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The Fisherman's Son

Ramón Navarro

The waves that changed Ramón Navarro's life.


When I was growing up I wanted to help my dad, and be exactly like him: a fisherman. Then a couple of guys blew into town with surfboards and wetsuits.


I said, “Wow, this is amazing,” and then I wanted to learn to surf more than anything in the world. So I learned to surf and started to travel the world, but I figured out pretty fast that the best place to surf was right at home.


Ramón sits outside the morros at Punta de Lobos, a view usually reserved for big wave riders.Photo: Rodrigo Farias Moreno.



We have big waves, small waves, and the traditional fishing culture I love. Nothing could be better. While traveling, I saw many similar coasts around the world that had been polluted or were scarred forever by out-of-control developers.


I saw places that were pristine before, but had already been ruined. I realised the coast that I loved so much was also under threat – from pulp mills, sewage pipelines, dams, and senseless development.


Ramón paddles up the point for one more at the home break he is helping to protect. Punta de Lobos, Chile. Photo: Rodrigo Farias Moreno.



Chile is an amazing country. I couldn’t be more proud to come from Chile and from Punta de Lobos, to be the son of my dad, a fisherman and a diver. I know I have a responsibility to honor the generations before me by protecting the coast. I have to. It’s up to us to make sure there are traditional fishermen (and fish) in the future. It’s our responsibility to ensure our children and their children can see beautiful landscapes and biodiversity.


Ramón stomps the entry at Waimea Bay during the 2009 Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational. Photo: Scott Soens.



I was born on Punta de Lobos and I love Punta de Lobos. I’ll fight to protect it, and all of Chile’s coast – but it has nothing to do with what I want. It is for the future. I know I can’t accomplish much on my own. I think everyone sees the right thing to do: stand up to save some of these special places before they are gone.


Charging some of the world’s heaviest waves has made Ramón a household name in Chile. It’s family, though, that still matters most, and he’s now passing on what he learned from his dad to his own son. Photo: Jeff Johnson.



Watch The Fisherman’s Son (full film), directed by Chris Malloy, below.



Banner image – Ramón and his dad, Alejandro, organize their gear. Photo: Jeff Johnson.

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