The ocean is a natural part of Wilson Rivera’s life, being born and raised in a coastal town of Ecuador his love of the waves came early. Having very little money and the astronomical costs for surf equipment, his love for surfing was great enough that he got creative and ended up catching his first wave of a piece of wood from an old fishing boat. Living the coastal life, he now teaches surfing to visitors who make the stop into the coastal town of Montañita, Ecuador known for being the country’s most popular surf spot.
Name: Wilson Rivera
Date of Birth: 04.14.1993.
Height: 5’5″ (1.67 m)
Location: Montañita, Ecuador
Local Break: Montañita
Countries Surfed: Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Brasil
Experience (Years): 6
Inspirations: Clay Marzo, love the way he free surfs and his creative style, and of course, surfers like Gabriel Medina, Kelly Slater, John John Florence
How did you get into surfing?
Growing up next to the beach, I had always dreamed to catch a wave. Coming from a small town and not having they money to buy a surfboard, I ended up catching my fist wave on a piece of wood from an old fishing boat. Later, I was able to borrow a bodyboard before being able to buy my first surfboard that I shared with my best friend.
After high school, two friends and I travelled took an 18 month trip through South America to surf and of course, experience the different cultures. During the trip, I was able to experience surfing bigger waves than my break at home and really was able to dedicate myself to the sport with my own board 🙂
Being back in Montañita, I work as a local surf instructor and love bringing the sport and lifestyle to those who visit. There’s something special about helping others learn, improve and enjoy the waves but it’s rewarding for me when I am able to help others catch their first wave!
Can you give us an idea of what your typical meals in a day would be?
Ecuadorian food is quite rich and is known to include a large amount of rice. I love Ecuadorian breakfast with Bolon de verde (plantain with cheese), lunch is a bigger meal with a soup to start, fruit juice and a dish of chicken with rice and dinner, is a simple rice and fish dish.
The fruit in found in Ecuador is very delicious and fresh, so that’s always a good and healthy snack.
Do you do any stretches or exercises pre- or post-surf?
Yes, I always stretch before I enter the water and prefer to work out after my surf session so I can keep the fitness momentum going! It helps me prepare for the next day 🙂
What do you grab for a post-surf snack?
Usually just a banana but if I can, banana bread!
What’s your favourite gear?
Honestly, I don’t need anything special to surf with as I have kept it simple my entire life. As long as I have a flexible shortboard and really good sunblock, I’m good to go!