Page 3: Notes, Recommendations, and Final Thoughts:
The waves are so long in Chicama and the rip tide is so strong that it would be futile (bordering on crazy) to try and paddle back
to the take off zone at the end of your rides. What happens instead is one of two things.
1. You get out of the water and walk back along the rocky cliffside until you’re back in a reasonable position to paddle out into
2. You use one of the zodiacs (water taxis) for a fee, where a boat driver picks you up and chauffeurs you back to the takeoff
zone. These tow services can be a blessing and a curse. You’ll end up increasing your wave count significantly by using
them, but for the etiquette-conscious, it can feel a little snake-y…
Boat riders in action... Photo: Spears
Plus, keep in mind that when the waves are firing, lots of people will be using these boats, and sooner or later you’ll likely get
skunked by someone who jumps off a boat into your wave…
Like anywhere you surf, be mindful of the locals. Try to observe the customs and all that before you start dropping in. This
is a wonderful place with great waves and it would be awful to see it spoiled…
A couple of things to bring with you:
There are a lot of rocks and sharp objects you have to walk over to surf many of these spots, and while you can certainly make
due without them, a pair of booties is easy to throw in your bag and is definitely worth having. *Note that I found surf booties to
be particularly difficult to find in Peru…
In case this is the only article you ever read about Chicama, I figured it would be good to mention that the water is a bit cooler
here than many other famous surf destinations. I was comfortable in just a 3/2 suit, but some people were wearing 4/3s. It’s a
small window of the year when Chicama can be surfed comfortably in boardshorts.
The long, rocky walk along the cliffs. Photo: Spears
|Surf Hat: |
Despite the fact that most mornings in Peru start off pretty cool and foggy and the water is a bit cold, by lunch time the sun
comes out full force every single day and starts scorching. Unless you’ve got rawhide skin, you’ll definitely need protection
for your face. Having a hat will help keep you from getting burned if you want to do an all day session. And seriously, if there
are waves from sunrise to sunset, having a hat on your head will keep you from having to get out of the water early to escape
an overdose of sun exposure.
Chicama, between The Point and The Cape. Photo: Spears
Peru is home to some of the longest waves in the world. Without question. And by far. A good ride on a decent day in
Chicama will yield a competent surfer between 8 and 16 turns on the same wave. The ride will most likely last about five
times longer than whatever the longest wave in your life was previously. This is no exaggeration.
But even without the incredible long lefts of Chicama, all surfers should put Peru on their list of places to visit.
(Seriously, bookmark this page right now so you don’t forget.) It’s truly an incredible place and a paradise for surfing.
There are a ton of amazing spots all over the country, not just the ones mentioned in this article.
Peru is a land of many things... Towering stone cliffs with enormous rock formations the color of brown sugar. Endless