is there a surfshop in Quito? Or is it possible to buy a used board any other places than Montanita? I have minimal, would be great, if i can get something similar, but i know it can be hard
- where to find information about public transportation? How to get f. ex. from Quito to Montanita? How to get from hotels/hostels to the spots?
- is somewhere a good surfmap?
surf in Ecuador - hi, it's better if you hire someone to take you because the roads are not in a good state and it can be pretty confusing to travel by your own. I can give you a car and a gide for about $150 a day, any question or more information just send mi an e-mail or go to my webpage, there are some good tips to travel here in the page also
Surfing Ecuador - Hi!
Im going to Ecuador in october and I only have a week so I want to surf as much as possible. Is a tour worth the money? The tours with sweet surf that everyone is talking about, how much are they for a week? What is included? Is it better to rent a car on you own? We are four people all adanced surfers.
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