African Strike Mission: Update 1

I haven't decided if I want to tell you exactly where we are. I'll say, though, that we're chasing down swell from the latest round of North Atlantic bruisers to slide their way over here in Africa. And no, it's not Morocco — that's a Jetstreams afterthought these days.

One week ago, SURFING staff photographer Nate Lawrence and I yanked Alek Parker, Nate Tyler and Johnny Craft from the comfort of their stateside homes to sniff out some very promising setups in this corner of often-fickle coastline. We arrived before the swell and had a chance to explore around town a bit — to get a taste of Africa. On the streets these days, vendors sell SIM cards instead of phone cards. Rap videos are being filmed on street corners (thanks Akon). And Rip Curl sponsored surf contests are pulling local kids out of ghettos.

As for us, we're camped out at what used to be a Club Med, which happens to sit on a pretty firing right point break…if the swell was from another direction. Needless to say — at least in my opinion — we're living the Third World high life, where our hotel and its buffets and restaurants and WiFi hotspots are just a few steps away from the concrete walls separating our familiar, spoiled world with a very foreign, destitute one.

And remember I said this place was fickle? Turns out the A-framing gem that we've been surfing for the last two days hasn't been this good in two years — that's according to a Frenchman who owns a surf camp down the road and has admittedly pulled up to this place plenty of times over the years only to be skunked (cue the thank you's to stormsurf, buoyweather and all the other sites out there).

So you can imagine it's been hard getting an update on the trip out to you, considering that the boys have been in the water all day, every day. But with a little break in the action here in the next couple of days, I'll be able to give you another update or two, photos included. Check back soon. As the locals would say, "O-ba-ma!"

Nate Tyler, capitalizing on this last minute strike mission