“Puerto Escondido: Life and Possible Demise of a Famous Giant Wave”


“Place of Thorns” explains the history of Mexico’s most famous wave, which breaks at Zicatela Beach and sends surfers to both heaven and hell.

Since the 1970s, Puerto Escondido has been the stage for some of the world’s most impressive and challenging waves. The city’s main beach, Playa Zicatela, has carved enormous waves onto its sandy bottom, attracting surfers from around the globe. However, this iconic giant wave now faces an imminent threat.

The new documentary by Now Now Media, “Place of Thorns,” chronicles Puerto Escondido’s evolution from its humble beginnings as a small fishing village to becoming a bustling tourist destination. Released globally on June 3, 2024, the film explores the social and geographical dynamics that have shaped Puerto Escondido and examines the serious threat the wave faces today.

The documentary’s production, led by local filmmaker and producer Edwin Morales, began in 2023 and captured a series of exceptional waves that, according to Morales, are becoming increasingly scarce. “It used to be an incredible beach break that broke far from the shore, but now it has practically become a shore break,” comments Morales. The change in wave behavior is attributed to uncontrolled development that has altered the sand flow on the beach and the nearby underwater canyon.

The local community, united under organizations like Costa Unida and the Save The Waves Coalition, is fighting to save their precious wave. Roxel Pérez, a coalition representative, highlights a recent victory in stopping massive development on one of the town’s beaches, although she acknowledges that the battle has just begun. “The plan now is to try to regulate development using the law,” says Pérez, calling for global action to save Puerto Escondido.

“Place of Thorns” not only documents these efforts but also celebrates the majesty of the wave and the extreme risks faced by surfers. A striking moment in the documentary shows surfer Matt Bromley’s near-fatal accident, underscoring the inherent danger of this sport in such extreme conditions.

The film features Coco Nogales, Shane Dorian, Bianca Valenti, Greg Long, Matt Bromley, Quetzal Estrada, Jeff Divine, Craig Peterson, and other surfers, directed and edited by Will Bendix.

Source: AS Accion