Olos, alaias, and paipos, yeah, yeah, yeah, it's been done ... again and again. But for those looking to truly go old school, might I recommend harvesting some reeds and building yourself a caballito de totora. At present, Sally Fitzgibbons and Sofia Mulanovich, along with Peruvian sidekick Nadia De Col are going prehistoric, enjoying the ride on an only slightly updated 3,000-year-old design.
Originally used by the Mochica-Chimu people of Peru, specifically fisherman from Huanchaco as they carted their nets in and out of the surfline, there's debate as to whether or not this was the first form of actual "surfing."
"I've never seen one of these up close, only the one's they sell as key chains in some stores," told Fitzgibbons, who got a chance to not only see one, but take one for a paddle yesterday as part of a Red Bull girls-only training camp.
"They are huge and heavy, much bigger than a normal surfboard, it's so much different than anything else people ride," said Mulanovich.
Heavier than your typical Channel Islands Flyer, indeed: a typical caballito weighs more than 65 pounds and is over 14 feet long. "Custom boards" were made for the ladies, shaving off ten pounds of weight and a foot of length. "The big model is to fish, the small model is special for surfing," said Huanchaco craftsman Carlos Ucañan, who built two special reed machines for the girls.
No doubt Rastovich will be out at Off The Wall on one of these next winter. In the meantime, Fitzgibbons and Mulanovich are posting up around San Bartolo, getting in touch with their roots and getting ready for the Moviestar Peru Classic, which begins on June 5. Stay tuned, video to come soon.