A Long Time Traveler’s Perspective by Jim Kempton
During my eight years as the media director at Billabong USA, I also managed the brand’s surf-camp program. I added a “Surf with a Pro” component that brought top pro surfers on a safari with surf camp clients to a premier surf break. Wave riders who attended one of these trips got to spend a week with a legend and get some coaching as well. For everyday surfers, it was a peak experience. Our most frequent destinations were in Central America, often at surf resorts with dining right on the beach.
I was fortunate enough to have yet another “professional” reason to explore Centro’s surf breaks and cuisine as the director of Quiksilver’s Crossing Project, which sent a rotating cast of surfers, photographers, and even researchers on surf explorations around the world aboard a reconditioned trawler called the Indies Trader.
For such a small part of the world, Central America has an enormous diversity of surf: long stretches of offshore beach breaks, Caribbean coast harbors waves that get over fifteen feet, a profusion of the finest points breaks in the Americas, and river-mouth and cobblestone setups that make even mellow surfers have the time of their lives.
Centro cuisine is equally diverse: It’s a profusion of Latin flavors, with each country contributing a distinctive national dish. Fresh, colorful, and tropical, Central American food is healthy and satisfying.