25/11/2012 | by Alex Dick-Read
Patagonia Inc., a leading designer of core outdoor, surf and sport-related apparel, equipment, footwear and accessories, formally announces today the newest member of its surf ambassador team – Ramon Navarro.
“Ramon embodies the values we strive to promote,” says Jason McCaffrey, Patagonia’s Director of Surf. “He’s a straight-shooter that walks the talk and his commitment to the protection of the Chilean coast is unwavering.”
Navarro grew up in the seaside town of Pichilemu, Chile. His father is an artisan fisherman and free diver who taught Ramon a deep respect for the ocean. He began surfing at age 13 and has gone on to become one of the world’s most respected big-wave surfers. He made it to the finals of the prestigious Eddie Aikau in 2008-2009, finishing on the podium in 5th place and winning the event’s Monster Drop award. He was runner up for the XXL Ride of the Year in 2010, 2nd at the 2011 Punta de Lobos, and is currently nominated for Barrel of the Year for an incredible ride this past summer in Fiji.
“He is without a doubt one of the best big wave surfers on the planet,” says big-wave surfer Ian Walsh, “The way he was reading waves and surfing them on that huge swell this summer in Fiji was really inspiring to watch.”
“Ramon is one of my favorite surfers to share a big wave session with,” says 2011 Monster Paddle-In Winner Shane Dorian. “He’s so quiet, humble and friendly, but when there is a bomb coming in and its go-time, he puts his head down and charges with the best of ‘em.”
“He knows the ocean as well as anybody and has an innate talent for getting the best waves of the session,” says Ramon’s big-water mentor and fellow Patagonia surf ambassador, Kohl Christensen, “and more importantly, he cares about his country, his family and friends, and about his environment. He has one of the biggest hearts of anyone I know.” Kohl and Ramon will be working hand-in-hand with Fletcher Chouinard of FCD Surfboards to refine and develop surfboards for big waves.
Apart from his success in big wave surfing, Patagonia was drawn to him by his environmental commitment. “Ramon fits right into the Patagonia familia”, says Chris Evans, Patagonia’s Latin America Director. “He’s a world-class but unassuming athlete that also stands up against pulp mill pollution and sewage pipelines. And when an 8.8 earthquake rocked Chile in 2010 Ramon led an inspired relief effort for those hardest hit.” As further testament to his pioneering spirit and big-wave prowess beyond Chile’s giant surf, National Geographic has nominated Ramon as one of the top ten 2013 Adventurers of the Year.
Here’s Ramon on what some claim as one of the best barrels ever, anywhere – at Cloudbreak in Fiji in 2012:
Patagonia, Inc., based in Ventura, California, is a leading designer of core outdoor, surf and sport-related apparel, equipment, footwear and accessories. With sales last year of $540M, the company is noted internationally for its commitment to authentic product quality and environmental activism, contributing over $47.5M in cash and in-kind donations to date. Incorporating environmental responsibility into product development, the company has, since 1996, used only organically grown cotton in its clothing line. Committed to making its products landfill-free, the company’s entire product line is recyclable thorough its Common Threads Initiative. The company also advocates corporate transparency through its interactive website, The Footprint Chronicles, which outlines the environmental and social footprint of individual products. Patagonia was featured as The Coolest Company on the Planet on Fortune Magazine’s April 2007 cover.