Magnusson surfs pool in Peru
by Cheyne Magnusson
I had never taken a surf trip to a pool before. Usually I am going to some remote island where you’re lucky to have a shower to rinse off in. I’m also used to people yelling at me to “get that surfboard outta the pool, no horseplay.” That was not the when my buddy Anthony Walsh and I went to a pool inPeru.
When I think of PeruI think of llamas, barreling lefts, and Macchu Piccu. Well I was completely off base. I didn’t see one llama, the best wave we surfed was a right, and the closest I got to Macchu Piccu was in a dream I had after staying out way too late one night in the town of Pulpo. The coast of Peruis a desert. High sand dunes and volcanic rock stretch as far as the eye can see. It looked nothing like the lush jungle I was picturing in my head. It sure is beautiful though. Imagine if there was an ocean that collided with the desert hills we all have seen on the drive to Las Vegas.
It’s also very hot, like, getting sun burnt through sunscreen to the point of peeling hot. So bring your SPF 100 kids. If you want amazing waves and an amazing suntan, Peruis for you. The only thing better than the vistas and the “tops off” weather, is the people.
Our guides on this South American jaunt were two hombres named Rodrigo, and Guillermo. They have some pretty funny accents and they are always smiling. These guys live, eat, and breathe surfing. When we weren’t shredding the waves in the ocean we were shredding the waves in their wave pool. Sometimes the shredding didn’t stop until 10 at night, because the wave pool is has stadium lighting. After that, we would go shred the nightlife ofPeruuntil the wee hours of the morning! Let’s put it this way, I was in Peru for two days and two nights total and I surfed both days, all day and watched the sun come up, twice. These guys were awesome, all we did was surf and party, then rinse and repeat. It’s a lifestyle. But I digress.
This was no ordinary pool, mind you. This was a state of the art American Wave Machines, SurfStream that creates a four- to five-foot high, endless wave that can be ridden on a normal surfboard, with fins. Unlike its predecessors, the skimming machines in amusement parks, which can only be ridden on edgy boards with no fins, this machine shoots water out that is about a foot and a half deep and completely changes the game in wave machines. It’s the closest thing to real surfing yet.
There are four variations with this machine, but for this trip they were operating just two; the small surf “trainer” and the big barrel. The small one is what you learn on and its very user friendly and maybe one of the most addicting things I’ve ever done. You can do turns and spray your friends and even get a couple people going at the same time with no worries. Falling on the small one is half the fun.
The big one, on the other hand, is a little intimidating. It looks exactly like a chest high wave and packs much more of a punch than the small one. In other words, falling is not fun. I wore a helmet. The big one offers much more potential in the realm of tricks and turns and high performance surfing. With a little time I was able to pull off a front side air and Anthony was throwing up some solid backside hacks. We rode the thing for hours and hours and it never got old. In fact they had to shut it down before we would stopped. If one of these machines existed somewhere near my home I would ride it everyday.
So 16 hours of flying, a bruised hip, and a massive hangover later, and we were back in the states. The waves were flat when we got home and the only thing to surf was the Internet or a couch. If only there was a wave machine here in the SouthBay, then it would never go flat! It was blessing in disguise though because lord knows I needed some shuteye. We gave it hell down there and did as much as two people could do in 48 hours. I didn’t see a llama or Macchu Piccu, but that only means one thing. I have to go back to Peru. DZ