Ruymán Rey grew up with a boogie board under his armpit. Among his memories collection there’re pictures where you can see him as an eight-year-old in the beach with his booguie. When he was 21 he started to compete in European and world circuits. Some weeks ago he got the third position in El Quemao Class 2018 competing with national and international riders. His return to competition has allowed him to come back home with the best mark in the best wave of the championship.
By Eloy Vera
Photo: © Richard Alemán
«I’VE SEEN MANY TALENTED YOUNG PEOPLE LEAVING COMPETITION FOR LACK OF HELP»
What was your start like?
I remember I’ve always wanted to surf; I used to play basketball and football, but what I really liked was being on the sea and catch waves. My father used to take me to the beach when I was very young and I played on the shore with my boogie… Then, when I was a bit older, I joined some courses that the island council used to organize every summer in Playa Blanca. It was there that everything started. I had three trainers that taught us everything related to surf (tides, waves, tricks…) It was a time I’ll never forget with some friends I still keep and with whom I still go surfing, like Juan Diego and Teto.
When did you start competing at a professional level and what did this mean to you?
When I was around 20, surfing and the beach were the only thing in my life, combining them with my Physical Education degree at university. I was very lucky to surf with the best in the Canary Islands, in Fuerteventura (Heraclio, Aday, Aitor, Salo, Pablo, Octavio…) and Las Palmas alike (Yeray, Richard, Nelson, Barbosa…), and thanks to this my level started to improve. Sponsors and, as a result, competitions arrived. It was a giant change in my life, trips weren’t just among the islands. I had to travel to Hawaii, Mexico, Australia… catching the most powerful waves in the world, those I’d only seen in pictures and videos of that time. I remember I had to study and work to be able to pay for the championship trips. It’s difficult to understand that bodyboard, which has such a good level In the Canary Islands, can’t get the necessary financial aid so that participants can, at least once in their lives, take part in this circuit.
How do you see the practice of this sport in the island?
We have an island which offers an incredible quantity of waves and potential. We can surf and enjoy nice weather the whole year. This is why the level of local riders is so high in surf and bodyboard alike and every time they go away to compete or just to surf, everybody talks about them because they do it so well. As for bodyboard, it’s true that the number of people practising it has decreased with so many surfing schools. Some years ago, children used to start with Bodyboard and later on they decided whether to go on with it or change to the surfing board. Now children start straight on the surfing board in surfing schools, leaving out the bodyboard option.
Is this sport sufficiently supported in the island?
In my opinion there’s little support. I’ve seen many talented young people leaving competition for lack of financial aids. It’s sad but true. I can’t understand how an island like Fuerteventura, were surfing is a predominant trend, local athletes aren’t supported so they can’t go away to compete and make a big name for the island. There isn’t any money for this, but they use surfing and bodyboard as a lure for tourism in the island.
What has your career path been like and what awards have you got?
I’ve been competing for a long time and I’ve been lucky to get good results in my sport career. I’ve got the third position in Spain, I’ve been runner-up in master Spain, champion in the island for several years, but my best results were the thirteenth position in the world in Hawaii, a historic championship under epic conditions, and the eighteenth in The Box world championship in Australia, becoming the world TOP24 in 2012. Now I’ve managed to get the third position in the prestigious Quemao Class, invitational competition with 32 national and international participants among whom there were the world champion Amaury Lavernhe, Dave Hubbard and some others…
What did getting the third position in El Quemao Class 2018 mean to you?
It’s meant an indescribable competitive and personal success… Regarding competition I hadn’t been getting good results in my last championships, but with the help of Carlos (atpc coach) and Marta (sport psychologist) I’ve managed to give a different focus to competition and, most of all, attend them without any pressure and better prepared to the championships. Regarding emotions, a long time ago I promised my friend David Infante that I’d get to the final and I would dedicate him my best wave, and I have finally succeeded. Finalist in El Quemao Class and award to the best wave of the championship….so, wherever you are, here you have!
What has having got the best mark and the best wave in the championship meant to you?
Something I didn’t expect. When one takes part in a competition one doesn’t think of catching the best wave of the championship. One thinks of catching the best to get to the next round. Honestly, it was a surprise and an extra for motivation.