Jason’s Journal || Head down to brazil with team manager Jason Wilson on his recent adventure down to Sununga. Dub walks us through his 8 day trip at place that many call a skim paradise.
Photos || Thais Racy, Pedro Di Palma, and Fabio Carbone
For me traveling to Brazil is still a bit surreal. Even though this is my 4th time coming down here I still get anxious, excited, and a little bit nervous. It’s this big South American country far from home, I don’t speak much Portuguese, and of course the wave I am traveling to can be a bit tricky and at times intimidating. Yesterday as I stepped onto a plane and out of my regular zone I had visions of past trips. I re-lived waves and played back experiences to help me remember and get back into the vibe that is Sununga.
After an 8 hour flight and restless sleep the plane finally touched down in São Paulo. I wiped the sleep from my eyes and began to mentally prepare… After skimboarding for 28 years it’s hard to jump right on your board after a long winter. Especially when you live in Delaware and can count the years skim sessions on one hand. I can’t help but to think about the first session of my trip to Sununga 2 years ago. I was so frothing off the plane. I jumped into some mediocre stormy conditions after a long flight and the place had its way with me. Jet lag, shaky legs, and my fresh board did not mix well. The result; a board to the shin, emergency room visit, and a long vacation with no skimboarding… So yeah, as I sit in the car on the 4 hour ride from the airport to Sununga I can’t help but to play back that incident and try to plan an approach to the wave that is cautious yet confident. I also brought another brand new board to try out…
Day 3 and 4:
My first sessions of the trip were mellow with a small swell in the water making a few fun straight waves. Perfect to test the new board and get rid of the winter legs. I spent day 3 and 4 getting into a routine. Eat, skim, sleep, eat, skim, sleep and repeat with a few adult sodas and plenty of beach chilling mixed in. Over the years I have become good friends with the local skim crew who typically open their beach up to skimboarders. Often times he trip will start out with a nice beach BBQ. It’s easy for the days to blend together with this skim paradise routine. With a nice south swell on the horizon my goal is to not wear myself out and keep the body loose. I did end up getting dragged out by my friends on Friday night to the Ubatuba center where we hit a small club/bar that blasted reggae and hip hop into the early morning hours. It was a pretty fun night!
This led to a beak in the routine with sleep most of day 5 which was good because I needed to be ready for my skim buddies to arrive Mega, Mario Gomes, Blair Conklin, and a crew of groms from FL that included new Alley Oop team rider Rodrigo Haberfield. I knew my boys would be amping to ride so I recovered from a long night out on the town to be fresh and hype it up for their first days!!
My crew arrived yesterday evening and we were invited to a nice BBQ at the SESH skim house where our friends Pretao n Michelle live. They are wonderful people who always take care of us when we are in town and welcome skimboarders into their home with open arms. Pretao is a local shaper and ripping skimboarder. We BBQ’d tons of meat, took turns youtubing our favorite group dances, and laughed into the night! It is great to be back with my skim brother Mega who always seems to bring the positive vibes and fun loving attitude. Still with no swell in Sununga we drove to another beach in search of something to hit. With little action and plenty of rain we settled for a troughy straight wave and beachside lunch.
Finally the south swell arrived! Now when swell comes to Sununga it can definitely get big with a lot of water moving around. That’s pretty much how it was. We managed to pick a few off with the high tide In the am but for the most part it was big and mixed up with only a few guys linking it together.
After the morning session we made an appearance at the local school, which was organized by the local skim association, Auskim. The purpose of our visit was to inspire and speak to the local children about the importance of getting an education. It was quite an experience to see what a school was like in a small Brazilian town. From what we were told some kids are not motivated to stay in school. With minimal government support and teacher strikes going on it was a little different than your average school. When we arrived local skim kids popped out of their class rooms to greet and others looked curiously at the random skim dudes walking through their corridor. We were led to an outdoor gym/court where we spoke to about 50 kids, had a little Q and A session, signed autographs, and posed for pics with the kids. I’m sure some of our words were lost in translation but Mega did his best to translate and we at the very least stoked the kids out! From what I understand special assemblies like this do not happen too often so it was rad to give the kids a treat and break from the normal school day.
For my last day in Sununga the swell mellowed out and became a bit friendlier. The secondary siders were fun and the soft top surfing was top notch. With a low barrel count for the trip I borrowed Blair’s Catch Surf stump and frolicked in the shorebreak for hours. It was nice to float around in the epic cove that is Sununga and soak up the sunshine and swirling energy of the ocean. It was a much needed vacation! These trips help make me who I am and open my eyes to worlds that I may of never seen if I were not a skimboarder. It’s important to make a connection. Weather that connection is a sider, a person, or something you learn from a place I feel it is our experiences and what we take from them that truly make us who we are.