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Gabriela Calderón

Our next rider is from the capital of the Coquimbo region on Chile's coast.

It is known for its long beaches and fabulous architecture as well as producing some of the top bodyboarders in the world.

With an array of beach breaks and reefs consisting of some of the gnarliest waves on the planet it is no surprise of the sheer raw talent out there.

"Hi my name is Gabriela Bruna Calderón Jiles and I am 29 and I am from La Serena, Chile.

My family’s always been a fan of the beach, so I grew up going so often it became like a second home.

The ocean was an important part of this home, my mum said that when she was pregnant with me, I would move the most when she was in the water.

I was innately fascinated by waves so it was only natural that I’d love riding them.

One magical summer, in Los Molles, I went bodyboarding with one of my best friend’s little brothers and bought a board and flippers like 2 days later.

My first heroes were just the locals that surfed better than me, then I got to admire a lot of badass chilean female bodyboarders all part of the Female Bodyboard Tour @tourfemchilebb.

Los Molles had four different points along the beach, “puntilla”, “bartola”, “duna grande” and “Triángulo”. Here in La Serena there is Avenida del Mar and Caleta Los Hornos beach breaks and Totoralillo and Punta Teatinos point breaks.

Chile is full of great places to surf but my favourite places right now are my local breaks where I get to be with my friends, Totoralillo, Avenida del Mar, Punta T and Hornos. There are some beautiful breaks near by in the Atacama Desert too.

I love to chill in beautiful La Paloma, Uruguay, but I’m travelling in February to Brasil, so it might change.

My first board was an NMD Enjoy 40”, my mum bought it for me in Reñaca and sent it by carrier to Los Molles.

I’m part of an all girls surf club in La Serena named Conay, which means sisterhood of the ocean. Our crew is lit with all types of boards, boogies, short,SUPs, longboards and logs.

I’m a proud free rider, I’ve only competed in local bodyboard competitions in Los Molles. There is a national female bodyboard tour and I’m thinking about competing in some of the events since I know a lot of the girls that are competing, but free surfing is more my style and has even got me some cool sponsorship along the way.

I’m a Natural Resources Engineer and I work in sustainability consulting. We also have a family wholefoods store here in la serena @emporio.ulriksen, where we sell healthy and locally sourced foods.

I’m currently not sponsored, but receive a lot of support from @ars_pro_board and am using the Wahine NMD board which I got from them, I also have a QCD Todd Quigley Design and Pride Heart Breaker Board.

I’m a board collector so I like to switch it up. I use @evofins_company pink and black fins, since always, this must be my third pair in a row. Wetsuits I have a couple, mostly I’m into repairing and transforming wetsuits, recycling them, right now my top two suits are 4.3 mm @vewetsuits and 4.3.2 mm @billabong_chile.

@erizosstore has pretty cool clothes but there aren’t many boogie board brand clothing for girls in the market here in Chile.

I listen to Allah-las, Alohaha and anything chilled.

Some of my favourite memories include sunset surfing, the colours of the water, pink, orange, golden hour, all girls bodyboard trips, driving my pickup truck with my dog Suki. Basically the search, the adventure and the music.

I’ve been boogie boarding for so many important years of my life. Through the ocean I met the father of my first daughter Lía Mar (Sea), we had a scuba diving centre in Los Molles.

When he passed, we had a beautiful hawaiian funeral and surfing really got me through my grief. Me and Lía always had the ocean in our life and we travelled together surfing, our first surf trip to Uruguay was when she was 3!

I then met the father of my second baby Kaila Luna (Moon), with Pablo it was non-stop adventure, family and love.

We finally settled in La Serena after a lot of planning and working towards this goal. I’ve never gone more than two weeks without surfing, except when I’ve been pregnant and in both cases I stopped bodyboarding at 5 months in.

I’m 29 years old now, Lía is soon to be 6 and Kaila about 6 months old and I’m surfing more than ever. I guess what is most important in my story is that when you find your connection to yourself and nature, you must never lose it.

Always surf, always look for the ocean, take your kids to the ocean, take your sorrow or your happiness. Surfing can help you overcome hardships, develop your personality and just be very meaningful play. Yeah it’s important to rip and to improve your surf, but never loose sight of what is most important, which is to truly enjoy and thrive from it. My dream is to go on to film and edit family and friends surf adventures to share the aloha."

Photo credits include:


Maria Ignacia Guidobono


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