With his family in tow, KSP rider Maurício Pedreira goes on a 9 day vacation to Chile. He not only finds perfect waves, but also explores the coast together with his wife and their two sons. How do you successfully combine kitesurfing and a family vacation? Keep reading to find out!
Hello Corenation! For the first time in my “kite life” I was able to do an international trip with my family: Sibele (wife), Cauê (10 years old son) and Davi (4 years old son). The destination was Chile. This beautiful and well educated country has great and powerful waves, strong winds and cold water (due to the Humboldt current) and stunning scenarios. The trip was a blast! Not only did I have fun enjoying the great surfing and kiting conditions, but I also had so much fun with the kids and Sibele, exploring the beauty and discovering the contrasts from our own country. The forecast for the week before Easter predicted a 3.5 meter swell, an 18 second period as well as 25 knots of wind with sun. This great forecast made us immediately rebook our vacation which was actually planned for the week past Easter. So we left Florianópolis and after 7 hours and 2 flights we arrived in Santiago. Getting there we had a warm welcome from my local friend, KSP rider, Juan Pablo Diban. After a stop in a supermarket, in a Bank and in a local restaurant to eat an “Empanada” (local pastry dish), we headed to Matanzas. It is around a 3-hour drive to get there, and you can catch a bus as well, the roads are good and the bus service is good - safe and cheap. We arrived just in time to see the stunning sunset and the building swell.
The next day we woke up and the waves were great for surfing (glassy 3-5 feet), so Diban and I went for an early morning surf session, whilst Sibele and the kids explored the beauty of our surroundings. After 3 hours of great surfing, the wind slowly started to pick up.
Usually the wind starts in the afternoon and really cranks between 3pm to 8pm (the sun goes down around 8:30 pm). So after lunch and a rest we headed from the main break of Matanzas downwind to a break called Roca Cuadrada. It is a powerful left break, with lots of barrels a rocky bottom and side onshore wind. It is the region’s main kite wave spot, whilst the main break of Matanzas is the windsurfing Mecca. The wind wasn’t that strong, so we kited with big kites (me with a 13.5 and Diban with a 12), but the waves were clean and great barrels were rolling in. We had a great 3 hour solo session. What a great welcome! Meanwhile Sibele was filmin g the action, and the kids where playing around freely on the beach, where they discovered the “Cochayuyo”(big local seaweed that looks like Rastafarian dreads), and marine wolfs. They got so excited that it was difficult to sleep at night.
Unfortunately our friend Diban had to go back to Santiago, due to some work and study commitments. As a result we had to find a place to stay for the next days. Matanzas has all kind of accommodations, for every pocket. We decided to stay in a middle range house with kitchen so that we could cook (there are some restaurants as well, but for 4 people it can be expensive to eat out everyday). We paid around 80 dollars per day, and the view from the house was awesome, with a view of the waves breaking at the left point break of Matanzas.
The third day was “the day” of the trip! The sun was shining brightly from early morning, the swell had picked up to about 8 foot and the wind started to blow from 11am. After a walk and some exploring with the family, I went for a session at Matanzas. The waves were great, powerful and blue! I kited for around 2 hours with my 10m, until the windsurfers started to dominate the spot. Sibele was at home filming from the balcony before she started cooking , so for lunch we didn’t only have great images, but also delicious food. After lunch we went for an afternoon session in Roca, and this was the best session of the vacation. 8 foot sets, well-formed waves, powered on my 8 meter kite and barreling sections. What a session! A great barbecue rounded off the day perfectly, with lots of Chilean wine (the wines are really good and cheap!) to help me sleep, as mind couldn’t rest from all the action and images in my head from the whole day!
The next day started a little foggy and the swell had dropped to the 6 feet range, so we as a family went to explore the other side of Matanzas. After some walking and climbing we reached the beach of Pupuya. It is a beautiful big bay with some breaking waves more exposed to the winds, but it does not hold bigger swells (tends to close out). Locals say that it is a good option in smaller wave days and lighter winds. I did not surf this day, because I was tired from the day before and the current was really strong. I preferred to keep my energy for the afternoon kite session. After the clouds went away the wind started to pick up, but it was light so I went for a session in Matanzas. Even though the wind was really light and the strong current made it hard to stay upwind, the waves were beautiful. After some time walking up beach after catching each wave, the wind got a bit stronger and I could get some good ones and some barrels. The best part was that I was the only one out with my 13.5 m.
After a cold night the 5th day started even foggier than the day before. The waves where good around 5 feet and clean, but it was really hard to see them due to the fog. We decided to do some more exploring, and relaxing. The kids were free, playing everywhere and even starting to speak some Spanish. In the afternoon we sat on the beach in the middle of the fog, and then suddenly it started to clean up. I went for a late surf session with great waves but a strong current, and was able to catch some ok ones. The best ones where breaking alone up at the point... if you want to surf them, you hadto paddle HARD! The remarkable thing of this day was the sunset, after all the fog, we had this spectacular sunset, that will definitely be seared into our minds for the rest of our lives.
The 6th day started sunny and even though the waves dropped to the 3-4 foot range they were still well formed and with good power. After a breakfast, Sibele went horseback riding. Meanwhile the kids and I went for a swim (we made a bet to see if we could stay in the freezing water for at least 5 minutes). The Humboldt Current won after 3 minutes, we were almost frozen (ahaha!). Especially with the breeze it gets really cold. My advice is to bring a good 5/3 mm wetsuit, a hood and boots are a must too! After a tricky session in Matanzas with waves breaking close to the rocks I went for a downwinder to Roca Cuadrada. It was a bit crowded (it was Sunday), but there were good rippable waves in the 3 foot range, so I kited almost until the sunset and got a drive back with nice local riders. Another great day of action, ended with a sunset, barbecue and wine.
The next day the swell had dropped to the 2 feet range, but it was suppose to get really windy. We decide to explore the more southerly breaks in the Pichilemu area. Pichilemu is around 1:30 hours from Matanzas, it’s a much bigger and developed city and is known worldwide for its great surf spots and the fact that it picks up more swell than other beaches. We took a taxi and after some driving we reached our destination. Getting there the wind was cranking and some 3-4 feet waves where breaking alone at the break known as La Puntilla. So we got an apartment just in front of the break and I rushed for a session. I pumped my 8m, but as soon as I reach the outside, I felt overpowered already. Instead of getting out and pumping a smaller kite, I stayed out. Overpowered, choppy and with exposed rocks (low tide), it was really hard to get the best waves, and a bit dangerous too... after some nasty wipeouts I managed to catch some good ones. To finish the session, I hit a fence of barbed wire whilst packing in the kite - and popped it. Well, no pain no gain!
The 8th day started slow, there was no wind fatigue was getting the better of everyone, so we stayed at the apartment, taking advantage of the internet (we did not have it in Matanzas) and TV shows. But in the end of the day we reached Punta Lobos, the most well known break of the region and a mystical place (holds up to 30 feet waves). I had my last surf session in 3 feet clean waves and watched the sunset from the water. Meanwhile, Sibele and the kids, were having a picnic in the sand. What a great last day at the sea.
Next day we took a bus to Santiago. After 4 hours we got there, and our friend Diban picked us up and showed us around Santiago a bit. A great and safe big city, with all kinds of shops, beautiful architecture, well educated people, and nice atmosphere. After some shopping it was time to get ready to pack and get back to Brazil.
What a trip! A big thank you to my wife and kids for being such a great company, to my friend JP Diban, to the local people, and to nature for being so spectacular in Chile! Thanks Core for powering me up with great and trusty gear! Cheers, Maurício
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