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ADV RidesRiding SeasonAutumn/Fall RideMotorcycles and Surfing – Can You Combine Two Passions?

Motorcycles and Surfing – Can You Combine Two Passions?

These guys found a way to enjoy both surfing and riding in equal measure.

Published on 07.30.2014

For many enthusiasts of both adventure motorcycles and surfing, the dream of riding through Mexico and Central America with your surfboard strapped to your bike is a seductive one. The coastlines of the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans offer some of the best surfing opportunities in the world. The deserts, mountains and jungles of the region offer some incredible off-road riding as well.

One of the great advantages of riding a dual sport motorcycle is the ability to easily access hard to reach surf spots where you can have the waves all to yourself. The problem is getting your surfboard there. A six-foot long surfboard usually doesn’t travel well strapped to a motorcycle on rough off-road tracks. Your movement is limited and you are susceptible to high winds. More than likely, you will fall while riding off-road and even a small tip-over could damage the board or the rack.

Deus ex Machina Surfboard Rack

Custom bike builder Deus ex Machina promotes the image of combining motorcycles and surfing

While the theme of riding with a surfboard strapped to your motorcycle is popularized by companies like Deus ex Machina, in reality your riding will be limited to mostly pavement. This could prevent you from ever reaching the more remote beaches with the best waves you are seeking. It would also be frustrating to skip over all the best off-road tracks. Leaving your board behind could be even worse as you are tortured each time you pass by yet another epic break. Can Surfing and Motorcycles really coexist?


The guys from Hobo/Moto think they can. They are preparing to embark on an adventure they call “Braap to the Gap” that will take them on a journey from San Diego to the end of the Pan-American Highway in Panama. Along the way, the three amigos Luis, Tom and Dom will be surfing, spear fishing and beach camping at every opportunity.

However, these adventure riders don’t want their surfing passion to interfere with the fantastic off-road trails they’ll encounter. They are just as passionate about riding dirt as they are about surfing, so they want to ensure they maintain full off-road capabilities on their Suzuki DR650s.

Wooden minimalist surfboard

A wooden minimalist surfboard fits on a motorcycle perfectly without ruining your ride. (Courtesy Hobo/Moto)

The Hobo/Moto crew will be bringing small wooden belly boards and something called a surf mat that looks like a giant inflatable seat cushion. Both of these devices are used to body surf and are small enough to fit in a large tail bag. Bringing small boards along for the ride will ensure they never miss an opportunity to session the waves when surf is up, while also safeguarding their ability to enjoy the fun trails. When they arrive at more popular beach destinations, they intend to rent or borrow standard surfboards so they can get in some stand-up surfing as well.

It sounds like the perfect adventure as they ride rugged off-road tracks en-route to a remote beach, then spend several days surfing the waves and spear fishing for lobster. In the evenings they camp under the stars with a warm breeze, listening to the crashing waves. These unforgettable scenes repeat themselves all the way down to Panama. It’s like a combination of two epic 1960’s era adventure films, “Endless Summer” and “Cycles South.”

Their journey begins September 1st and you can follow all the action on their blog You can also see a preview of what’s to come on their journey in this video:

Author: Rob Dabney

Rob Dabney started a lifelong obsession with motorcycles at the age of 15 when he purchased his first bike – a 1982 Honda MB5. Through his 20’s and 30’s he competed in off-road desert races, including the Baja 250, 500 and 1000. Eventually, his proclivity for exploration led him to dual sport and adventure riding. Rob’s never-ending quest to discover what’s around the next bend has taken him on Adventures in Latin America, Africa, Europe, Asia, and throughout the American West. As a moto journalist, he enjoys inspiring others to seek adventure across horizons both near and far.

Author: Rob Dabney

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July 31, 2014 10:05 am

Hey thanks for the write up! Stoked to see there is interest in what we are doing!

ADV Pulse
ADV Pulse
July 31, 2014 10:19 am
Reply to  hobomoto

Glad you liked it. What a dream trip you guys have planned, riding, surfing and spear fishing all the way down to Panama. We look forward to following the action when you depart. We wish you good luck on your journey!

May 16, 2015 12:52 pm

Motorcycles and surfing are two of my passions as well. A few weeks ago I noticed a guy in the lineup with an inflatable board, so naturally I was curious and asked him about it. He had it custom made by ULI boards in Vista, CA. He said that it was his travel board and it rolls up to fit into a small duffle bag. This could be another option for you guys. Enjoy your trip!!


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