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“Sometimes at Blacks, the dolphins will jump over you.”

Jose Salazar (28) surfs the Tijuana Slough.
Jose Salazar (28) surfs the Tijuana Slough.

Local?

Yes, I’m from Bonita. I live in Chula Vista now. My commute [to this beach] is only about 10 minutes.

When did you take up surfing?

About 9 years ago. I started after high school. I was an inland kid. I was a skateboarder and then I got hurt. A couple of my friends showed me how to surf. They ended up quitting, so I started going on my own and figuring it out. I met new people. Some were really good, and some were beginners. It was cool meeting people from all different walks of life.

How often do you get in the water?

Honestly, just whenever there are waves.

Did you start off on a long board?

No, I started on a foamie for maybe like a month, and then I ended up buying a regular sized board. I have about ten boards now. I started buying them used. It was a cheaper option, and I was constantly beating them up. Once I started getting better, I got boards that were made for my weight and my height.

Do you have a favorite time of day to surf?

Early, when the light first starts hitting the water. It can be tough because the water is really cold and most of us don’t want to be out when the water is freezing. I have a couple of older film cameras so even if I am not surfing, I’ll put on a pair of fins and go out there and take photos.

Any frightening surf moments?

Not really. I have had a few injuries, a fin to my head and things like that. But I have never been knocked out or anything. I’ve had stitches all over. I had to get staples in the back of my head. It healed up quick but because the water is dirty, I wanted to play it safe. I stayed out for like two weeks.

What do you love the most about surfing?

All the people I have met and the friends that I have made. I like the physical aspect. It’s a good workout and really demanding. It has given me a lot—a ton of friendships and I have explored new places.

Do you feel like you get better each time you go out?

Not necessarily but there is always something new. Each wave is different.

Any cool animal encounters?

I see a lot of dolphins. Sometimes at Blacks, the dolphins will jump over you. It’s pretty dangerous. They’re huge and you don’t know if they are aware how close they are to you. Sometimes you’ll be paddling out and there will be a pod of dolphins in the wave. You have no idea if they are still there and are going to smash into you. It’s scary.

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Jose Salazar (28) surfs the Tijuana Slough.
Jose Salazar (28) surfs the Tijuana Slough.

Local?

Yes, I’m from Bonita. I live in Chula Vista now. My commute [to this beach] is only about 10 minutes.

When did you take up surfing?

About 9 years ago. I started after high school. I was an inland kid. I was a skateboarder and then I got hurt. A couple of my friends showed me how to surf. They ended up quitting, so I started going on my own and figuring it out. I met new people. Some were really good, and some were beginners. It was cool meeting people from all different walks of life.

How often do you get in the water?

Honestly, just whenever there are waves.

Did you start off on a long board?

No, I started on a foamie for maybe like a month, and then I ended up buying a regular sized board. I have about ten boards now. I started buying them used. It was a cheaper option, and I was constantly beating them up. Once I started getting better, I got boards that were made for my weight and my height.

Do you have a favorite time of day to surf?

Early, when the light first starts hitting the water. It can be tough because the water is really cold and most of us don’t want to be out when the water is freezing. I have a couple of older film cameras so even if I am not surfing, I’ll put on a pair of fins and go out there and take photos.

Any frightening surf moments?

Not really. I have had a few injuries, a fin to my head and things like that. But I have never been knocked out or anything. I’ve had stitches all over. I had to get staples in the back of my head. It healed up quick but because the water is dirty, I wanted to play it safe. I stayed out for like two weeks.

What do you love the most about surfing?

All the people I have met and the friends that I have made. I like the physical aspect. It’s a good workout and really demanding. It has given me a lot—a ton of friendships and I have explored new places.

Do you feel like you get better each time you go out?

Not necessarily but there is always something new. Each wave is different.

Any cool animal encounters?

I see a lot of dolphins. Sometimes at Blacks, the dolphins will jump over you. It’s pretty dangerous. They’re huge and you don’t know if they are aware how close they are to you. Sometimes you’ll be paddling out and there will be a pod of dolphins in the wave. You have no idea if they are still there and are going to smash into you. It’s scary.

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