Don’t make me say it, but it was rather cold here in Chile today, as I stood, sat and huddled on the rocky point watching today’s pre-game at the Rip Curl Pro search contest in Arica, Chile. For the past three years Rip Curl has hosted this signature “search” stop on the ASP world tour, a stop that is dedicated to searching out new, semi-undiscovered waves and locations, and then bringing the worlds best surfers and their fans to them. The past three years these “search” stops have presented some of the best waves and contests of the year, or so I am told. Those of you who know me, know that I know pretty much know nothing about surfing but you also know that I ask a lot of questions, so all these things I learned today; along with the fact that when you are staying in a foreign country especially in one that you don’t speak the language you should probably remember the name and location of your hotel, that would save you the trouble of driving around in a taxi in a foreign city where all the streets look the same wondering how the hell you are going to get to a place you can’t name on a street you can’t remember. Anyway….we stumbled across it eventually.
Okay, Back to what I do know about surfing, which is thanks in large part to my new friend Warbs, the world wide web and the two surf magazines I read cover to cover on the plane. What I do know is that this wave is pretty “heavy”. When I ask Greeny what he meant, he had a hard time explaining exactly what a heavy was but when I saw Mick Fanning the ASP tour leader, current number one surfer in the world drop in, go over the falls and snap his board in two I kind of got what he meant by heavy. Heavy means that this tricky little wave that barrels and breaks both left and right has a lot of punch and if you are not careful it will reach up and punch you in the nuts, okay well maybe not, but the rocks that hover below the surface just might.
Some Heavy waves breaking at el gringo
So you see I really don’t know all that much about this whole surf scene but I am learning, and watching some of Chilean’s best go head to head for two wildcard spots in the first ever Chilean ASP stop certainly helped. Those guys ripped it up out there and the stoke on the two guys who made it was awesome to see in this highly competitive sport, plus apparently there a whole strategy to competitive surfing that tweaks my little snowboarding melon but it basically comes down to this, pick the best waves and out surf the other guy, if you win your heat you climb out of the water kiss your girlfriend high five your bro, give an interview if you lose your heat on the other hand, you lay in the water not wanting to come in, pull yourself together, get out of the water be consoled by your girlfriend and avoid the losers interview.
Important stuff……this contest is going to go off, Kelly Slater said at the press conference that he wasn’t going to come to this contest four days ago but he changed his mind after he saw the swell that was going to hit here, that kind of says a lot about the potential of this place. He also said that he has never been to Chile which I thought was kind of interesting. Another thing I thought was kind of interesting was that every guy adjusts his package as soon as he gets out of the water, I am kind of tired so I think I will leave it at that and give you all sorts of interesting stuff tomorrow…
Hola Beaches……love tricia