Professional windsurfer Klaas Voget’s video, “Chilean summer,” splashes six minutes of Chilean waves and beach living onto the screen and offers a pro’s look at the world-famous conditions off this long stretch of the Pacific coast.
In an exclusive interview, Voget explains why he just can’t get enough of traveling and surfing in Chile.
The first few moments of the video capture the gentle pace of life on the Chilean coast. A pair of mounted huasos – Chilean cowboys – amble along a country lane. Boys play pichanga – an informal game of football with an improvised ball – while an elderly señora sits by a heaping pile of clean laundry. A chicken struts by the camera, and, down on the beach, an ox-drawn cart pulls a man across the sand.
The tone stays mellow as the video turns to windsurfing footage, with shots of lone windsurfers cruising the waves off rocky shores. Then, at the 2:36 mark, the video kicks into a high gear, with shot after shot of action on the Chilean waves.
“A frequent visitor of this beautiful country”
Voget’s January visit marked the seventh time that he set foot – and board – in Chile. “I travel all year around the world, and Chile is one of the places I keep coming back to. The waves are really clean and powerful here, with not too many people around.”
“It’s a bit colder, especially the water, but I’m used to that,” he added. Voget is based out of Hamburg, Germany and is a member of the German national windsurfing team.
Top windsurfing beaches in Chile
During his most recent visit, Voget said he spent most of his time at Matanzas, a beach town about two hours southwest of Santiago, famous among surfers in Chile for its left-point break and laid-back atmosphere.
“Matanzas itself is one of the best spots, including the beaches north and south just nearby… the wind is really strong and constant here in summer.”
“Also, there can be really good windsurfing south of Matanzas, in Topocalma, Pichilemu, and Llico,” Voget added. “I’ve been to all those places and love each of them.”
“The local windsurfers told me about more places in the south, in Curanipe and Tirúa, but I haven’t been there yet.”
Tips from a pro
Voget recommends Chile for people with a certain level of experience – “wave beginners will not enjoy the conditions here, as the spots are not easy to sail.”
Another tip? “Get a 4×4 rental car. Some spots are not accessible with a normal car.”
And bring a surfboard! “If the wind stops blowing, there is always a wave somewhere to surf.”
Voget’s final words of advice? “(Knowing a few) words in Castellano (Spanish) can really help to make friends!”
“The people are so friendly here!”
Voget says he loves traveling in Chile, where “almost everyone is welcoming and helpful.”
“The landscapes is some of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen… there are still a lot of places I haven’t seen and I’m looking forward to visit them one day. I’m sure I’ll be back in Chile this year.”
By Jackie Seitz