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Sometimes nicknamed the Chilean Pipeline, El Gringo is another tubular A-frame crashing close to the shore with serious power. It’s a fast wave too, pushing surfers to go for broke and score a great barrel or get slammed on the reef. The left is the real deal with compression tubes and a more predictable rate of speed and openness, once the lurching air-drop has been negotiated. Paddling out to the left is fraught with nose-crunching duck dives and currents that can hold you in the impact zone for an eternity. Meanwhile, the symmetry-balancing right holds a bigger SW swell and throws wide before triangulating the wall into deeper water that provides a far safer paddling channel back to the peak. Tide is dependant on size, as it is usually the small swells that lure victims onto the barely watered rocky platform.

If the description doesn't make it obvious this is an experts wave then the hazards may help. Ultra-shallow sharp reef studded with urchins and some barnacles, swept by currents and occasionally patrolled by aggressive sea-lions and the areas best surfers, who wont take any nonsense. It's cold, foggy and generally a scary vibe unless you feel right at home in the maw of one of Chile's best waves. Crowds have increased since Rip Curl ran the Search in 2007.

  • High Tide Only
  • Submerged reef with peaky waves
  • Sand
  • S - NW
  • North Easterly
  • 12 3