I spoke with Manuel Selman about what he’s been up to in his first year out of surf competition in 15 years, and about the Puerto Plata Swell.
“It’s been a very interesting year, we had a good run of swells over the winter which kept my form going into the coming season, but then early March the pandemic hit. All competitions were cancelled and we were quarantined, it was the first time in 15 years. Now is my favourite time of year, with the hurricane swells coming in consistently, September is always the magic month for good waves. We saw the swell coming from Teddy, and it looked like it was going to be a good one. We got a crew together last minute, had our life vests and photographers, headed to Puerto Plata because I know its the wave the holds the most size here, it always delivers on big swells. We went at 5am to tackle the big right hander, so yeah, it was pretty fun.
The first day was big, faces of 30-35 feet, I borrowed an 8’8 from a friend who came up from Santo Domingo, and he then came out with my 7’4 and we switched in the water. I couldn’t really take the set waves on my board so I had to sit a little inside and take those waves. Luckily for me I didn’t get any sets on the head! I had some clean fun ones but I definitely need to order a big board and be 100% prepared with my own equipment next time. Andres Flores and Cameron Dietrich murdered it out there, charging, it was pretty cool. We were all looking out for each other, we had no jetskis, no boats and its a long paddle out, approximately 1km. We also had George [@georgeswims] out there with his camera, floating around with his housing, so mad respect to the photographer, and yeah, we’re just going to keep looking for big surf in the Dominican Republic."
[Manuel’s story "My isolation" coming soon..]