Video: Chilean Barrels

29 Jun 2012 0

Video by:: Anthony Walsh

Earlier this month, Australian Anthony Walsh took out the ASP 3-Star Maui and Sons Arica World Star Tour event with a 10 and a 9.45 in the final. Clearly, he had an ok time. Probably better than ok, probably a really really good time. So we asked him to share his experience of surfing in the Chilean town of Arica in five points.


Chile
: It’s a huge country with so many different landscapes. As you fly in to Santiago you can see mountains covered in snow with only the city dividing them from the ocean. You can surf and snowboard in the same day no problems. From there I flew to Arica at very north of Chile. On the way up you see fewer and fewer trees till it’s just desert, but still the mountains to the sea.

Arica: It’s a smallish city right on the ocean, it’s basically a huge harbour that trades with both Peru and Chile. This city is huge on fishing so there is no shortage of seafood on the market. It is really similar to the Canary Islands. Besides the fact they both speak Spanish – there are no trees, just rocks and sand, mountains to the water’s edge, the waves are the same heavy slabbing waves on shallow volcanic rocks and covered with sea urchins. This was my first time out of the airport in Chile ans all I could think was how similar it was to the Canarys and Peru, which is only a small drive away. I loved both those places so I knew I would love Chile.

That left: The wave El Gringo is a left and right peak, but mainly a left, which always has swell, three-foot is pretty much flat. It holds up to eight-to-ten foot. It’s not a wave for a beginner. There is a list of dangers, just getting in is a nightmare – sharp shallow rocks covered in sea urchins, surfing without booties is not an option. Once you get out the wave is even heavier then the jump off, it has a moderate take off but the further you ride left or right it gets shallower and shallower and if you fall off you will be knee-to-ankle deep looking at the one behind ready to push you further up the rocks. Then getting in (if you haven't already been washed up the rocks high and dry) is very tricky. There is a small keyhole you have to time with the sets and then time a small wave to wash you up on the rocks.

The event: There isn't a whole lot going on in the city so the whole city camp down there to watch. And like many south Americans, they love to party I had the best time not just because I won but everyone got along and was so cool. You didn't have to get a car hitch anywhere, everyone willing to help you even if you couldn't speak any spanish and they didn't speak any english.

Biggest highlight: The highlight for me was obviously winning. Coming from behind in the final, needing a combo of over 18 points and getting a 10 and a 9.45 was not a bad way to win.

Tags: arica , chile , south , america , video , anthony , walsh , travel (create Alert from these tags)

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