Manu

How did you start surfing?

I started surfing when I was 10 years old and went with my parents on a trip around Asturias. We were on the camping next to the beach, where I noticed an advertisement of a surf school and took a few lessons. After that I knew surfing was what I want to do all of my life and my parents got me my first surfboard.

What attracts you in surfing?

I have been practising sliding sports all my life and when I tried surfing I felt a new sensation. The thing that I really love about surfing is the risk and the adrenaline when surfing powerful waves, barrels, and weird waves too.

How did you meet Jabali?

During the summer I spend my time on a camping and work at the Caravia Surf School next to my favorite beach. At the surfschool I met Job. The first year he talked about this crazy idea to build wooden surfboards. We laught at it, but liked the idea and started to come up with names for the project. To our surprise, Job arrived the following year at the camping with three wooden boards and Jabalí Surfboards was born.

Which wooden board(s) do you ride?

I tried all of them: lefisj, the wild thing, a few longboards, and even the first creations. Nowadays I ride a special edition of the wild thing on all of my surfing adventures.

What is your best moment as a surfer?

Barrel hunting and early exits, no doubt.

Where do you normally surf?

Asturias, at the local spot. The last couple of years I have also been travelling to France, Portugal, north of Spain and new countries like Indonesia.

What is your favourite surfing spot?

It’s difficult to choose one spot because all of them have a special history. My best surfing sessions have been in Indo at Impossibles.

But if I have to choose only one, I choose the beach where I started and learned to surf: my Asturian spot. The wave over there is not really great, but is special to me and when it is on, it is amazing to surf there with my friends.

Do you have a favourite surfer, an example?

I like the style of surfing of Craig Anderson, Dave Rastovich and Rob Machado but also I like John John Florence and Kepa Acero, our Spanish surfer.

How is it to ride a wooden board?

It has totally different feel than riding foam boards. The board floats different and rides different too. For me the best thing is feeling that you are not harm the ocean environment.

What is the weirdest or most scary thing you experienced surfing?

When I was 12 years old, I went to Galicia to surfing after a year without surfing. The conditions were not very good for a child with big waves, red flags and currents. That session I get stuck in a current and I was alone in the water without help. In the end I managed to get out taking a big wave of the set. That was pretty scary as a young kid.

Another, more recent, scary experience was at Bingin beach in Indonesia: I fell on a big wave. The next set wave put me in the washing machine and I got cut by the reef.

What do you want to achieve in the future as a surfer?

Find a place to live next to the sea, surf all day and travel around the world to find the perfect secret wave.


Valéry

How did you start surfing?

I had to stop sailing because I started studying in Amsterdam so I was in search of a new water sport. And then I found out you could surf in Zandvoort, which is not too far from Amsterdam.

I did not just take a lesson like a normal person would do, no, I went all in! I started working at a surf school even before I had my first lesson, but got addicted immediately when I tried surfing for the first time.

What attracts you in surfing?

The joy and freedom it gives me, makes surfing into something I never found in any other sport. I love how it is a balance of you and the sea - it challenges and nurtures at the same time.

And even though it is an individual sport, the vibe in the water with others gives it a touch of magic.

How did you meet Jabali?

Job was a frequent visitor at the surfschool where I was working. We started talking about boards and not long after his first board was tested at the surfschool.

Which wooden board(s) do you ride?

I call her Leah, named after my favorite surfer Leah Dawson. She is a 9'5 timber log. Inspired by the logs from the olden days with quite a bodacious bottom (just like me!)

What is your best moment as a surfer?

The moment you pop up and drop down the face of the wave. That is the moment everything slides of your shoulders and you become completely in the moment of the wave.

Where do you normally surf?

My home break is still Zandvoort in The Netherlands

What is your favorite surfing spot?

A secret spot hidden in the West of Java

Do you have a favorite surfer, an example?

Yes! Leah Dawson. No matter what board she rides, her style is impeccable.

How is it to ride a wooden board?

I love it! It is different but it is so smooth, it just glides trough the waves. I haven't felt that in any of the other boards I have surfed. And from an environmental point, it is so much better than the EPS boards.

What is the weirdest or most scary thing you experienced surfing?

Hmmm... I think the scariest thing was a seasnake slithering by in Indonesia.

The weirdest thing was actually on one of the Dutch islands called Vlieland. We were surfing at paal 20 and there was a storm passing by maybe 2 kilometers out of shore. We had amazing waves with almost no wind and the occasional heavy rainfall. But the storm was roaring with thunder and lightning. It was an amazing but very weird sight that made me feel very humble.

What do you want to achieve in the future as a surfer?

I love surfing and would love to keep surfing as long as possible. Hopefully I will still be surfing when I am in my 70's with a big smile on my face!


Ramon

How did you start surfing?

I started surfing when I injured my muniscus. It happened in the middle of high season and I managed to agree with the doctor to postpone the operation until the end of the working season. The idea was to do as much sport as possible before the operation, because afterwards, I would not be able to for 8 weeks.

What attracts you in surfing?

Everything: it is a way of living. I love the ambiance, the sport, being in the water, just being out there. Everything I do, focusses on getting me closer to surfing, including smoothstar skateboarding or riding deep powder on a snowboard.

How did you meet Jabali?

I met Job in Zandvoort at Surfana. He came out of the water with a beautiful handmade board. We had a chat and kept in touch. A year later we met at Wijk aan Zee and discussed him building a wooden board for me.

Which wooden board(s) do you ride?

Job shaped a 9.6 longboard and a 5.11 retro fish with glassed-on twinnies. I also have a wooden 7.6 single fin from another shaper.

What is your best moment as a surfer?

Getting barrelled during a surf trip to Indonesia. That was the most amazing feeling ever.

Where do you normally surf?

My home break is Wijk aan Zee at the Noordpier. The waves over there are perfect for longboarding.

What is your favourite surfing spot?

There are plenty of favourite spots... I had magic rides in Bretagne, got barrels in Indo and big waves in Morocco. Perhaps my all time favourite is Tamri.

Do you have a favourite surfer, an example?

If i have to pick someone it would be John John. I like his style - everything he does looks way too easy.

How is it to ride a wooden board?

Its really nice. Especially the longboard, it’s just keeps going on the wave and has a nice feeling. And the boards are more eco friendly, especially the boards from Job because he tries to make them as eco friendly as possible.

What is the weirdest or most scary thing you experienced surfing?

The scariest thing happened surfing a spot called Balian in Indonesia. Just as I paddled for a wave something jumped out the water. It happened to be a freaking 3 meter big bull shark which just swam from the river mouth...

What do you want to achieve in the future as a surfer?

Master all kinds of boards. I want to do hang-10s on longboards, cruise on twin fins, rip on thrusters and quads.


Nette

How did you start surfing?

I started surfing on one of the Dutch Islands while I was working as a cleaning lady on a campsite. My first summerjob, I was 17 years old. Some colleagues and I took a surf lesson, just to do something different than cleaning toilets haha. The fact that my sister already tried surfing, definitely pushed me to give it a try (because I always wanted to do everything my sister did). And as cliche as it sounds; from that moment on I knew I HAD to learn this and become a surfer haha! It felt like I found the missing piece of a puzzle. The owner of the surfschool saw this too, he offered me a job at his surfcamp for the next summer. I would help with cooking, doing dishes and in my time off I could practise my surfskills (if there were waves). He gave me my first surflesson, but also gave me the opportunity to try out to make surf my lifestyle. And that was only the start haha!

What attracts you in surfing?

Mainly the part that it’s just you & the water. Just being out in nature and trying to work together with the waves (instead of fighting them).

How did you meet Jabali?

When I was working in Spain, San Vicente de la Barquera, he was doing a roadtrip along the coast so people could test his surfboards. A friend of me knew him already and she told me really I should try out a board a Jabali board! So I did and it was awesome!

Which wooden board(s) do you ride?

I’ve got the 5’11 ‘wild thing’

What is your best moment as a surfer?

A few years ago on a summerday in Spain, there was a huge swell and my friends took me to this beach that normally only goes off in winter. While arriving there it looked big and gnarly, super fast hollow waves. I wasn’t sure if I would even make it out back, but as I was there already and wanted to show my friends I wasn’t a pussy, I paddled out with them. There was a handful people in the water, only local guys, and me. Not sure why, but I wasn’t that scared in the water. Duckdiving some monster sets and taking off on some big close outs. The guys were impressed. It felt good! Then when I got out of the water and I was walking on the beach, I saw a lot of people on the terras of the beach restaurant. They were all just watching the people surf. When they saw me walking by, they all started chearing and clapping and whisteling. It made me feel like I was famous haha!

Where do you normally surf?

I don’t really have a ‘normally’, I just go wherever I find work and I can surf. At the moment I’m in El Salvador, working at a surf & yoga retreat as a surfcoach. And in summer I’m mostly in the North of Spain, teaching surfing and surfing myself. This is probably where I have spend the most time surfing.

What is your favourite surfing spot?

Good question! I think so far I don’t really have favorite spot. But there is this one spot in Nicaragua where I had a couple of favorite surf sessions. A beautiful long, forgiving left. I would just always surprise myself surfing there, do things that I thought I would never do.

Do you have a favourite surfer, an example?

Stephanie Gilmore! I just really really love the way she surfs on all different kinda boards.

How is it to ride a wooden board?

It’s definitely different, but I really like it. My board feels like it flies in small waves. I like how it works very well whenever the waves don’t have a lot of power (like in Holland or the summer in Europe), because it’s a bit heavier it just feels easy to get into waves and once you go, it just keeps going. I just really like that Jabali’s wooden boards are as eco friendly as possible. I’ve been trying to be more conscience about leaving a smaller footprint and riding a wooden board is a little step in that process.

What is the weirdest or most scary thing you experienced surfing?

With some locals friends I went to this secret spot somewhere in Ecuador. Only when we arrived they told me you had to get in and out from the rocks. I was already scared, as my surfskills were far from good and I really didn’t like rocks. After they explained how to get in the water, one of my friends went first and I followed. It was actually easier than I thought and without problems I got out back. With the idea of the rocks always in front of me (they said as long as you didn’t wipe out there was no reason to be scared lol), I didn’t have a great session, but I caught some fun waves. At some point the sun was going down and I was really freaking out by the idea of getting out of the water in the dark. So I said to my friends that I was done surfing and I wanted to get out. I asked them how and they explained it to me. Unfortunately my Spanish wasn’t that good and I completely misunderstood the instructions. I tried to get out of the water where you could only get out safe if you timed it right and knew exactly which rocks to step on. I definitely didn’t, so I got smashed into the rocks, got two sets on my head while I was holding onto the rock. After the second set I run for my life over the rocks, hoping to be on time before the next set would come. The rocks were extremely slippery and sharp, so I fell a couple times, but kept on going. I luckily only had some cuts in my feet and hands from the sharp rocks and my board had a couple of dings. When my friends came out of the water half an hour later, I finally stopped shaking and crying, they asked why I didn’t paddle to the beach (10min paddle) to get out safe like they told me.... Oops!

What do you want to achieve in the future as a surfer?

My goal is to be able to have fun surfing in all kind of conditions. Small, big, choppy, glassy, steep, slow, etc.


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