BAD KARMA: The True Story of a Mexican Surf Trip from Hell

· Ocean Front Publishing
5 reviews

About this ebook

In the summer of 1978, twenty-one-year-old Paul Wilson jumps at the chance to join two local icons on a dream surf trip to mainland Mexico, unaware their ultimate destination lies in the heart of drug cartel country. Having no earthly idea of where he’ll get the money to pay his share, and determined to prove his mettle, he does the only thing he can think of: He robs a supermarket. And, if karma didn’t already have enough reason to doom the trip, he soon learns one of his companions is a convicted killer on the run, and the other an unscrupulous cad. Mishap and misfortune rule the days, and mere survival takes precedence over surfing.

Original photographs (including pre-kingpin El Chapo), and Wilson’s strong narrative style, combine to make this true story personal—in the tradition of Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer, and Barbarian Days, A Surfing Life by William Finnegan—except this tale had to wait for the statute of limitations to expire before it could be told.

Ratings and reviews

5 reviews
Mark Rayner
July 13, 2020
great little yarn"

About the author

Paul is a lifelong resident of coastal San Diego, attending high school at a time when Independent surfing was an option for Phys. Ed. and Rock Poetry was passed off as an advanced English course. It didn't take much for him to become disenchanted with formal education and drop out of The University of Southern California to embrace his entrepreneurial side. Paul is a multi-patented inventor, an accomplished photographer (, and has built several successful businesses. Embracing his love of baseball and the ocean, he attends every Padres home game, and lives in Mission Beach, California with his wife, Susan.  

Barbara worked for 23 years at National Geographic as Senior Editor of Travel Publishing, where she managed the creation of illustrated travel books, including the award-winning National Geographic Traveler guidebook series. She was involved in every step, including ideation, marketing, covers, photo selection, and the actual writing and editing. In 2015, Barbara left her longtime position at National Geographic to go freelance full-time. She has published hundreds of travel stories and blogs, plus four books. She's accompanied National Geographic Expedition tours to Italy and France as the NatGeo Expert and teaches travel writing both in person and online.  

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