Peru’s wave runners

(Mondes) One theory behind the birth of surfing suggests that Peruvians have been hanging 10 for some three millennia, yet it’s only in recent years that success on the world stage has begun to shine a spotlight on Lima’s swells.

While indigenous fishermen would surf over rollers with their day’s spoils atop their elegant caballitos de totora (a horn-shaped reed watercraft), today’s riders are hauling home medals rather than grouper. Leading this elite pack is former triple world champion Sofia Mulanovich and national stars Gabriel Villarán and Pilar Irigoyen. Meanwhile, 20-year-old Daniella Rosas and 27-year-old Miguel Tudela, who were the first Peruvian short boarders to represent their country at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, are inspiring the next generation. Both Mulanovich and Tudela were born in Punta Hermosa, a small beach town 45-minutes south of the capital that’s known for raising prizewinners as well as point breaks.

“My parents surf and I’ve always had a close relationship with the sea, the waves and a board,” says Tudela who finished ninth in Tokyo. “It was 100 per cent obvious that I’d become a surfer.” The exhilarating rush of being on the dawn patrol might be one of Lima’s greatest secrets, but you don’t need to be a pro to jump on a board. Rookies should head to Costa Verde, a lengthy beach at the foot of the San Isidro and Miraflores districts, just along the coast from the Miraflores Park Hotel. “It’s a great place for beginners because there are plenty of long-running waves, which are quite gentle and not too big.

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