President: Luis Pavez
Christian de la Barra
Ambassador: Ramón Navarro
Check out our Surfonomics Report in Pichilemu, Chile
October 2013; Dedicated: TBD.
31.8578° N, 116.6058° W
Punta de Lobos is one of the most iconic left-hand pointbreaks in the world and one of Chile’s best known waves. Characterized by a number of rideable sections, it is not uncommon for the sections to connect and 800m + rides to occur during large swells. It breaks in all conditions, from 1m to 10m and hosts the Big Wave World Tour contest, El Ceremonial, when the swell is big enough.
Punta de Lobos is the lynchpin of surf culture in Chile, where many of the countries best surfers honed their skills. The point is also the historic home to generations of artisanal fisherman who hand-harvest kelp, shellfish and local fish species. The point is the subject of the recent film “Fisherman’s Son”, documenting big wave surfer Ramón Navarro and his life-long connection to the point.
Punta de Lobos is part of a global biodiversity hotspot, boasting incredible marine and terrestrial resources. Upwelling from the Humboldt current brings cold nutrient-rich water to the area, which attracts a variety of species such as Southern Right Whales, Fin whales, Southern Sperm whales, Orcas, common sea lions, sea turtles, Humboldt and Magellanic penguins, oystercatchers, cormorants, gulls, pelicans and boobies. Growing on the point itself are a number of unique plant species, including the cactus Echinopsis bolligeriana, which has been identified as an endangered endemic species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Through the World Surfing Reserve we are addressing both the terrestrial and marine threats that face the Punta de Lobos coastline. To protect Punta de Lobos from encroaching private development, Save The Waves Coalition and the local Comité por la Defensa de Punta de Lobos are working to create a local foundation to eventually acquire key coastal properties and enforce conservation easements; thereby guaranteeing public access and open space forever. The World Surfing Reserve will also create marine protected areas to safeguard traditional fishing rights and protect marine biodiversity along the point.
Save The Waves Coalition, Patagonia, and the local comité have launched the campaign #LobosPorSiempre to preserve Punta de Lobos forever. Be part of the solution:
by Ramón Navarro
When I was growing up I wanted to be exactly like my dad: a fisherman. Then a couple of guys blew into town with surfboards and wetsuits and I said, “Wow, this is amazing,” and then I wanted to learn to surf more than anything in the world.
So I learned to surf and started to travel, but I figured out pretty fast that the best place to surf was right at home. We have big waves, small waves and the traditional fishing culture I love. Nothing could be better.
While traveling, I saw many similar coasts around the world that had been polluted or were scarred forever by out-of-control developers. I saw places that were pristine before, but had already been ruined. I realized the coast that I loved so much was also under threat—from pulp mills, sewage pipelines, dams and senseless development.
Chile is an amazing country. I couldn’t be more proud to come from Chile and from Punta de Lobos, to be the son of my dad, a fisherman and diver. I know I have a responsibility to honor the generations before me by protecting the coast. I have to. It’s up to us to make sure there are traditional fishermen (and fish) in the future. It’s our responsibility to ensure our children and their children can see beautiful landscapes and biodiversity.
I was born on Punta de Lobos and I love Punta de Lobos. I’ll fight to protect it, and all of Chile’s coast—but it has nothing to do with what I want. It is for the future.
I know I can’t accomplish much on my own. I think everyone sees the right thing to do: Stand up to save some of these special places before they are gone.
Adapted from The Fisherman’s Son: The Spirit of Ramón Navarro.