Sports | August 31, 2017 12:49 pm

In Chile, Surfing is Replacing Golf as Favorite Pastime in High Finance

New, younger generation view surfing as a way to stay active and disconnect from high pressure jobs.

Surfing in Chile Is Taking Off Among Bankers
Martin Jeri from Peru rides a wave during the men's final of the Reef Classic Alas 2011 in Punta Lobos, some 230 km southwest of Santiago, Chile, on February 18, 2011. (Martin Bernetti/AFP/Getty Images)

Just as foiling is keeping the Silicon Valley elite active, its close cousin, surfing, is rapidly becoming the favorite off-hours pursuit of bankers and stock brokers in Chile.

According to Bloomberg, Chilean financial services industry workers are hanging ten at a faster pace than ever, eighty-sixing traditional forms of leisure like golf. Writes Bloomberg‘s Javiera Quiroga: “It’s symptomatic of a cultural shift: Bankers aren’t as interested in working 15 hours a day and then discussing deals on the golf course over the weekend. Now they want to get away from work in their free hours, to disconnect.”

It’s not only a cultural zeitgeist, but it’s also a generational one. “There is a generation of bankers from 25 to 35 years old who are part of this boom spreading among young people in general,” 31-year-old Andres Rochette, a vice president at Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., tells Bloomberg. “Prejudice around surf is disappearing. You are no longer seen as a hippie in the office if you practice it, and that is important in an industry where image has historically mattered.”

Quiroga is quick to point out that the old custom of mixing sports and business hasn’t been fully kicked to the curb by surfing; financil professionals still find time to do business via phone afterwards or even on the beach.