Some of the best surfers in the world have come to Playa Venao in Panama for the ISA World Surfing Games 2011 from June 26 to July 2. Local legend and Guinness Word Record-setting surfer Gary Saavedra takes redbull.com to Panama's best beaches...
With two oceans to choose from, Panama is a surfer's dream and few people know the Central American country's best surf spots better than 13-time national surf champion Edgar 'Gary' Saavedra.
In fact, earlier this year, Gary demonstrated you don't even need to head to the beach – all you need is a board, a speed boat and the Panama Canal.
Excited to be competing in his home waters at the ISA World Games this week. Gary has some first-hand advice about the best spots for catching the waves… but don’t tell everyone, they sound too good to share!
- Playa Venao: “There are good reasons why this beach break in the Pacific Ocean five hours away from Panama City is kicking off the 2011 ISA World Surfing Games tomorrow,” says Saavedra. “The waves are consistent all year, and there are both left and right breaks. Asides from the great surf, what makes Venao so special is the good vibes here: There are comfortable places to stay, great food, cell phone reception and WiFi (recent additions), but it still feels very authentic and secluded. This is my home beach, where I grew up surfing!”
- Santa Catalina: “This small town in the Pacific Ocean hosts one of the best right breaks in Panama. The wave is powerful and tubular and it is a must-stop for any surfer passing through Central America.”
- Bocas del Toro: “The spot to be if you want to surf and party. Bocas is an archipelago in the Caribbean that has waves and breaks for all tastes. The people are warm and friendly and the scenery is spectacular. And if the Caribbean heat gets to you at night, you can jump right into the ocean from any bar! The only downside is that the season is short, from December to April.”
- Cambutal: “The spot to surf and relax. The volcanic stone reef breaks mostly right. Bring a good book and an iPod though... asides from some very basic accommodation, there’s not much more in the area.”
- The bay beaches (Tetas, Palmar, Rio Mar and Malibu): “These are the closest beaches to Panama City. They tend to break with a bit of swell, but they’re perfect for midweek surfs and shot escapes from the city.”
Watch the highlights from day four of the Billabong ISA World Surfing Games below...
- Keep up with all the results this week at the official site
- Gary Saavedra's profile on redbull.com
- More water sports on redbull.com