Surfing the MANSA VIDA Wave
The Cape, a Thompson Hotel is partnering with new adventure travel production company MANSA VIDA—founded by pro-surfers Rob Machado and Tim Curran—to host a surfing-inspired retreat, exploring the sport, music, and art of surf culture. Led by surfing industry veterans, including Curran, friend and fellow pro-surfer Damien Hobgood, iconic surf photographer Tom Servais (and with potential special guests ranging from Rob Machado to musicians and athletes from the MANSA VIDA network), the immersive, three-night retreat will celebrate all things surf culture. Taking place May 19th-22nd, 2016, the multi-day experience includes overnight stays at the new luxury resort; a hands-on surf workshop with the pros; a live acoustic performance by Curran held on the hotel’s rooftop (the only rooftop lounge in Cabo San Lucas); screenings of cult surf films (followed by Q&A sessions with the pros); and an informative surf photography viewing and discussion with Tom Servais (previously senior staff photographer for SURFER Magazine).
We were lucky enough to chat with Rob Machado and Tim Curran about their first wave, essential packing items for their surfing trips, their life philosophy and more.
Do you remember your first wave? What made it so memorable?
Rob Machado: Yeah, I remember it like it was yesterday. The adrenaline rush. The speed. The sound. It’s something I will never forget.
Tim Curran: Yes, it seems like it was yesterday. We were camping at San Onofre State Park and I was out there with my dad and some of his friends. The sun was out, there was no wind and that water was crystal clear. I caught a small wave that had not broken yet and was able to ride down the line for about 30 yards. In my head, I was in the barrel the entire time… In reality I was not even close. From that day forward I was obsessed with surfing.
Who first introduced you to surfing and at what point did you know it might be possible for you to become a pro?
Rob Machado: My dad loved to surf, I think being at the beach and seeing him enjoying surfing so much was naturally passed onto me. He never pushed it on me. I just eventually wanted to try it because it looked like everyone was having so much fun!
Tim Curran: My dad introduced me to surfing when I was about 5 years old. I never thought about becoming a pro until I was 11 or 12 and I started doing contests. I began watching surf movies and contests on TV and saw that the surfers where winning cars and prize money, which sounded amazing.
Do you have a life philosophy? If so, how has surfing influenced your approach to life?
Rob Machado: Live in the present. If surfing has taught me anything, it’s that there is no better time than now. Surfing has the ability to focus your thoughts on the now.
Tim Curran: Love, God, family, friends, others and don’t eat gluten…
Can you describe the feeling of riding and conquering a big wave?
Rob Machado: I can’t really say that I’ve conquered a big wave…with all that’s going on today in the big wave world, the waves I’ve ridden seem so irrelevant. But it’s relative. I almost got scared today on a six-foot wave and that was exciting.
Tim Curran: The big waves that I have ridden are small compared to the size of waves the big wave guys are riding now. It’s always a rush prior to paddling out on a big day, my heart is pounding. Once I’ve been out there for a while I usually seem to get a bit more relaxed. When surfing bigger waves, it’s always good to study the break and size of swell before you go out. You never want to jump right in without seeing the conditions.
What drew you to, or what do you love about, The Cape as the partner for your inaugural MANSA VIDA trip?
Rob Machado: I’ve been going to Cabo since I was a little kid. I love everything about Mexico. The Cape is the perfect fit for our first MANSA VIDA trip because it has it all right there…beautiful accommodations right on the water with fun waves right out front.
Tim Curran: The Cape is a beautiful hotel, I really like the design and location right on Monuments. The Cape worked well for our first MANSA VIDA trip because it’s all right there, you never have to get in a car. Nothing better than being able to surf fun waves in front of an incredible hotel, come in and be able to jump in the pool, grab food and hang at the beach.
Have you surfed Monuments Beach and if so, what did you enjoy about it or can you tell us what makes this break unique in Cabo?
Rob Machado: I’ve surfed Monuments one time before and I had a blast. There isn’t very many lefts in Cabo and it’s always fun to find a left.
Tim Curran: Yes I have surfed it before. It is a fun wave to surf with some interesting sections due it being somewhat of a rocky bottom point. I can’t wait to get back down there and surf!
What three items should every surfer carry on a surfing vacation (besides their board)?
Rob Machado: Board shorts, sunscreen (especially in Cabo), wax.
Tim Curran: Sunscreen, wax, camera.
What was the inspiration behind starting MANSA VIDA?
Rob Machado: Timmy Curran and I went on a surf trip and we took my brother Justin along for the ride. While we were there, he was blown away by how we live our lives. He said that people would probably be really stoked to be in his shoes. So that was the inspiration. We want people to be able to experience a little bit of what we get to experience as pro surfers.
Tim Curran: Rob and I wanted to be able to share with people all the fun stories, waves, and create unique travel and adventure experiences with us and our friends.
How has traveling the world on pro-surf tours informed how you’ve shaped the schedule for the retreat?
Rob Machado: We always have to be very tuned in with weather patterns and surf forecasts all over the world. After traveling the world for the past 25 years, we have learned a lot about what makes certain places good and when the highest potential for having a successful trip is.
Tim Curran: It’s been quite interesting setting up who can confirm and who was is on standby. Between the world tour, big wave events and sponsorship commitments, it’s hard to get people to commit to something so far in advance. That’s why we went with “plus special guests,” you never know who might be available and show up.
Why is it important for you to gather both pro-surfers and artists for these unique experiences?
Rob Machado: You can’t surf all day (unless the waves are really good) but there is always going to be some down time. That’s when it’s great to have a very eclectic group of people to keep the good vibes flowing.
Tim Curran: We’ve traveled for so many years and music has been a part of almost every trip for the last 20 years. If it’s not going to concerts or playing smaller shows, it’s someone having a guitar on their lap when we are all hanging out.