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El Salvador - La Libertad // The Lost Horizons Of Surfing In El Salvador

Killvan's El Salvador. A tale of the surf rumour, seven mystical point breaks in a dangerous land filled with blood and sweat.

There are two types of tales on the road, the truth, and the rumour. The latter is the more dangerous to hear, and a treacherous one to pursue.


"Seven Points, all perfect, all unridden" he said while rolling another joint as thick as his index finger.


He was an Israeli who'd escaped national service by pleading insane, his beady eyes suggested he maybe so, and if I hadn't heard similar stories of mystical points down in the lost lands of El Salvador I probably would've tagged him and his tale as such.

El Salvador is a frontier for surfing, and it's been on and off surfers no go lists for years. Most negativity can be attributed to the resonance of The Salvadoran Civil War, defined simply as another conflict between a military led government and a liberation army, influenced by neighboring countries and their own fuck ups, sweet crude conspiracies and righteous dictators all making El Sal what it is. And we thrived on it, the thrill of being so exposed and vulnerable. To live through an experience of running a life threatening gauntlet for a few culture rich waves is a kick, we felt as though it's what you're meant to do with your youth.


Knowing that life is so cheap down here that it's possible we'd be beheaded and dragged off into a ditch for five dollars kept us on edge, continuously. It's relevant information, as these seven points were supposedly located down in the land where military death squads wiped out entire villages, where peasants, trade unionists, teachers, students, journalists, human rights advocates and priests fell prey to fascist death squads sanctioned by the Himmler-style military junta. So when your running along a beach post surf fearing a gunpoint robbery, you'll know why.


We'd left La Libertad early, though not before the dawn as this is the darkest hour. But it's ok to be afraid of the dark here. The roads heading south in bad shape made going slow, zig zagging cattle and pot holes, we couldn't help but fear a road block and impending highway robbery, another rumor that fueled paranoia. The day was hot, humid, air so thick it'd be make the sweat turn your shirt into a jumper. The vultures by the road didn't move, stubborn, staunch in their occupation of road kill. The eyes of these buzzards were suggesting even they could see the fear in ours. It was deserted and very empty and it spooked our troop. We made cautious way, passing abandoned military compounds and lost houses overgrown where jungle had moved in. Winding up and over mountain passes that gave incredible views over the interior revealing a country with a lot to offer, more than what we were focused on. Survival, waves and survival.


By dusk we'd reached the coast, the sun was falling and we needed to find accommodation as these lonely towns were no place for wide eyed Gringos. With a few moments to scope tomorrows adventure we took a moment to survey the coastline. At first glance it looked to be everything the rumors had promised, just around that headland there was surely seven right hand points reeling off without a soul around.





Location: El Salvador
Optimum: March through to April to get the south swells.
Weather: Dry season is nice and relaxing, the wet season is torrential.
Surf Conditions: Beachbreaks, Reef Breaks, Point Breaks.
Access: Fly into San Salvador from international airports.
Accomodation: Cheap Motels and camp outs if your keen to get remote.
Live Free:  8/10.  It's gnarly, it's still hard core down in El Salvador and thats why you should go.

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