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Adrenaline-craving bankers drive a surfing boom in Chile

Christian Acevedo has been surfing in Chile for 26 years. Known in the community as El Macha, or “the clam,” because of the amount of time he spends at the ocean and in the rocks, Acevedo is one of Chile’s first certified instructors. He has taught surf camps at Puertecillo, a beach about 110 miles southwest of Santiago, as well as at Pichilemu, a more popular spot 25 miles farther down the coast. While working at Surfers Paradise surf shop in Santiago, he became a mentor to an entire generation of young surfers.

In 2007 he realized there was a growing demographic in the city that wanted the best possible surfing gear. And in 2008 he opened El Ruco, a surf shop that caters to a more elite crowd. It was a prescient business move.

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