SURFING: The Galapagos Islands Pt.1

Anthony Cornejo (bottom of wave) & Joshua Marcillo (top of wave) riding at Tongo Reef, San Cristobal, Galapagos, Ecuador


Surfing isn’t something I do, or have ever done. I tried it when I was younger, living in Riverside California, and recently on this trip to the Galapagos Islands. However, I wouldn’t call myself a surfer.

Growing up, my friend and I all did some type of “action sport” whether it was skateboarding, surfing, BMX, motocross, etc. Mine was snowboarding and skimboarding. We were all interconnected via this commonality of loving these alternate and non-traditional type of sports.

Now, I wouldn’t call it surfing the way I do it but I can paddle out, duck dive, sit on the board and catch a wave. However, the whole standing up and balancing thing I never got down and that’s just because I haven’t practiced it enough.

Thinking of it now, my first surfboard was given to me for free by a guy who lives at the Top Gun house: the blue house on the beach that the girl lives in and Tom Cruise (Maverick) rides up to, on his motorcycle. Ya that house! Well, the guy living there was giving away surfboards, from his backyard, for free! They were all beat up in one way or another. Mine had dents, holes, no fins, no leash and no pad. But that was my first surfboard. I fixed the damages but it ended up being used to block a hole in our gate to prevent the dogs from getting out.

Surfing & Me.

One day, here in Atlantic City, NJ, I walked out to the beach and boardwalk, which just so happens to be one empty lot in front of my apartment building, and I saw waves! And there were people surfing on these waves! I quickly went back to my apartment, grabbed my camera and started filming and taking pictures! Since that day, I’ve made a lot of friends on that beach.

For the past three months, surf film and photography has been mostly what I’ve been doing and I really enjoy it. It’s a bit of a shame that I don’t surf but I did go out 4 or 5 times when I was in San Cristobal. I made good with a local surf shop, Canon Point. I took some photos and videos of some of their riders. When it came time to rent a board, they offered me a board, leash and wet suit for $70 over the next 10 days, although, like I said, I only took it out 4 or 5 times! It was stilla good deal because normally, all together, it’s $25 a day!

The first time I took it out was to Tongo Reef. At this time, it’s not the high season for surfing but the waves are still consistently 3–5 feet daily. It wasn;t the best spot to learn considering the whole beach is flooded with lava rocks and they’re only 3–4 feet under water. When you wipe out, which I did every wave, there’s a good chance you and your board are hitting a few rocks. Of course I came back a little cut up and so did the boards fins; along with a half dollar size whole in the bottom!

I’ll still continue to learn. But I didn’t go to Galapagos to surf. I went to explore and find something new. I went to go on a travel adventure and document surfing on the islands. This what the surf community is like in Galapagos.

Next Blog: Surfers de Galapagos.