Ramon Navarro’s big day at the Eddie
By Matt Skenazy
Big wave surfing is truly a global affair. Sure there were mostly Hawaiians at this years’ Eddie, but the field included a handful of Australians, at least one surfer from Brazil, South Africa, Chile, Spain, and Japan — and it was won by an American. But no one represented the new influx of big wave chargers from all over the world like Chile’s Ramon Navarro, who caught arguably the biggest wave of the contest and took home a cool $10,000 for the Monster Drop Award. SURFING caught up with Ramon to talk about waves, mentors, and Hawaii.
SURFING Magazine: Walk us through what the wave that you won the Monster Drop award for.
Ramon Navarro: The first thing I realized was that I rode three waves already and needed to wait for my last wave. I told myself that I needed to catch a huge one — the biggest wave. Then the wave came, I think it was from Eddie. It came right to me in the last part of the heat. I put my head down, paddled, and— confident that that was the perfect wave—I stood up feeling the wind stalling me on the lip, then I made it over the edge and the rest of the drop was fast and smooth. I heard a huge explosion behind me. I thought I was going to explode with the wave so I held my stance, waiting.
About three seconds later I emerged from the white water, realizing that I was in the middle of the bay heading right for the shore break. I could hear the crowd go wild. Now I was ready to pull into a stand up barrel because I was thinking about doing that all day. By the time I got there it was just a wall of white water. Riding it onto the beach I realized that that was the biggest paddle in wave of my life.
What were you riding?
I was riding a magic 9’6″ Al Merrick shaped for me with a quad fin setup.
How does the big wave surfing at Waimea compare with Chile’s big waves?
There is a large difference between the two, but a similar wave being one in a Northern Chile town called Arica. Punta de Lobos is a long left point that can handle large swell with barreling sections. A major difference is that the big wave spots in Chile are not crowded.
What does winning the Monster Drop award mean to you, and Chilean big wave surfing?
It is not just about the money, and or the trophy, it is about all my dreams coming true, surfing with my heroes, and being invited into the Eddie. I am just happy to be in the heat and having those waves come to me. It is an honor to represent Chile and all South American surfers.
This was your first time surfing in The Eddie, was there anyone in the contest that you were particularly stoked to surf with?
I was excited to be with every single one of them, but most importantly with Kohl Christenson. He is my mentor, and one of the hardest chargers from Hawaii. I was excited that the two of us could be in the contest together.
Who do you look up to for big wave riding?
I look up to Kohl because he always looks for a bigger challenge, Mark Healy for his craziness, Twiggy and Greg Long because they both have the best knowledge for reading the ocean. And from Chile, I look up to Diego Medina because he is relaxed in the water.
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