Manera just dropped their new film ‘Bacan’, which takes its name from the Chilean slang for ‘awesome’ and features a surf trip to the country very much worthy of the adjective.
Shot at the start of the southern hemisphere’s winter, it stars Breton, Ian Fontaine, and Canadian, Pete Devries, who, despite comprising a core part of Manera’s illustrious cold water roster, had actually never met prior to the mission.
Accordingly, Ian admits to feeling a little apprehensive as he set off for his first big post-covid surf mission, destined for a cabin in the wilds of Chile. However, he soon slotted in with Pete and his band of Canadian lensmen, Nate Laverty and Marcus Paladino. The crew found plenty of common ground in their careers forged on the peripheries of the surfing world – away from the glitz and glamour of industry epicentres like Hossegor and California – searching for cold waves along twisted coastlines backed by rugged scenery.
“Pete is really into looking at maps and watching the swell charts closely,” says Ian. “I thought, coming from Brittany I was pretty aware of different weather systems and how they affect the waves, you know, compared to those guys from southwest France. But he was on a whole other level because back in Canada, he’s always exploring and having to bet on spots.”
“It was pretty sick having that enthusiasm for the search on the trip.”
After hours spent bumping down narrow forest tracks, Pete’s skills led them to a mysto right-hand wedge in the middle of nowhere. While the day’s expedition was apparently dictated by an unusual chart for the time of year, two regular footers ending up at one of the few rights in the land of a thousand lefts feels like a typical outcome.
With crystal-clear water hovering below 10 degrees C and an air temp frequently reaching freezing, the conditions were perfect for testing MANERA’s whole range of winter suits. “It was my first time trying a Magma hooded 6/4mm in my life,” says Ian. “I was too hot! But I was really surprised how stretchy it felt and how easily I could paddle in it.”
“I liked it so much I actually wore it last week back in France, just because the air was so cold,” he laughed. For most of the trip, Ian donned a 5/4/3MM X10D, while Pete toughed it out in the X10D hooded 4/3mm. “He surfed with that on the beach break sessions where we paddled a lot,” says Ian, “he was truly on the Tofino programme.”
“He liked the way it flexed and how warm it was and I dig the hooded 4/3 too, it’s the perfect transition season suit from our winters here in Northern Europe.”
The pair’s best session came on the final day, when they found a bank serving up fun-sized and perfectly shaped a-frames. “It was just me, Pete, and some seals around,” says Ian. “That session just rounded the trip off. I love it when you have your best surf on the last day. Then afterwards you can put your boards in the board bag and just say yep, we scored.”