Chicama – mas largas olas del mundo, more or less

Chicama is a world famous lefthand point break within the surfing world. Most goofy footers (surfers who face the wave frontside when going left) have wet dreams about this place and the possibility of getting a legburning 2 km wave reeling down the point.

Chicama is quite consisted if all you want is a wave, but for it to be epic it needs a big swell from the South Pacific. With a big swell we are talking around the 3 meter mark and more.

As mentioned in my Huanchaco story the forecasts had indicated the arrival of a solid swell and instead of following Dan and Simon to Huaraz in the Andes Mountains, I decided to wait around a few more days in Huanchaco and then head of for Chicama the day before the swell was set to arrive. At the hostel in Huanchaco, two Argentinian surfers Nico and Gonzalo was staying as well and we decided to go together to Chicama.

Chicama is only 2 hours away from Huanchaco, so after catching a taxi to Trujillo and a bus from there to Puerto Chicama we arrived to check in at the famous hostal El Hombre. El Hombre is located on the cliff above the beach and marks the beginning of the fast and hollow El Hombre-section (named after the hostal), where a good barrel is possible.

The swell hadn’t arrived yet, so we chilled in the afternoon, had dinner and went to bed early in anticipation of the waves promised for the following day. Waking up early at first light we saw the swell had filled in during the night. After some quick breakfast and pre-surf psych up time we hit the water, for one of the best and longest sessions of my life.

Due to the length of the wave and strong currents sweeping around and down the point Chicama is usually surfed by walking around the point and paddling out, thereafter you catch 1-3 waves and by then you are way down the point close to the pier which marks the end of the wave. From there you walk back 20 minutes to the point and repeat it all again….. Or you can cheat and pay 10 dollars and be pick up by a zodiac boat which takes you back up to the point and drops you off at the peak, saving you the walk and paddle out, but comprimising your soul.

Each lap usually takes around an hour, and after getting 1-3 waves which all more or less are longer than most waves in the world, the walk back to the point after leg-burning rides is a enjoyable break, where you get to see all the other guys out in the lineup get smoking waves.

In the end I did 8 laps of the Chicama triathlon making it 16 km’s of surfed waves, 16 km’s of walking back to the point and 10 km’s of paddling to fight the current and stay in position for the next wave. 8 laps took me 8 hours after which I was totally drained for energy and with serious chafes between my legs due to the walking in my old wetsuit – though I was a very happy surfer. Especially one wave stood out from all the rest of the 40+ waves I had that day, which was the one that took me more than 1 km down the line. It kept on going, but my exhausted legs couldn’t keep up when the wave reached the El Hombre section, or else I probably would have gotten a real 2 km Chicama wave. That night Nico, Gonzo and I were all very happy having scored classic Chicama.

The next day, the period of the swell had dropped making the waves less punchy, though good waves could still be had. The day before had taken the toll on all of us, and I personally only made 3 laps this day before calling it.

Gonzalo had to fly back to Argentina, and with the swell dropping of Nico and I decided the next day to head to another famous peruvian pointbreak called Pacasmayo which is an hour north of Chicama. This point picks up more swell, and a new smaller swell was forecasted to arrive in a couple of days, so more surf was in the pipeline.

 

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