Chile Surf & Culture Report: Earthquakes & Huge Waves

Miles Clark | | SurfSurf
Sean O'Connell way out back at Lobos.  Behind Los Morros (the twin rocks) even...
Sean O’Connell way out back at Lobos. Behind Los Morros (the twin rocks) even… Look close, there is a surfer on that wave…

Earthquakes…  Four earthquakes over magnitude 5.0 Just last night…  I have still have PTSD from California’s 7.1 magnitude Loma Prieta quake in 1989…  There have been eight earthquakes here in Chile over magnitude 5.0 since I arrived here two weeks ago…  I’m living in a building made of shipping containers…  I’ve run out of the house at least 4 times…

Small, fun, playful surf at Lobos.
Small, fun, playful surf at Lobos.

The surf at Punta de Lobos, Chile has been spot on.  Many around here say that this is the most consistent wave in the world and I’m starting to believe it.  I’ve been here for 16 days now and the surf has been pumping everyday.  There is a big cliff to the south that blocks the ever-present south wind and keeps the wave glassy all day.  Only a north wind can blow this wave out and in my 16 days, the north wind has only blown for part of one afternoon.

Punta de Lobos firing last Saturday.
Punta de Lobos firing last Saturday.

The X-factor here at Lobos, is that it can get huge.  30-foot faces huge.  My new buddy, Shaun O’Connell, is here for exactly that.  He’s spent years training at big waves around the world including a big chunk of time at Shipsterns, Tazmania.  It was ludicrously large here last Saturday and yesterday and Shaun had at it on his 9’3″ gun.

“I had the best drop of my life on that one.” – Shaun O’Connell, yesterday

Bonfire BBQ good times
Bonfire BBQ good times

We sat on the cliffs and cheered the boys on and had our minds blown last Saturday.  It was breaking out past the rocks and lighting up the point in ways we couldn’t have imagined.

Shaun O'Connell ripping a bomb out the back last Saturday at Punta de Lobos.
Shaun O’Connell ripping a bomb out the back last Saturday at Punta de Lobos.

When it’s not huge it’s generally around head high and cranking.  I’ve had some of the best backside rides of my life here and certainly some of the longest.  A 100-yard ride is short ride here.  You can get 400-yard long rides and on the right day, you can get a big wrapper off the point that’ll go about 1,000-yards.

Chilean beach chillin'
Chilean beach chillin’

Spring has hit hard here of late and is expressing itself in floral form.  The variety of flowers here and the sheer quantity is stunning.  This region of Chile is gorgeous right now.

Huge Lobos last Saturday
Huge Lobos last Saturday

Hostel life has been good as well with the bonfires, BBQ’s, plenty of cheap wine, interesting people from all over the world, good food, and Giants kicking ass in the post season.

Sunset on Punta de Lobos is worth a look.
Sunset on Punta de Lobos is worth a look.

I have about six days left here and I’m not going to enjoy walking away.  I’ll certainly be back next year.

PHOTO TOUR:

Chilean gals and cactus.
Weekends bring Chilean gals and cactus.
Local ripper on a big 'un.
Local ripper on a big ‘un.
Point beach bungalows.
Point beach bungalows.
The trade mark of Lobos:  Cactus.
The trade mark of Lobos: Cactus.

IMG_2403

Excellent local art.
Excellent local art.
Big risotto fire feed.
Big risotto fire feed.
Cactus flowers are kinda sexual, huh?
Cactus flowers are kinda sexual, huh?

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