Red Letter Day: SOLO YOLO

Rider & Words: Marc Ramseier
Photos: Miguel Cortez
Location: Punta Luna, Northern Peru
Date: Wednesday 15th September, 2021

Sometimes, you just have to keep on pushing… On a session in Peru, Marc Ramseier had to dig deep to make it out back, and the rewards to be found were even worth a board to the chops…

It was early in the morning of the second to last day on a dream come true trip that I did towards the end of last year. 

It was the first intercontinental travel in two years, a spontaneous scouting trip squeezed in between quarantine regulations and mandatory testings, and I was staying at this lodge in the middle of a natural reserve in Northern Peru, with nobody and nothing around except waves and wildlife. Waking up into such a surrounding is pure bliss – even more so after a week with wind every day, plus having had the biggest swell of the season in the middle of it. 

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So, the swell had been coming down, and it looked like the first day that we could take the ski out to get towed into some empty waves at the point break in front of the lodge. Martin Vari, an old friend of mine and a former world champ from the early kiting years runs the lodge and Ana his wife was just as hot for more foiling practice as I was. So Martin took me out, and it was just an unreal session in an incredible setup. The swell was back down to manageable size at this point, and it was glassy, with no one in the water, the lodge nested in the middle of the bay, with squads of pelicans flying above our heads on their quest to surf the waves from the air. Little did we know at this point that there would be no foiling or winging to be done over the next few days, with the waves reaching up to triple overhead… but here and now, it was on! 

After a session to remember, many long rides, fun whips, and much laughter, my legs were like jelly and I was ready to rest for the afternoon wing session. First it was time for another delicious lunch of Peruvian specialties on the terrace overlooking the spot. The small to medium sized waves from the morning grew once the wind hit, and so it was touch and go whether it would be possible to get off the beach with the winging gear. I was super keen to grab a few bigger ones on the wing, so I was fired up. The conditions however are super tricky as you have to walk out into the shore break, pass the waves to get into deeper water to get going, all the while getting sucked down the beach by quite heavy currents. It was one of the more frustrating moments in two years of winging and two decades of playing around in waves. Swimming out, trying to get the wing over the waves, holding onto the board, not kicking the foil, not puncturing the wing with it and making it out in deep enough water to start – what a mission… I could see the perfect waves out the back while I was fighting to get there, and eventually getting the board in my face, right between my nose and teeth – I was lucky on that one. Was it a sign to call it a day after having been spat out twice onto the beach a few hundred meters downwind?

No. I couldn’t leave it, and eventually I managed to get out there with the third attempt. The session turned out to be well worth the pain and the risk. I was rewarded with the biggest waves I’ve ridden on a wing so far. There were some nice smaller ones coming through in between sets – “just don’t let yourself be caught on the inside,” I told myself. Nobody else was able to make it out and so I enjoyed the entire session by myself, wrapping up a day with a beer on the deck to the glowing sunset – doesn’t get much better than that. Punta Luna, I’ll be back!  

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