YES Explores Chile For Their New Movie – Part 1/3
As I wake up with a stiff neck nearing the end of our red-eye flight, I take a peek over my snoozing neighbors to see where in the world we are. After following the West Coast of the Central and South American continents for many hours, the lights of Mexico City have been substituted by big fat mountains. The Andes follow the entire length of the continent starting in Columbia through Peru and extending all the way south of Chile to the tip of Terra Del Fuego. The towering peaks are freshly covered with a new blanket of snow; a sight that at initially seems completely alien, since the date on our boarding passes say that we are in at the end of July. But its winter in the southern hemisphere and what we are looking at is definitely part of our beautiful Planet Earth. Even at this height we can clearly see swell lines meeting with the coast after traveling halfway around the globe, pushed by storms generated in Antarctica. Tall plumes of snow blown off the peaks and giant windlips indicate the direction of the dominant southern winds.
This incredible looking playground is what the YES crew composed of David Carrier-Porcheron, Romain DeMarchi and JP Solberg are coming for. Documented in motion pictures by Paul Watt!, Yes’s film producer and main cinematographer, this Chilean escapade will be the first bout of their upcoming film: YES, it’s a movie. My task for the next three weeks is to bring life to a still in order to create a catalogue showcasing the Yes team with the dozen fresh new prototypes that Romain is bringing tomorrow. JP, in full summer mode and still in Baja, will trade his trunks for his boots a few days after our arrival in Chile. Come on JP let’s go snowboarding!
Written By Phil Tifo
JP Solberg Powder Slash | Photo: Phil Tifo
Upon our arrival on a clear, crisp winter morning in Santiago, our hosts/guides/mafia (not literally) hook ups explain that despite the recent snowfall. the high winds have battered the mountains and we are in dire need of new snow. Not exactly what we were hoping to hear at our arrival, but since we have a full day ahead of us, the Mekis brothers propose to stop by their parent’s house to pick up their jet ski and introduce us to tow-in surfing a couple hours away from Santiago.
DCP, stoked as always and fresh out of the Costa Rican water agrees that it would be a good way to wash off the travels. On the way from the airport, Pato (short for Patricio) explains to us that he and his brother Fede (short for Federico) run a company that offers snowboard, skateboard and surf lessons to kids in the city. They make their school affordable, pick the kids up at their house and drive them to the beach, mountains or skateparks for a day of coaching. This way the niños can learn to shred at a young age and get a chance to make it a part of their life from then on. The Chileans are all about sharing, caring for others and helping the one in need.
The Mekis’s are no exception: they are actively involved with Save The Waves, a non-profit organization destined to protect and restore waves, beaches and surrounding towns that are in danger of exploitation or have been affected by natural disasters. Since last February things have been very busy for STW in Chile. In the first hours of February 27th 2010, a mega 8.8 terramotto, or earthquake, destroyed many coastal villages with its shock and subsequent tsunami that swept the shore a few hours after the initial quake.
Pato gets a report from a friend on the coast saying that the conditions are not great, but our guides are determined to get DCP into some waves with the help of a watermobile. Two hours later, after driving through green pastures and several small villages, the guys are in the water and David is being towed around the surf, getting the bicep workout of his life with not much result. The strong winds are turning the ocean into a mogul field and jetski-assisted surfing in these conditions might be something to reconsider. It doesn’t take long for before the lactic acid does its thing and he’s back on the beach watching the Mekis brothers show how it’s done.
All the water toys eventually get packed up and we agree that a cervesa fria would be nice right about now. The last hour of the day painted in orange, purple and blue spent with an Escudo in hand, are quite pleasing at this moment. Although the warm toned reflection of the sun on the ocean seems much like a summer day at the beach, the cold breeze and the fact that we’re wearing down jackets remind us that we’re here to go snowboarding. Time to get on the road! We have a three hour journey back to La Parva, one of the resorts outside of Santiago where we are planning to get rad during the next few days.
Continued in part 2