Scariest surfing tale?

August of 1978. Surfing the rivermouth/point at La Ticla, mainland Mexico. Me and two buddies were the only ones there for a couple of weeks, and hence only the three of us were in the water near dusk that day. My two friends were a couple hundred yards to the south surfing the right and I was by myself catching thick, 8-10' hauling-ass lefts. I got clipped by a lip inside and held so far under my cord snapped. I just barely broke surface when the next wave trashed me again and took me deep. This repeated 2-3 more times before the set thankfully passed and I could catch some real breaths of air.


So now I'm treading water, chest pounding and head spinning from getting thoroughly worked over, when I hear my two friends shouting something in the distance. It takes a few seconds before I realize they are screaming, "Shark! Shark! Shark!" I whip around to see a fin and the tip of a tail of about a 12' shark, tacking right to left towards me, about 40-50 yards outside. Glancing down, I see a series of tight little ripples in the water, migrating off my chest at about 200 beats a minute. When I look back up, the shark is gone, which freaks me out even more. Eight or ten seconds drag by before the shark fin cuts the surface again, this time on the opposite tack, and only 30 yards away now. It cruises along about walking speed for 15 seconds or so and then slips back under the water. Its next tack will be directly towards me!


Outside, I can see the distinctive hump of the next set wave starting to stand up. I was like a freakin' flying fish, in full panic mode, swimming with every ounce of strength I could beckon, heading cross-shore to where I figured the break would happen. Thank God, I caught the wave and body surfed it all the way to knee deep. Still believing I was about to be chomped down on at any moment, I don't think I stopped running until I was a good 150 feet into the jungle. The bottoms of my feet were scraped up from running full-speed on rocks and sticks, and I had crapped in my board shorts.


We were all out again the next morning, but left the water about an hour before sunset for the next week or better.





You need to be a member of this Surf Community to add comments!

Join Surf Community

Votes: 0
Email me when people reply –