Revivalist, Cristian Rivera Benítez, is a 21-year old professional surfer from Puerto Rico. Rivera’s father taught him how to surf at the age of three and he was a member of the National Junior Team for many years, representing Puerto Rico at the World Surfing Championships in Ecuador, Peru, Brazil and Panama. When not surfing, Rivera studies biology at the University of Puerto Rico with an eye on building his professional surfing career after graduation with dreams of traveling to new surf destinations and experience different cultures. With El Nino in effect, Puerto Rico has had possibly the best winter surf ever, or at least the best in recent memory. Cristian has been scoring hard at home and has the photos and video to prove it. Here he talks story about his best winter ever in PR!
Best winter ever?
Puerto Rico is considered the “Hawaii of the Atlantic” because we have similar set ups and breaks like Hawaii and receive solid waves as well. For me it has been one of the best winters ever! The season started with high quality, overhead waves in November. I have been lucky to surf every good spot that we have here on the island: “Chatarra”, Backdoor, Table Rock and other secret spots that will remain nameless. Places that need a specific swell direction and favorable wind conditions (northwest swell and south or southeast winds). January and February were two of the best months of this season so far.Photo: @darren_muschett
The last two swells have been solid and looks like more are coming. For both the last swells I went to the northwest of the island to surf one of the scariest waves that we have, called Backdoor. This wave is a right slab that breaks extremely close to a rock. One mistake could end in a bad situation. The first swell I awoke at 5am, drank some coffee, went straight to the beach and waited for first light to jump to the water and be the first one in the out there. That morning the wind was not favorable, but I saw a good wave, I looked at my good friend Rolando and told him “we are out there, let’s go”. It was kind of scary, almost too big for that spot but we handled the situation and got some good ones. What I love about this place that is not too crowed and the people that surf there respect each other and everyone will get a sick wave.Photo: @luisantiagophoto
I have been working with my brother and a friend to score some clips to be able to finish a video project I’m working on which will hopefully be done before summer. Darren Muschett, Jorge Rivera and Chad Oakley have been on it and shooting all the swells. Another good swell was at the beginning of the year, I surfed a spot named Table Rock in Aguada. The waves were 6-to-10 feet and were kind of bumpy at first but the wind dropped a little bit and things cleaned up. It was a long day of surfing with only 5 other locals, so everyone had a blast. Hopefully we continue having great waves until the end of the season!