24 June, 2016 24 June, 2016

Bromley Hits Mexico For Swell Of The Century

At the same time that the Striped Horse Challenge presented by RVCA and Hurricane Surf has opened for business, Mexico’s famed big wave break is about to be hit by the swell of the century. Kom charger Matt Bromley is one of the lone South Africans who has jetted over the Pacific to meet it head on. Zag caught up with Bromdog while the swell was building to get the lowdown.

ZIGZAG: You’re in Puerto right now. What made you roll the dice and make the long haul?

MATT BROMLEY: Yeah, that was the longest travel of my life! 50 hours later I arrived, lugging two solid board bags, but I’m so excited to be here! I heard about the swell from Frank Solomon on Saturday, saw it looked amazing, and then pulled the trigger Sunday, and flew out Monday. It didn’t take much encouraging. Puerto can definitely give you the biggest barrel of your life, that’s what I’m trying to do.

True. It’s renowned as one of the heaviest beach breaks in the world. What’s your gameplan?

Yeah, it definitely is! It really only needs, like, two metres on the forecast to be 10 foot. It’s insane! There’s these big underwater canyons outside that focus the energy and make it what it is – big, perfect and super heavy. I’m planning to stake out here for three weeks. I’m on the alternate list for the contest, so hopefully I get in tomorrow!

The breathtaking swell at Puerto Escondido, Mexico pictured in 2015. Image © Seth de Roulet

The breathtaking swell at Puerto Escondido, Mexico pictured in 2015. Image © Seth de Roulet

What’s the vibe in town like at the moment?

They are comparing it to last year’s biggest ever swell to hit Puerto! I think everyone’s a little scared and excited. All the boys are here, it’s so sick. Ous are hyping and trying to throw predictions at it but it’s kinda all up in the air. Yesterday was 12 to 15 feet out here and some of the top guys looked a little shaken up. Tomorrow is meant to be twice that size! I’m stressing a little but psyching hard at the same time. I’ve even seen a few bru’s doing breath hold training in the pool.

What are you packing to take it on?

I brought six boards over. I stole my dad’s pinny 9’4 (laughs) and then my main board is a Baron Twiggy model 9’0 with lotsa chunk. These two biggies are gonna be the primary boards. It seems crazy to have such big boards but you need them! Firstly because you’re chasing peaks. There’s a massive playing field where the waves can break. Secondly the waves are moving super fast. You need a big board for momentum to get down the face before the bottom of the wave drops out and throws a big death pit. The rest of the quiver is for when things calm down – 7’2, 6’6, 6’4 and 6’2.

The Striped Horse Challenge has begun as well which looks to reward the hardest charging SA surfer. You were a solid contender last year – any plans on taking it out this year?

It’s always awesome to have contests like this. They’re like mini XXL Big wave events. You will have to be on the big swells if you wanna win but these video comps are great because, as a surfer, you can make it happen anywhere, anytime. Normal comps have a small waiting period which means most of the time the spectators and the surfers don’t get to see the best action. But video comps allow you to go big on the best day of the year and get rewarded.


Matt Bromley pictured at Sunset, Cape Town… We trust the SA swell has prepared him well. Image © AvG

The 2016 Striped Horse Challenge presented by RVCA and Hurricane Surf has just kicked off. Check out the competition, this year’s epic prizes, entries and swell gauge HERE… then go out and find your wave!

Lead Image: Matt Bromley pictured at Jaws, Maui © Guy Macindoe

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