Newquay charger Tom Butler has legged it Arica to surf the heavy waves of El Gringo in the Arica Pro.
‘Ever since the XXL day at Mully I’ve been dreaming and training to be back in solid waves, I’m completely addicted!’ says Tom. ‘A few destinations where floating around in my mind. Chopes was at the top of the list so I started looking into the trip in more detail. After speaking with people and researching the country of Tahiti I decided against the trip … for now. I was told access to pretty much all surf spots except Chopes was by boat, therefore being pretty damn expensive! So I decded on Peru and Chile. There’s a 3*ASP event in Arica at El Gringo which is the board breaking, face scarring, A- frame reef where the RC Search event was held.
After the event in Arica the spots that are coming to mind to go push myself at are the world famous big wave spots of Punta de Lobos and Pico Alto. These two waves host the Big Wave World Tour paddle events and I’m looking for a chance to mix it up and push myself with the best big wave surfers on the planet, so i gotta take myself to where they will be!
I’m now at El Gringo. We had a 4.7 earthquake last night. Scary stuff! I started running much to the amusement of the Chilean guys I’m staying with. Tremors are pretty frequent in this part of the world! Looks like tomorrow will be biggest day out of the 5 day waiting period, the event will take 3 days to complete so it gonna be a fight for the sets trying to out dodge the dry inside section and mini urchin fields.
El Gringo is an amazing wave that’s going to test and push my barrel riding skills for a while, my plan is to stay in Arica until the swell picks up, score another few days of solid barrels at El Gringo then move on north back into Peru!”