There's No Waves In Italy Is There?
Portrait images by: Alessandro Tommasini
Surfing was once a sport that was reserved for Hawaiian royalty, but the sports popularity - and epicentre - have been moving outward to the furthest reaches of the globe in recent years. Hot spots like Ireland, Portugal and Chile have helped the borders of the sport be redefined and a whole new generation of rippers are sprouting from far flung locations across the globe. Guys like Simone Macera; a 24 year old Italian native who is making waves of his own in the Mediterranean and beyond.
MM: How you got into Bodyboarding?
SM: As a kid and thanks to my dad. l used to spend much time in the water because he is a windsurfer and a nature lover like me. l actually started to ride waves with a surfboard, not a boogieboard. Then few years later, my mother was driving me along the coast and everywhere was so crowded that l asked her to take me to a break called Pancaldi. l tough it was good for bodyboarding and I was right because as soon as l got there l felt like it was the most radical thing l had ever tried. This is actually how everything began.
What it’s like being a bodyboarder in The Med?
Well, this is not an easy question because l’ve never really thought about it and l’ve been mostly interviewed by Italian magazines. But anyway, l love being a bodyboarder and somehow l even feel special, like a football player in Oz ahahahah.
Images by Alessandro Tommasini and Sandro Barbieri
Are you a famous guy at your home town, like people think your eccentric and weird for riding a Bodyboard in The Med?
l would not say famous because it would be a bit weird. But actually, in the surf community I am. People do know me in Italy and also some people from abroad. That’s not only for bodyboarding, but certainly also because of my character and way of living my life in general. They don’t think riding a boogie is strange but sometimes they don’t consider it as a sport. Obviously, l don’t like it because it’s such a difficult discipline and people should have the possibility of making their living from it.
What are the waves like?
Where I live they are fucking good especially for bodyboarding. In 20 km of coast l would say we have ten hollow waves that made the rider l am now.. they are not higher than 1 - 1.5 -2 m but when it gets good it’s really funny and you can enjoy a ride with your closest friends.
Images 1-3 by Michele Tognotti, Image 6 by Nicola Trevisol. Image 7 by Simone Romano. Image 8 bu Bernardo Migone.
How often does it get good?
Here we are ahahah not often at all, unfortunately. l can say that the best period is winter time, like in the rest of Europe but it can really change anytime. For example, last year we probably rode the best autumn ever and from last February until now it was totally “flat”.. it was like once per week or even less. It depends a lot. l was lucky to surf 11 days in a row in summer few years ago.
What’s the biggest it gets?
As you probably know, the Mediterranean Sea is similar to a salty lake, so basically the huge difference between the ocean and the Med is the consistency of swell and height of the waves. There is not enough fetch, so low pressure can pass through without making any effect on the coast. Sooooo, of course, it is not even comparable with the ocean ahah.
The swell gets here in two main ways: when there is onshore wind for few days and it then gets away and the offshore wind comes. This is called “Scaduta”, which literally means “expired” ahah Otherwise we can also get waves when there is onside shore wind in Sardinia and the cold comes to my town from the mountains. There are many other options, but they usually don’t get consistent waves. This about my city, on Italy’s west coast.
Do many people surf?
Yes, there are quite a lot of people who do it, and in my city there are many bodyboarders, too. Crowded breaks are not a problem yet and people are mostly respectful even if sometimes it is a bit annoying cause they don’t really know how to behave in the water.. but it’s still okay, these are not real problems. Also localism is not a problem in Italy. It is present in one spot only and, actually, l think it is the worst l ever been to in my city ahah.
Did it feel different the first time you surfed waves in the ocean?
When I was 14 y/o I went to France with my family. That’s a common trip for Europeans, and l was TOTALLY excited. It was in summer, the waves were okay but not really good and still l fell in love with it. Since then l never stopped having surf trips!!!
What’s plans for 2019, you want to compete on the world tour one day?
l’ve just come back from Indonesia where I shot the video below. And guys, you don’t know me, but my mind overthinks sometimes and l wish l could do more things at the same time, but this is not possible and that’s why l need to give things a priority. So right now, l need to focus on my university studies and try to complete my degree as soon as possible, but yes, meanwhile l will try to do something.
Few days ago we organized the premiere for Cloud Buster and it took us a lot of time and effort but it also gave us great satisfaction. There were about 300 people!!!! We couldn’t believe it. So next step, with the support of some sponsors, we would like to try to make something professional out of it.
About the APB.. sure, at some stage l would like to participate in some comps just to have fun because the level is definitely higher than mine, especially when it gets to the first round. We’ll see what’s next. l’ve always got a surprise in store, even for me ahahhahaah.
I will take this opportunity to say I feel very sad of hearing about the intense tsunami on the Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra. I was there two months ago on a surf trip and there I shot my new video. I am so sorry to see this devastation. We are by your side.
Thank you Movement Magazine for the interview. You’re the most high- quality boogie mag. You just share high quality images in both senses and l could not be happier for it. You keep Bodyboarding alive. This sport needs it.
I am very happy with my latest video. Since a friend of mine - Oduware Imafidon - passed away the day before I left for Indonesia, I decided to dedicate it to him. For this reason, this video means a lot to me.
Enjoy it, bye! Simone Macera