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Santa Catalina Surf

Santa Catalina Surf in Panama could be one of the best waves in Central America and the world. The wave has power, it builds up quickly and has enough wall to fool even the best surfers. The wall is very long, it makes you think that it will close out but the truth is, is so perfect you will only experience a fast train down the line!

Among every single wave in Panama, the Santa Catalina surf experience is the most professional. At the same time, is the one the scares me the most when it comes down to take water shots. To start with, the surf break is a 20 min paddle with a surfboard to get to the peak. Without a surf board could be a 30 min swim. Once you are out there without anything to float on, it a bit sketchy.

As a retired surfer, I could say that the perspective of water movement is different than a water shot photographer's. When you take watershots you are mostly looking at the movement in rewind. Besides from this you worry about both "under currents and upper currents". Another interesting thing is, since you have to be in the impact zone to take the best shots you might find waves like Santa Catlina where the lip literally hits the rock directly underwater. There is no space to duck and not get pounded at certain tides. In some occasions, I have taken shots at low tide and have found my self at knee high dephts waiting to get hit by an 8 ft set on rocks. Its sketchy out there.

I always have good memories of this wave and not too good ones on the main land. Its a love and hate relationship about this place. Ever since I stepped in Catalina for the first time 9 years ago I found other people's problems. Seems like every single beachfront property owner in this place has problems among each other with the classic property ownership. Who owns this? and every single one goes, ME! Its enough material to write a good book.

My advise is to stay at "El Oasis Surf Camp" owned by great people and old friends David and Silvia. The service is great, the food is good, you are across a river from soap opera and in the middle of other surf spots. If you need to reserve the Oasis you can count on me and send me an email.

Leaving behind the drama, I will now post some NOT SO GOOD shots of this epic wave! I am still practicing to get "The Shots".

Hope you enjoyed the Santa Catalina Surfing Shots.


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