Adventurer of the Year: Ramon Navarro

Ramon Navarro is National Geographic’s 9th candidate for Adventurer of the Year, 2013.

When you grow up in a fishing village with a break like this one, it’s easy to see why you’d grow up passionate about the ocean. What we love about Ramon Navarro isn’t just that he’s an amazing big wave surfer. It’s that the ocean is his life.

Punta de Lobos, Chile

Near perfect surf where Ramon Navarro grew up. Punta de Lobos, Chile. Photo courtesy Surf Locker

The first thing I knew in life was the ocean and how to live with the ocean.

So it’s not surprising that when Ramon Navarro isn’t out wowing the surf world with massive barrel rides, he finds himself involved in local politics to protect the pristine coastline of Punta de Lobos against developers.

Ramon hopes to see this gem of coast added to Chile’s National Parks. But as many in Patagonia have learned, setting up a national park in Chile is not easy. [Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard has used private funds to protect public land, read his story]. Of course, one visit to this corner of the planet would have you enrolled in these conservation projects too. Patagonia remains one of the last pristine wildernesses in the world.

But wait… we were talking surf. So here’s the “perfect barrel” that catapulted Ramon Navarro even higher into the ranks of surfing lore.

Don’t forget to vote by January 16th! At National Geographic.