Cody Forest Doucette and his brother Kitt ride the aftermath of a storm in the Chilean Andes and Rapa Nui, otherwise known as Easter Island.

In July of 2008, a series of storms begin to track across the roaring forties from southern New Zealand, gathering steam before plowing into southern Chile. I had the opportunity to chase one of these storms with my brother.

The idea was to stay one step ahead of the storm. The weather gods must have liked our idea, as they cooperated fully for once. Our particular storm started way out in the Pacific and sent us two days of beautiful waves on the Chilean coast. On the first sign of its approach we hightailed it into the Andes and awaited her wrath, which came in the form of nearly three feet of snow.

Unwilling to stop there, we hopped a flight out to grab more waves on Rapa Nui, one of the most isolated islands on earth.


Riding storms and Rapa Nui

Kitt lays into a turn in the Andes after the storm clears.


Riding storms and Rapa Nui

Enjoying the fresh powder in the Chilean highlands.


Riding storms and Rapa Nui

The powerful storms that lash the Andes bring lots of snow with them, but strong winds turn some into unrideable drifts. Here, Kitt stays on the right side of the equation.


Riding storms and Rapa Nui

Also known as Easter Island, Rapa Nui is a tribute to the human race’s ability to destroy itself. I often found myself captivated by the endless stares of the Moai statues. I wondered what they would say if they could talk.


Riding storms and Rapa Nui

We had heard rumors of this wave before we arrived on the island, but we had only a vague idea of where it might be located. On a whim, we decided to carry our boards with us for a hike along a coastal trail. I’ll never forget coming over a rise and scrambling for my camera as what can only be described as perfection spun off in front of me.


Riding storms and Rapa Nui

Everywhere we went on the island, we felt as though we were being watched. It is difficult to explain, but in no other place has the presence of ghosts felt more tangible to me.


Riding storms and Rapa Nui

Kitt watches as the first small lines form on the point. Modern forecasting isn't 100% accurate, but on this occasion the Internet was spot-on.


Riding storms and Rapa Nui

The only audience that cold winter morning were the cacti lining the cliffs and a frigid offshore wind.


Riding storms and Rapa Nui

A group of Moai stand guard on a cliff’s edge.


Riding storms and Rapa Nui

The Moai watch as a wave spawned by our storm finally expires on their isolated island.


Riding storms and Rapa Nui

Scholars still argue about what purpose the Moai served and how such massive stones were moved to every corner of the island. After walking among them, I believe they stand as warnings of how far we are doomed to fall if we continue to wage war on our environment.

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