Words: Ian Provo
Photos: Ian Provo & Daniel Rinzler
Evolve Chile Session Dos, down by the beach! For me, one of the highlights of the Evolve Chile camp experience was having the opportunity to spend three days on the Chilean coast. The beach/surf session really separates Evolve Chile from the other camps in South America and around the world. Where else can you ride waist deep powder one day, and sweet waves on a long board the next?
The campers, coaches and myself enjoyed three warm sunny days in the stellar beach town of Con Con, Chile. All of the campers were catching waves, some of them for the first time ever. Aside from relaxing in the sun, surfing, and eating the most delicious beachside empanadas on the planet, our group visited the neighboring city of Valparaiso. We absorbed the Chilean culture and checked out a local futbol (soccer) match, which turned out to be an amazingly intense experience that we will never forget.
Even though the campers and myself had come to Evolve Chile for the skiing and snowboarding, it’s really about more than just the riding. The surf session truly provided the international and cultural experience we were all looking for.
We arrived in Con Con just in time to catch an epic sunset from the balcony of our hotel. Surely it was a sign of good things to come.
The view from my window was inspiring to say the least. The energy produced by the ocean is powerful; similar to the feeling I get in the mountains. Sleeping at night with the window wide open, the sound and energy of the ocean provided some of the best sleeping conditions one could ask for.
The accommodations at our hotel, the Radisson in Con Con, were plush. They included a soothing salt-water pool, big comfy beds, and an epic breakfast buffet.
On the first day of surfing, the campers were given a brief lesson on the ways of the wave. Many of the kids had not surfed before and were stoked to catch their first waves.
We did a quick run down the beach to get warmed up. Even though the weather was sunny and pleasant, the water was still a bit chilly. It is winter after all.
Geared up with wetsuits, the water was not that bad.
The surfing dog digging a hole to China, or would it be Australia?
The dog, riding waves better than some of the campers. No big deal.
A nice set rolls in.
At night, we enjoyed eating dinner at a local seaside restaurant offering fresh seafood.
After a day of surfing, the group cruised down the coast to check out the scene in Vina del Mar and Valparaiso.
Obviously, soccer is huge in South America. We were lucky to catch a local match.
The home team scores on a penalty kick. The fans were intense, chanting aggressively the entire match without stopping.
The fans love the game so much; they tend to get out of control every now and then. Huge cement walls surrounded the stadium, and barbed wire fences inside prevented the fanatical fans from rushing the field. In case the fences were breached, riot police were on standby to take on the resistance.
These guys probably didn’t have the money for a ticket. It didn’t really matter though because they had a wicked view of the pitch.
After the match, we walked around the city for a while to check out the street life.
Around every corner there was graffiti, tags, color, and cool architecture. I’m a mountain man myself, but it was incredible to experience the coastal street life in Chile.
Nut jobs on every corner! Great little snacks while we coursed our way through the city.
One morning, the crew helped clean up trash on the beach. The trash was left behind from large tidal shifts as a result of the devastating earthquake that hit Chile earlier in the year. This project is the first of many service projects by Evolve Chile’s “Give Back” program.
It was a rewarding experience for everyone involved. We often take for granted the mountains and oceans we ride, so it’s important to take good care of these natural resources that give us so much.
Some of the kids were credited with community service hours, which are required by their schools.
After a few days on the water, everyone was feeling good about their surfing skills.
Yours truly finishing up a mellow ride. I also accomplished one of my longtime goals of paddling into a nice wave on a stand up paddleboard.
The surf session wrapped up with everyone catching waves. It was a great way to take a productive break from the mountains, and do some much needed relaxing after the amazing powder fest we experienced at Termas de Chillan the week before (insert link to session one update). Everyone was excited to head back up to the Andes and to our next location at Valle Nevado. There was only one thing left to do after the last surf session, and that was to annihilate the tastiest empanadas in existence!
Evolve Chile Surf Session 2010 from daniel on Vimeo.
Stay tuned to see what went down up at Valle Nevado for the last session. Blue skies, powder, park, stunning sunsets, and epic dinner buffets are but a few of the highlights!