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No Contest goes south as the WSL hits Mexico for the first time since 2006

The iconic pointbreak of Barra de la Cruz proves to be so much more than just the setting of the last event before the title showdown in California, and the Stab team were on hand to sample it.
Written by Chris Binns
3 min readPublished on
In 2006, at the peak of his powers, three-time Hawaiian world champion Andy Irons celebrated one of his most famous victories on the scorching hot sand of Barra de la Cruz, sombrero on head, long hair flying in the breeze, champagne floating in the air. It wasn’t just AI’s surfing that had people talking, from start to finish the Rip Curl Search Mexico was blessed with the most incredible onslaught of consistent, pumping tubes that a major league event has ever witnessed; a run that will likely never be topped.

Forgotten Terrain

For many reasons, Barra de la Cruz – cunningly called La Jolla for the event – disappeared off the radar soon after. Rumours abounded that Barra’s newfound popularity saw development impede its river and in turn the sand flow that provided the perfect banks needed to groom perfect waves. Crowds grew as the waves got worse, and Salina Cruz, a few hours further east in Oaxaca and home to a number of differing right hand points, suddenly became the surf industry darling.
Barra was gone, then history reversed, and with less people and development the sand banks came back and so did the wave quality. In a funny year for the WSL, and with nothing to lose, why not return to the scene of a strong contender for best-event-ever?
Stab’s Ashton Goggans headed up the No Contest charge to Mexico, and he did so alongside two of surfing’s brightest future stars, event wildcards Mateus Herdy, from Brazil, and Indonesian wunderkind Rio Waida. Were you to canvas a majority of the surfing world as to the Best Surfers Currently Not On The Championship Tour, these two names would feature highly, so please don’t forget them, and remember who gave you the heads up when Matt and Rio are kicking arse and taking names at the highest level.
As well as watching Mateus and Rio mix it up with the best surfers on the planet, we meet a bunch of the locals who lock down the lineups of Oaxaca on the reg. From up and coming event trialists to veterans of the lineups and the ladies who do it best, No Contest introduces them all, and welcomes a slight change in format to future episodes. While No Contest has long followed its name, in 2021 we’re going to stray even further from the competition scene still. We want to meet the folk who matter around town, both in water and on land, and we want to sample all that is on offer outside of the wristbanded VIP sections of a Championship Tour event.
Ashton is the perfect man to lead us on our quest to uncover the real Mexico, and as Mateus and Rio bake a perfect, traditional clay pot chicken with a bunch of new friends on foreign soil, the team toast to a successful and exciting mission, the first of many to come.
Hit play on the video above to see what we’re on about, and stay tuned to Red Bull Surfing over the months ahead for much more from surfing’s finest corners. Salud!