The Bocas Invitation: Joey Morten reports.
I first saw this event on Instagram shared by a few riders and thought that it looked incredible.
I was going to be travelling in the area around the same time, so shot a message through to see if i could compete and they were stoked to have me, so i booked the flight and over to Panama I went.
The Bocas Del Toro Islands are a cluster of small islands in the Carribean, just off the north-west coast of the Panama mainland.
It is a hot, tropical, jungle environment with a small town on the main Island (Isla Colon) where most of the tourists stay.
I would describe the overall vibe as a hispanic Java. The town is kind of run down, similar to towns you might find in Indo, but overall it has an epic carribean vibe. Not the mention the parties are next level, we had a few epic nights with all the fellas from
The Bocas invitational comp itself was epic. We had pumping waves the entire time. Bluff Beach is about a 20 min taxi/bus ride out of town. It is a super heavy beach break with some very sick tubes and ramps to be had.
The ‘festival’ ran for about 5 days with live reggae bands and house DJs playing on the beach. The actual competition itself ran across two days, with clean and pumping 3-4ft waves.
My first two heats went quite well, due to the consistency of the waves I decided to keep busy in the heat, manufacturing a score and then getting priority and waiting for a bomb. I managed to make it through to the quarter finals where I had an absolute shocker and got knocked.
The other fellas were ripping, it was epic to watch Pierre, Amuary, Tanner, Mike, Alan, Sammy and heaps of other south American shredders surf these kinds of waves. The level of bodyboarding was definitely world class with some very critical moves being thrown down.
It was an epic final in which Sammy Morrentino took the win over Tanner, Amaury and Alan with a huge invert in the final minutes.
Overall it was such an epic experience, the one thing that I felt was missing was a crew of Australians. There was very much a team mentality amongst each country, where they would help one another and talk tactics etc. I linked up with the Chilean boys as there weren’t many of them either (Kevin Torres, Alan Munoz and Moises Silva) and we formed ‘team Aus/Chile’. It definitely would have been sick having a crew of Aussies on the beach cheering each other on!