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  • Writer's pictureValpo Surf Project

Winter Surf Sessions

Chilean winter is fully upon us, but that hasn’t stopped the Valpo Surf Project from getting in the water. Here’s a sneak peak into a typical day at the beach with us!

11:00 am: We arrive at the beach and the kids suit up in their wetsuits with added vests, hoods, and booties to fend of the cold water temperatures.

11:30 am: Gather everyone for jogging and stretching.

11:45 am: Review safety and security, things such as paying attention to the current, how to carry the board, how to fall off the board properly, maintaining space between you and other surfers, etc. Surf instruction, review paddling and practice pop-ups.

12:00-2:00 pm: Surf, surf, surf!

2:00-2:30 pm: Everyone changes and gets in warm clothes. We have lunch all together and de-brief the session. All of us has the opportunity to say something they learned, a fun experience or moment they had, goals completed, or a congratulations to someone in the group.

Here’s a story that was shared during our debrief:

At our session this past week, Martha went exploring on the beach with Bellamín, 10 years old from Montedónico and Sofia, 9 years old from Cerro Mariposa. The group found a large piece of wood buried deep in the sand. They began to dig while discovering other treasures such as shells and rocks. After 10 minutes, the kids finally unearthed the driftwood. Martha congratulated them for their work and Sofía exclaimed “Eso fue trabajo en equipo!”, meaning “This was working as a team!” Martha later told us how great it was to witness kids from two different cerros, working together and realizing one of the very goals that we try to employ.

Although these are such small moments, they are huge achievements, and what makes working with these kids so amazing. It’s the little things that really matter and bearing 48 degree water for two hours all the worthwhile. All of us here at Valpo Surf Project agree that you may have frozen hands and feets, but the minute that a kid stands up on a wave, comes running back with a smile plastered his/her face, asking if you saw it, you can’t help but feel a rush of euphoria and gratification.

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