Brothers On a Baja Run
Driving from AK to Chile, you're bound to have an adventure or two -- especially if you're a Jackson brother -- and this week's drop sees the boys crossing into Mexico. Turns out it's not all surf sessions and fresh fish...
"We picked up a random dude in the desert who actually turned out to be our friend Ponchito, so he fit right in on the riff-raff wagon," says John J. "He's a really sick surfer so he totally made up for our lack of surf skills." Ponchito is Justin Adams, a feral-level core soul surfer with no sponsors, a quiver of old school bonzers and twin fins and creations he's shaped himself. As he told the bros: "When you can't afford a board, you just have to learn how to shape them!"
Lead BOTR guide and sometime-translator, Clark Fyans, says: "[Ponchito] is a crazy creature.. He's probably like six-foot, but weighs about 140 pounds. He's super skinny and his surfing is insane."
This first time in a foreign country (well, excluding Canada) means new challenges. The Jacksons don't speak Spanish so, from the border on down, it's tough going at times. The G20 Summit meeting happened to be in San Jose del Cabo the day they rolled up in their murdered-out, 11-foot-tall rigs -- which look more likely to be loaded up with C-4 than Red Bull -- so you can imagine what security thought of this crew in the same town as the world's heaviest leaders: "A million federales, a million check-points... We got followed by a plane! The Mexican Air Force literally came and targeted us as we were driving down the road. They flew past us 10 times!" says Fyans.
"We looked pretty interesting, I guess. We've got these big, black rigs. We threw a shaka out the window [to the plane]. It was all good," says E-Jack. Needing a break after all the police harassment, the rigs pulled into a shopping center's underground parking lot. E-Jack was supposed to be following Fyans, looking for the high spots, but, well: the s--- hit the van...
"They have a big entrance and a small exit," laughs E-Jack. "We got in there no problem and then it got really small, super quick. We nailed a s--- pipe. I feel like John and I took it pretty casual... And then some people wanted a bunch of money. It was funny though. We didn't know it was a sewer pipe. There was a bag on the roof; that's what clipped the pipe. So John got up there to remove the bag and then he realized it was s---."
Raw sewage was pouring onto the van, the gear stored on top and now John. While the bros were taking it lightly, Fyans' years of travel in Mexico told him not to, knowing that standard procedure is to throw everybody into jail and then ask questions. Some minor money changed hands and they skipped town, 500 pesos lighter ($35) but free men.
"It's been a nice change from camping on the glacier to board shorts and surfing every day," says E-Jack in summary. Big bro John J. concurs: "We've been meeting insanely rad people along the way, we scored waves on the East Cape, we've been eating unbelievable food, and I'm getting fat."
Make sure to check out BOTR's new charity jewelry initiative benefitting a Nicaraguan orphanage here.