People from all over the world make their way to Pichilemu, Chile to dip their bodies in the frigid Pacific Ocean and ride rolling waves that break from two colossal rocks encased in sea foliage sprouting from the water. The 100 meter high cliffs are perhaps the most recognizable part of this South American surf hotspot called Punta de Lobos. Beginners and world champion surfers can share the waves that range from huge curling cylinders to mild whitecaps in water shallow enough to stand.
A best trick surf competition combined with the Chilean Independence day attracted thousands of people to the area in the weeks surrounding September 18. While the competition was fascinating, and I stranded myself on a few rocks as the tide was coming in to get close enough for a decent picture, I was more interested in the scenes and landscapes before the peak moment of a surfer spinning at the crest of a wave. Here are some shots of surfing “beyond the waves” at Punta de Lobos.