Luckily, I've been to some beautiful places in my life. Tahiti, Fiji, Hawaii … you get the point. Some real tropical places. Surrounded in warmth, palm trees and warm water.
However, in this moment, I am writing in Sayulita, Mexico, and it just might be my favorite. Granted the waves do not compare to the above mentioned but neither does the compound in which I am staying.
It's a sprawling estate on a private beach that stretches for acres with palm trees dotting its every square foot. Built on top of the cliff above the beach, one truly feels like the king of the world from this view.
Speaking of kings — as in the king of the sport of king's (surfing) — there goes that Kelly Slater again winning the opening event on the ASP World Tour, in a highly contested close final against Taj Burrow. Sorry, Slater, I didn't mean to fire you up with my Cinderella story pick of Julian Wilson.
Last year I made a living off of picking Slater to win almost every event and felt the need to begin my year with an almost Buster Douglas type pick (think Mike Tyson in Tokyo in 1990), which was the equivalent of my pick of Wilson winning the season's open at Snapper Rocks or the equivalent of Slater riding a single fin in the same event.
So I'll just get it out of the way now: barring injury, Slater will win his 11th world title in 2011 and will win the next event in six weeks at Bell's Beach in Australia.
For now and next week I will be down here in paradise, hosting a surfing clinic for kids and the Punta Sayulita Longboard and SUP Classic for the second consecutive year. Staying with me is Laguna Beach local and longboard standout Darren Eudaly, along with defending race champion Chuck Patterson. Also competing this weekend are Garrett McNamara, Ekola Kalama, Jimmy Gamboa and Mary Osborne, among a host of others.
Life is good.
JAMES PRIBRAM is a Laguna Beach native, professional surfer and John Kelly Environmental Award winner. His websites include AlohaSchoolofSurfing and ECOWarrior Surf.com. He can be reached at Jamo@Aloha SchoolofSurfing.com.