Punta de Lobos – Chile
Punta de Lobos is one of the biggest and best lefts that South America has to offer. It is not uncommon to see this wave in surfing magazines, and anyone who has surfed it can tell you how incredible it is. Punta de Lobos has waves that push you as far as 200 yards and can also produce some pretty unforgettable barrels. There are several different sections that allow for different levels of surfers to enjoy this spot; however, when it gets big, you’ll mainly see more advanced surfers in the line-up. The larger swells tend to break off the furthest rock, where the more experienced surfers will take off, but it’s not uncommon to take off a little further down the line. Although it can produce some pretty big waves, it is probably one of the most mellow big waves around and ideal for people wanting to learn how to surf big waves. Oh, did I mention it’s almost always glassy there?
Punta de Lobos is located in Chile next to a little town called Pichilemu, which sits about a three-hour drive from Santiago. It’s pretty similar to some parts of Northern California in regards to atmosphere. It has colder water, colder weather, and plenty of pine trees and wildlife along the coast.
Swell & Weather Conditions
Punta de Lobos breaks best during March and April, but it’s surfable year-round. The water is cold year-round and the winter offers some cold air as well. The left tends to break the best with a southwest swell, and the favorable tide is a low one. Any wave head-high or bigger is probably best for this spot, and it is very capable of holding up to 20-footers. The wind is always best offshore in a southeast direction.
A wetsuit is a must because the water is pretty cold. As far as boards go, you probably want to bring a bigger step-up board and also a big wave board for bigger swells. Anything over nine feet probably isn’t necessary. Tow-in surfing is also possible at this spot, so a nice tow-in board with a jet ski and a driver wouldn’t be a bad idea if you plan on doing that.
The biggest and best-known surf contest held in Punta de Lobos would definitely be the World Cup Tow-In Surfing Championships. Another big contest held at this spot is the Quiksilver Ceremonial Big Wave Invitational.
The Quiksilver Ceremonial in 2009:
Brief Travel Info
When traveling to Punta de Lobos, you’ll definitely want to look into information about Pichilemu, Chile (the small coastal town nearby). http://www.chilecontact.com/en_chile/HotelPosadaPuntadeLobos_1090.html is a small surf hotel near the surf break with affordable rooms for rent. As far a getting there, you probably want to fly into Santiago and either rent a car and make the three-hour drive or look into Chile’s bus or train systems for possible cheaper transportation.