Stab Magazine | Want To Ride A One Kilometer (.6 mile) Wave? Go To Peru

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Want To Ride A One Kilometer (.6 mile) Wave? Go To Peru

The land of the lefts. 

style // Jun 1, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 4 minutes

A good day at Rincon will set your thighs ablaze, but have a good one at Chicama and you won’t be able to walk. We’ve staked a claim that Peru is goofy foot heaven and it’s the truth. The country’s coast silver platters just about every wave your brain can cook up. But the loveliest lefthander, Chicama, sits 300 miles north of Lima, where the prevailing winds flick offshore and on the right swell waves will kick for a ridable 3/4’s of a mile. It’s perhaps the longest wave on earth. If Chicama isn’t doing its thing, there’s another lefthand point, Pacasmayo, that’ll be twice the size, heavy and square a short skip away. 

And so, cue this month’s ever-rolling edition of the Stab Scorecard, where we continue to highlight the fine gents that surf as much as you wish you could, and hold a steady day job! Without further ado, we introduce to you Garry Stevenson of the Torquay, father of Tim Stevenson, who snagged the wildcard spot at Bells this year. He lost out in round two to the cat that doesn’t finish before the fifth round, Sir Italo Ferreira. “My son’s a good surfer,” Garry says cooly. “Well, he didn’t have a choice. I’ve been pushing him into waves since he could walk! He was in Peru for a comp and told me about the waves, I had to go.” 

Chicama3

“This is in the afternoon when the wind had come up so the line up is a bit wind blown but the size is there. It also shows the well known “El Hombre” (the blue house),” says Garry. “When the point is working it usually ends at El Hombre. At that point a new section starts (which can link up with the right swell. It is super fast and hollow and I actually had my best wave (not the longest) there. When it is working well all the crew end up surfing there instead of the point.” Photo: Garry Stevenson

“Our crew had a competition going,” Mr Stevenson continues. “To see who could get the longest wave. I said, yeah I’m in and got myself a Rip Curl GPS watch. I was going for a kilo, I didn’t quite get there but I was close.” Garry snagged a runner for a total of 949 meters (1038 yards!). 

“I took off from the furthest point… I was burning! After about 300 meters I was out of breath and my thighs were on fire. It’s a funny wave — it gets real fast so you have to pump like crazy. Then it slows down a bit, you got to do a couple cutbacks before it speeds up again. You never know exactly what to expect; you got to keep your eyes down the line. There’s a really strong current. If you don’t get a wave you end up flying down the beach. Fortunately they’ve got about six boats in the lineup that’ll scoop you and bring you back out to the point. Without the duckies it’s a 20 minute walk up the point and a five minute paddle. If you’re lucky you can catch one wave every 30 minutes. It’s a sand bottom point, so there’s no dramas. I can’t see it getting bigger than six foot because it wraps so far around the point. It needs a good amount of swell for it to peel properly.” For a total of two minutes and 14 seconds Garry rode almost 1 kilometer (.6 miles). “I was stoked! Not many run from the top point all the way through, you got to get the right one.” 

Garry

“On the duckies, the crew would tell me you’re a good surfer,” he says. “But a good surfer is relative, they’re saying I’m a good surfer for my age… I know that’s what’s they’re saying.”

“The waves were three to five foot while I was there,” he says. “I was riding my 6’2, it’s an all-rounder. But I’m getting old. If the waves are too big for my board, it’s probably too big for me anyway. The rest of the points in Peru are typically eight foot plus. Chicama is really user friendly. It’s a wave that should be on every surfers bucket list. Oh, and I won the competition.”

When we spoke he had just gotten shut down at Bells. “It was flat, rainy and now it’s a work day,” he says. After tracking his waves at Chicama, he started to take note of the sessions at his local. “It’s interesting to look back at your surfs and see how long your waves are. Where I live, we’re pretty spoiled, if you get a good one you can almost always get a 200 meter ride.”

Hero Image | @cornish_fern / https://cornishcarp.wordpress.com/2013/11/06/chicama-surf-eat-surf-eat-sleep-repeat/

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