Ben Pacasmayo, taming a Peruvian bomb.


The Inertia

They said it was the biggest swell to hit Peru this year, so off I went to the long left of Pacasmayo.

For six days we surfed in average conditions, waiting for a big swell showing on the swell maps. Two days before it hit Peru, it was being claimed to be the biggest one of the year. And it was. For that reason pretty much everyone left Pacasmayo to go to Chicama where the waves are a little smaller and more perfect. It is also meant to be the longest left in the world.

In my three or four years of surfing, I had never seen a proper solid swell, so this was my chance and I decided to stay in Pacasmayo. All my traveling buddies left , but a few Brazilians stayed. My intention was to watch them as it was going to be too big for me, and my board was way too small for bigger waves… or at least that’s the excuse I gave myself.

Two nights before the swell hit us, Billabong announced that they would start the Pico Alto contest. It is part of the Big wave world tour, and the forecast was calling for 30ft. On the big day I woke up as the local guys were getting the boat ready; too hard to paddle out here, as the current is too strong when it gets big. One of them suggested that I use a bigger board, some kind of semi gun, a 6’9″. At that point I didn’t really have an excuse to not give it a go.

In the end, ten Brazilians and myself surfed all day in some solid surf. How often do you surf a wave of that size for 800 meters? Some people say it was 8 ft, some even say it was 10ft – whatever it was, we had a ball and caught some bombs. It might not be huge to international standard, but what a great way to finish my six weeks in Peru.

In fact, a Brazilian looked at me without smiling and said: It’s the best day of my life… it was up there for me too!