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Throwback Thursday: Panama!


This video is taking you back to July of 2007. My friend Kyle and I were lost somewhere down on the Venao peninsula in Panama. We'd heard about two waves in a town not on the map at the time. It was named Cambutal. The first of the two breaks was called 411's and it was a sweet point that broke along cobblestones and sand bottom. It was a really fun wave and bowly, it just wrapped into this bay and went right forever. It was sketchy to park there so we only surfed for a half hour before adventuring on to find the second break.

At the edge of the wilderness in Cambutal, when you can't drive any farther, you reach a wave called "Corto Circuito". This translates to short circuit. It was a great point setup, that was a little sketchy on the inside with all the rocks. Kyle shot the video on a standard definition MiniDv handheld Sony camcorder. I edited it using Final Cut Pro 3 or 4 with a Macbook Pro. The music is a B-Side from the Hoodoo Gurus, an Australian new wave band from the 80's. I think they're way better than INXS and Men At Work, but what do I know?

In this video, I'm riding the last of a long line of jebshred shortboard models that Gee Rainbow shaped me over the course of two decades. This 6'4 swallowtail iteration worked really well, and during those times when hand-shaping was all you had and no two boards ever felt exactly the same. So you tried to hold onto the ones that felt special. It also had my jebshred.com laminates, a cool airbrush, and the retro escape journey logos that I loved so much from the 80s. I still have this shortboard hanging in the garage. I didn't know at the time it would be my last Gee shortboard. So I'm glad I kept it.

This Panama surf session edit was on the internet back in the day when youtube was first getting momentum. It got a lot of hits until I pulled it down. This troll from San Diego got all high school bully on me claiming that I was exposing the spot in Cambutal. The guy was a real turd. Come to find out he runs a Surf Camp in Costa Rica. Yeah, can't make it up. He's actually commercializing surfing, teaching it to anyone who'll pay him. And he's trolling me? Ha. Listen, Central America used to be filled with sleepy beach towns, but these days less and less. It's crowded now. It is what it is. So mind your business and don't be a dick on the internet.

I reposted this SD video a couple of years ago. I've actually been back to the area two more times since. I highly recommend the Hotel Cambutal, right on the beach owned and operated by a nice young couple Albeiro and Hannah, they have a facebook, check it out. Cambutal is an easy 4-hour drive down from the airport in Panama City, straight across the mountains, and through the town of Las Tablas. You could also drive the coastal road, through Venao, for more surf breaks along the way. My Venao videos, if I can dig them up, is for another posting all together. Enjoy!

The jeep that got us to Cambutal!

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