Surf Panama, Chapter I

The perfect answer

Last stuff to pack, then off to Panama

Surf Panama by Albert Folch and Dizy Díaz, Chapter I

“Panama is the perfect answer”. After more than one year waiting, finally the time has come. Albert and Dizy are about to leave Spain for the isthmus country. While they pack their stuff, they have already in mind the good tides and the authenticity of this enchanting land. In their words, escaping to Panama seems an act of urgency. The need of leaving behind your routine and set off, looking for something you don’t know very well. Maybe this is what the pursuit of Eldorado is about.

Why Panama?

Dizy:     Albert and I were going through some delicate moments: we were stressed about our work, our relationships… and we felt the need to escape from Barcelona for a while, make a small trip that would allow us to disconnect from our ordinary lives. But why Panama? Some time ago a friend of mine told me about a trip of his to Panama: wild beaches, warm water, lonely waves… His words got stuck in my head, so I proposed Albert the idea of going to South America.

Albert:  Panama is the perfect answer. We needed to disconnect from everything and in order to do that we had to choose a remote and unreachable destination. We felt more like going to a non commercial, non crowded destination where we could have the chance to “discover” and “explore”.


What is your attitude towards surf?

D:         I believe my first contact with surf was when I was 8 or 9 years old, at Guadamía Beach in Asturias. However, I bought my first surfboard when I was 14 and haven’t stopped surfing ever since. This has influenced almost every aspect of my life. I haven’t been able to live more than just a few months in a city away from the sea. Even though I’ve been engaged to surf from an early age, it wasn’t until a few years ago that I started binding it together with my other great passion: photography. This has made me change my approach to surf, into a more plastic point of view…

A:         Surf came into my life about 5 years ago. Actually, and despite this might sound like a cliché, there was a “before” and “after” to this story. My priorities and personal aims seriously changed… I found out that everything that before I considered important, suddenly wasn’t anymore… and step by step I realised how my routine became completely dependent upon the practice of this sport and everything that it entails. Today I feel like I have a strong commitment with surf: back in the days I proposed myself to learn it and here I am still… That means effort, sacrifice, trips, time and money…


How do you expect Panama? How do you see the ishtmus country from here, from Europe?

D:         Untamed, colourful, deserted beaches, good waves and lots of mosquitos. I guess we have an imaginary full of sterotypes, as with almost all unknown cultures. Even doing a pre-trip research for potential surf spots, we know that we can find ourselves in unusual situations or come across things that we do not imagine, in a country with such a rich biodiversity and a small population density… I imagine a wild Panama.

A:         My job does not leave me too much time for researching before a trip… I have not been watching videos and photos on the internet… so I have not a very clear idea of what Panama is. In my imagination I see everything in a green and orange key, coconut and palm trees… They say it’s dangerous, but I sincerely doubt it… from previous experience, I can tell that life in rural places is usually quite, cozy and friendly.


  • The perfect answer

How about these months of waiting before the trip?

D:A few months ago it seemed so distant and suddenly it’s here, we only have a few weeks left and it seems like we have no time to fix everything before leaving. They were just a sum of possibilities and assumptions, it was just an illusion. As time passed by, it has become something tangible.

One of the things I have been worrying about most during these months is the risk of getting a tropical disease. Vaccine is the only defense we have against diseases like that, which in some cases can be fatal. In many cases, you can not do anything to avoid them to sleep but a mosquito net. It does not give me much confidence… And the idea that there are sharks, crocodiles, etc… It is actually a slight fear of the unknown.

A:We have been thinking about this journey during the last two years, but for different reasons we could not go. We were very close to buying the tickets a couple of times but in the end we couldn’t… Both for Dizy and for me It has been so difficult to make this trip. A few days before leaving, I’m super excited. It took more than a year and a half for this moment to arrive. My job never allowed me to leave my routine or being without internet connection for one entire month. For me it is a therapy and a challenge to see how the studio can handle without me. I have not had so much time to think, I’m too busy with work and professional commitments…


Surf Morocco was born almost by chance: in this sense, what will earn and what will lose the Panamanian experience?

D:Eldorado experience one: Surf Morocco was born spontaneously, without no aim of creating a publication. Surf Panama does, but still, I do believe it doesn’t lose his spontaneity. It is an exercise of experimentation and must take into account that we are going into the unknown and we have no idea of what are we going to find. The only clear thing is that we will be back with far much more material than on the first experience.

A:Panama only wins. It earns experience, enthusiasm, production, maturation… the project’s concept is still evolving and every day is more and more interesting.


How it is like to come back from such a journey to the other side of the world, so close with Nature? How was the return from Morocco?

D:Traveling to a place in the world where technology is absent, where instead of iPads, iPhones and other devices you find mere mp3 players or cameras of questionable quality; a place where worries, anger and conflicts without a possibility of solution, those who can make us fall in absolute depressions, become mere tantrums of a spoilt child on the whim of the moment. A surtrip to a destination like Morocco is a slap of reality, you realize that the Western needs are superfluous and that what really matters is life itself, and eating, sleeping, surfing, making love, fucking.

A:Coming back is always painful… I wish I would had the courage to grab my girlfriend’s hand and go as far as possible from a developed country.


Do you think that the publication is able to transmit what you have tried first in Morocco and now in Panama? Can we find the spirit of the trip in the publication?

D:         Eldorado experience one: Surf Morocco, the first issue, reflects very well what happened during those 10 days, it is certainly the most personal work I’ve seen materialized so far. Both the art direction, the format of the publication and photography, communicate seamlessly the austerity, the simplicity and the romance of a trip, like the real thing.

A:         Undoubtedly the publication the second issue, Eldorado experience two:Surf Panama, has to be pure truth and sincerity. The more we are able to convey more credibility will gain the project.

We support:

Drawing. Ángela Palacios
Interview. Vincenzo Angileri / Eldorado

More Experiences Keep reading
Albert Folch

Albert Folch

Surfer and Art director
Founder and creative director from Folch, a graphic design agency based in Barcelona working for the most prestigious national and international clients. Albert was one of the founders of the acclaimed Apartamento magazine. Partner of the new footwear brand Deux Souliers, he is behind the erotic publication Odiseo and Eldorado, one of his most ambitious projects. Beside his creative skills, he is a nature lover and he is absolutely addicted to surf.
Dizy Díaz

Dizy Díaz

Surfer and Photographer
Local surfer from Playa de Sta. Marina (Ribadesella, Asturias) and freelance photographer, Dizy uses analogue photography as a form of expression. He sees the imperfection of film and the dirt of grain as something truly authentic. When he was 15, 'Paris-Texas' by Wim Wenders changed his way of seeing the things around him. In that moment, he choose photography as a travel mate for the rest of his life. His first work as a photographer was a portrait of the city of his birth, which represents a strong influence in the aesthetics of his photography.
More Experiences

Keep exploring.

This story is over but you can read the next travel experience.