The power of the ocean shapes not only our environment but our lives, too. It pushes us to adapt and evolve right along with it. Just as the ocean never stops molding the world around us, neither do we. We've teamed up with surfer and REEF ambassador Marcial Monreal to share his story of his childhood growing up in a small village that sits on the edge of the Pacific Ocean. Fast forward to today, and he’s now a role model and leader of his local zone, growing in and through the ocean.
What is your first memory of the ocean?
My first memory of the ocean was when I was six years old when my parents took my sister and me to the beach. I remember the smell of the breeze and the sound of the crashing waves. My dad loved to body-surf, so I would hug him by his neck and he would take me out to catch waves on his back. We would go under the waves where the underwater explosion was mesmerizing.
Do you remember your first good wave?
I will never forget the feeling of standing up for the first time on a surfboard. Everything was moving in slow motion and I had such a different perspective of the waves from there on. Everything changed and all I wanted to do is to surf. Through my surfing career, I’ve had some iconic rides and they all bring back that same feeling from my first wave. This is hard to put into words, but there's so many stimulations, the feeling, the adrenaline, the views and sounds.
Can you think of what your life would look like without the ocean?
I can imagine I'd would still be involved in sports and would maybe have a more stable routine. But I wonder if I could be as happy and fulfilled as I am now. I'm happy and grateful that my life has been by the ocean.
How much time do you usually spend in the water a day?
I usually spend three to four hours inside the water or more if the waves are pumping. The rest of my activities outside the water are still affected by the ocean— it's tides, winds and swells.
Have you been able to meet people through the ocean?
Anyone that surfs knows that the surfing community is like a brotherhood. Living in Puerto Escondido I've met and hosted people, now friends, from all around the world. I’m grateful to have a place to stay almost anywhere I go. What's so cool about being part of this community is that by sharing experiences in the ocean, surfers connect and create a family.
Do you think the ocean has shaped who you are as a person? Your personality? How you think? What your future looks like?
The Ocean has shaped every aspect of my life. It's greatest teacher in life, it has thought me how to be respectful, humble, patient, dedicated, unattached, and to never give up. What’s so amazing about the ocean is by being surrounded by nature, I became more connected with myself and everything around me. Every time I get to choose, I choose the path that heads closer to the ocean. So yes, it has definitely shaped and continues to shape what my future looks like and the dreams I chase.
What is your favorite way to connect with Nature, The ocean, etc?
Without a doubt, surfing.
March 24, 2023