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Reubyn Ash, ‘Runaway’ to Chile


Reubyn Ash is an English freesurfer most famous for his progressive aerial act. However, the 26-year-old from Cornwall is far more than just a one-trick pony. His latest video series, called "Runaway," showcases a year on the road as Ash pushes his personal and performance boundaries in some of the best waves on the planet. GrindTV.com caught up with Ash to discuss the series and its latest installment, from Chile.

Tell us about the "Runaway" series.
As a professional surfer, I've always traveled loads, but last year I tried to tick off a few places that I have always wanted to go to. I had an extended winter season in Indonesia before traveling to Chile, California, and then a road trip through Europe in the summer. I have just come back from an amazing couple of weeks in Scotland and finished off the "Runaway" project in Ireland.

This clip features incredible waves in Chile. How was that trip?
I decided to head to Chile after my good friend, Nic von Rupp, called me up to see if I would be keen to go with him and Alex Botelho to film for his "My Road" series. We scored some amazing waves, but we put the time in. We spent loads of time in the car driving through Chile, but because the landscape is so incredible. While the north is dominated by the sandy deserts, the south has forests and big snowy mountains. With 6,000 kilometers of coast, Chile has it all.

City, desert, waves: Chile has it all, and Reubyn Ash was determined to see it. Photo by Jonna Kerman
City, desert, waves: Chile has it all, and Reubyn Ash was determined to see it. Photo by Jonna Kerman n
Also on Reubyn Ash's itinerary, the almighty Andes, a constant presence. Photo Jonna Kerman
Also on Reubyn Ash's itinerary, the almighty Andes, a constant presence. Photo by Jonna Kerman
Is it Mars… or Chile? Reubyn Ash set out to find out. Photo Jonna Kerman
Is it Mars… or Chile? Reubyn Ash set out to find out. Photo Jonna by Kerman

You are known for your aerial surfing, but this episode also has some big waves and slabs. Is that something you are working on in your surfing?
For sure. It helped on this trip that I surfed with Alex and Nic, who are just so excited to surf big waves. There is never any hesitation. Often you can find excuses not to surf some days, but not with these guys. It just pumps you up, being around that energy; you just get swept up in it. But I've always loved big barrels; most surfers do.

 Big, gnarly lefts breaking over sharp, shallow rocks. As Reubyn Ash discovered, Chile is not for the faint of heart. Photo Jonna Kerman
Big, gnarly lefts breaking over sharp, shallow rocks. As Reubyn Ash discovered, Chile is not for the faint of heart. Photo by Jonna Kerman
The wave haven of Arica as seen from above; photo by Jonna Kerman
The big-wave haven of Arica as seen from above. Photo by Jonna Kerman

You are known for your progressive surfing, though. Is that still a focus?
I am still really about progression; that's my focus. A lot of people think that when you are not doing the comps, you are not really surfing at your absolute best. I disagree with that. As long as you [are] surfing the best waves you can find, making sure your equipment is dialed in, training super hard, and trying your absolute best each session, you can improve and keep up with the pack.

Reubyn Ash in Indonesia, showcasing his incredible aerial surfing; photo by Jonna Kerman
Reubyn Ash in Indonesia, showcasing his incredible aerial surfing; photo by Jonna Kerman

And is it true your girlfriend did the camerawork?
Yes, my girlfriend, Jonna Kerman, was filming. Early on she was being taught the ropes by my dad, Peter, who has done most of my filming in my career. They collaborated in Indonesia and then Jonna did the rest of the "Runaway" series. It's been great to travel and work together. It really was an incredible year.

Reubyn Ash and the crew score more perfect waves in Chile. Photo by Jonna Kerman
Reubyn Ash and the crew score more perfect waves in Chile. Photo by Jonna Kerman
You'll need a big gun to tackle Chile's big waves. Photo by Jonna Kerman
You’ll need a big gun to tackle Chile’s big waves. Photo by Jonna Kerman

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