Big-Wave Surfing, Punta de Lobos, Chile
Photograph by Alfredo Escobar, Quiksilver/BWWT
"I just paddled so hard to take that wave, and I knew, in this moment, it would be one of the big ones!" says Chilean big-wave surfer Ramon Navarro of catching this 26-foot swell during the first stop of the 2011 Big Wave World Tour. Navarro placed second in the competition, which was held in chilly May in his hometown of Punta de Lobos, Chile. The beach is Chile's premier surf spot, thanks to getting pounded by the most consistent waves in the country—and some of the most consistent in the world. "This is my favorite place to surf," says Navarro, who began catching waves here when he was 12. "I will come in first next time."
Getting the Shot
Photographer Alfredo Escobar captured this shot of Navarro while shooting only a hundred feet from breaking waves. “It was intense! A huge set of waves came in and we had to quickly get out of there," recalls Escobar. "When my Jet Ski was passing the wave, I turned around and, at the last minute, I took this picture.“ When he set out for the day, Escobar knew the challenging situation he would face: “At Punta de Lobos there's a very threatening wave that comes in from the west that usually catches you unguarded.”