In this interview, we share some thoughts with Federico “Fefe” Goñi, one of the leading exponents of longboard in Argentina, to understand and know more about the daily way of life of a longboarder in Argentina.
Over the years, one of my goals as a photographer / surfer was meet and bond with “real” surfers. Which is the meaning of “real”? it means they have a real commitment to the surf, feel it, breathe it and it is their daily inspiration, it means that beyond Championships or competitions, their day by day is linked to this way of life . Today , and after a couple of failed attempts (trips, delays etc.) I’m sitting with Federico “Fefe” Goñi, at his home(thanks for the biscuits and our local drink, the mate!!) and we talked for almost an hour. The results? Keep reading!
How was the beginning?
Fefe: at my 13 years old , I worked with my dad all summer , earned some money and bought my first board, an hybrid 5,11` ,sold as gold but in fact was a Shitty shape, like everyone`s first board…
I was every day in the water with that board, no matter the conditions… until a friend gave me a longboard (awful one, broke twice) and on a classic day on Waikiki , I was all day surfing, scratching my toes but happy as hell… that was the beginning. After that, I bought my first longboard and I said “only for small days” ,but at the end it became my all size board!
Sounds like a good beginning! What other shapes do you ride?
Eggs, hulls , single fin, twin fins.. I just finish my first glass on a Bessel board… got to try it…
Cool, And what about competitions, tournament? , surf teams?
I really love to be part of tournaments. I am on the Mormaii surf team, I am on the Argentinean team for world championships(world surfing games and Pan-American at Ilehus, Brazil), Pan-American team for south American beach tournament and ALAS (Latin American professional surf association ) I won 2 ALAS championships: one in Mar del Plata and one in Panama) as a highlight, I was on the Pan-American championship final with Brazilian Surfer Phil Rajzman, He won, but I feel really confident about my development.
And that is the important, isn’t it? ….
Sure it is.
Ok and what about your favorite spots? I know you have surfed almost all Latin America. Tell me about this and other points.
Indonesia , is a must! Padang, was big, Uluwatu is really consistent.
Padang with a short board?
Long and short! I was really stoked.
And what about Latin America?
I really dig , Morrillos at Panama! 8 hours on the water barrel after barrel, it was madness. Matapalos at Costa Rica is really interesting, Lobitos y los muelles at Peru.
How would you define your style ,and what are you trying to improve or achieve?
Ok, my style was always classic, walking on the board as much as i can, keeping the style and looking for long hang ten and well pronounced bottoms. I have to improve, but only for the competitive, my radical surfing, trying to achieve a modern style .That’s why I am choosing short boards lately.
Ok. And what about the surf in Argentina? Is growing much as it looks?
Is a nonstop Growth, all the time people is asking me for boards to sale, wet suits to sale.. Surfers appear from under the stones!!!! And that is good… sort of…. Je!! I have a secret spot where I surf alone most of the time, so a crowded lineup is not a worry for me.
Sorry guys from Argentina, the secret spot will not be revealed!!
From my point of view as a surfer , sometimes appears to be a trend.. in my opinion it could bebetter if the people who surf for the first time try to understand what surf means and try to know shapes, sizes, swell/weather conditions… your opinion?
yeah ! it should be that way but you know, in the surf academies there are 2 kind of people… people who really want to learn and surf and the people who want to ride a wave, have a good time and back to the city with a good story to tell. That`s the actual situation.
Localism, good or bad? Your opinion, Please.
Localism is not good, but you have to respect the other ones in the lineup.
And what about the shaper’s Development?
My shaper is Ezequiel Macchi, from Bessell surfboards , there are a lot of shapers doing really good stuff (tinted resin, classic and retro shapes,) but the economic situation in Argentina doesn’t help. It’s really difficult to get blanks , resin.. all the stuff that you need to shape.
Lately you are riding SUP… Thoughts?
Is a good complement for surf, I really like it. You can surf on a big or small day and is a good training.
Ok let`s do a one on one.:
Tudor , Machado , Knost , and obviously Slater , he is the one!! He always makes the difference.
Favorite local surfers?
Martin Passeri , great surfer, a close friend and excellent guy.
Lele Usuna, the Argentinean styleman.
And i want to mention all the local legends: Sandy, Caco , Humberto, Angelito , Renato etc. I really hope to reach their age and surf with their passion…
Longer (Joel Tudor) trilogy (with Parko , Irons and Burrow) another state of mind (Tudor, Knost, Nelson)
a lot of bands, but mainly Red hot chili peppers.
The last one: Why you surf?
Sincerely, I don’t really know. Is something special, you will never know why , but attracts you in a way that I cannot describe.
we will surf until we can, right?
Until we can.