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Fede Elli: When Sea waves meet Air waves Imagine the scene: You are on your way to your favorite surf spot listening to the radio.  Nice tunes, weather forecast… nothing special, huh? Not this time. For the last 9 years Federico Elli has been making the difference on our local radio merging his passions: Surfing, broadcasting and music. As a listener of his show I decide that it was time to let the people know a little more about him and his vision about surfing.

So, after a couple of mails, we are sitting on a nice table under a tree with the summer heat punching our heads talking about boards, shapers, secret spots and much, much more.

The results? Keep reading my friends, keep reading.


Me: Fede, How was your approach to surf?

 Federico: I started with a bodyboard at my 10 years in Punta del Este, I stayed several hours in the water until i turned purple.I take my time to move to surfing, it looked like a challenge for me. i wanted to know everything about the ocean and how it works: why the currents  moves in different ways, why the spray of a wave peak is changing its direction or why there were people entering the water at 6 am while I was on my way to bed. that was until the age of 18 when  I bought my first board in brazil.

 Me: How was that?

Federico: It was pure learning: learn the set beavior, learn the moment to take off… that kind of the middle of that I had a bad moment at Joaqhinha beach with my bodyboard: waiting in the lineup one of the other guys in the pack scream to move , I got distracted for a second and a wave just broke 2 meters before me, but the problem was the next 2 waves of the same set.. they pull me under… a tense moment!!

 Me: rough moment But it was a part of the learning process isn´t it?

Fedrico: Sure it was jejeje! after that summer I started surfing in Mar del Plata… first from December to April .. and then throughout the year.

Me: Ok, Tell me about your favorite spots here.

 Federico: Years ago I went a couple of seasons for work to Mar del Plata  and i got into Playa Grande  without knowing how it was, and that’s when I understood the mystique of this spot: beautiful waves and size in either the yacht or biology sides. Beside this, i prefer the southern beaches: el faro , honu beach , serena beach, hoteles beach at Chapadmalal and Honores beach and medanos At Miramar.

Me: Miramar seems to be a spot to check, isn’t it?

Federico: Miramar and Queuquen look like two spots outside Argentina. There are good vibes in the water and the swell is constant and well sized every day.

Me: interesting!!! i really should check it out . And what about the spots around the world.?

Federico: Costa Rica is awesome … i grab a nice swell in Santa Teresa beach and Carmen beach and it was beautiful. Puerto Escondido (with little size jejeje) the wave in Puerto Escondido does not break on the shore, but the peak is so fast and quick, so it’s for a quick take off. But, as usual, you will have another beach with less size so i always found a 3 to 5 feet swell.

Summarizing: Costa Rica, Ecuador, Peru, Mexico … travel is always good and when you got 10 or 15 days is when you make the connection…. The best surf appears after 2nd / third day.

Me: I totally agree. That’s why i hate the 2-3 day surf trips… but sometimes there is no choice.

Federico: I’ll tell you an anecdote that I take as a gift: I was planning a trip to Spain to visit friends and surfing the French and Spanish Basque coast. When I arrived, they were in a more  wintry mood so I decided to visit Barcelona for 2 soon as i arrived it was pouring rain. The next day the weather improved and came walking to Barceloneta … when  I look closely and I see waves of five feet and 50 surfers in the lineup, so I ran to a surf shop, I rent a 6´6´´ quicksilver epoxy, a wetsuit and the owner says  “we have 60 days with this condition each winter”…

Me: At Barcelona???

Federico: Yeah!! It was incredible…everyone was smiling in the lineup, good vibes … I have pictures, videos! I’m proud of it… and that’s when I had a feeling of “I did it, now i am a real Surfer” because i took the chance and went for it! It was something very intimate.

Me: It’s amazing and believe me, I totally understand your felling.

Federico: My friends do not believe me!!! (Laughs). I had to show them the video footage. The craziest thing is that 4 more beaches around were with the same conditions!!! I mean, it’s the Mediterranean ocean and these condition are not very usual. I came back totally stocked with that experience.

 Me: Eyy, Fede Elli´s friends: this guy Surfed Barceloneta, it’s official, is on Drift surfing!!!

Federico: (Lots of laughs) yeah its official!

Me: what can you tell me about localism at Mar del Plata?

Federico: Playa Grande has a strong localism. 40 / 50 years old guys on a 10 feet swell… you got to respect them. is the kind of localism from a guy that rode the spot since he was a child. i never saw any fight like i saw in Peru or Brazil. is a really interesting behavior to analyze. Beyond that, in other beaches of Mar del Plata the guys on the lineup are always respectful.

Me: Favorite surfers? And how can you describe your style?

Federico: When i was younger i was really stoked with Machado. His style so relaxed and focused at the same time is so amazing. The appearance of Slater was a wonderful thing but right now i am not following ASP. I prefer to check the ALAS (Latin-american Surf Asociation) and the development of guys like Luisma Iturria from Uruguay. He got that fluid Style, not so physical, near Machado Style.

Me: and what about local surfers?

Federico: I like Martin Passeri. He is brilliant, with a style of continuous search he conveys his effort. It’s something not very usual. Maxi Siri is wonderful,  Fefe Goñi is really awesome to see … fluid style, very relaxed and Santi Di Pace in big waves is great. All these guys are very interesting.

 Me: ok let’s change the subject but not much. Tell me about your passion for the radio.

Federico: That is pure vocation … since i was a kid I liked the music, the radio and also the advertising.  As a broadcaster, I mix the 2 things and also work as an advertising freelance broadcaster. On my show my passion is to share music knowing that i could be company for someone in the other side of the speaker. Since i am a radio listener too and i was on the other side of the speaker too a lot of time until today, I’m happy with that!!!

Me: And you talk about surfing too! 

Federico:Of course! Every Thursday i present “the extreme Thursday” showing profiles from different surfers/skaters/wake boarders.

Me: A couple of surf movies?

Federico: Chasing Mavericks, Great movie. Convey the passion. Drift , on the Australian west coast … nice movie.

Me: Music to listening to?

Federico: I really like foals, Young Empires and Beat connection and their last release: Surf Noir. is a mix between ambient and beach music. very interesting.

Me: Last one. For me is really hard to answer: why you surf?

Federico: eeehhhhh … (thinks) … These are moments… at some point it felt like a kind of… (Thinks again) I think i surf for the same reason that when I was a child i stayed for hours watching other guys surfing… is one of the few moments where you go from adrenaline or alert to the most absolute peace… is an inner smile… is a inner state. You can go with 20 guys but you are on your own with your insecurities and strengths. And that’s important. And when you think too much it’s because you’re not surfing well. So go out, rest , eat some and back again later! Jajaja

Me: One of the best answer that i heard… Thanks!

Federico: you are welcome!

You can listen to Federico Elli here:


Santiago Videla (Editor)


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