ROAD TRIPPIN’///SURFCHASING///KELSEY BROOKES ON THE LOOSE IN EL SALVADOR…

August 12, 2008  |  art, Kelsey Brookes, Road Trippin, Worldwide

monkeyman.jpgkbrookelsal35.jpg
Mr Brookes' alter ego is unleashed on a packed flight...

Surfer, confirmed hair farmer, and biochemist turned artist (for reals) KELSEY BROOKES is on an endless global quest for inspiration and the ultimate wave. Last month took him to EL SALVADOR where the pace of life is a little more laid-back and toilet seat cover construction is a fine art. HAVE A LOOK:Lots of things in life are more enjoyable when you have company. Surfing is not one of those things. The simple fact that good waves are a limited commodity has pushed surfers to search out remote locations on the planet with a greater concentration of that commodity and less surfers to exploit them. Mathematically this relationship is best represented by the following equation:

Less waves + More surfers = No Fun
More waves + Less surfers = Fun

The search for more waves and less people had me packing my bags to El Salvador recently as a long string of swell-producing storms started pushing surf into the region. A long civil war and a high rate of gang-related crime (fun fact: most of if not all of the gangs in El Salvador were actually started here in the US and exported there) has most surfers looking to Costa Rica and Nicaragua for safe waves which is all the better for me as you as per the equation above. After all, less surfers is half of the requirement for having more fun. I broke the following photos into 5 different groups below to help you wade through the chaos; Surf, Art, Food, Things You See While Driving, and Randomness. Enjoy:

—SURF—
kbrookelsal2.jpg
Touchdown: El Salvador International Airport...

kbrookelsal3.jpg
Promising-looking surf from ten thousand feet. This is one of the best things you can see before touching down on a surf trip...

kbrookelsal4.jpg
There are so many spots to surf in El Salvador and only a very small number of them are surfed. Guarantee there are some discoveries to be had if you could get your hands on a trusty boat and about 2 years worth of down time...

kbrookelsal5.jpg
Every spot I surfed was some sort of river mouth and as it was in the middle of the rainy season this complicated the situation a bit. Water quality is always an issue at river mouths, not to mention sharks. Another added bonus is having to watch out for giant trees floating through the lineup. At this particular spot I stepped on a piece of barbed wire conveniently hidden just below the sand. I’m still waiting to see what type of bacteria takes hold in wound...

normal_fatsurfer.jpg
Despite his injuries, Kelsey manages to hang tough in the barrel...

kbrookelsal6.jpg
One of the things about surfing for 7 to 8 hours a day is that sometimes no mater how good the surf is you just can't surf any more...

kbrookelsal7.jpg
This photo was taken while sitting on the toilet at one of the places I stayed. You could survey the lineup while taking care of business...

kbrookelsal8.jpg
See that log just to the left of the horse, it was floating through the lineup the day before...

—ART—
kbrookelsal9.jpg
El Salvadorian hand-style in San Salvador...

kbrookelsal10.jpg
Saw this mural in the Anthropology Museum depicting human sacrifice. Pretty common back in the day I guess. Made me wonder how many good waves were going unridden while people were busy cutting out hearts and jumping into fires. On another note, how sick are those shoes? Are those the new Jordans???...

kbrookelsal11.jpg
I'm pretty sure this toilet cover qualifies as art...

kbrookelsal12.jpg
Right???...

kbrookelsal13.jpg
Best surf-related mural I have ever seen...

—FOOD—
kbrookelsal15.jpg
These little dudes could climb those coconut trees so fast… Scary how good they were with that machete too. Coconut milk is hands-down the best post-surf refresher ever...

kbrookelsal16.jpg
Those little tree tumors are cacao pods. This is what chocolate looks like before it becomes chocolate...

kbkb.jpg
It was always a good idea to keep an eye out for this dude in the morning. He was the local baker and sold little buns out of his bicycle that looked like hot dog buns but tasted way better. You could get 32 of them for a dollar but it only took 2 or 3 to fill you up...

—THING YOU MAY OR MAY NOT SEE WHILE DRIVING—
kbrookelsal18.jpg
Cows. You're pretty much guaranteed to see cows hanging out in the middle of the road every day. Especially around blind corners at night...

kbrookelsal19.jpg
Horses too...

kbrookelsal20.jpg
Buses in El Salvador are like mobile art projects. The story I got was that each bus is privately owned and so to entice passengers to travel with them the owners would decorate the crap out them. Not sure if it's true but man, were they rad...

kbrookelsal21.jpg
Check out the Spider Man job on this one. Spider Man is a big deal down there. Mexico too, for some reason. The Nike swoosh and star of David were nice touches too...

kbrookelsal22.jpg
People would wedge themselves onto already-full buses any way they could. These dudes are opting for the "hold onto the back door and hope the bus doesn’t take off or stop suddenly” method...

kbrookelsal23.jpg
This is another awesome method of transport called “sit on the tail gate of your uncle's truck with half of your family and hope that it doesn’t fall down while you go 80mph down the highway." What this method lacks in safety it more than makes up for in efficiency as gas prices are the same there as they are here...

kbrookelsal24.jpg
I bet he could fit one or two more balls on there...

kbrookelsal25.jpg
I made a vow a few years back that I would only travel for surf in countries where people carried stuff on their heads. There will always be less people in the water that way...

—RANDOMNESS—
kbrookelsal26.jpg
Birds...

kbrookelsal27.jpg
Lazy Dogs...

kbrookelsal28.jpg
And TGI Friday's? Why is TGI Friday's everywhere??? Remember the post I did on my trip to Morocco? TGI Friday's was there too. Plus why isn’t it TGI Viernes?...

kbrookelsal29.jpg
Child labor = cheap surfboard repairs...

kbrookelsal30.jpg
Every male older than 20 years old in El Salvador caries a gun But it's always sketchy trying to take a picture of a guy with a sawed-off shotgun. This was a sign just outside a little carnival I went to one night, but it proves a point...

kbrookelsal31.jpg
Bathroom advertisement before...

kbrookelsal32.jpg
...and after. Wow, instant mirror. What will those crazy Salvadorian ad men think of next?...

kbrookelsal33.jpg
Regular TV in San Salvador. I promise...

kbrookelsal34.jpg
Night of the living dead...

kbrookelsal35.jpg
The flight back to LA. Love it when this happens, right?...

—ART—
Inspired by the waves and exotic toilet seat covers, Mr Brookes arted up a fresh batch of new paintings upon his return to Hollwyoodland...
kbrookelsal02.jpg

kbrookelsal01.jpg

monstermorals_48x48in.jpg

theplunge_48x60in.jpg

theuniverseisinyou_48x48in.jpg

welcometotheplunge_detail.jpg

Share via emailShare on TumblrSubmit to reddit

Comments are closed.