Israel brings back 1960’s surf style in Sayulita

Practice your best Spanish expressions before crossing the borders and heading to Sayulita, Nayarit. Get ready for some perfect waves combined with beautiful crystal blue water, and a lot of cold beers waiting for you. And somewhere in the city, hiding behind the judges spot, you will find Israel Preciado. Considered as the unofficial Mayor of Sayulita as his friends would joke about, Israel is a longboarder from Mexico and the founder of the popular festival, Mexi Log Fest. Sponsored by many companies and having been in the surf scene for a long time, Israel started surfing when he was still a kid, chasing waves for fun and trying to enjoy any opportunity life would offer him. After traveling around the world, he decided to go back to Mexico and call Sayulita his home. Now, he’s everywhere! Running the Mexi Log Fest while taking care of his own surf school, Surf In Mexico, we are surprised he found some time to answer our questions. But he did. And we are happy about it! 

We decided to publish our short interview with Israel so you can finally know who is behind all the surfing events happening in Sayulita. Plus, the Mexi Log Fest was running a few weeks ago, so it’s the perfect time to talk about him! Who knows, maybe next year you will be the one competing? 
All we can say is good luck for the future, Israel! Hopefully, we will be by your side for the next Fest enjoying the warm weather and good waves! 

Can you tell me more about the Mexi Log Fest?
Mexi Log Fest is a contest that I wanted to organize for about 10 years or so ago.
It is all about riding a traditional longboard, single fin, 50/50 rails, no hard edges, no leash. The judging criteria are based on the surfing style from 1960's.  Power, flow, creativity while making it look easy, fun and beautiful at all times!

Can you tell me a bit more about you? How did you end up being a rider for Quality People, Zinka Sunscreen, and Bing Surfboards while having your own company?

I grew up in Sayulita, Nayarit, Mexico.
I started surfing when I was ten years old with my older brothers, so it has been about 24 years since then.
For many years, I used to only ride longboards, but that changed about ten years ago when I started trying different types of boards such as shortboards, fish, short single fins, midlength (kind of retro boards and weird shape ones).
I'm stoked to ride for Bing Surfboards, they have been around since 1959 and since then, they have been at the top of surfboard manufacturing. Their boards are pretty much a piece of art, and they work perfectly. I was introduced to them by a mutual friend a few years back. As for Quality People, my good buddy Ed is one of the owners, so that’s how I get hook up with stuff! 

Credit: Ed Fladung

How’s life like in Mexico? When I see places like Sayulita, it kind of just makes me want to move there and never come back, haha! How was your life while growing up?
Life in Mexico is awesome, seriously life is good here! Great food, fun waves, cold beers and nice people!! Well, it can get pretty damn hot in the summer time… but a good fan will do the job just fine!
Growing up was kind of shitty. We were poor, but we were still happy, especially when I had the chance to borrow a surfboard from a friend or a random tourist. 

Did the idea of becoming a pro pop up in your head when you were younger, or have you always considered yourself as a free surfer?
When I was younger, I dreamt of becoming a Pro surfer, but my priority was to finish school. Also, being a pro surfer in Mexico back then didn’t pay your bills, so I was more focusing on surfing fun empty waves up and down the Mexican coastline instead of chasing a spot in the national surf team or competing at all.

You created Surf in Mexico, a company that gives surf instruction and guided surf tours. How did it start? Have you always wanted to launch a company like that? 
I have been teaching/guiding for probably the past 15 years.
I launched the website about three years ago, but most of my clients come because of their friends or what they have heard. 

Do you experience a hard time teaching people how to surf, especially when they’re beginners?
I love teaching, it’s so fun!
It can get hard sometimes when people are out of shape, or they don’t listen to your instructions, but it does not happen often.

Mexi Log Fest just happened a few weeks ago, so what’s next? 
I will be in Saladitas, Guerrero in May, organizing the second event of the Mexi Log Fest. 

Credit: Julie Cox Artwork: Robin Clark

Credit: Julie Cox
Artwork: Robin Clark

Want to know more about the surf contest? Click here.