Over the weekend, Puerto Escondido produced Mack-truck-sized barrels. Some of the world’s most hungry, fearless chargers packed their rhino chasers and met the swell with open arms and did their best to hunt down a huge, hollow diamond in the beachbreak rough. One of those intrepid chargers was big-wave surfer Bianca Valenti–Big Wave Tour competitor and co-founder of the Committee for Equity in Women’s Surfing–who was down in Mainland Mex to chase the said swell, and to celebrate the WSL’s recent announcement of implementing equal pay for men and women across all WSL-sanctioned events. While she was down there she nabbed the two freakishly large waves featured in the video above, the second of which some people are saying was one of the biggest waves that day. We called up Valenti while she was in between sessions to talk about her waves and her thoughts on the WSL’s new policy on equal pay.
How's the swell been down there? It looks massive.
It’s been a pretty typical Puerto swell. You see these really amazing ones, but when you're out there, those ones are really really hard to find. Not a lot of rides actually going down and they are by no means perfect. So if you get a good one you really have to cherish that moment.
Let's talk about that wave you posted. That’s gotta be one of the biggest waves paddled into by a woman at Puerto.
Yea it stood up really really tall. We weren’t really sure how big it was going to get and it wasn't looking perfect, so I paddled out with a really no-pressure type of feeling and just hoping to get a good one. When I was out there I didn't see many great waves or rides going down, but I was really patient and I sat out really far because I knew I wanted a big one. So when this one peaked up I was sitting out pretty far and it was pretty easy to catch. It just had a sweet drop and I looked back up at it for a second and was like, ‘Oh don't look too long!’ Then it double-spit on me, rode out and had an easy paddle back out and everyone was cheering for me so that was really nice. I didn't realize how big it was until I saw it on video.
I know there are some big-wave surfers who don’t really like surfing Puerto Escondido–what draws you to that wave and how’d you get so comfortable out there?
I've been coming down here for over a decade now. The more time you put in somewhere the more comfortable you get, but at the same time, this wave is just a wildcard so you never know before you get down here. It's so much hard work so when you get a good one it's really, really rewarding. But it's one of my favorite places to visit. I love Mexico, I love Mexicans, I love Mexican food, I love the culture down here and you're right here next to all these really awesome pointbreaks. It's chill and laid back and I like that it gives you a moment to think.
Filmed by Jaciel Santiago @nnm.project